A Creative Sabbatical...

Hanging out in Sydney

Greetings from Sydney!

I hope you had a lovely weekend and Mother's Day! I spent the day in Sydney with two of my four children, daughter #1, Miss Christine and son #2, Connor. On Mother's Day I caught up via Facetime with son #1, Patrick and daughter #2, Miss Claire, who jumped in with a photo from Botswana to wish me a Happy Mother's Day. Mr. H checked in from Hong Kong making my day complete. It was a cool..ish, rainy autumn day...we cooked, talked, read and relaxed together. I knew my day was on the right track when Connor suggested we watch a 'mom' movie together, Under the Tuscan SunI have trained him well!  I love hanging out, something I rarely get to do these days...it is the perfect time for letting your thoughts run away from you.


Miss Claire jumping in Botswana


And my thoughts did run away with me and this is what I thought.... ;)

Imagine...you have six months or a year to yourself and you can go anywhere in the world (expenses paid) on your own to pursue whatever creative endeavour you fancy.  It's your time to do as you please...either on your own or with others. What would you do?


Did you think of an answer right away or is it something you have to think about? 

What would be your ideal 'creative me time'? 
Would you travel far or stay close to home?
Would you travel solo or bring along a special someone or a few of them?
Would you learn a new skill or perfect an existing one?
Would it involve a mentor, a specialist in your creative interest?

I would love to know your thoughts.

If that is to much to handle on a Monday...try this. 

Ever thought about taking a creative sabbatical? Just saying to yourself..."now's the time to open that creative window again, what have I got to lose? 

I think you and I should take a creative sabbatical...one of our own making. I have a few months in one country up my sleeve...I think I can swing this. How about you?

Is there something you have been wanting to do? Take a class, join a club, tackle a project...all in the name of 'creative time'? Are you stuck, just needing a push to kick start a creative interest? 

I have been in this mindset for a few months, searching high and low for my creative energy. It sort of went walkabout a while back and I have been patiently waiting for it's return. Know what? Waiting is not a solution! I have often thought that I need a life coach...someone who can look at all the things I do, listen to me babble on about my life and all the ideas I have and tell me what to do. I haven't completely ruled out that idea but I don't think I am quite ready for it either. I want to take this creative journey on my own ...I am always up for a good journey. ;)

Sometimes creativity flows from the act of doing the things we enjoy. I like writing to you, love a good book, getting dirty in a gardenwalking, listening to inspiring podcasts and music, playing with my cameras and testing myself in the kitchen. I would like to put more quality time into each and add a few more skills to my creative base. 

I recently signed up for a silversmithing class. I have always thought about designing jewellery and told myself to get off the stick and just do it. I am one class down and am curious. It's a start...and it feels good.

I rejoined an International book club that I belonged to when we last lived in Sydney, 12 years ago. I can only join in on a few meetings but I am looking forward to it. Reading now...My Name is Lucy Barton by Elizabeth Strout. Have you read it? Any books you would like to recommend?

I found a 12 week online sketching class. In my life before blogging, I wrote and sketched in journals...secretly. I transferred my writing to this blog and gave up sketching. I miss it and now feel I  am ready to  come out of the sketching closet...once I take a few lessons. ;)

I just love this online teaching world..it is so well suited to my world. I have been researching writing classes and seminars...who knew researching could be so much fun! 

A friend and I took a cooking class recently with the very talented authors of Monday Morning Cooking Club. I was so inspired by their story and recipes I just had to go. They cooked and we tasted Syrian Pita Bread, Roasted Beetroot Dip, Kale Salad with Gouda, Baja Fish Tacos, Coconut Rose Malabi and Halva Biscuits. Yum to the tenth degree...especially the Coconut Rose Malabi!


My creative notebook is filling up fast in addition to my travel notes for Sydney. I will have a post on my Sydney favourites soon. If you are interested in my Hong Kong travel notes, I recently updated them here. If you are interested in Vietnam, you can find my travel tips here

It has been the year of the podcast for me. I spend a lot of time on the road and in the air and find it the perfect travel companion. A few on my list to listen to a second time because I enjoyed them so much the first...Tim Ferriss with author Cheryl Strayed. I also enjoyed his thought provoking interviews with graphic designer, Debbie Millmanhere and here.

I love to share what inspires me and I find most of all that you inspire me! For all the years I have been writing Collage of Life and I admit the past years have been slim in writing...I am so very appreciative of you.. hanging in there with me. I thought I would be coming to point in our expat life where things would slow down...but as you can see, not a chance! I will be back to Tahilla Farm next month, Botswana and Zambia shortly after and then...Sydney, Hong Kong and back to Tahilla Farm by the end of year.  Life is in full swing!

As always, I love what you have to say. If you have thoughts you would like to share, creative pursuits or anything else, I am all eyes. I know others would love to read what you have to say too! If you would like to share, just say the word.

I am researching creative retreats. If you have any you would like to recommend, I would love to know!

You can write to me jeannecollageoflife@gmail.com



I will sign off with a little something to 
kick start your week 
where It's always about the food
in Sydney.





"The value of life does not depend 
on the place we occupy; 
it depends on the way 
we occupy that place."
St. Therese of Lisieux

Best wishes for a creative week!

Jeanne xx

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