How Courtney Adamo lets nature restore her perspective
Minding Nature is Koala Eco’s regular thread where we talk to inspiring people we believe genuinely live and breathe a nature-focused lifestyle, and who can perhaps inspire us to do the same.
This time we’ve caught up with Byron Bay-based author and businesswoman Courtney Adamo, who is also a lifestyle and parenting blogger, and a mother of five. With such a busy life, how does Courtney make time to connect to nature?
What’s your favourite thing to do in nature?
It’s not easy picking a favourite, but I think I’d have to say surfing. When I’m sitting out on my surfboard, there’s this feeling of total immersion in nature, a oneness with it. My mind is nowhere else; the stresses or challenges in life are left back on the beach and I am just present in the moment, my eyes fixed on the waves rolling in, my body bobbing up and down in rhythm with the ocean. Often there are dolphins or turtles within view to remind me that I am sharing this experience with not just other surfers but animals as well. Of course, the actual act of surfing a wave is pretty exhilarating too.
Describe your connection to nature: what positives does it bring to your life?
I think nature provides such wonderful perspective. Just standing in a forest, surrounded by old trees, I am reminded how brief my time on this planet is, and I feel encouraged to live with more awareness and intention. If you pay attention to the plants or flowers in your garden, you are reminded of the rhythms and cycles of life, and you can see the beauty in both the beginnings and endings. If you stand at the base of a mountain, you realise how tiny you are, such a small speck on this planet. Nature can be so humbling, which in turn can make life feel even more miraculous.
What are your fondest memories of spending time in nature?
I grew up in the very northwest corner of America, between the sea and the snow-capped mountains. My childhood was really spent outside in all seasons, so I have many fond childhood memories of being in nature.
In 2015, after living in London for 12 years, we spent a year travelling around the world with our children and experienced many landscapes new to us. We hiked in Yosemite National Park in the US, we rode horses on a beautiful, wild ranch in Uruguay, we surfed with a pod of dolphins at the southernmost tip of New Zealand, we hiked the Blue Mountains in Australia, we saw wild elephants in Sri Lanka, the list goes on. We have so many fond memories from our travels. That year was the most incredible year of my life.
Many of us are time-poor, and might not get out into nature as much as we’d like. Any suggestions for a quick nature-based pick-me up? Something sensory, experiential…?
I think sometimes it’s not so much about what you’re doing as much as it is about being aware while doing it. Just today, as I was cycling back from dropping my son off at preschool, I noticed this enormous jacaranda tree dropping its purple petals on the street and I enjoyed the smell of jasmine in the air. These little moments brought a bit of joy to my morning. Sometimes I think we are too often rushing from one thing to the next without noticing what is around us. When you’re walking to the cafe to grab a coffee or to the bakery to buy bread, try leaving your phone at your desk so you can look up and notice all the things around you. Or if you find yourself near a beach, take your shoes off and walk barefoot in the sand and notice how that feels. Even just walking barefoot in grass, or stopping for a minute to smell a flower, taking note of an old tree in the park, or noticing the sounds of birds outside your window. Even in cities, nature is all around us. We just need to remember to look for it and to carve out time to connect with it.