The months I spent solo travelling around Southeast Asia were hands down some of the best times of my life. Not only did I meet Rick in Thailand but I learned how to scuba dive in the crystal clear waters of Koh Tao, I trekked through the dense jungles of Malaysia, I climbed 2nd highest volcano in Indonesia, and I danced the night away with new friends from all over the world at the Full Moon Party on Koh Phangan.
Most importantly, it was on this trip back in 2012 that I discovered my love for travel and adventure. I knew that my life would never quite be the same once that trip ended and I was right. From that point on, I would always put experiences first no matter what. I realized that life is short and no one knows when their time on this earth is up.
The last thing I want is to spend my precious time here doing things I can’t stand. I will never be one of those people that chases a ‘9-5 career’ just because that’s what society makes us believe we need to do with our lives. Don’t believe that nonsense, it’s not true.
It was this exact topic that Rick and I bonded over on the beach in Thailand when we first met (click here to read our story.) We both knew back then that our futures would look very similar.
So even though we parted ways on Koh Tao in August of 2012 without plans to see each other again, somehow we knew the universe had some exciting plans in store for us. Continue reading to find out what happened after that first meeting and where we are now, 9 years later!
The Life of a Backpacker
When we said goodbye on Koh Tao that day, we planned to stay in touch but we honestly had no idea if and when we’d ever see each other again. Rick continued his journey to South America and I travelled to Malaysia, Indonesia and then Australia where I would start my working holiday.
I first landed in Perth with Jade, a good friend of mine that I’d previously met on the road. We found a job with a cleaning company so we stayed there for a few months to top up our savings. Our adventure continued to the east coast where we rented a camper van and drove from Melbourne all the way up to Bundaberg.
We sky dived, we spent our days on the beach, and we drank goon like it was going out of style. Life was good but when funds began to dry up, we attempted to do fruit picking work for a few days. That experience was less than ideal. At that point I was 10 months into my trip and was feeling ready to go home for a while.
The Adventure Must Continue
I managed to borrow some money from family and booked an immediate flight home to Vancouver. I spent a few months living with my mom, working in a grocery store, and trying to save up every cent I could so that I could get back out on the road again. I knew the adventure was far from over, in fact it was only just beginning.
Over the months, Rick and I stayed in touch. It wasn’t every day or even every week, but we still managed to have the odd Skype catch up from time to time. I followed his journey through South America from afar and he secretly hoped that I would make it back to Australia once he returned home.
Birds, Snakes & Didgeridoos
Meanwhile back in Australia, Jade was still there and she had found work on a farm. She asked me to come back so we could pick up where we left off and that’s exactly what I decided to do. With just enough money to get me by until I found a job, I booked a one way flight to meet her in Darwin.
It didn’t take long for me to find work in a didgeridoo shop and aboriginal art gallery in the rural town of Humpty Doo. Yepp, I found myself a job as a didgeridoo sales woman in a town called Humpty Doo, sometimes I swear my life is stranger than fiction!🤣
I learned how to play the didge and I even made one myself from scratch. I took care of talking parrots, I fed large snakes, and I lived in a small trailer on the shop owner’s property. I loved my time up north as I was able to experience true Australian culture first hand.
I stayed there for 4 months so that I could be approved for a 2nd year working holiday visa and be able to stay down under for another full year.
So We Meet Again
In the meantime, Rick returned home to Perth so we began speaking regularly while I was working up north. I didn’t have any plans after my job at the Didgeridoo Hut finished so when he suggested that I come to Perth to find a job there, I thought why not?
Over one year had passed since we had last seen each other on the island of Koh Tao. Neither of us knew what would happen next but there was only one way to find out! Our first week together was spent driving up the coast of Western Australia in a van that Rick had recently purchased and converted into a camper.
We camped on pristine white sand beaches and swam in the most beautiful turquoise waters. Everything was perfect and we knew on this trip that we would have to do whatever it takes make it work between us.
Life In Perth
I easily adjusted to my new life in Perth. I was able to find a job as a dental assistant (the job I did back home) without much trouble and Rick had just started studying his degree to become a paramedic.
It didn’t take long before we had moved in together and begun the painful process (a few years and a few thousand $$ later…) of applying for a partner visa so that I could become a permanent resident of Australia.
We lived in Perth for 3 years while Rick studied and I worked full time. During that time we still managed to travel a fair bit with trips to China, Bali, Canada, Mexico, Alaska and a few road trips around Western Australia. But it didn’t take long before we got itchy feet and felt ready for the next big adventure.
Life In England
It was 2016 when Rick finished his degree, became a paramedic and was presented with an opportunity to work in England. The NHS was recruiting paramedics from Australia at the time so him and a few of his friends from uni decided it would be a fun experience.
So that was it! We packed up our lives in Perth and moved over to a small town in Kent on southeast coast of England. We had no idea what to expect but we are all for random adventures that lead us to new and exciting opportunities.
Adjusting to life in England wasn’t easy at first. The wages are much lower than in Australia and I had some difficulty with finding work in my field. But we made it work and we made the most of our time there. We travelled to over 22 different countries in the 2.5 years that we spent living there!
We road tripped through the gorgeous countrysides of Portugal, France and Germany. We ticked off some must-see cities like Rome, Amsterdam, and London. We adventured through the deserts of Morocco and in the summer of 2018, Rick planned a surprise proposal when we were visiting the beautiful medieval city of Tallinn, Estonia! I honestly had no idea that was coming!
We started our Instagram account to document and share our adventures with the world which then led us to creating this blog. I had always wanted to start a travel blog but it wasn’t until we were living in England and travelling Europe that it really felt right.
Our time spent in Europe was everything we could have asked for and more. We truly believe that everything happens for a reason and I’m so thankful that we’ve discovered something that we love and that fits so well with our lifestyle: blogging. Maybe if we never moved to England, we never would have gone down this path, who knows?
No, we aren’t full time bloggers who make a full time income and travel the world full time, yet. But at this point, I don’t think that’s too far out of reach. Within our first year of blogging we’ve managed to successfully monetize our website.
This is both exciting and motivating and it inspires us to continue putting in the work to see how far this unconventional dream will take us. We are all about that unconventional lifestyle.
Where Are We Now?
If you’ve made it this far, you’ve finally reached the answer you’ve been waiting for! We’ve done a 360 and we’re right back where we started in sunny old Perth!
We left our lives in England behind in November of 2019 and made our way to Canada to spend some time with my family over Christmas. We even snuck in a little trip to Mexico with my entire family while we were visiting.
In January 2020, we made our return to Perth and as I write this post, Rick is currently working as a fly-in, fly-out paramedic on a mine site in north Western Australia. I was able to find work as a dental assistant and we will stay in Perth for the foreseeable future while we work toward the next chapter of our lives. Which brings us to…
What’s Next For Us?
We are planning to get married on a beach in Mexico once travel has opened up again. When I say planning, I mean that nothing has actually been planned yet and it’s all still very much an idea at this stage but watch this space…
We will continue to work on growing and expanding our blog along with a few other side hustles that we’ve picked up in the meantime until we reach our ultimate dream of a location independent lifestyle.
Yepp, we want to be able to work from our lap tops from anywhere in the world, free from the mundane 9-5 life of a job that keeps us tied to one place! We understand some people enjoy that type of lifestyle and that’s absolutely fine, it’s just not the life for us.
We know there is a long road ahead of us to make it to that point and we also know just how much work goes into having a successful blog that provides a full time income. As long as we continue to follow the path that we are already on, I’m pretty confident that it’s only a matter of time before we get there!
Thank you for stopping by, reading our story and following along with our adventures! Stay tuned to see where this crazy journey takes us and if we ever make it to that end goal of ours.
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