I guess everyone has heard the phrase ‘make sure to take time to smell the roses’. We probably have even heard ourselves saying this to someone else, but what does it really mean? I figure that it means something different to everyone and recently I found myself finding my own description.
Each year, December and January marks important months for downtime for me, as it is summer and also a period of time where group exercise timetables are reduced and people go on holidays. It is also a time of year for me when workshops on weekends slow down, so I have the opportunity to do other things. As someone who has worked 7 days a week for most of my working life, having time on my hands can be a challenging thing. I wanted to make sure to make the most of it and not find myself wasting it in front the TV. So this year I decided to make a list of things to do around Melbourne. Actually the list started last year with Christine and Carla, who are my dear friends and inspired me to create one. Last year I only did a couple of things on the list, so this year I decided to make more of an effort.
One of the items on the list was a walking tour in Melbourne. After some research on the internet, I found I’m Free Walking Tours where you tip the tour guide at the end with what you though it was worth. Considering all the other tours were $40 plus and I wasn’t sure what I would be getting, I decided to choose this tour. Donna, another fabulous friend, joined me on New Year’s day and off we went with 20 or so other people to do the walking tour.
The whole tour was about 3 hours and we walked around to significant buildings and historical sites around Melbourne. We went down alleyways to view street art, and were recommended great places to eat and drink. I discovered places and things around my city that I had no idea about. I was entertained with stories and interesting facts and the whole excursion was very enjoyable. Donna and I chatted about parts of Melbourne that we both knew that the other didn’t and talked about memories that were brought up as we strolled. I loved it. In fact, I enjoyed it so much that I did it again with my New Zealand friends 10 days later.
Taking this opportunity to walk around a city that I often fly through to get somewhere or do something, helped me to develop a greater awareness of how vibrant my home is. It was an opportunity to have an insight into the culture and history that has shaped the place that I call my home. It was discovering my own backyard that I had never paid attention too.
I highly recommend this to anyone that lives or visits any city that has these tours and they are all over the world. Don’t wait until you travel to do something like this, take the time to smell the roses in your own backyard first. What a wonderful way to start the 2016.