More than just a saying amongst friends “socks off” is a real philosophy that we should all embrace. In my first post 4 weeks ago about life back down under, I mentioned that the pace of life used to be chilled and relaxed. After almost 10 years gone, what would it be like today?
Well that largely depends on where you go. I guess that much was true back then too.
As I head north through to Cairns from Melbourne on a short break before I get stuck in to what I’m here for, I see a range of lifestyles and outlooks on life. Some good, some not so good.
Big City Life
Melbourne is to Sydney as I found Chicago to New York – one is a hub of culture and quirky bars, the other a victim of its own razzmatazz. There are, for me, striking similarities between Chicago and Melbourne in the way they do what they do, glam but without the bells and whistles, where as Sydney and New York feel like they just try too hard. Life in Melbourne is relatively fast paced (for Australia) but is positively laid flat out when compared to the hustle and bustle of Sydney. Sydney has some amazing features, but for me, Melbourne just has something more and if you whisper about it too loud, it disappears on the breeze.
The streets are busy, the shoes are snazzy and the style is chic. But is there another way?
Big Hippie Life
The Gold Coast, Sunshine Coast as it is called, moving north along the East Coast is chocked full of amazing spots, none more so than Byron Bay, a throw back to life in the 1960’s and 70’s. Here you will find street performers of a wide range of arts, from singing and guitars to dancing and jewellery makers. Here, people wear their thongs (flip flops) off and they beat the street with their bare feet, reconnected to the earth.
It’s hard not join them and feel a sense of freedom.
It’s now I remember my first time in Australia, where shoes were the furthest thing from my mind, thongs were optional and the pace of life slowed right down. I came to think of shoes as being a symbol of our global oppression, the golden ball and chain slapped on us, so to speak, forcing us to live an ever faster pace of life, stepping up and over each other in the pursuit of happiness through superior purchasing power.
We place such a high standing on foot wear that there are now companies thriving, through their philanthropy of giving shoes to people without any, for every pair that’s bought, to bring them more in line with our way of living.
But is our way really any better?
We have lost what one woman described to me this week as “our oneness”, our oneness with each other and the land around us. Without shoes we are forced to take life a little slower, to see the world around us, the people we interact with and the land that provides for us daily. Your feet were born free, keep them that way. So do yourself a favour and have a socks off day, take it slow and you’ll feel the difference.