Why Are You in Living in Australia?

posted on: February 6, 2012

The short & simple answer:
Because I feel like it.

I'm on a boat // #febphotoskill #landscape // #febphotoaday #10AM // #brisbane #fromwhereisit

The longer answer:
One of the reasons I became a photographer after having many other careers was to have the freedom of lifestyle to travel when and where I wanted. While I've had plenty of opportunities to travel for work as a photographer, I quickly learned that it's much more fun to travel for pleasure with people I love. In the last few years, I've missed opportunities to travel with my husband because I've had jobs that hired me too far in advance for me to block dates off my calendar, or I wasn't going to be able to take off enough time to make it worth traveling to the other side of the world. When an opportunity came up to spend nearly 8 months of the year traveling the world- I had a big decision to make.

While it seemed like an awesome opportunity, I had a lot of fears and reservations:

  • Can I afford to put my business on hold for that long?!
  • What if I run out of money?
  • Will I be able to save enough to make it financially possible?
  • Will I be able to pick up extra work or money while I'm traveling?
  • What will I DO with myself if I'm not spending my time doing a ton of things for my business?!
  • What will happen to my studio, house, car, etc?
  • What if something happens to family while I'm gone and I can't fly back to be there?
  • What if something happens to me and there's no way to let people know?

Whenever I'm faced with a big decision that is surrounded by fears, I ask myself:

What would you attempt if you knew you could not fail?

When I removed all of my fears about the what-ifs of leaving it all behind, the clearest answer was to take the opportunity to travel the world and worry about the rest later. If I only had a year to live, the answer was clear- I would do whatever it took (and no, I'm not planning on dying anytime soon- it's just another method to remove fear and doubt from a decision.) I decided to stop accepting clients in New England for 2012, I would slow down on my marketing and new projects that I wouldn't be around to follow-up on, I wouldn't renew my studio lease, I would save as much money as I could, I would sell my studio furnishings, we would sell a car we weren't really using, we would pay off as much of our debt as possible, we would eat out less, and we would prepare to live out of a carry-on suitcase and a backpack for 8 months. Alex would be on sabbatical from teaching at the university and still get his salary and some research reimbursements, and I would save up in advance and try to freelance wherever I could with a visiting visa that allows me to take on work in Australia.

#febphotoskill #Line // #febphotoaday #YourViewToday I'm attempting to combine the two sets of challenges for February! I think that makes it much more challenging. ;)

We bought tickets to Australia for January until June, and a one way ticket to Europe for June until sometime in August. We knew we were going to stay with one of Alex's colleagues for the first two weeks, but knew we would need to find another place to live after that. We decided we'd figure out how to find a place after arriving and speaking to locals. We knew we'd fly to Spain after our time in Australia, with stops likely in Norway, Greece, England, and a few other places, but we have yet to nail those details down completely since there are still a few months to figure that out.

We decided to take this trip together because we know that chances like this don't come around often in life. If we had children, this probably wouldn't have been possible. If either one of us had been in a different career or even at different points in our current careers, this probably wouldn't have been possible. If several projects I was working on had turned out the way I'd planned, rather than the way the fates allowed, I wouldn't have wanted to take this much time away.

Everything came together to create the possibility- but it required us committing to taking the risks involved to make it happen for ourselves.

Full set of 16 #interiordesign images from #brisbane

So, here I am, living in Brisbane, Australia for 5 months. A city that I came to visit two years ago and said, "What a great city this would be to live in!" It's idyllic. There's strong support for the arts, great cultural and economic diversity, amazing public resources, and we now have an awesome place to live in a great part of the city. I'm enjoying every minute of it. I've even picked up some freelance photography assignments already, and am using my skills to trade for some lifestyle extras I probably wouldn't splurge on if I had to pay Australian dollars for them. I'm getting a chance to read, exercise, write, relax, spend quality time with my husband, eat beautiful fresh fruits and veggies- which all seem like something I'd be able to do anywhere, but as many small business owners know, running the business is always on the mind because we can always do more for our clients or spend more time marketing and strategizing for our business. After 7 years of learning how to market and run a profitable business in three different states and very different demographic markets, I definitely feel like this is a much needed sabbatical for me and a nice reward for all the hard work I've done to get to this point.

Most small business owners don't get to take a sabbatical from their business, but freedom of lifestyle is why I wanted to be a small business owner in the first place- to do what I want, when I want.

I'm passionate about helping other people gain control over their business so their business doesn't control them. So, if you think I can help you in any way, please reach out to me and say hello. I'd love to hear from you and I'm happy to help. If you aren't ready for one-on-one business help, feel free to read lots of free business marketing and management articles I've written over on PhotoLovecat.com.

(Note: photos in this post are from my iPhone instagram feed)

15 comments, to add [click here]:

  1. You continue to be a huge inspiration. Can't wait to read about all of your adventures!

  2. Amen! I recently did something similar. On a whim I moved from Michigan, where I had a huge client base, to coastal North Carolina, with no definite plan in mind. I have been here since early November, best decision I have ever made! Of course I decided to move AFTER i had fully booked my 2012 calendar in Michigan, haha, so there will be some travel involved. Cheers to you for chasing your dreams and desires, despite the risks!

  3. Thank you Nicole! Are we connected on Facebook and Instagram? That's where most of my adventures are being played out day by day. ;-)

  4. KellyLynne - You go girl! From experience, I can tell you that the travel back and forth does take a big chunk out of your time and energy- and i will take a bit longer to get re-established in North Carolina, but if you reach out to other local photographers and offer to second shoot or help them out in any way you can, you'll get re-established more quickly.

  5. Anne - you are a phenomenal woman. What a journey. I think your way of addressing the fear is a methodology many can apply to any area of their lives. I honor you for this. I wish you lots of luck and joy in this trip and look forward to hearing more of your growth and experiences! xo, Dawn

  6. Dawn- I know you've had a lot of things to get in your way girl. Just keep knocking those walls down.

  7. Larry- you rock.

  8. Congratulations Anne, what a great adventure!!! If you are going to be in Switzerland for the European leg of your trip, Dave and I are living in Geneva and we would love to show you around. We are also very close to the Berner Oberland (which in my opinion is one of the most beautiful places on Earth). Let me know if you need any advice on your Europe trip!

  9. This is great, you've answered all of my questions and then some!

  10. Saideh7:35 AM

    As an Aussie who lived in the U.S. and is now back in Aus, I couldn't be more chuffed that you are living in my beloved country for a few months. I only hope this is experience touches you on as many levels as possible and it sounds like it already is. While Brisbane is cool, don't forget the gorgeous state of NSW! We welcome you anytime.

  11. @drinkmorewine - I may just take you up on that!

    @michellesphotos - awesome!

  12. @Saideh - I'm still learning Aussie language- is "chuffed" a good thing?! From the context- I'm going to assume it is! ;-)

    I discovered my favorite Australian winery in the Hunter Valley region when I was here two years ago. We actually just had a case of Tulloch arrive at our door and cracked our first bottle last night... so lovely! Not sure if we'll get back to Sydney this time - but we already have a trip planned for Melbourne!!

  13. You give me great great things to dream of. Your inspiration fuels me! I am updating my list of dreams and goals! Thanks girl!

  14. @Susan - even if your dreams seem larger than life- it's amazing what happens when you write them down and look at them frequently- somehow, things start falling into place and before you know it, all you have to do is jump!


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