One of Australia’s most inspiring people, Turia Pitt, came to Gerringong for the sun, surf, and the SOUL of Gerringong.
Photo credit: Andy Baker
By far, one Australia’s most influential, inspiring and kick-arse people, Turia Pitt has had to overcome some serious life-threatening odds. While competing in a 100km ultra marathon in outback Australia, Turia got caught in an out-of-control grassfire, which left her with full-thickness burns to 65 per cent of her body.
Turia has since gone on to become an athlete, a humanitarian, a motivational speaker and author. To say we are in awe of who she is as a person and what she has achieved is an understatement, and we loved hosting her at the SOUL of Gerringong.
You were a recent guest at SOUL of Gerringong. What did you love most about the property?
In short, everything. It’s just so beautiful! Living here for a few days made me feel like Michelle Obama on a tropical island – graceful, relaxed, stylish and warm. I’m now desperately trying to figure out how I can make this place my head office full time.
We’re all about injecting that magical ‘holiday feeling’ into the everyday. How do you sprinkle some of that similar energy into your own every day?
Every morning, I ask myself one question, ‘What would make today great?’.
I don’t ask ‘What do I have to get done today?’, I ask what would make my day awesome. Whatever my answer is (maybe it’s calling my best friend or finishing the pitch for my next book), I prioritise it.
I started doing this when my baby Hakavai was really little. My life had changed so much. Suddenly, I had a baby to look after, and that meant my capacity for doing things was reduced. I had to drop my expectations for what I could realistically achieve in one day, especially in the first few months. And I found that I needed to make time for myself – for the things that I enjoy doing. That’s a feeling we can relate to, whether you have kids or not.
Somehow, amongst all the priorities and to-do’s, you’ve got to make time for yourself. You’ve got to find a way to bring joy into your everyday life – not just wait until you’re on holiday.
Your energetic, positive mindset to life is infectious. Where do you look for your own inspiration?
In books. Reading has always been a source of comfort, inspiration and escape for me. In fact, one of the first things I did after the fire was ask Michael to bring me any books or movies he could find about people who had been through life-changing events, and who had come out the other side stronger than before.
Knowing other people have faced tough times gave me a new perspective. I knew if others had done it, I could do it too. Even now, when I feel like things are hard in my work or business, I read books about people who have built companies from the ground up. It helps me to see that really, anything is possible.
If you want to check out some books I recommend, head to:
Your books, Unmasked and Good Selfie, are inspirational books aimed at young adults. Why were you inspired to write for this particular audience?
I receive literally hundreds of questions from teens asking for advice. Good Selfie is inspired by those questions and answers many of the ones I was repeatedly asked. Having Hak, it really made me think what I wanted to instil in him most. I can’t protect him from every negative incident in life, and I don’t want to. This book is made up of the advice I would want to give him too. Gratitude, resilience and confidence – they will make those negative life obstacles much easier to manage.
How often do you try to go on holidays with loved ones? And do you prefer off-grid or amongst the action?
Michael and I are both very outdoorsy, so we love to get out in nature as often as possible. We’re not really big city people, so our holidays are usually very low-key destinations. A place where we can switch off and where there’s good surf, fresh fish and diving. And, because I’m a big bushwalker and a geology nerd, we try to go out camping, bushwalking or exploring on our weekends as often as possible.
Where in the world have you felt happiest, and what was its magic ingredient?
Probably on any one of those adventures mentioned above. Michael and Hakavai, some good waves, sunshine, and an adventure or two. That’s pretty much perfection to me.