Chasing Summer

April 25, 2017

Caroline Tomlinson Cape TownSomehow I ended up living in eternal Summer (more or less – if London Summer weather behaves). I have spent nearly five years calling Cape Town home, after following my heart, both in terms of romance and falling for the Mother City. And for the last two years I have FULLY taken advantage of my job’s freedom. I leave the moment Winter arrives in South Africa.

Suitcases - packing up summer

The best part about my job is I can work anywhere. And to begin with, that takes a little to get used to. I had spent fifteen years working in design agencies, I almost didn’t know what to do with all this freedom – almost.

Last Summer I truly felt what freedom is. I went from Cape Town to London, Paris, back to London, South of France, back to London, Berlin, London, Berlin, Rome, Berlin, London, Rio, all along the Amalfi Coast then onto Capri, before returning to The Big Smoke. My Summer was epic, inspiring, overwhelming and adventurous. There was no routine. And I am all for routines.

It was because of all these adventure that last Summer taught me a lot. It was these lessons that helped me to keep working, and at the same time keep exploring.

Overall, I learnt to embrace the constant change, and I learnt to get a sense of routine through the smaller things. I didn’t have my studio to work from, and some of the AirBnBs I stayed in didn’t have desk space – I really was a working nomad.

The big lesson here was time – I learnt to make more of my time. It’s amazing how much you can achieve in a few hours, sat on a random sofa in Rome, with three paintbrushes, an iPad, stylus, hard drive and a small sketchbook. Anything really is possible!  I would wake up early, like 5.30am, and start my day. Whilst waking up early can hurt, especially after a few Negroni’s the night before, it meant I could work till midday and spend the rest of the day exploring and getting inspired. Perfection!

At the start of last Summer I started off like the uptight creative I am, wanting to only work in my studio and being rather precious about it. Finally I learnt to let it go, as that is not always possible, not to mention boring and rather limiting. I discovered that I really can work anywhere, and after a while focusing became easy.

I also learnt the importance of carrying two chargers. As there was one early morning when I realised, with a looming deadline, I had left my laptop charger in Berlin. And I was in Rome. Thank God Apple is global.

Lesson here is that a charger is an essential, and sits right up there with passport, phone and laptop!

So this Summer it is more of the same. More adventures, early mornings and packing a studio that fits into my carry-on luggage. First up London, then Paris. Then Portugal. And then who knows? I will see where the wind takes me. Or rather sunshine – we get enough wind during the Summer in Cape Town. So I’ll just keep on chasing the sun.

CAROLINE TOMLINSON, BLUE_PALMS, CAPE_TOWN

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