We'd like to introduce you to a very inspiring lady, Lara Miller, with whom we had the pleasure of meeting at our recent Pursue Your Passion Morning Soiree. Lara is losing her sight, but through her passion for photography and an appreciation for the ordinary and extraordinary joys, she is sharing her journey through her instagram account @lovewalkeatsee as she travels as much as possible with her husband holding her hand. She has also published a coffee table book, which you can purchase here.
What is ‘Love Walk Eat See’ and how did it come to be?
Love Walk Eat See, the name, encompasses my life priorities – Love my dearest people, Walk new and old places with a passion for discovering the small joys, Eat with appreciation of its origins and to seek a deeper connection to a place, and to See everything I can and celebrate my remaining vision.
My Instagram account today is a delightful accident from our recent 6 ½ month sabbatical to Europe and the UK. Originally just a private place to share daily photos with my nearest, I was convinced to make it public by a kind hearted guy (@pdy) whom we met at our very first instameet – in Rome of all places! From that scary moment of going public, my husband and I found our travels deeply enriched by the domino effect of meeting more and more people through Instagram. More than the numbers, I value the friendships and community I have found.
What have been the benefits for you in actively pursuing your passion?
The satisfaction that comes from leaping out of old comfort zones. Meeting so many incredibly talented, warm people. Growing creatively. Sharing it all alongside my husband. Knowing that we are actively living a life we choose.
As someone following their passion, what are some of the biggest challenges you experience?
I’ve come to a point where I am pretty good at managing challenges, and since our sabbatical certain things worry me less than they used to. I am very mindful of my energy output – I spend it wisely! I schedule rest days and whenever my body or eyes need more, I give it even more rest. As a vision-impaired person with a camera, I get stared at. I think to myself, “Don’t let the stereotype of how you should be as a vision-impaired person stop you from enjoying this moment and capturing it on camera”.
What has been your biggest “aha” moment that you are doing what you are meant to be doing?
It sounds strange but every time I go for an eye check-up and get bad news, I come out thinking, “I’m doing exactly what I want to do in the face of my deteriorating vision – living life with our priorities at the forefront, uninfluenced by the shoulds or the norms“.
What tools or practices do you enlist to refocus and realign when you feel you are imbalanced?
Attempts at meditation! Relaxed breathing. Naps in the day time. A walk with my husband. A big healthy meal. Time away from the phone and computer.
What or who influences you?
I am heavily influenced by a desire for simplicity and minimalism. I believe in listening to oneself to determine the deepest and truest of desires and then filtering out the unnecessarily negative or cluttering forces in life.
Favourite travel destination?
After a lifetime love of Italian food and the conviction that I must have Italian genes in me, it was even better than a dream to stay in Italy for 7 weeks last year. I miss it deeply. I still haven’t found any Italian ancestors. Although my other adoration for green dairy farms, hedges and cloudy days are definitely confirmed by my actual English, Scottish and Welsh heritage!
What advice could you give to fellow passionistas looking to take the leap to pursue their own personal or creative callings?
As cliché as it is, take that leap out of your comfort zone – even just the feeling of doing that is worth it, no matter the outcome. Don’t place your self-worth on external accolades so that you can enjoy them without pressure – keep a strong sense of self-worth for who you are on the inside.
What’s next for you?
Travel is still our biggest priority – at the moment we are nomads moving up and down the east coast of Australia between work, fun and family. On average we are on the move every few weeks. We came back to Australia from our sabbatical and couldn’t bring ourselves to settle back into our own home so we have now been living out of suitcases for 16 months.
I also have an exhibition from 15 November to 18 December 2015 at The School’s Gallery in Sydney. When my friend Megan Morton approached me to hold one there, I was giddy with excitement! The 18 photos are from our sabbatical in Europe and the UK, curated by Megan, and celebrate that I have visited 18 countries since I was told I was going blind at the age of 18. I am looking forward to the next countries and finding more incredible adventures, connecting with fascinating people, roaming free in stunning landscapes, cuddling cute animals and savouring tasty, local food.
I am grateful every single day.
Images in this interview courtesy of Love Walk Eat See