Notes on a road trip in search of sustainable community

For a while now I’ve had a hankering to explore what a different way of living in mid to later life could look like. Much of my interest is anchored in the research that I did for the book I co-authored ( about living your best, most fulfilling encore (the stage from midlife onwards). While I still love much of my life in London, I recognise there is a growing awareness and need forming inside of me for a life more closely aligned to nature, more sustainable and more anchored in community. What if I could find all these three elements together? And where?

Back in January, when the nights were long and the weather cold and wet, a plan was hatched with a friend who has a similar hankering, to go on a road trip of exploration.

After much research (mostly by my friend – publishing a book kind of takes over your life), Scotland was our preferred location and specifically the Western Coast of Scotland. So, with loose plans made for seven days of adventure. We set out on a sunny summer day three weeks ago to drive the fourteen hours north from London, stopping in the Scottish highlands for our first night, before making it to our first destination of a sustainable community on the Scottish mainland, where looking out from our lodgings we could see the Isle of Mull in all its glory.

What we found intrigued us. A small community aware and alive to the choices they make and the impact these choices may have on each other, the community, well-being and the environment – not always easy to align all of these.

What amazed us was how many individuals from outside the native, local population had come to live in the community to be part of a different experiment and approach to living. A truly international community looking to support each other to make better choices and live in an economically, environmentally, inter-generational, community-based, sustainable way.

When we proceeded to our next stop – we had a very different experience. The eco-community based experience we were enticed by clearly did not materialise. It put into stark contrast espoused vs lived values! You scratched the surface and it was definitely style over substance.

So, what are my thoughts, now that I’ve been home for three weeks, on our adventure and experiences? I am still really keen to pursue a sustainable, community-based way of living in an intergenerational setting but struggle to see how this is possible within a city setting. For me, it is as much about the wonderful natural surroundings that sets the tone and gives energy to this vision! Lots of food for thought – but no real decisions as many questions remain. Where, when, and with whom are just a few of them, but I have faith that with time and reflection – the next steps will emerge.

As some of you may know, each summer I take time out to go on some camper van adventures. This summer is no different. I will be taking time to reflect, refuel and re-energise. Enjoy the sunshine and long days and look forward to reconnecting in the autumn via my Wise Sherpa blog and maybe even in person!

#coaching #businesscoaching #midlife #transitions #midcareer  #fromworklifetonewlife

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