Our Leap Into a New Adventure: The Entrepreneur’s Odyssey

If someone told me a few short years ago that I were able to manifest my reality at the rate I’m doing it now I would have quietly sniggered behind their back, saying, “YEAH right!”

I would have put this down to woo-woo talk, and unrealistic expectations… kind of like a you-wish-it-were-true reality… totally outside my grasp.

But the reality is: it’s happening!

This new life of ours is taking shape, faster than we can dream it up. And after too many hours of holding my tongue about it – after years of waging a quiet war inside of our hearts – we’re doing it!

We’re going location independent!

In March next year, John and I will turn our back on a well established life in Australia, hug our little munchkins one last time, cry a bucket load of bitter sweet tears, and board the Queen Elizabeth cruise ship to set sail towards Papua New Guinea + Japan. 

In Japan we’ll debark and rent an apartment for 6 weeks, before taking another cruise all the way to Vancouver, Canada. From there… who knows where we’ll travel next.

The world will literally become our oyster now.

Maybe you’re wondering why we’re leaving behind a perfectly cool life?

Here’s why!

We’ve become too comfortable. Too settled. Too focused on collecting beautiful, yet meaningless junk that needs dusting, cleaning and eventually ends up as garage sale crap.

As far as I can remember I’ve been incredibly passionate about travel. I started travelling alone in my middle teens, and continued to travel with John in my 20s (in between chefing jobs in Europe).

We then saved enough money to backpack around the world in 1994/95, and spent a year experiencing new cultures, and making new friends.

On our return to Switzerland we found jobs, settled down, filled an apartment with junk and built friendships with people who to this day are still some of the best friends we’ve ever made.

Two years later we got an opportunity to migrate to Australia. Moving to Australia allowed me (and John) to fulfil another burning dream. But first, we experienced…

A (very) rocky start in paradise.

Was it easy? No freaking way! The first year was tough – and it if weren’t for us walking the path together, committed to seeing this through, we probably wouldn’t have lasted.

We ended up in Outback Australia of all places – Coober Pedy, to be exact. We packed up our life in Switzerland, threw some stuff into a container, and set up a new life in the land of our dreams.

The first year was ROCKY, a culture shock. And even so we had already travelled Australia as backpackers, nothing can prepare you for uprooting your life, waving goodbye to your friends and family, and starting anew at the other side of the world (with no connections, no support except each other, and no contacts).

But we made it! 

We built a wonderful new life, worked through many challenges, and stayed truthful to our dream of living in a Queenslander house with parrots and a big veranda.

This new dream became a reality after our contract run out and we were forced to find a new sponsor, or leave Australia before we could become residents (and citizens).

Our journey brought us to Yeppoon, on the Capricorn Coast in Queensland. We found employment, got sponsored… eventually became Australian residents (after a 22 month application and 1 bankrupt lawyer), kept on working and eventually quit, became Aussie citizens, and bought our own home.

You guessed it… a gorgeous little Queenslander with a big veranda. And we got the parrot too. Our princess Birdy came into our live in 2002 about 6 months after we moved in.

And from this one gorgeous little munchkin we ended up with 11 munchkins in the end. Our babies.

We lived in Yeppoon for 13 years…

I quit my job, started my first business, failed miserably, was forced to go back to work, built my writing business, and sacked my boss for good, seven months later. 

And as our little family grew, so did my business. And in 2011 after Australia Day John finally sacked his boss too. He’s been at home with me ever since. John’s my rock, my biggest fan, and the reason why I’m working my ass off to enable us to embark on our new adventure.

The location independent lifestyle. 

So what brought this on? To be honest, it’s ALWAYS been in my system. I remember having had a conversation with Lea Woodward back in 2007 or so (Lea founded the term location independent).

I remember telling her how much I wanted this location independent life for myself. And if it weren’t for our beautiful munchkins I’d so be doing that too.

So over all these years I’ve lost count at how often my heart stirred and missed a beat upon reading yet another blog post about the guys and gals who’re actively doing this location independent thing. I wanted that so badly it made me sick inside because I felt so damn guilty about even thinking it.

I felt guilty because of my babies.

Over the years John and I had many discussions about whether we could give the babies up to follow our ultimate dream. The answer was always, “NO!”

“There’s no way I’d neglect my Birdy,” I’d say. And John felt similarly strong about abandoning the munchkins.

We felt we had no right. After all we wanted this reality. We had manifested it. So we’d better stick with it and forget the rest.

Truth be told, we were wrong.

We were wrong because we all deserve to follow our dreams. No matter how freaking tough the decisions are to get us there. 

And we realised that we needed to act now, before it’s too late. We needed to let go of our ego and follow our heart. And we needed to do this with the least possible distraction and damage to the birds.

Enter Rowena, my angel assistant.

Rowena is a rock star team member and a very good friend.

When John and I sat down a couple of weekends ago, and tearfully admitted that we didn’t really spend the one-on-one with the munchkins anymore, because it’s just too hard with 11 birds wanting to come out and play every day, we knew that we had reached a massive point of no return. 

In the lead up to this intensive weekend we collected images for a joint vision board. And what I saw made me STOP and seriously consider the alternatives – because 95% of the photos and slogans we had collected were ALL about travelling the world.

Talk about your subconscious trying to tell you something!

What’s even more interesting is the fact that we initially sat down to do a vision board for caravanning around Australia – as this had been our escape plan until then (so we could take the munchkins with us). 

But honestly… travelling with 11 noisy birds in a caravan would have been near impossible, for logistics sake alone. Not to mention the disturbed peace of the other travellers in the parks.

I’m a strong believer that if you put your mind and heart into something you’re passionate about, anything can be done. But our collection made us seriously question why we were trying to kid ourselves.

And so one question led to another, and before long we had to admit to ourselves that our munchkins no longer needed us. They all have a partner; they’re all happy, and they’re certainly well cared for and loved.

What they need is another good home with people who loved them as much as we do.

And the only person that came to mind was Rowena, because Rowena already has a cockatiel, and because her and hubby Daniel love birds as much as we do.

When you want something, ask for it.

That’s what we did. We had an emotional heart to heart with Rowena to ask her if she would take care of our Birdy flock for us.

And her answer was immediate, from the heart. A resounding, “YES! I’d be honoured to.”

And so, we have been given permission to follow our dreams from the universe. Will it be painful to kiss the munchkins one last time before we leave – bloody oath.

But sometimes the hardest decisions are the most liberating. And if you’re currently resisting your ultimate dream reality then you will be faced with some tough decisions too.

In the end, we don’t know what’s around the corner. But if we don’t give our life our ALL, we will never experience the freedom of being connected to our dream + living it.

So will this change my business?

To an extent it will. Because my focus lies on bringing in those hands-free dollars now. Between now and our departure I’ll be focusing heavily on growing my residual income.

I won’t stop writing copy for clients. So don’t worry. I’m still here. But as my residual income grows I can become more selective in taking on writing projects to serve my lifestyle. 

If we plan on going off the grid for a couple of weeks I can tweak my income to suit this. If we’re stationary in an apartment somewhere, I can take on more writing work.

I’ve worked hard to build a business that is totally portable. And now I’ll take it to the next level by following our ultimate dream.

So now you know. And I sincerely hope that this article will prompt you to question some of the things in your life, so that you can find the strength to follow your ultimate dreams too – whatever that may be.

We’ve set up this blog to document our entrepreneur’s odyssey. So please come back to see what we’re up to. I’ll still be blogging on monikamundell.com about all things copywriting, marketing, and branding.

If you want to follow our adventures, you can check in right here and snatch a front row seat (grab some popcorn too while you’re here).

And who knows, maybe one day we’ll meet in person in the great outdoors.

I also want to leave you with this quote:

“Life’s too short to surround yourself with meaningless clutter when you could be out there creating memories and collecting experiences.” ~ Monika Mundell 

We may be closing yet another chapter in our lives, but this is just the beginning… of a beautiful odyssey towards freedom + choices.

See you in the great outdoors.

John + Nika xx


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28 Responses to “Our Leap Into a New Adventure: The Entrepreneur’s Odyssey”

  1. Sally September 9, 2013 at 10:26 am #

    What an exciting new beginning!- will miss you just minutes up the road xx best wishes xx

    • Monika September 9, 2013 at 11:14 am #

      Sally we’ll miss you too, but we’re only ever a flight or cruise away from each other. And when you settle in your new life in Fiji one day we’ll meet again and party, drink kawa and eat good foods. 🙂

  2. Rowena September 9, 2013 at 10:26 am #

    Thank you for trusting us with your babies – our family will finally be complete soon 🙂 We are so blessed to know you and be a part of your journey. I’m so looking forward to following this very exciting adventure xxx

    • Monika September 9, 2013 at 11:31 am #

      What’s there not to rust Rowena & Daniel. You guys are awesome and because of you we can actually do this now. Love you to bits. xxx

  3. Stephanie Hamilton September 9, 2013 at 10:43 am #

    Monika, you are a ROCK STAR! Good on you for breaking through barriers of illusions of the “we can’t do it” to the “we’re off” mentality! It takes so much courage, and yet, you have no idea how much abundance, beauty, and connection this will bring forward into your now. Amazing! The biggest heartfelt congratulations, AND I can already envision a flock of birds following you wherever you go. Mark my word, and when it happens, remember to send me a message just so I can have a little giggle! Such an uplifting and inspiring story!! To the stars lady!!!!

    • Monika September 9, 2013 at 11:33 am #

      Thank you Stephanie! It was probably harder than any decision we ever made. But we know it’s the right thing to move forward and not end up wishing we had done it 20 years down the track.

      Your message made me tear up… because somehow birds have always followed me wherever I travel. I will remember this message when we’re surrounded by the next flock though and let you know. 🙂

  4. Paul Holland September 9, 2013 at 10:50 am #

    Congrats guys, you’ve earned it with hard work and focus!

    • Monika September 9, 2013 at 11:34 am #

      Thank you Paul, I appreciate you stopped by to comment. John and I are over the moon.

  5. Kathryn Bryant September 9, 2013 at 10:51 am #

    Wow Monika, this is amazing news and you are an inspiration to go for your dreams, not to mention the power of vision boards to help clarify what those dreams really are.

    The decluttering message behind this is a great one too. It’s about priorities in the end – things or memories and experiences. I don’t think they are necessarily mutually exclusive for everyone but that it is important to recognise what it is that holds us back from going for what we desire.

    All the best to you and John – and I look forward to following your journey. Don’t forget to look us up if you call by England!

    • Monika September 9, 2013 at 11:36 am #

      Mwah Kathryn… those vision boards are very powerful. Every single one I made since November last year has become reality in less than 60 days!!!

      We’ll be in the UK… John’s family lives there so will definitely rock through the rolling hills and probably end up buying our first umbrella in 16 years. LOL.

  6. Julie Mason September 9, 2013 at 10:54 am #

    Congratulations Monika & John for following your passion and showing the rest of us that anything is possible if you want it – without compromise. After all, you can still have visits with the munchkins when you come back to these beautiful shores…and there is always Skype 🙂

    As the Celtic prayer goes…
    May the road rise up to meet you.
    May the wind be always at your back.
    May the sun shine warm upon your face (and at this point I’ll stop because you really don’t need rain in your fields LOL)

    • Monika September 9, 2013 at 11:37 am #

      Thank you gorgeous Julie, thank goodness for Skype hey? 🙂

      But you’re right. We have already planned to do Skype calls with the munchkins. And thank you so much for the lovely Celtic prayer minus the rain. xxx

  7. Val Howard September 9, 2013 at 11:51 am #

    Hey Mon & John I am so thrilled & excited for you both! Woohoo what an adventure you have before you!
    As a Grey Nomad (on the road now since August 2011), I TOTALLY understand your reasons & motivation for the new lifestyle ahead of you! My only disappointment is that I’d hoped to catch up with you in a caravan park “somewhere in the great outdoors”, oce you’d hit the road!
    But I am thrilled to bits for you & can’t wait to read of your adventures!
    Big love from me (& Kenny the quiet one) xxxx

    • Monika September 9, 2013 at 12:46 pm #

      Mwah Val… don’t give up your hopes yet. John’s father comes to Oz in November, for nearly three months. And we plan on doing a road trip out West with him… take him to see the Rock. Visit Cooper Pedy… maybe even drive down to Adelaide and back up the coast. So who knows… your wish may still come true. 😉

  8. Gail September 9, 2013 at 12:07 pm #

    Oh wow Nika and John! So excited for you guys! Awesome news!

    • Monika September 9, 2013 at 12:47 pm #

      Thanks Gail… excited to taking the LEAP. 😉

  9. Julie Nelson September 9, 2013 at 1:24 pm #

    Woweee…congratulations Monika and John !!!

    I feel so excited for you both and look forward to following your journey.
    Here’s to the good life, trusting in yourself and living your dreams.

    Much love and awesome times ahead xxx

    • Monika September 10, 2013 at 1:13 am #

      Thank you Julie… it will be fun… some days will be tough, but overall I believe we’ll wonder why we haven’t done this before. 🙂

  10. Narelle September 9, 2013 at 2:22 pm #

    Wow, that sounds absolutely amazing! And I love the quote you wrote about life being too short for meaningless clutter. Soon as I read that, I looked around the living room, and I noticed something that I have actually known for a while: our house is full of meaningless clutter. You know – the pretty items that require a lot of dusting, the items that you might look at and say “why did I buy that?” etc? Yeah…those. We have started sorting out some of the stuff though – because we plan to finally move house in the very near future. 🙂

    • Monika September 10, 2013 at 1:15 am #

      OH this is GOLDEN Narelle, thank you for your feedback. It’s so true isn’t it. We tend to assemble stuff to makes us more comfortable, end up spending more time cleaning + dusting these things and lose connection with the people we love, because we’re so caught up with “stuff.”

      It’s a vicious cycle. I’m glad this post made you stop and think. And good luck with the move. How exciting?

  11. Coleen September 9, 2013 at 3:18 pm #

    WOW! Sending you hugs and well wishes every step of the way Monika and John. Go safely as you step towards fulfilling what may well be ‘the biggest journey of your life’! xxx

    • Monika September 10, 2013 at 1:16 am #

      Thank you Coleen. I’ll be in Melbourne next month. Maybe we can catch up??? xxx

  12. Irene Lidvall September 9, 2013 at 9:00 pm #

    Congratulations!! Time to cast the anchor and continue living,huh!
    I myself just got back from 3 month on the road and LOVED IT, Coming back that is 🙂
    Always loved being on the road, call me weird but I am at my best swishing through a transit hall, makes me feel alive. Packing light and talking to strangers, being flexible and sleeping in a new bed more often than you bargain for, LOVE IT. But I say this, nothings beats sleeping in your own bed, coming home and being home…..for a while 😉 Bon Voyage xox love you guys

    • Monika September 10, 2013 at 1:18 am #

      I saw you swooning around the European shores Irene. How awesome! Did Kevin enjoy himself too? I agree, having your own bed is luxury. But we’re not going to walk along the typical tourist trail. We’re planning on hiring apartments and settling down for a while, then moving on to the next destination.

      See how it pans out. 🙂 Love you too. I hop to sip cocktails with you again, one day, somewhere in the great outdoors. xxx

  13. Belinda Pate-Macdonald September 9, 2013 at 10:13 pm #

    Wow Monika! I absolutely LOVE this! It’s something I’ve done my whole life…. follow where I need to go right now, so I know the agonies you are going through in leaving behind your birdie flock.
    You are amazing and inspiring. I love the whole message of freedom and creativity here. I’ll be sure to keep up with your adventures. You will have an exhilarating time on this adventure and definitely make thousands of incredible memories…. not to mention all the wonderful friends who are waiting to meet you. Love to you both xxxx

    • Monika September 10, 2013 at 1:20 am #

      Oh what a gorgeous message Belinda. Very poetic. Thank you. I appreciate your support and am so glad and grateful we met in the virtual space. I look forward to sharing the journey and help inspire others to listen to the call of their hearts. xxx


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