Life Of Elyse BLOG

A Change of Pace

Elyse Knowles by Lauren Schulz 2019 6.jpg

Lots of people have been asking me why I've made the move to Byron Bay when the industry I work in revolves mainly around Sydney & Melbourne.

There a few answers to this question. Firstly, change can bring opportunity, fresh beginnings & a new perspective. It challenges you to go out & meet new people, find new habits and just live your life in a slightly different way. It's refreshing & very liberating.

Secondly, living in a place where pretty much everyone is consciously aware of their carbon footprint is pure BLISS! People care about more than just their actions. They care deeply about the effect their actions have on other people, species & industries. It’s a little green hub!

Byron offers a whole load of options & ideas when it comes to living in an eco friendly manner. The cafes who sell takeaway meals, offer their customers cardboard packaging over plastic. Even though it costs the customer an extra 50c, everyone chooses cardboard over plastic. It's incredible! Just yesterday I was in a cafe & noticed that they sold recycled plastic coffee cups for $3.00. Every time a customer brings that same cup back, the cafe takes 50c of the price of their new coffee ... and when you're done with the cup they give your $3.00 back. This is genius! Wouldn’t you agree? The cafe is basically rewarding their customers for making good choices. This is exactly what our population needs at the moment - incentives to be better & leaders to lead the way.

Thirdly - life has been quite nuts over the last few years. Just so crazyyyy busy. Don't get me wrong - you all know how I love to be as busy as possible, however it can become quite consuming & exhausting. Lately I've been working from home a lot more. This has given me the freedom to get outside or down to the beach with the dogs in the morning & afternoon. I was thinking over summer, what could be better than living in a place where some of the most beautiful beaches in this country would literally sit on our doorstop?! Nothing! So Byron it was.

Being here makes the doggies so dam happy! They love living in a place where they’re able free to run wild & play in the open a lot more of the time. I'm swimming up to twice a day here at the moment which is soothing my soul & allowing my mind to completely switch off work - which is something we all need to remember to do once in a while. Completely switch off. Not just for the sake of recharging, but for the sake of allowing yourself time to just be without any constraints or boundaries.

Byron is a beautiful part of Australia. And I am so proud to be living in a community where the people are dedicated to the cleanliness of their water & the state of their outdoors. It’s pretty unique & very lovely to witness.

My workouts up here are an example of one of the great changes to my day-to-day routine. It’s a change that I am embracing whole-heartedly. In the morning I ride my bike down to the beach to walk/run the lighthouse stairs. These stairs are hard!!! There's a heap of them to climb up & down but they get my heart-rate up & my muscles burning. Win! When I finish with the stairs, I jump into the ocean, clear my head with a swim & then ride home. It's a special way to start the day … it makes me feel bloody grateful to be here every single morning.

Another thing I've noticed in Byron is that everyone looks around! People's eyes are up & not focused down on their phones as much. They are looking around, taking in the views, smiling & saying hello to the people they pass! Yes, they say HELLO! Who would have thought saying hello was so hard?!

I guess to be fair, in the bigger cities people tend to be in such a rush from the minute they wake up to the minute they get home. They're on a mission to get from A to B to C on time - while balancing emails & everything else on their phones & laptops. It's an addictive way to live as you get so sucked into the quick pace & the moment you fall behind you feel as though you’re lagging! (I get it trust me, I've been there myself!). Up here I feel as though people are just taking a little more time to do whatever they need to do. They relax into their day a little more with a calmer frame of mind.

Watching them over the past few weeks has taught me a lot! If I don’t get everything done as SOON as I possibly can … the world is not going to end. Who knew?!

But I do love the “hellos” everyone gives out! Joshy used to tell me off for saying hello to people on the beach, if I said it to make a point of their rudeness. But come on! It shouldn't be too hard to say hello to someone, or kindly smile their way instead of brushing past them as if they’re not even there. Kindness costs nothing & it can make someones day - so why be as kind as humanly possible! 

If you're a dog lover like myself - this place is a haven. Isla & Harlow are as happy as larry in their new home. They are beach babes! It's such a pleasure when we take them on their walks. The level of rubbish on the sand is far less than the bigger cities. People up here pick things up & use the trash cans for what they're there for. Again, another super easy task that costs nothing & makes a substantial difference. Every single person in Australia & around the world really needs to make it their aim to pick up trash when they see if & never, ever, everrrrr dispose of anything in any other way that using a bin (and the correct bin!).

Looking after the environment is not up to some of us. It's up to ALL of us. 

I've been using biodegradable shopping bags for a while now when I do the weekly market shop. Plastic bags, no more! I kid you not, I think I am still yet to see plastic bags in Byron. I prefer to use my own keep bags when I shop, but nearly all stores offer biodegradable bags for those who forget to bring their own. Or they’ll offer you a cardboard box which is another fantastic eco alternative.

My favourite thing about the bag situation is that people are so good at remembering to put their used biodegradable bags or their left over bags straight into the green bins so that they breakdown with their compost. I LOVE THIS! Even dog poo bags, which I use with my dogs, are now biodegradable. They are fantastic. Now Isla & Harlow can contribute goodness to the planet after doing a stinky poo! If they can, you can too. 

If you are making a trip to Byron soon, prepare to be blown away by the taste of the fresh produce. The local farmers markets are my version of Disneyland. You look around & see so many bright colours, fresh flowers, fruit & veggies and everything smells so delicious. Josh & I love our food, so gathering our fresh produce from the local suppliers here & preparing delicious meals has been 10/10. Tick, tick, tick!

Over the next few weeks & months I'll share lots of photos from beaches & the Byron surrounds, as I am in truely in love with this place. I'm reminded just how incredible beautiful Australia is… and how lucky we are to live in this country.

I have honestly never felt more myself here. Even in terms of getting dressed in the morning! Everything is very minimal. There are loads of hats, denim and so much swim! What's not to love about living in your bathers! I feel like I'm in paradise.  

Don't get me wrong, I adore Melbourne and I will certainly miss my family and so many elements of that beautiful city (which is my home!). But for this stage of my life, I am exactly where I need to be. Literally! As I am writing this it's 7pm, warm & balmy and I am outside in my bathers taking it all in. One happy little Vegemite.

Moving out of Melbourne was a big move that came with many changes & risks just like everything else in life… but sometimes following your gut, your heart & doing want you really feel is right, is exactly what you deserve.

You only live once, remember that!

Thank you to the amazing creative team for the beautiful photos in Byron below. Lauren Schulz (@laurenschulzvisuals) , Cass Anderson (@cassanderson_style) & Joel Richy (@joelrichymua)

Elyse x