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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