In September this year marks the eighth year since my husband and I moved across the border from Queensland to New South Wales. Paul and I relocated from Brisbane’s northside to the lush green Tweed Valley, just 15 minutes south of Coolangatta Beach.

A Change of Scenery

We didn’t know anyone in the region, but all we knew for sure was we wanted to live in Northern NSW and be less than 1 hour 30 max from family in Brisbane. It didn’t take us long to make new friends and discover our favourite cafes, beaches, national parks and coastal walks.

View from my windows
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It Took The Coronavirus Pandemic To Open My Eyes

Since the outbreak of COVID-19 and social distancing, I have had plenty of time to reflect on the sheer beauty that surrounds me that is often overlooked.  Over the last few weeks, I have particularly enjoyed taking in the views from each window of my home. Getting up each morning and slowly raising my bedroom window shade has become a daily ritual, filled with many surprises.

Good Morning | Rise & Shine

I often stand still for several minutes and watch the mullet fish jump high from the Tweed River and smile at the early risers walking swiftly past, either walking their dog or being walked by their dog! No matter which window I peer from, a new vision and story unfold.

The New Norm

The virus has also robbed the landscape of the norm. In essence, houseboats are no longer present on the river, and the wakeboarders and jet skiers are nowhere to be seen or heard. Shiny tinnies and small fishing boats have the whole river to themselves, and the fish are biting. Family groups wander past my windows either on foot or riding bicycles, chatting and laughing about who knows what.

View from my windows
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In A Garden of Friends, Happiness Grows!

My kitchen window overlooks our ‘higgledy-piggledy’ friendship garden, filled from cuttings from other people’s gardens. Precious cuttings nurtured and living proof that dear friendships grow and flourish over time. It’s from this window that I reflect and remember my special friends that have become an important part of this garden. I can also smell fragrance flowering scrubs and see our citrus trees are loaded with fruit. My neighbour’s line of pencil pines congers up visions of the Tuscan hills in Italy and I begin to dream about travel again.

The view from my windows project
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I Spy With My Little Eye

These weeks spent at home have opened my eyes, ears, nose and mind to many new experiences. From the side windows of my house, I can see my neighbour working diligently in his shed making birdhouses, while his adult family keep fit outdoors using home gym equipment.  I can hear my neighbours talking, the occasional barking dog and the birds are singing their different tunes. Rows of bird cages line our dividing fence and their cheerful tweets filter through my study windows and brighten my days working from home. Little does my neighbour know that listening to her interacting and teaching her birds to talk, puts a smile on my face each day.

Living Alone

On the opposite side of my house lives an elderly woman who I rarely see. She likes to keep to herself, and a radio is her very best friend. I don’t notice the radio playing during the day, but as the sun goes down, I feel the joy and companionship that a radio can bring as the sound enters my lounge room windows.

The View From My Windows
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It’s A Good Time To Reflect,  Remember and Learn

From these same windows, from 10am – 11am, we stare at the adjacent green rolling hills and fertile farmland that our late father and father-in-law was so fond of. As we work out for that hour, we talk openly about our dreams, the past and wonder the future. We also observe the happy cows grazing and chewing their cud in near-perfect autumn conditions. At the same time, farmers fix fences and check waterlines and troughs. The cows shining coats and fat bodies are the result of plenty of summer rain and an abundance of grasses.

Despite the Coronavirus outbreak, in the distance, local quarry trucks continue to trundle along the road opposite our riverside village like nothing has changed. Raw materials sourced from the local quarry are needed to repair roads, bridges and keep our country’s infrastructure operating throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.

Hillside view from my windows
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If I Could Save This View, I would!

Facing west, from another bedroom, we can see our totem, the majestic Mount Warning or Mount Wollumbin which means “cloud catcher”. This now extinct volcano resembles the shape of a woman’s face looking upwards and I love everything about it. In fact, Mount Warning is the first place in Australia to be touched by the sun each morning. The spectacular mountain looks different from each window in the house and is forever changing. I gasp each afternoon at the incredible sunset views that encapsulate the magnificence of the Tweed River, Caldera and Border Ranges. Some days, Mount Warning is elusive, disappearing behind the clouds every chance it gets. But perseverance prevails, and I am rewarded more often than not! Sometimes it feels like I am watching a movie, and the scenery is changing just for me.

Mount Warning Sunset
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A Story Unfolds From Every Window

It’s hard to believe that from every window in my house, there is a gateway to beauty which I haven’t thought much about……until now! It took being locked up for weeks at home to open up my senses and discover what was right in front of me or just beyond my windows. The views from my windows stir raw emotions and a sense of gratitude for the surroundings I took for granted. This new life forced upon me is definitely less complicated and a sharp contrast to where I once was.  These days, I find it hard to imagine going back to the hustle and bustle of my old life, but deep down, I know I will …. once the restrictions are eventually lifted. What I imagine I will miss most about staying at home, is the time I took to look out of my windows and simply enjoy the view.

Stay Home | Stay Safe | We Are All In This Together

We’ve all heard it hundreds, if not thousands of times, “we are all in this together” and that’s so very true. The entire world has been brought to its knees, and for the first time in history, we can save the human race by staying home and doing nothing!

We are in this together
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What Do You See When You Look Out Your Window?

I hope my personal story stirs emotions in you to look out your windows and see the big picture. I would love you to share a view from your window with my readers and me. Share “The View From My Windows” project with your friends and family and help them to feel more connected to you and the outside world.

How You Can Be Part Of ‘The View From My Windows’ Project

It’s very simple. Go to one of the windows in your home and snap a photograph. Email your photo to hello@progressivetraveller.com or send your photo to me via Facebook messenger – together with your photo’s geographical location (city, state, country).

Alternatively, go to the Progressive Traveller’s Facebook Post and upload your photo here, together with your city, state and country in the comment’s box. For those family and friends who have my mobile number, you can SMS your photo with the other details. Ensure you let me know if you don’t want your name published with your photo.

Something Lovely Found By Chance

Stay home, stay safe and remember to look out your windows more. You may be surprised at what is out there and not yet discovered. 

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Before you go, here’s a snapshot of some of my latest articles which I hope inspires you for post-pandemic travel and helps keep you safe and sane in the meantime.

 

Being grateful
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Travel Planning Resources

Packing Checklist

Subscribe to the Progressive Traveller community and receive my FREE printable travel packing checklists. Learn how to pack efficiently and maximise your luggage space for your next trip abroad. (checklist available at the end of this section)

Book Your Flight

eDreams AU is my favourite airline search engine for booking both my domestic and international flights. Also check out my pro tips on how to find the best and cheapest flights in my Go Travel eBook.

Rent A Car

RentalCars.com is where you will find the right car in the right place at the right price. It’s the best car rental site for comparing prices and offers.

Book Accommodation

My go-to-online accommodation search engine is Booking.com. With over 830,000 hotels, apartments, villas, resorts, guest houses and B&Bs, you will be spoilt for choice. They offer great rates, *free cancellation, no reservation fees and best prices are guaranteed. Through the booking site you have access to customer reviews, special offers and great deals. Plus, each accommodation is shown by location and photos, so you know exactly what to expect.

Save $35 with this Airbnb coupon code and learn the best way to find cheap Airbnb accommodation around the world. Check my Go Travel eBook for more accommodation pro tips.

Protect You and Your Belongings

If you can’t afford travel insurance, you can’t afford to travel! Protect yourself and your belongings with my preferred consumer insurer, World Nomads. They provide an extensive range of options to suit your type of travel and they are giving my readers a 5% discount code when they enter Go Travel. Head to World Nomads, and enter the promo code GOTRAVEL for an exclusive discount!*  

Please note: 

  • For our Canadian and US travellers, unfortunately due to financial services laws, World Nomads cannot provide a discount. This promotional code cannot be used with any other discount offer, including World Nomads Members’ discount for travel insurance policy holders.

 

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