Photo by Lee Kay
A Note from Natalie
Natalie is the resident writer, but not an expert. For expert advice, please book a consultation with Dr Quinn
Isn’t it the case that we are sometimes more ourselves when we’re alone in a foreign country, surrounded by strangers. Perhaps because it is a rare opportunity when in a crowd of hundreds who speak a tongue we do not understand, our own thoughts are the only voice we can hear. We can identify ourselves quite plainly from everyone else around us. There is suddenly no confusion. To be alone, we sometimes talk to ourselves. And when we are alone, we are more apt to listen.
We see foreign places with very open eyes, because we are ready to see things we have never seen before. We are ready to fall in love with every nook and cranny which to the native is more or less invisible. Familiarity breeds contempt, they say, but perhaps it’s worse than that – familiarity nurtures inattention.
Travel makes us appreciate home. It makes us strangely fond and pining for the very things we thought we were trying to escape. It scrubs our eyes clean and lets us see the world, our lives, ourselves in a brand new way.
Sometimes to make valuable journeys, we don’t need to launch out into exotic lands, but only to lift ourselves out of the everyday. We need to snap ourselves out of routine, we need to surprise ourselves, shock ourselves, place ourselves in a place where our voice is the only voice we hear; where the world’s other infinite versions are clear to us. Our way of thinking is not the only way of thinking… our experience – good, bad, painful, easy – is not the only experience. And none of them are closed to us. All are possibilities.
Photo by Robert Morgan
A new part of town, a never-before traveled bus route, a walk in a stranger’s garden…
A conversation with somebody new.
If we seek these things out, do we not open new paths up for ourselves all the time? Invite the surprises and the gains?
Could we give ourselves the simple gift of the thrill of opening a new page and asking ourselves ‘I wonder what I’ll see today’.
Quick tips on journeys worth taking
- Crack open a book and go on a journey of discovery or emotion
- Take yourself out for a treat – a museum, an art gallery, a walk in the park – but really treat yourself.
- Plan a mini-break. I bet your nearest city is full of unbelievable hidden treasures you’ve never discovered – be a tourist in your own town
- Learn a craft. Go on a journey of mastering a skill! (Or at least enjoying it…)
- Talk to somebody new. Don’t hide from eye contact and shuffle along in a rush. Smile. Ask someone how their day is going and mean it. There are so many stories out there and some of them are incredible. You don’t know what anyone is about or what they’re going to say, so don’t cut it off before it’s begun.
- Rejuvenate! it’s Autumn now, a whole new season, which is a perfect opportunity to treat it as a new beginning. Set some intentions and get on your way.
A Recipe for the Road
Important: While we hope to inspire you, you MUST make sure that all ingredients you use are compatible with your own individual medical conditions, medication, allergies and goals.
Beetroot and buckwheat wrap with goat’s cheese and apple
For the beetroot wrap:
- 1 small beetroot
- 100g buckwheat flour
- 1 egg
- 300ml milk (or milk alternative – rice/oat/nut milk)
- 3tbsp water
- A little olive or coconut oil for frying
For the filling:
- ¼ of an apple (with a squeeze of lemon to stop it going brown)
- A couple of spoonfuls of soft goat cheese
- A small handful of baby spinach leaves
- To make the wrap, peel the beetroot and grate, then simply whisk all ingredients together (except the oil) until very smooth. Ideally use an electric whisk if you have one. This will make a brilliant pink batter!
- Allow the batter to stand, for about half an hour ideally.
- Heat a little olive oil or coconut oil in a 6 inch, non-stick frying pan. Ladle a scoop of batter into the pan – just enough to cover the pan surface, so the wrap is just less than 5mm thick.
- Tip the pan so the batter covers the surface, and allow to cook over a medium heat for a couple of minutes.
- Use a fish slice to carefully see if it is cooked on the bottom. Once it’s cooked on one side, slide the fish slice under the wrap and flip it over. Cook the other side for a couple more minutes until golden. Repeat with the rest of the mixture (you should get approximately 6 wraps depending on the size of your pan).
- Allow the wraps to cool on a wire rack, or if you prefer them warm they can be kept warm in a low oven.
- To fill a wrap, spread the soft goat cheese over the whole wrap (or crumble if the goat cheese is a little firmer)
- Grate the apple and add a small squeeze of lemon to stop it going brown, then finely shred the spinach leaves.
- Layer apple and spinach on top of the goat cheese in a line, just down the center of the wrap, then roll it up tightly and slice into bite size rolls.