is the online portfolio and journal of Australian travel writer Nina Karnikowski.


This morning as I walked down by the river with the dogs, I stopped over and over again to gather the crisp, hard shells of cicadas that had shed their old skins. I gathered them simply because they were beautiful. But now that they’re sitting on my desk in a little glass jar and I’ve had time to sit and contemplate them, I can see them for what they really are.

The old skins of 2016, and the possibility of rebirth in 2017.

This is what I’m calling in more of this year. Quiet moments to sit, to think, and too see all the beauty that’s right in front of my eyes, so I can soak up all the magic of this wild and precious life we’re living.

And so, my words for this year are SIMPLE and SLOW. I’ve had minimalism on the brain lately (or essentialism, curationism, enoughism, simplism, whatever you want to call it) and this year I really want to pare everything back.

I’ve found myself not only shedding old possessions that are no longer serving me, but also old relationships, thought processes and habits that are draining me of my time, energy and resources. Simplifying everything, I think, will help me slow down and sink into the wonder of each and every day.

With all of this in mind, I’ve decided to throw myself back into my meditation practice. A practice that had become diluted with all the tarot reading, mindful tea drinking, yoga, chanting and myriad other spiritual practices that were chewing up so much of my time. I’ve committed to a January of twenty minutes meditation in the morning, twenty minutes at night.

So far it hasn’t been easy. In fact, its been really hard. But I’m driven on to do this hard thing by the prospect of it getting easier. And by the hope of it helping me to understand myself better, and to make life a little more simple and slow. I’ll let you know how I go.