Douth. West Australian slang for “Down South.”
Douth is where most West Aussies would rather be. Surfing the waves at Yallingup, tasting the wines around Margaret River and cozying up with a book a veranda with a view of the wild bushland.
Douth is where Carmen and I spent our honeymoon, countless holidays as children and where we sometimes fantasise about living some day.
Especially after we stayed at holiday cottage owned by the parents of one of Carmen’s good friends who very generously allowed us to stay for a week – with simply the cost of a cleaning fee.
Creating a perfect routine
The purpose of this time away – time Douth – was not simply to relax and get away from the madding crowd. It was to get back into the kind of life we know and love when we are away. Living perfect days.
Not perfect in the sense that everything goes right. Any day can be a battle, throwing up all manner of challenges to best laid plans – we know that. But we aim to live perfect days in the sense that they are designed by us to reflect our goals and how we choose to pursue them.
That’s why we are digital nomads. We want to do things our way – and in Margaret River we got back into this rarefied routine after four months of living in Australia where this kind of thing fell by the wayside a bit.
Do It Yourself
If you want to do this kind of thing too, the first step is to visualise what kind of day you would like to have. Write it down. Then make it happen.
I first did this cool little exercise of creating a perfect routine while I was struggling through a night shift at the BBC in London amid the grips of a cold winter. It wasn’t where I wanted to be – and by writing down what I really wanted, I was spurred into making changes and making them happen.
That’s easier said than done – and I’m not going to bombard you with meaningless platitudes along the lines of “you can do it!” Of course you can. Maybe you want a new job, a promotion, to start your own business, scratch that itch to paint or write. It all starts with arranging your life to make it possible.
We’re still hacking away at creating perfect days. Nothing’s ever certain. But here’s an example of a day I had in Margaret River to give you an idea of where we’re headed.
Creating perfect days in Margaret River:
6:00am – Get up. 30 minutes of Yoga.
6:30am to 12:00pm – Coffee! Then breakfast on the deck, watching the birds and reading the newspaper. Skim some emails. Write short stories, work on the new book, edit the finished manuscripts.
12:00 to 1:00pm – Healthy lunch and reading.
1:00pm to 5:00pm – Paid client work, blog work and other things that need to be taken care of.
5:00pm to 6:00pm – Go for a long walk by the river, through the bush and back again.
6:30pm to 10:30pm – Head out to the Cape Mentelle winery for a picnic under the stars while watching an outdoor movie with lashings of wine.
10:30pm to 11:30pm – Head home, brush our teeth, read our books. Bed.
That’s a rferfect day for me. Exercise, good food, reading, writing, work and wine. Doing this work life balance routine in a place as perfectly pleasant as Margaret River made that doubly special.
We didn’t do that every day on our little break though. Some days we vegged. Some days I was too lazy to do some of the things I should have done. But that one perfect day shines like a beacon for me now as we settle into our routine in Chiang Mai, Thailand.
We have three weeks here to practise perfection before we move to the next place and go after it all again. I know that we won’t succeed every day. But the important thing is that we strive for it.