About Us

Changing plans: when expat realities interfere with dreams of travel

In our About Us section, we’ve alluded to the fact that we’ve been quietly dreaming about a BIG trip. As in, leave jobs and lives and material possessions behind and spend an entire year being untethered and able to travel at our own pace kind of big.

Australia is such a great place to live and work when you have goals like ours, because it’s both common and accepted to take long stretches of time off from your job to travel and still have that job to return to. In most industries here, there isn’t a need to quit your job to travel the world. So we felt like we were perfectly set up to take this leap in 2017.

Then… real life intervenes. Doesn’t it always?

We’re incredibly lucky to have had a (mostly) smooth and heartache-free immigration process here in Australia. It’s been very expensive, time-consuming, and stressful, but we’re just about at the point where we both have dual citizenship (Canada-Australia for me and Italy-Australia for him).

But that process of getting citizenship, understandably enough, takes time. I think during our initial trip-planning stages, this was time we didn’t really estimate correctly– we kind of assumed it would all work itself out in time. Until we realised about a week ago that it wouldn’t. There just wasn’t any way to stay in Australia until we both had citizenship AND go on a yearlong trip starting in January or April 2017.

Remember how M. is overseas in Europe right now? Yeah… that was fun, having a huge life-changing/relationship-changing discussion over Facebook chat with a major time difference. But we did some thinking on our own and some talking it out together and we decided that we would have to postpone the big trip until 2018.

So now here I am, waist-deep in a travel blog and we’ve decided not to travel for another year! I feel a bit ridiculous.

This was the point in the year where I’d planned to start posting updates on our planning process. We were meant to be giving away our furniture and asking for travel gear for Christmas right about now. Instead we’re wondering whether we should finally upgrade our cars (mine is from 1993 and may not last another year…) and trying to decide what kind of couch to buy when we move out of our houseshares.

Ultimately, though, this blog is intended to share a snapshot of our real lives as expats and travellers, and this is our real life. I guess there’s nothing much more realistic than having to wait to do a big trip because you need to stay in the country to get dual citizenship!

Anyway, lovely readers, I’ll still be blogging. I think this way we’ll be able to share even more– more about the immigration process, more about the trip-organising process, more about how we balance living our day-to-day lives while still planning to travel as much as we can.

We’re wide open for time and ideas now that our plans have changed– tell us, what kind of content would you like to see us write about in the next year?

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How We Afford Travel

That is the question.

Honestly, it’s the first thing I ask (usually out loud, to no one, in a quiet wail) when I see a blogger or Facebook friend who has jetted off to another great location.

If I thought about it for a second, though, our friends could easily ask the same about us. They probably do!

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The age = countries rule

A colleague of ours has this theory about being a proper traveller: you should have visited as many countries as years you’ve been alive.

To be clear, he (and we) define ‘visited’ as staying for at least 24 hours, leaving the airport, and preferably staying overnight. Hanging out in an airport, even for loooong stretches of time (I will eventually recount my tale of my 20 hour layover in the Delhi airport), just doesn’t count.

M. spent the first 25 years of his life living in Europe, with dozens of countries at his doorstep. He’s almost at his proper country quota for the 33 years he’s been alive; he might make it after a 3-month trip he has planned this year.

I, on the other hand, am a mere 14 in travellers’ years. It’ll be 16 after we go away in July, but I’ll still have 13 countries to visit before I can hold my head high in well-travelled circles.

We’ll never be the kind of travellers who go just to tick boxes– that’s not our style. But it’s still fun to have a bit of healthy competition between us and our friends. It gives us something to aim for!

Australia Road Trip Open Sky New South Wales

The wide open sky in New South Wales, Australia

Life, un-settled

I wasn’t sure about documenting it all, to be honest. I’ve had a travel blog before, when I moved to Australia in 2011. While it was enjoyed by my family and friends, my once-regular posting schedule started to peter out within a few months, as my experiences Down Under became less about travel and more about real, adult life.

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