If you’re anything like me, you will have experienced the usual winter day-dream about waltzing out of the office, jumping in your car with a triumphant “WOO-HOO” and zooming, full throttle, into the sunset. Destination: sun and warmth. Well, amazingly, that’s exactly what I was doing about this time last year. My name’s Lisa and, if you haven’t already met me behind the desk at our Austi or Sydney clinic, I am Quirky Kid’s own in-house (well, sometimes out-house) Graphic Designer.
The thing is, when I started my university degree in Creative Arts/Graphic Design, I didn’t really consider the fact that I had resigned myself to a lifetime of office work, eyes blurry from such long sessions of screen time. Now, don’t get me wrong, I absolutely love this profession (and wouldn’t swap it for anything!) but after three years of working from the office, I did begin to feel that itch. The itch to just get out there and experience the world. I know everyone feels this way eventually, it’s just how people deal with it that’s interesting! For instance, many people sate this desire by working non-stop, pooling together every dollar, then heading overseas on a six month travel binge… Only be then trudge back to the office, starting the saving process all over again! This approach to work/life balance works for lots of people, but never really appealed to me. I started brainstorming other ways to create this fabled balance…
Luckily at this stage of my life I wasn’t interested in foreign shores or icy slopes. In hindsight, I was probably just homesick. I wanted to be back in the tropics. Born and raised in Darwin, these southern winters leave me withered in mind, body and spirit. But there was an answer: buy a van and get on the road towards home. “You’re dreaming!” I hear you say. “How will you afford it?” I hear my mother say. Well, I approached the big boss with this idea who, being a seasoned traveller himself (and luckily very modern in his thinking) very kindly agreed to keep me on while I made this happen. So there you have it. I was about to start working on the road: logging in where I can, attending meetings via skype, regular phone catch-ups, uploading files to our cloud. The technology is there, so why not use it?
I began the trip having no idea how much this new found freedom and space would spark my creativity! I’ve read countless ‘feel-good’ articles about how nature and being out of your comfort zone can have positive effects on your mind’s ability to think in different ways, but never truly believed it. The last few chapters of our latest production (BaseCamp) for example, are two of my favourite chapters of the book – But because I like the work? Or because the work is tied to memories of being out on the balcony looking over the rainforest of far north Queensland? Who knows! Time to do it again, I think!