Finding Space: escaping the concrete jungle

Once upon a time, the suburbs were spacious. Surrounded by farmland and orchards, home to bleating sheep and neighing horses, they were places of calm and quiet. Fast forward half a century, and those suburbs have been chopped, changed and subdivided as more and more people make their way in.

The resulting pressure on our neighbourhoods has given rise to congestion, chaos and quite a lot of horn beeping. It’s no surprise, then, that we need a break from the urban environment every now and then! But how? Read on to discover our top tips for finding pockets of serenity in your city!


Our top pick for peace would have to be the public library – where talking above a whisper is practically against the law! It’s the perfect place to secret yourself away for an afternoon of quiet reading or contemplative journal writing. The library can also help you discover the wider world away from your crowded corner – just browse the stacks for novels that will whisk you away to a desert island or send you to the far reaches of outer space.

Visit a farmers market

What better way to get a breath of country air than with a visit to a farmers’ market. Set up in school grounds or community ovals on a weekend, the farmers’ market slows the pace of shopping right down. Rather than doing the supermarket run and playing chicken with other trolley pushers, a farmers’ market offers you a more civilised way to shop.

Bring the outdoors in

Getting back to nature is guaranteed to help you cut the commotion out of modern life. Sure, we humans might like instant mashed potatoes and wireless headphones, but we are animals at heart. And feeling at one with an ecosystem is crucial to our sense of well being and inner peace. So, how do you live like Tarzan without moving to the African jungle? Bring the outdoors in, my friend. And not just with the odd indoor plant (no fakery allowed), but with fresh cut flowers and even artwork that evokes lush lands.

Off peak it!

Off-peak living might also help to ease the pressure you’re feeling. While it may not be possible to do everything when no one else is, it is possible to play the off- peak game with activities, travel and shopping! Try visiting the pool around lunchtime and you’ll see – empty lanes and echoing change rooms welcome the savvy swimmer. So too travelling on public transport – simply avoid rush hour and you’ll have a seat to sit in and one to put your feet up on, too, (not that you would, of course!)

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