Hello! I’m Anna, author of Journages. I’m a British expat living in Sydney. 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 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. 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 and deliberately missed my return flight to England. Two and a half years later and I’ve never been back.
Brits who want to get a second year working holiday visa in Australia have to complete three months of specified ‘rural’ work to qualify. So 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 time I travelled New Zealand, round Australia twice, Bali and Indonesia. And I found I hardly needed any money! I found ways to travel 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.
In late 2014 while freelancing in Bondi beach, I met fellow blogger Lindsay Buckley and we joined forces to set up 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 a year of extensive travel and sporadic freelancing I decided to settle once more and fulfill my dream of ten years: to live and work in Sydney. I’m now living in scenic North Sydney five minutes walk from the harbour bridge and amazing harbour views. Aldesko still exists but I’m now working a full time office job at a boutique media & advertising agency nearby. I’m enjoying being settled and planning my eco-retreat and future location independent lifestyle.
Ultimately I plan to become an Australian citizen and build a sustainable home surrounded by trees. A granny annexe for friends, an exotic garden with fruit and veg, a swimming pond and a swing. It will be a base from which to travel and explore with eco accommodation on-site to inspire others to live sustainably. I’ll rent it out for long periods and do house sits and travel all over the world. Work remotely for businesses which reflect my passions and help make the world a better place. Read, write and paint… a healthy balanced lifestyle . Conscious of and sensitive to the environment and those around me. Treading carefully on the earth, conscious of what I consume. Always learning and developing.