Hello! I’m Anna, author of Journages. I’m a British expat living in Australia. I love travel and nature. Here’s my story about how I left the corporate world of London office jobs and began to go with the flow in Australia, exploring new ways to travel, live and work.
London’s vibrancy and variety had always drawn me to live there. I both loved and hated life in London. It was always a roller-coaster of extremes. I loved the culture, history, parks, night life and variety. Hated the pollution, anonymity, busyness and commuting madness. I travelled every chance I got and always felt there was more to life than working 9-5 in the same city for years. I’d wanted to travel and live in different countries all my life. After seven years in London I felt like years were passing fast with nothing much changing. And while I had some amazing times and travels in Europe, I craved novelty and wondered about other ways of living, travelling and working.
After the breakup of a long term relationship in 2013 I took the plunge and applied for a working holiday visa to Australia. I left my job at a London Management Consultancy, planning to spend 6 months working in Melbourne and Sydney for a change of scene, then fly back to England and ‘settle down’. I spent an incredible half a year living in Brunswick. Cycling to work in Melbourne CBD, weekend brunches and amazing coffee, warehouse parties and rooftop bars. I soon realised I didn’t want to leave Australia. I never used the return flight.
Brits who want to get a second year working holiday visa in Australia have to complete three months of specified ‘rural’ work to qualify. To avoid getting sucked into office / city life again I left my Melbourne job to go and help build an eco house in the Byron hinterland in the hope of picking up some eco house knowledge. That trip turned into over a year of travel, adventures, personal development and discovery in love, life and work around Australia and beyond.
In that couple of years I travelled New Zealand, round Australia twice, Bali and Indonesia. And I found I hardly needed any money! I found ways to travel slower, cheaper and smarter, from the sharing economy to house-sitting. Based myself in places for a few weeks or months at a time and worked freelance in my profession as a digital marketer.
This woke me up to the many possibilities of a non office-based lifestyle and I had so many incredible experiences just following the paths that opened up! From staying with tantra teachers in Byron Bay and working on a ranch in the rural outback though Help Exchange, to exploring abandoned island resorts sailing the Whitsunday Islands and exploring a bamboo village in Bali.
In late 2014 while freelancing in Bondi beach, I met fellow blogger Lindsay Buckley and we joined forces to set up our own little digital marketing agency Aldesko Digital so we could work remotely from anywhere. I had always wanted to work for myself eventually, and Lindsay’s American ‘can-do’ attitude was the catalyst for doing it now rather than later. We left Bondi and travelled around Australia and beyond whilst working remotely.
After almost two years of extensive travel and sporadic freelancing I decided to settle once more and fulfil my dream of ten years: to live and work in Sydney. I settled in North Sydney five minutes walk from the harbour bridge and worked at a boutique media & advertising agency nearby. I always missed Bondi though and moved back to Bondi Beach to work at an innovation consulting firm in Bondi Junction.
After over 7 years in Australia I’m now an Australian citizen living on the Central Coast in a lovely home surrounded by trees like I always dreamed. We’re working on growing exotic fruit and veg, have solar panels, a pool and jacuzzi.
I now run a small online sustainable skincare business called Azur Pure Skincare, with the goal of reducing packaging waste from bathroom products. I’ve seen so much waste in the oceans on my travels and I wanted to provide natural effective skincare products that are packaged truly sustainably with no single-use plastics.
One day I plan to buy some more rural land and build some sustainable tiny homes where people can come and stay as a retreat. With travel now limited I’ve been reminiscing about past travels and plan to write up more adventures this year.
Thanks for stopping by, I hope you get some ideas for travel and remote working. Please say hi in the comments, it’s always nice to hear from people across the world who stumble on my posts. Stay safe.