Have you ever passed up a new opportunity because you were afraid of the unknown? During my teenage years, I was always doing things because everybody else was doing them. I never really knew who I was, or what I wanted to be ‘when I grew up’. And I spent my time with people that I had very little in common with because it was SO important to be seen to be doing ‘all the things’ in ‘all the right places’.
Fast forward to now and I am the complete opposite. I do what makes me happy, and I spend very little time worrying about what other people think of me or my lifestyle. My husband Scotty and I, and our beautiful 17-month-old daughter, Sienna Bella, are currently travelling the world full time. We are most definitely the minority, and we often have people questioning our lifestyle. But we love it and we wouldn’t have it any other way.
I’ve always had a nomadic soul. I moved to New Zealand for a change of scenery when I was 19, with my plan being to stay for six months to do a bit of sightseeing and spend some time with my family. But in true rom-com fashion, I met a boy! Four years and many adventures later, we returned to Australia together.
While I was in New Zealand, I did what many other young people do… worked a 9-5 office job. And don’t get me wrong, I loved it! I was working in a great law firm and even started studying to become a legal executive. But after a couple of years, it started to become obvious that two day weekends, and four weeks annual leave was no longer enough to fit in all of the places I wanted to go and things I wanted to do.
When the time came to move back to Perth, I took the ‘easy’ option and found a job in another law firm. My husband started working in a boarding house at an indigenous sporting college which meant he started having school holidays off! The job definitely came with its challenges, but getting 12 weeks paid annual leave each year was like a dream come true. So, of course, I did the only logical thing… I handed in my resignation at the law firm and started working at the boarding house as well.
Now don’t get me wrong, the decision definitely wasn’t as easy as that. It took a lot of consideration, there was a lot of doubt involved, and there were many moments when I thought that I’d gone completely mad… but as the old saying goes ‘If your dreams don’t scare you, they’re not big enough!’ And I would’ve literally died of FOMO if my husband was able to take that much time off each year without me!
Not only were we both working at the boarding house, but we sold all of our furniture, downsized all of our belongings and started living in a small one bedroom apartment on site. There were definitely pros and cons to this new lifestyle, but the biggest bonus was that we now lived rent-free. This meant that we had a lot of extra money to use for travelling during the school holidays. And travel we did! During the two years that we worked there we traveled to New Zealand, Tasmania, Thailand, America, Singapore, Malaysia, Hong Kong, Macau, China, Japan, Rarotonga, France, Italy and Switzerland! Full disclosure… we may or may not have taken a few extra weeks off outside the school holidays!
Two and a half years have now passed since we finished working at the boarding house. We have welcomed our beautiful daughter into the world since then, and we’re now travelling full time. I am a stay at ‘home’ mama and my husband’s new role is all online which means that as long as we have access to wifi, he can work from anywhere in the world. But how we got to this point is a story for next time.
So, what did I learn by stepping outside my comfort zone and making these huge life change?
1. Don’t wait for the ‘right time’ to make a change.
There will always be at least one reason why right now isn’t the perfect moment. Taking a huge leap of faith might seem scary, but there’s a very high chance that it will lead to something amazing!
2. Sometimes, less is more
It’s so easy to become attached to material objects and to feel as though you can’t live without them. We learnt first hand how therapeutic it is to declutter and downsize. Start with one room at a time and work your way through everything you own. Selling or giving away anything you haven’t used in the last month is a great way of doing a large cull all at once.
3. Don’t let doubt hold you back
Don’t let the doubt of others affect your decision to try something new. Be the person that stands out from the crowd. And use your nervous energy to give you the gentle (or firm) push you need!