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An Hour in Nature: Gigi Hopkins

How nature helps Gigi Hopkins to ‘travel light’

Ten years ago, Gigi Hopkins gave up a corporate career in Sydney to go travelling and, in her words, to find and share the most unique and beautiful places to explore and stay in Australia and all over the world. Wherever she calls home, at any time and anywhere in the world, nature is one of the most important and grounding aspects of Gigi’s life, as she explains: 

What’s your favourite thing to do in nature?

Swim in the ocean. Hike in the mountains. Walk in the rain. Watch the sun come up.

Describe your connection to nature: what positives does it bring to your life? 

I feel like nature brings me back to what is good. A sensory experience, I love the way it grounds me, calms me, and brings me back to the present moment. It’s very humbling.

What are your fondest memories of spending time in nature?

Oh gosh, there are so many. I think, however, they all come back to being in beautiful nature settings with my favourite people. Swimming in idyllic beach coves in Greece with my best friends; being out on Country last year in the Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park with my parents; hiking Lion's Head in Cape Town in time for sunrise; going for swims and surfs with my housemate in Byron. Or childhood memories of playing in the creek at the back of our house with my next-door neighbour Raphy, building rope swings and tree cubby houses. I love (and need) time alone in nature, but I really love sharing it with friends as well.

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 remember reading something my friend Em L’Ami from Bodha wrote about the importance of moving towards the sensory, and I think it applies to this question. ‘Our senses remind us we’re alive. They bring us into the physical world and out of our projecting mind,’ she observed. And I feel the same. I think where time is an issue, even finding just the slightest pause to watch a tree, smell a flower, or feel the breeze on your skin will help to give you back an awareness of time and, as such, a sense of relaxation.

You can read more about Gigi and her travel experiences at

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