2010 was one of the best years of my life. I took a year off to travel and volunteer around the world. I made new friends and felt a sense of freedom I had not experienced for a long time. While I challenged myself to live a little differently and experienced many things outside my comfort zone, taking that year off had sill been a safe option because I had a job to go back to.
This time it will be different. On the first of February I said goodbye to a very secure job that had given me many things…from intellectual stimulation, friendships and financial security to the opportunity to make a difference in Western Sydney.
I had not been the same since coming back from my year away. I had a hankering to be more creative and to be the author of my own destiny. I was yearning for the sense of freedom I had felt when I had lived for a year with just the stuff I carried in my backpack.
I have always wanted to live life a little differently to the norm. However, escaping the gilded cage is fraught with risks, is regarded unfavourably and is loaded with insecurity; but what is life without a dream to chase? Better still, this time a dream that I can share with my partner Steven.
I have left my job to form a partnership with Steven at PolisPlan, the venture he started in 2011. While Infrastructure Planning and Flood Risk Management is our bread and butter we are planning to go back on the road perhaps for 6 months to research Eco-villages – intentional communities that aim to be socially, economically and ecologically sustainable. Our dream is to help design and build such interconnected communities, perhaps living at each one as long as our skills might be needed.
Steven and I have often asked if there is an alternative to the type of development we see all around us in Sydney. Unsustainable houses that are disconnected from the natural environment and people disconnected from their neighbours. Our ecological footprint in Australia is one of the largest in the world. While we embrace the advancements of the technological era we live in, we ask if we can learn some lessons by looking at how the more traditional societies used to function.
Is there an alternative way of building our cities? I invite you to follow our journey as we go in search of answers….