‘A society without jaywalkers might indicate a society without artists’
– Paul Theroux
The idea for this Ezine was born in early 2012 out of a tiny sleeper cabin aboard a train which was slowly making its way along the Trans-Mongolian railway line from China to Russia, with us in it.
After five years of living, commuting and working in London (one of us for an environmental publisher, the other for the software team of an investment bank), we realised that the frantic pace of everything was beginning to take its toll. Schedules, deadlines, meetings and travel routines were dictating the pace of our lives and it became clear that either we had to change it or it would change us. After yet another exhausted night flopped out in front of the television, barely mustering the energy to ask the rhetorical ‘and how was your day?’ question, we decided enough was enough – for sanity’s sake it was time to put the brakes on and bring some spontaneity back into our lives.
The upshot was that we left our jobs (in a recession), packed all of our possessions into boxes and left our flat to travel the world without flying (the story and photographs of our ‘Without Wings’ voyage can be found here). Taking the journey as slowly as possible over land and sea, without mobile or wifi reception for much of the way, seemed like the perfect antidote to our London life and challenging though it was, it was well worth the effort. Since we arrived back, we have been keen not to fall back into the trappings of our old life and we are trying to put as many of the things we have learned along the way (from foraging and tea ceremonies to yarn bombing and cold water swimming) into practice – some more successfully than others (!)
This isn’t about slowing things down for the sake of being slow but about making the effort to stop ourselves getting so bombarded by the things that don’t matter to us, that we don’t have time for the things that really do. We’ll be documenting our efforts to slow things down and seek out the more rewarding things here, alongside stories and input from others who are successfully doing the same but a little more elegantly than us.
We hope you enjoy exploring the site and if you have any ideas, photographs, stories or campaigns to share, please do drop us a line.
Anna and Alex