Stepping out of your routine every now and then should be a requirement for all students. It’s a beneficial form of procrastination; the motion will help clear your mind and ward off that stagnant feeling you get when you are not progressing with your work.You should never tell yourself you do not have the time. There is always time, even if only for a half-hour walk or a drive to somewhere nearby.

There are plenty of curious locations to visit inside and outside of Ballarat. Planning a mini expedition is great, but it’s also not a bad idea to ditch the plan and see where the road takes you. Even if wind up somewhere you have been a thousand times before, I can guarantee there are still surprises to be found there. I must have been to Hepburn Springs a hundred times before I finally ventured to the nearby lavender farm, Lavandula, and I’m glad I did. Lavandula is beautiful, full of history and it smells amazing; the perfect destination on a warm spring day.

 

I cannot think of anywhere with nothing to uncover, even if only something small. In the tiny town of Malmsbury (an hour north-east of Ballarat) there is a public garden which could easily be a scene from a Jane Austen novel, with shaded paths, wrought iron benches and weeping birches surrounding a swan-covered lake. Upon seeing the park my sister quickly announced if she ever gets married she wants her wedding ceremony to take place there, which is unfortunate since I was thinking the exact same thing. Now the race is on to see which of us will walk down the aisle first.

Another pleasant surprise was the view from Flinders Peak in the You Yangs Regional Park. I have walked most hiking trails in the state but had somehow managed to bypass the Flinders Peak walk over and over until the day I finally got sick of looking at the silhouette of the You Yangs from my window, knowing I had never climbed to the top. The outlook from Flinders Peak was easily the most far-reaching and awe-inspiring I had ever encountered. All this time it had been there close to my house and yet for years I missed it. There is nothing like genuine surprise to help cut through the bitterness we adults are inclined to feel at times.

Near or far, make the time to get out of the house and out of familiar surroundings. New places and experiences can be a welcome distraction, or else help grant you some perspective. Life isn’t just work and study.

 

By Kate Williams