#366DaysOfMakingSpace Instagram Project

On the 10th of December, shortly after coming back from my and Katarina‘s #RTroadtrip, I got a bee in my bonnet. I sent my friend Heather Mason a message:

Me: “I’ve never done a 365days project and I’d like to. Do you want to do one with me in 2016?”

Heather: “Sure, I’d be keen to hear …”

Me: “Great. #365DaysofMakingSpace?”

And then my voice note:

Sorry, that might not have made any sense … I think it is better that I actually say this: What about … someone said to me that you won’t attract things into your life if you don’t make space for it. So … if you make space for empathy, if you make space for an alternative lifestyle, if you make space for understanding someone that is different from you, if you make space for goodness in your own life … you can’t bring new positive things into your life if there is no space for it. You have to create that space. This is like making space for … whatever … so … ja … I hope I’m making sense?

And then her voice note:

Ha. I didn’t get that at first, and then when you explained it, I got it. I think … I have to think about it a little bit, but I think that sounds good. I like it. Sorry, I have a little bit of a cold, and I am prepping for a party here, so I need to give it more thought … but yes, I think it’s good.

Before I go into more detail, let me first tell you about Heather real quick. The first time I read something of her’s was when mutual friends responded to her post of a new home. Before that, I only knew her as 2Summers, an American living in Jozi, a serious Instagrammer and blogger. I liked her writing almost immediately. She was sincere and personal, but professional.

This is Heather. I took this picture directly after our paragliding experience over Reunion Island a few months ago.
This is Heather. I took this picture directly after our paragliding experience over Reunion Island a few months ago.

I didn’t think that I’d meet her in person one day, let alone fly with her over an active volcano, introduce her to my great friend Vertigo when paragliding and allow her to watch me while I hike through Reunion like a whale.

Which she then did.

And we became friends.

I like her a lot. One of my fondest Heather-memories is watching a sunset on Reunion island. I made the french children run in front of our lenses. It was magical. I have a lot of respect for spontanoues  photographers that are kind and genuine. She is that.

Anyone who has done a 365 Day Instagram Project before will tell you: it is actually quite difficult. (In 2014 I followed my friend Kate Davies’s #365DaysofInfrared project and she told me many times that if it wasn’t for the support of her husband, she would not have made it.)

I don’t have a husband.

And 29 February is two months away. Even if it is a leap year, I won’t be able to propose to anyone in time …

So I asked Heather.

(Additional word of thanks to her partner Ray who seem to not mind sharing Heather’s creativity with me. For a whole year. I’m so thankful, Ray! I could not ask for a better partner to do this with. I look forward to meeting you in person one day soon.)

Darell Dee Lourens Travel Blogger
This is a picture Heather took of me on Reunion Island. Some sunsets are memorable and others are just plain epic.

Now … Back to the details. While reading crime novels next to the swimming pool on our farm this holiday, it dawned on me that 2016 is a leap year and for the sake of accuracy we needed to use #366DaysofMakingSpace.

I like it.

Heather likes it.

I hope you also like it.

This was my first picture. I took it on our farm in Limpopo yesterday afternoon.

There are three reasons why I wanted to share this specific Bushveld sunset. Beside it firstly being the last sunset of 2015, it is even more special because my folks drove with me when I went to shoot it. The third (and most important) reason being that it symbolises one of the key things I would like to ‘make space’ for this year: Going on more adventures with my folks.

Unfortunately, in our case, it is easier said than done.

You can’t really tell in this picture below, but my father is paraplegic. Most destinations are simply not wheelchair friendly, even if they claim to be.

This is my mom and dad who drove on the quad bike behind me to sit with me while I take my first picture for #366DaysofMakingSpace
My mom and dad. Dad only has full use of his body above his belly button, so to drive a quad bike is easy, provided it’s automatic. It is the getting on to it from his wheelchair that is a little bit more challenging. But he did it and they joined me for the last sunset of 2015 and first #365DaysofMakingSpace picture anyways.

This year I’m going to make space for a ton of things, and I cannot wait to share them with you, but one of the main things I’ll be focussing on is profiling wheelchair friendly destinations on this blog – that really are friendly.

I live in Cape Town and as my parents are nearly 2000 km away – making it hard to just impulsively go somewhere for a weekend – and as I’m not ‘in the chair myself’ to, if I go somewhere, really test the ‘wheel waters’, I asked my friend Martelize Brink, acclaimed DJ on Radio Sonder Grense if she’d be keen to go on many a weekend away this year. She was really excited.

Martelize Brink Wheelchair Friendly Destinations
This is my friend Martelize Brink. She sent me this picture from her personal archive. I cannot wait to go on good holiday’s with her. You can follow Martelize on Twitter and Instagram @MartelizeBrink

I know that there are three big things that make me happy: Love, interesting work, and the chance to travel.

I’d like to consciously make space for myself, my country and the wider world this year. In that particular order. (Your relationship you have with yourself sets the tone for every other relationship you have.) 

Bookmark this link if you want to follow the #366DaysofMakingSpace on my blog – the most recent posts will be listed there automatically.

You can also follow me and Heather on Instagram for the daily progress of #366DaysOfMakingSpace.

Join in if you want! Even if you only make space for one good new thing it is great …

Happy, happy new year!

Love, Dee

The Good Holiday Gold Responsible Tourism Awards Travel Blog

The Good Holiday (TGH) was founded by filmmaker/ photographer Daréll Lourens (Dee) as a space where she (and guest contributors) can share travel experiences that inspire treading lightly on the earth and simple pleasures   that allow us to grow fond of each other and all life that surrounds us.

In short: holiday’s so good you want to take them home with you.

Read more posts by Daréll Lourens | Bernhard Rohkemper | Louise de Waal | Dawn Jorgensen | Carla Lewis-Balden | Duncan Pritchard | Emmylou Rabe Bailey | Katarina Mancama | Stuart Parker | Dylan McGarry 

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