Wednesday, 11 March 2015

Zan On Tour 2015 - Reflections

I woke up this morning after a 12 hour sleep to realise I was home. And seconds later also to realise that it was freezing. Yes, Manchester didn't disappoint, and ensured that I would be fully rained on today. It didn't matter too much as today was mostly spent getting reacquainted with the little world inside my room and to reply to all the emails I have been neglecting.

I've also spent a good portion of my day thinking about Australia, reflecting on the adventure there. It seems completely impossible that just 3 days ago I was eating locally grown tropical fruits with Morgan and debating with myself whether I needed to switch on the air conditioning. Looking out of the window now, it also seems ridiculous that I have recently had my first (ever) sunburn and had so many mosquito bites that they made my whole arm swell up.

It all seems a little unreal, really.

But I know it happened - I have enough photos and stamps to prove it. And I know too that I have presented at least 11 different times in 11 different locations about the importance of play and loose parts. That's the most presenting I've ever done, but shh, don't tell anyone.

I also know that there are a lot of people in Australia who want to hear more about play. It's not that they don't know how to play, it seems that they just need reminding that it's important, and that children today need it just as much as they did when they were kids. Adults in Australia have great childhood memories of playing outside, in the Bush or the outback. They just need to also give their children those same opportunities, and in many ways we were there to inspire permission. Permission, opportunity and space. I reckon that in the next few years, there will be loads more play organisations in Australia, because people have caught on early enough that play is necessary, and they understand that things need to change.

I'm also ever so grateful for time spent with Morgan. Working together but in different countries means we lose out on the fun times together. We made sure we got loads of fun in this time, and spent some time looking ahead and thinking about future adventures too.

This was the 2nd beach in one day - the day I got sunburnt. Totally worth it.

I've truly had an amazing adventure. Australia couldn't be more different from what I have here at home. There's great food there, amazing animals, beautiful scenery and big skies. I could feel myself falling in love with the country a little bit, but realised at the last minute that this love was only because I was surrounded by great people. I feel really grateful and satisfied that it was an adventure like no other I have ever had, and am delighted to say that I will be going back there in October with Morgan for round two!

So as the sleepiness of jetlag takes over again, I'll sign off. I enjoyed every minute of my first Australian adventure and am really looking forward to going back again.

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