We were drawn to a discussion with Vanessa Prosser due to her passion for slow living and her simple, easy going lifestyle. Mother to two young, bright-eyed children, they offer their perfectly styled home on Airbnb, The White Sands not only to supplement their income but also to engage with likeminded people and when it suits and they want to travel, sometimes to house swap. Just as she is about to embark on a two month journey to Bali with her family, we spoke to Vanessa about her approach to life and learn how she has made a home.
Words & Photos: Victoria Aguirre
You began your journey to Motherhood at a young age, how did this experience shape you?
It shaped my experience in more ways than I will ever know. I definitely felt like I had more eyes on me being a mother at 19 years old. I also feel like this experience has shaped me to really get my life on track, I think too at a young age you know that you’ve got a lot of growing and learning to do, I feel because I was young I was really open to be shaped and moulded. By just embracing, a new body, new friends, new environment, new responsibility while still trying to be me.
Simple and slow living are two core concepts you discuss through your IG account, can you share with us a few tips on how you live these values?
I would love to, its two core concepts that I'm still personally working at every day. A few tips that have helped me.
A little section I love from the book “SLOW”
More of this, Less of that.
Space > Stuff
Connection > Comparison
Learning > Judging
Mind-Full > Mind-Less
Love > Likes
Content > Covet
Friendship > Followers
Simple > Complex
Slow > Fast
Living > Existing
You > The Joneses
This little list is a great way to start, I'm still learning everyday but it's nice to reflect on this to keep it simple and to keep it slow.
What keeps you grounded?
God, Truth, Family, Friends.
Where did you grow up and how, when and why did you end up in Palm Beach on the Gold Coast?
A long story short, I grew up in Newcastle. When I moved to the Gold Coast with a friend it was more of a thrill-seeking adventure being 18 and all. It was the most random, out-of-the blue thing I'd ever done. We decided to apply for a house and we both laughed and said if we get it we will move... 2 weeks later we packed up everything and moved. Also I happened to have a smoking hot next door neighbour who is now my partner Sean of 6 years. We fell in love, and not long after (3 months) to be exact I fell pregnant. We needed to buy a place to live and we couldn’t really decide between the Gold Coast and Newcastle so we literally picked the cheapest and closest to the beach. Which brings us to where we are now, living and breathing the slow life in Palm Beach.
Tell us about your neighbourhood in Palm Beach? Tell us about the community there.
Palm Beach, where do I even begin... it’s a place I could never have dreamed of. As well as it being a breathtaking place visually, we have the best of both worlds. Tallebudgera Creek at one end and the beach in front with a pocket of cafes, restaurants, bakeries and nightlife. All within walking distance. But the community is honestly what makes Palm Beach. Its filled with families, young and old people. It’s the type of community where you’ll take a glass of wine down the front for a bonfire, catch up, play with the kids. It’s the type where one neighbour will watch your child so you can go for a dip in the ocean. It’s a place where there is no need to organise a catch up there is always someone around, someone to bump into. For an extrovert like me, it’s a dream. It's safe and warm place to be. Good vibes all around. No place like it.
White Sands is your Airbnb and home, what kind of feeling have you tried to evoke with the space?
The White Sands, I’ve always wanted people to experience exactly how we live. The feeling of simple, crisp, beachy, a dash of luxe and mostly, slow.
What does a home that is centred on slow living look like?
I think the best part about slow living is it looks different for everyone, there are no rules. But I read an acronym on a blog that perfectly describes it.
Slow living means more than just slow though, it is thought to be an acronym for its philosophy:
What is the main advantage of having an Airbnb? What are some of the challenges?
One main advantage of having an airbnb is having something that’s yours that you can make work for you, whether that be making money when you're travelling from your home, or even house swapping with someone, which is probably one of the best things ever to come out of ours. For example, we are currently in Bali for 2 months doing a house swap. The challenges would be just as simple as trust... trusting that strangers will look after your home, your personal and treasured items. For us our home is a pretty simplified space but I do LOVE everything in there which does make it challenging.
What do you make for an ideal Sunday night dinner at home with the family?
I couldn’t even tell you, which makes me feel sorry for my family with having me as the organiser and extrovert mother and partner. On a weekend we are normally embracing the community with food and wine, but an ideal meal.... would be just everyone sitting together at the table, candles lit, music on and vibes all around. Pumpkin soup and garlic bread!!
Your partner works FIFO (fly in fly out). Can you share with us a bit about the family dynamic?
I think firstly, this dynamic is something we are so used to, my partner Sean has been doing this before I even knew him, with the kids it's very much our normal. It's all we have ever known. So, he does 2 weeks away, and then 2 weeks at home. In both our eyes it definitely has its challenges but for the most part the quality of life for this family thrives, he works half a year, and the rest it's all family time and playtime, when he’s home...he's home. He isn't making calls on his phone, he’s present, he’s free, he’s available, he’s all in. So for us this dynamic is perfect for this season of our lives.
What are you most looking forward to for your two months in Bali?
For me personally I'm ready to experience personal growth and growth in my relationship. It's nice to be taken away from the normal and rest in something unknown, take time to read a book, watch the wind in the trees, play with the kids until sundown and skip a winter. As well as experiencing a beautiful culture, learning the language, being present and enjoying this opportunity for what it is.
Photos & Words: Victoria Aguirre
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