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dailyconnectionwithnature

creating dailyconnectionwithnature feature minimalism OUTSIDER Patreon chapters vanlife

STEPHEN’S LAST NIGHT IN TOWN (NOT)

June 24, 2020

I’m not doing a ‘Stephen’s Last Night In Town’,* promise 😂. But just to say that on this OUTSIDER blog I’ve opened up all the additional paid-for content so that it’s free. In the right-hand column there’s a category ‘OUTSIDER Patreon Chapters’ click on that and you’ll find additional recipes, poetry, photography and some longer essays. My hope for this online project was to illustrate that living slowly with less doesn’t have to be purgatory, in fact it can be…

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Barefoot dreams

June 13, 2020

Wore shoes last night for the first time in ages and still walked the 5km home barefoot. I love being in tune with my surroundings, the way my body is fully aware of changes in temperature and texture; feeling the hard, smooth white cobbles give way to soft, damp midnight grasses. These past few years, no longer restricted by ridiculously shaped shoes, my feet have spread, rough callouses have formed along the heels; I can no longer stride with certainty,…

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On perseverance

June 6, 2020

There’s something I love about the art of perseverance. Although we’re all born with differing capabilities I truly believe that anybody can get good at any skill with enough time, effort and perseverance. Personally, I prefer taking the longer, more difficult route to learning. When I’ve examined this I realise it’s because my philosophy is that if I can do something in difficult times/under difficult situations then I’ll be really good when the going gets easier. Surfing has been one…

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Where is your freedom?

June 1, 2020

How much freedom do we have, if we’re completely honest with ourselves? Every choice come with conditions: buy a home, and agree to trade an extortionate amount of debt for comfort and security; focus on your career, and know that the more successes you have the greater the compulsion to compete, the need to remain current and relevant; choose a family, and be enfolded in love, but also all the drama. What is the price for absolute freedom? To live…

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dailyconnectionwithnature Europe minimalism nature vanlife

This slow travelling life

April 25, 2020

There are an infinite number of contradictory reasons why people decide to move into vans, and the vanlife community is as diverse as any you’ll meet. Digging down deep into our reasons, we find they’ve changed in these two-and-a-half years on the road. At first we wanted to simply travel, to see all the world and have new experiences. I suppose this is still true to a certain extent, but as we’ve slowed down, let go of expectation, and allowed…

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dailyconnectionwithnature food nature

foraging for fennel fronds

April 14, 2020

We’ve been parked up on this same riverbank in Portugal now for a month as the spring season has unfurled, blossomed, and flowed around us. This week I suddenly noticed fennel fronds feathering out from the undergrowth. Fennel is such a delicious plant, sweet, fresh aniseed and a lush green colour. I was immediately inspired to make a bright, crisp brunch… and then again a slightly different one the next day, so here they are: Brunch #1 Crisp apple, carrot…

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dailyconnectionwithnature Europe feature nature photography travel

travelling from your sofa in times of quarantine

April 3, 2020

If you’re fed up with the four walls this weekend, I’ve removed the paywall on two beautiful photodiaries by Andy Garside of some of our travels in autumn last year. I know we can’t get out much or travel just now but I’m finding the nature photos and blogs online a great source of inspiration and a reminder of just how wild and beautiful this planet is. I love Andy’s take on the world, the way he focusses on the…

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dailyconnectionwithnature Europe feature nature vanlife

reconnecting through ceremony

March 23, 2020

**flashback to the border of Catalonia and Aragon October 2019** As we’re all house(or van)bound for the next few weeks I thought I’d share some OUTSIDER stories from our travels over the previous year-or-so that were previously paid for content. I’ll start posting these up for free for those who’re looking for something more to read, or just want to engage with the outdoors through online channels (for now at least).  This piece was written in northern Spain last autumn.…

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dailyconnectionwithnature Europe nature

Thoughts from the egret

March 22, 2020

I wonder if we can practice radical self-acceptance during these times? By that I mean embracing all of the elements of our collective selves that we seem to want to judge or look down upon. Could we accept that people under stress can often do ridiculous and contrary things that might infuriate and enrage others within this vast and multifaceted global culture? When the information given is overwhelming, conflicting and confusing, people switch off. When someone says ‘nobody’s ever cared…

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