Budgeting · Destinations · Finance · Motivation · Preparation

5 ways travelling Australia has changed our life

Our lives have changed, we have grown and our relationship has shifted.

What’s to blame? Our travel filled gypsy lifestyle.

cropped-dsc_0569.jpg

Here are 5 powerful and positive changes that have come our way

Our finances are better!

Say What! Yes, it’s true?!?!?! It is hard to believe that our finances are better while travelling!! BUT our finances are in better order than ever before. Why? Because we set a goal and we achieve what needs to be done. We have a purpose. It’s the difference between thinking about what we want to do and doing it. So if we have two months to save X before we head off again, we do everything we can to make it happen. If you want to upgrade the tent, camper-trailer or caravan along the way you can! As you know we do work on the road and this also assists our finances but it also allows us to travel slower. To stop in certain areas for longer and enjoy what each place has to offer. We were never “savers” but we are now. But we don’t hoard our money, we exchange it for experiences. Life is short and you cannot take it with you when you go!

We genuinely enjoy the simple things.

Before it took bells and whistles to impress us. We would go on holidays and stay in fancy hotels which would constantly disappoint us. Now if a hotel has running water and air-conditioning we feel spoilt by good fortune. The simple things are appreciated ten-fold; sunsets, weather, good people, each other, the list goes on. Whether we are sitting around a campfire with friends we have just met, exchanging stories or if we are standing at the top of a mountain we have just climbed. These moments are special…….magical. We have learned to enjoy them and be present. Living in that exact moment. Not in the past, not in the future. In this precious life altering moment.

Travel has pushed us out of our comfort zone. 

I have suffered from anxiety as many residents of the modern world currently do. It can be debilitating and even worse it can hold you back from your full potential and living a life you love. Travelling has pushed me out of my comfort zone and while I may not ever bungee jump or eat a pickled peacock heart. I have tried so many new things, tasted many new things, experienced once in a life time experiences – multiple times. I can tell you, living out of your comfort zone is A-MAZING!

Our relationship is that much stronger.

It is something we didn’t think of very much before we headed off into the sunset. The reality of being stuck in a car or working in each others pockets. Or the reality of being the only people you interact with for days or weeks on end. We have spent so much time together during our time on the road; travelling together, working together and playing together. Our lives are more intertwined then ever. We thought we were bests friends before we left on our trip of a lifetime and travelling together has only strengthened that bond.

Travel has provided us with so many new and diverse opportunities. 

When you are ready to embrace opportunities, they find you. They come knocking. We have stumbled upon multiple opportunities along the road and have been in the perfect frame of mind to grab them with both hands. It is win-win. We have worked for one of Australia’s richest men, we have built an online following, we have been published in various publications. The biggest thing for us is we now embrace these opportunities. Instead of fretting about the opportunities thrown our way, we embrace them. We take them head on.

And you should too. Embrace life! Live the life you love. We only get one!

Sarah

New South Wales · Preparation · Random Thoughts

Ciao Griffith.

Image Sourced from http://froggg.altervista.org

Well this week has been one of goodbyes, see you laters and more importantly ciaos.

We have been packing up, cleaning up and getting ready to hit the road. As exciting as it all is it will be sad to leave as we have been here for quite a long time by our standards plus Shaun has family connections here and that is always hard to leave.

For me so far the saddest see you later for me was Mum and Dad. After their two week visit they headed home on Saturday morning just gone. I think what made it most difficult was that we don’t know when we will be seeing them next as we don’t know how far away our travels will take us and as Mum and Dad are still working for THE MAN they have to wait to accrue leave again. Which could be sometime next year.

I worked my last shift at La Scala and that was another round of ciao bella’s. I am sure I will see many of them again as we will be back to Griffith to visit family no doubt. However, it was such a wonderful place to work and the staff are fantastic – I will miss them.

Tonight we are having a farewell dinner at the farm to see all the family together. It will be hard to say goodbye but we will be back.

At this stage we haven’t decided whether we are leaving tomorrow or Saturday. It all comes down to whether everything is packed. So I guess instead of blogging I should get packing.

Here is my Top Five Griffith Experiences:

  1. Working at La Scala
  2. Catania Fruit Salad Farm Tour
  3. West End Estate Wine Release
  4. Showing Mum & Dad the sights of Griffith
  5. Getting to know Shaun’s side of the family better

 

Ciao for now. xx

Australian Travel · Bush Cooking · Reader Interaction · Travel Photography · Writing & Reading

We Won Lunch with Sammy & Bella from MKR!!!!

I love watching MKR (My Kitchen Rules) It is a brilliant and I watched the first two seasons without so much as missing an episode. This year’s show I didn’t get to see many episodes, one of the down sides of our nomadic lifestyle (actually life without TV is  a good thing really) Who would have thought when I was watching the Finale of Season Two where the Polish Sisters, Sammy & Bella won that a year or so later I would be sitting down to a fully catered lunch with them and a few of my family members.

Please be seated
Waiting for the girls to arrive

I am a firm believer that things happen for reason and from little things big things grow. We pre-purchased the first four tickets to La Festa and went into the draw to win a lunch with Sammy & Bella catered by Dolce Dolce Cafe and we won. I’m not the kind of person who wins many things. It was a fluke that’s for sure. We had a fantastic meal and the girls were wonderful to talk to, down to Earth and beautiful.

One thing I learnt during the lunch was that passion knows no bounds. By this I mean that the girl’s passion for food is infectious and it spread around the table like wildfire. I believe our passion for our nomadic lifestyle did the same. When someone talks about something they are truly passionate about you want to listen, you want to learn and you want to explore their ideas. I did in fact came home and cooked that night and all the next day.

I want to thank Sammy & Bella for taking the time out of their busy schedule to answer all our questions and share a lovely lunch with us. I also want to thank Dolce Dolce for their beautiful catered lunch. It was delicious. Most of all I want to thank the organisers of the 2012 Steggles La Festa for not only giving us a fantastic prize but also for putting on a great festival. We had a beautiful time.

Winners are Grinners
Norris Around Australia with Sammy & Bella
Attractions · Australian Travel · Destinations · New South Wales

A Festive Easter at Griffith La Festa

I couldn’t recommend a better time of year to visit the Riverina then the Easter break. The whole town comes alive with a real festive buzz and the options of what to do are endless. The only problem you will have is deciding which events to attend.

As we have been residing in Griffith for the past few months we decided to attend the Griffith Easter Festival named La Festa, Faces of Australia. La Festa is held in the town’s Community Gardens and showcases the many different cultures that create the diverse Griffith Community. The festival also showcases the region’s fine wine and fresh food produce.

La Festa

I’d heard many mixed reviews about La Festa from local people prior to attending the event. Some had stated that since it had moved from the main street to the gardens it had gone downhill. With these opinions I went to the event with a negative outlook however I was pleasantly surprised. It had a lovely family atmosphere that wound it’s way throughout the gardens. It was a very enjoyable day and I can see why over 10,000 people embrace the festival each year.

La Festa Main Stage

 

Main Stage

For the foodies there were not only a myriad of food stalls there were also celebrity chef cooking demonstrations by Sammy & Bella from My Kitchen Rules and Paul Mercurio. The demonstrations were well received by the public and I think these should be honed in on for next year’s La Festa and create a real focus on this while the “celebrity chef craze” is still flying high.

Sammy & Bella - Cooking Demonstration
Sammy & Bella Cooking Demonstration

 

Paul Mecurio - Cooking Demonstration

The highlight of the festival for me was the Sunny Cowgirls. I love this Australia country music act they really know how to put on a great show and entertain the crowds. I felt sorry for them for the most part of their performance due to the lack of audience response. I don’t think they were the right act for the audience. The children loved it, I loved it and I saw a few others who were loving it but the majority of the audience was unreceptive.

The Sunny Cowgirls

 

The Sunny Cowgirls

 

The Sunny Cowgirls

I think La Festa is a great community event and should be given a lot more credit. It is great for families and a good way to encourage a sense of community amongst locals while showcasing what the region has to offer to visitors. If you are planning a trip to the Riverina around Easter next year make sure you add La Festa to your bucket list.