A Quiet Life

yellowdressDid you hear about the job listing on a remote Irish island that went viral recently? Before it went viral a few friends actually sent word of the job to Thomas and me as they know it’s the sort of thing we’re interested in. Every year we visit and explore different Irish islands on our holidays. Last year we went to Rathlin (in Northern Ireland) with my family, Inishsheer with friends, and Coney Island as well. In previous years, we’ve visited Inishbofin, Cruit Island, Inishmore, Gola, Owey, Sherkin, Cape Clear, and a few others I’m probably forgetting. This summer we’re planning on visiting Great Blasket (where the job listing is) with my parents as my mother has been talking about going for years. We love visiting islands and briefly experiencing a more remote and slow-paced life. One of our goals is to live on an island for one year in the future—perhaps longer, but one year feels like a good way to test if the lifestyle would suit us. yellowdress-34 yellowdress-24Some islands are more remote than others, but all are quite small and require a boat or ferry to get to them. Cut off from the mainland and major stores and chains you have to adapt to a different way of living. Some islands have pubs and grocery stores, but others are more island hamlets with only a few houses, friendly seals, and spotty cell reception if you’re lucky. You have to be strategic with your grocery shopping; things that would normally be a car ride away now require taking the ferry to and fro. To some people who like convenience and a bustle of activity living on a quiet Irish island for any length of time probably sounds like a nightmare, but for someone like me who aspires to a slower paced, creative life most of it sounds like a dream. I still worry I’ll get island fever and miss being able to grab a chippy when I’m feeling too lazy to cook or go out to the cinema on a bleak winter’s day—but really while there’s a few comforts I think I’d miss, I ultimately feel there is more I would gain from the experience. A few discomforts aren’t a good reason to not pursue an idea that excites you. I'd probably start our island life experiment next month if I could (my visa restricts us from such a move right now). yellowdress-15-side
yellowdress-29 yellowdress-49While I know that this sort of life doesn’t appeal to everyone, I also know I’m not alone in wanting a simpler life. Look at the response to that job listing! Thousands of applications rolled in overnight once people started hearing about it. In the same way my current style of long linen dresses and penchant for aprons won’t appeal to many people, but there are those who also find this style alluring and that crowd is growing. Romantic hyper-feminine dresses are definitely a trend for spring, but we also have to ask what is driving that trend. It’s more than puffed sleeves and longer hemlines, it’s a response to hyper-fast fashion cycles and cheap clothes. It feels like a return to previous eras when people had less, but higher quality items. It feels like a reflection of a lifestyle aiming to be closer to nature, slower-paced and in harmony with the world around you. If you are supposed to dress for the job (or life) you want, then my favorite pieces right now do reflect my desire for a simpler lifestyle. I also know I’m not alone in aspiring to a quiet life by the number of people who have contributed to my hashtag #quietinthewild since I started it a couple of years ago. yellowdress-18-sideyellowdress-13I don’t think of my life as aspirational most days; I don’t even aspire for my life to be seen as aspirational and #goals. If anything I just aspire to a quiet life. My goal for my life is to learn to appreciate it and if possible help share some uplifting and calming content here as well. I don't have a big, flashy home, or an exciting city to talk about, but I do have a patch of nature outside my window and a camera. That’s what #quietinthewild is about and why instead of just using that phrase to describe my blog I made it into a hashtag others could contribute to. I wanted others to have the hashtag as an excuse to go outside and find moments of quiet in nature. I wanted those who couldn’t get out in nature to have a place they could go and look at a collection of quiet moments in nature and feel that beauty and calmness. I try to share different posts from the hashtag in my stories on Sunday evenings so we can all start the week together inspired and calmed, ready to take on Monday maybe not with ferocious energy, but soothed and inspired. Because I think if there’s one takeaway I want you to have from my posts it is that: to have a moment of calm and quiet. It’s a reason to pause. More than acquiring all the linen dresses and moving to a remote island hamlet, a quiet lifestyle doesn’t say “what do I need for the perfect quiet life?” but says again and again “pause, appreciate what you have, you have enough.” yellowdress-40


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