“Traveling – it leaves you speechless, then turns you into a storyteller”.

Hamilton Island

My love of travel and exploring the world is quite a contradiction to that of growing a rose garden. So how can I bring them together in my life and enjoy both to the fullest?

I love my rose garden and want to see all the roses in full bloom and to enjoy the delights of the colours and scents in the evening air. The Joyfulness rose planted beside Just Joey with Claude Monet, Eliza, and Dioressence nearby. The colours contrast with Paul Cezanne, The Children’s Rose, Belle du Seigneur and La vien rose whose fragrance wafts across the garden. I love to be out in the early morning, hands in the dirt planting, watering or checking the roses but I also yearn for new adventures and to see more parts of the world I’ve only dreamt about.

Every year go someplace you, have never been before.

Dalai Lama

Heads together, we will plan another trip away soon but once the Covid situation is resolved perhaps. On our last trip, we planned to travel in the summer months when the last of the salvias will be in bloom, the roses fighting with the heat of long, dry days and the weeds rampant from the continued watering. It will be strange not to be travelling when the garden is dormant in June. Our winter is the usual time we like to travel in the Southern Hemisphere.

“Live life with no excuses, travel with no regret ”

Oscar Wilde

After all the work done in the garden, you may well wonder why I would want to leave at all? I did ponder this myself and came up with the answer. Because travelling makes you who you are. It builds character and opens your eyes to new cultures and people, which helps you understand yourself. Not only that, travelling offers a new perspective on life and shakes up your routine to give you a wonderful feeling of freedom, and the contrast creates experiences that will shape your life. Travel has for some time now been either banned due to border closures or simply unsafe because of Covid 19. Let us hope that in the years to come and hopefully quite soon we can return to the adventures of travel again because

“So much of who we are is where we have been.”

William Langewiesche

Also, travelling makes you feel as if dreams do come true. Who hasn’t dreamt of foreign lands and mad adventures on distant shores at any age? You meet new people, see new things, and become awe-inspired by natural beauty.

Travel makes one live in the moment and take one day at a time. It can focus us on simplicity yet be an adventure and exciting. Or leave us with a challenge because it’s not always as comfortable as home, but that’s just the point. Travel does not have to be long-distance or exotic either, and there is always one’s own country with so much to see and do right on the doorstep that will also bring new life experiences.

‘The gladdest moment in human life, me thinks, is a departure into unknown lands.’

Sir Richard Burton
On the road in Italy
Carla Fineschi Garden Tuscany Italy

Travel is a great educator where you can learn firsthand the history and culture of the places you visit. The joy of uncovering hidden gems and experiencing the unexpected is coupled with the fun of meeting new friends. I love the organising of trains, planes, ferries and ships and working out all the details of itineraries, making sure not to miss the unique spots and interesting places you find in preparing. The anticipation and research beforehand are some of the best aspects of travel that has been sadly missed during covid.

Havana Cuba

Travelling boosts your confidence from all the diverse tasks of organising itineraries, passports, visas and getting from A to B, finding accommodation or that special dinner place you read about. The crazy, fun and even ordinary day of life whilst away can be a thrill that energises and enlivens. It strengthens relationships (or breaks them) and gives a fresh outlook and appreciation of ‘home’.

“Don’t listen to what they say, go see.”

A Chinese Proverb
India 2018

To enjoy both, seemingly opposite adventures of gardening and travel requires careful planning because there is no point in going away unless your mind is free of home worries. The garden, especially in a hot, dry climate, cannot be left for a long period without water. So a reliable friend, relative, house sitter or gardener is essential, unless you’re prepared to return to a disaster. It goes without saying that gardens and plants will suffer if accustomed to being watered and then are just left unattended.

‘Our battered suitcases were piled on the sidewalk again; we had longer ways to go. But no matter, the road is life.’

Jack Kerouac
Austria 2016

Start early in the garden preparing for a trip. There are lots of things to consider and complete beforehand to eliminate issues whilst away. I aim to follow this list, but everyone’s garden is different, and although I’m no expert my advice is to –

  • mulch the garden and roses to retain moisture
  • water thoroughly with eco seaweed before you leave
  • treat pests and any black spot with neem oil or eco rose
  • special pot plants could be moved into the shade to reduce water loss
  • erect shade cloth or shade sails to keep sunlight off the garden and reduce summer burn
  • remove weeds and deadhead roses
  • check the climbing roses and plants are tied up securely
  • water and soak lawn, leave mowing because once cut it will dry out more quickly
  • cut and trim any hedges
  • mulch pot plants with sphagnum moss to increases the soil’s ability to retain water

“Though we travel the world over to find the beautiful, we must carry it with us, or we find it not.”

Ralph Waldo Emerson

So, garden organised, a surrogate gardener engaged and travel plans in place, the only aspect left to consider is one’s mindset. Travelling can be extraordinary, but it can also be daunting, wearisome and mundane. It is all about the approach.

Marina Bay Gardens Singapore 2018. A 100-year-old Olive Tree

My tips on a good mindset for travel that will help make the trip enjoyable, fare –

  • choose to be happy
  • keep your sense of humour intact
  • follow your intuition
  • be in the present
  • don’t panic
  • be spontaneous
  • be flexible and go with the flow
  • be determined and go the extra mile
  • reframe your outlook if things go wrong and use it to create new experiences
  • be resourceful and creative
  • be accountable and look after yourself and your travel companions
  • have fun and enjoy

‘Our happiest moments as tourists always seem to come when we stumble upon one thing while in pursuit of something else.’

Lawrence Block

Content and Images Di Baker from my travels 2019 and Reposted 2020

With the exceptions Vintage Map, Suitcases and World Map from Unsplash

Title quote by Ibn Battuta

Bon Voyage!

Lisbon Portugal 2016

Content Di Baker 2018 & 2022

All rights reserved

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