Where are we headed in 2017?

This is our annual post, where we focus on where we are heading for the coming year in business, life, and travel.

I’m not one for setting goals. They often lead to disappointment. James Altucher has written about this here and in his book and does a much better job of explaining why I don’t set goals. He doesn’t agree with goal setting either (love him!!)


Now be warned – I am a highly motivated person. I don’t need a S.M.A.R.T. goal to whip me into action.

I know the big picture of what I want to achieve and I take daily action steps towards that. More importantly, I work on my mindset and spiritual mojo to make the creation of it more effortless and I always leave the doors open to change and something better.

I don’t pressure them into happening by my determined date and a set amount. I let it happen at the right time BUT, and this is so important, I do take constant action. If you need SMART goals to help you stay focused and take action then do them!

I often write on a list of things to be done for each day, just so I don’t forget anything that is due or important. I don’t often stick to them because something may come up that draws my attention. I tune into how I’m feeling and if my gut says keep going with this and I do.

98% of the time this leads me to new discoveries, directions, and insights that have dramatically helped my life. If I was so rigid to the list and goals, I would have missed it.

That’s why I follow this process now rather than setting goals as it has proven over and over again to benefit me more.

I still plan things out and am working towards something, but the process I use gets me in the framework of working on getting it done, rather than being something I’m working on doing.

James suggests operating around themes instead of goals. I call them focus words or intentions, but it’s the same thing. I share more of that at the bottom of this post.

If you know what’s important to you, what you want to create and why then you don’t need goals, you’ll get it done each day with small steps.

When I reflect back on my life all the amazing achievements that happened have been total surprises.

Don’t mistake that for luck. I’ve had a very significant role in creating the surprises, but I’ve also let go and allowed the right opportunities to come at the right time.

I enjoy life so much more when I let it flow and let go of SMART goals. When I attempt to embrace them I never enjoy the process, I don’t get results that thrill me and they make me feel dissatisfied and disappointment.

It’s all about the feelings y’all. It’s the year for unplugging from what doesn’t serve you!

For you it may be different – you gotta stay in tune with what floats your boat. This is just a new approach for you to mull over.

Travel for 2017

Bryce Canyon Utah

This is going to be the year of America Unplugged. We’ve been planning this for 18 months now and have had so many delays.

But as I said before, I’m flowing with it. If I was so rigid to those goals and time frames I’d be so disappointed and bitter by now with how this has turned out.

I trust that it has not yet been the right time and things are still moving into place. The delays have actually allowed us to get a lot more done behind the scenes so we can handle the growth and change of the new journey without getting stressed while on the road.

We’re going to enjoy this trip.

We’ve submitted another 50 odd pages of extra requested documentation for this O1 business visa – a detailed three-year itinerary. How can you plan three years in advance?

We’ve adhered and created it, which has been good for the direction and story ideas, but of course the disclaimer, “this is subject to change” is also on it!

Here’s what we intend to happen for travel in 2017.


Boom. Three weeks in February. Let’s kick off America Unplugged in style. It’s been a lifelong dream.


Colorado is the Flavour of 2017 for us. We are madly in love with the state so have planned multiple trips for this year.

  • Skiing in March
  • Summer fun in July and August
  • Christmas – a log cabin in the Rocky Mountains has been our White Christmas dream for many many years. Let’s make it happen.

If you have any tips on things to do in Colorado please add it to this post. It’s where we are collecting them.

North Carolina

We cannot go back to the US for an entire year and not visit our home state.

If you’re only new to our blog, North Carolina is not our original home state – we are Australian, but we lived in Raleigh for four years and are madly deeply and truly in love with North Carolina.

Gotta get back there in time for March Madness to see our Tar Heel Boys bring it home and jump over fires in Franklin street like we did in 05 and 09. Yep, we’ve got the winning mojo for them. We plan on exploring NC (and hanging with friends) for April and May.

If you have any tips on things to do in North Carolina, please add them to this post.


Craig has scheduled in Texas for May and June. Not sure what’s happening in these months, but it’s a good time to visit and brings us closer to the mountain states and California for the rest of the year.

BlogHer Conference in Florida

I’ve already brought my ticket to the BlogHer conference in Orlando.

I enjoyed it so much last year and got so much value from it that I’m pretty sure I’ll fly in for it no matter where we are. It will be a much shorter flight than flying from Australia for it.

This could be an opportunity to sneak the girls for a surprise visit to Harry Potter world. Kalyra will kill us for waiting even this long to take her. We’ll see if it will be a solo mission for me or the whole fam can fit it in.

New Mexico

We’ll be heading to New Mexico. We’ve spent time in Santa Fe before. We want to revisit this time and also explore this state more in-depth. We’ll be calling for your tips soon.


Utah partly inspired our American Unplugged road trip idea. We think it’s one of the best states in the US for travel.

It’s so beautiful, yet we’d rarely hear of travelers going there, choosing instead to visit the most well-known places in the USA and so missing unplugged secrets like southern Utah!

We’re very excited to return and explore more.


Our friend, Spencer Spellman has completely sold us on Reno – forget Las Vegas!

I’m watching his Insta stories every day and getting inspired to hike, ski, SUP, rock climb, drink great coffee, and smoothies, and of course share a few of his cocktails with him in all those bars he keeps showing.

We’re planning on a Nevada visit for the month of September.


Let’s close out the 2017 year with an in-depth exploration of California through the months of Sept – Dec.

High on the bucket list is to attend the Ontrapalooza conference in Santa Barbara. It’s a conference hosted by Ontraport, which is my email management software system.

I recently attended an Ontraport Bootcamp and found it to be one of the most beneficial and practical workshops. I have a powerful tool at my fingertips and I’m super excited to use it and learn more about business building at the conference. I am now a super fan of Ontraport.

Plus, Kalyra was named after a winery in Santa Barbara so we’re keen to return.

If you have any tips on things to do in California, please add them to this post.

Business & Blog Growth


Email community

Email is the most favourite part of my blog and business!

It’s where I have the most intimate conversations with our VIP travel tribe. Join us here.

I love them. I share with them messages of inspiration, love, and hope each week and they reply to me with open hearts sharing their stories, their struggles, and their dreams.

A few weeks ago, I asked them to share with me what was interesting about them; I had the most wonderful evening reading their replies and learning more about them.

This year, I am focusing on growing my email community even more. Not just growing it, but ensuring I am sending the right messages to the right people.

As mentioned, Ontraport is about to help my email community and communication improve immensely.

New Website

Yep. Another new redesign of our website. We hate the current one. The branding is all wrong and the navigation horrible. You can’t find any of our best content.

We’ve been working with an amazing design team this year.

Amanda from Kaleidoscope Design Studio has completely nailed the new look and branding, and Chris from RTWLabs our web maintenance and developer guru who is doing all the coding and making the design come to life from functional code perspective.

We hope to have this launched by the end of January.

We’ve also created a bunch of super useful resource pages to help you find the content you need to travel more and create better memories.

I’m creating new free email series and freebies to match the new site and messaging which is all about unplugging to reconnect to those things that really matter – travel being one fantastic way to help you do that.

Video and Instagram stories

We started creating travel videos last year, we’re continuing that this year.

We’re looking at investing in new camera equipment (this Sony Mirrorless is on our wish list) and will be doing all we can to learn how to be better videographers. We really love our videos.

We’re also loving Instagram stories. Our community is growing over there and they are loving the raw behind the scenes sneak peek at our life – not always travel related.

Craig and I both now have personal Instagram accounts that we are having a lot of fun with. You can catch us at Carolinemakepeace and craigmakepeace.

Expanding our team

Last year we shrunk our team. The cost of living in Australia is ridiculous, plus we’re saving for our big US trip and had a lot of other priorities to funnel our money towards.

We’re coming back out of that hole and have much better financial structures in place. We can’t manage all we do on the blog with full-time travel so we’re looking to expand.

I’m not quite ready yet, as there is still a bit of fear and uncertainty to work through, but it’s an intention I’m working on for this year.

Traditional media

We’re very focused on getting into traction in media once we start our America Unplugged journey.

We think our story is pretty cool to share, we want local communities to jump out and share their unplugged secrets with us, so we can share them with you, and we’d love to share what’s so wonderful about Australia as well while we’re in the States!

We’ll be working hard behind the scenes to make it happen. My Aunt suggested over Christmas that we aim to get on the Ellen show. I must say I like that idea!

Focus words/intentions

overcoming fears BlogHer conference

So instead of goals, I tend to have focus words or intentions. They align more with how I want to feel, rather than what I want to achieve.

Instead of focusing on X amount of email subscribers in a goal format, I’m focusing on growing my email list, but with the underlying intention and focus being creating something that feels joyful and loving.

Putting quality above quantity. The number doesn’t matter as long as the purpose and feeling is strong.

Everything we create in life is a result of how we feel. So if you focus on that, then life will bring you experiences and moments that align with those feelings.

Goals won’t matter to you at all then because you’ll be living a life that feels good.

It keeps you open to surprises and miracles and keeps you connected to awe, gratitude, and wonder which only helps you to create more amazing things to feel great about! Yay – these cycles are no longer vicious.

Mine are simply the same each day and year:

  • Freedom
  • Abundance
  • Vitality
  • Joy
  • Love
  • Growth
  • Security

I consider what each of these looks like for the various aspects of my life and then take daily action steps to make them happen.

For example, my daily morning routine has evolved from this.

  • I go for an early morning walk/run (vitality)
  • I watch the sunrise and meditate (joy/love/freedom)
  • I have my morning tonic tea (vitality)
  • I read empowering books (growth)
  • I cuddle my girls when they wake (love/joy)
  • and then work on my business and different parts of my life I want to grow (growth/security/love/freedom/abundance).
intentions for 2017

Step by step. I don’t feel pressured to do any of these by a looming deadline or goal. I do it because of how it makes me feel. My results don’t matter so much because the moments of my life feel free, joyful, secure, loving, abundant, healthy and purposeful.

I don’t feel pressured to do any of these by a looming deadline or goal. I do it because of how it makes me feel. My results don’t matter so much because the moments of my life feel free, joyful, secure, loving, abundant, healthy and purposeful.

I do it because of how it makes me feel. My results don’t matter so much because the moments of my life feel free, joyful, secure, loving, abundant, healthy and purposeful.

I would never get up early and go for a sunrise run because my goal was to lose 5kgs and get fit. But, I effortlessly get up at 5:15am to do it because it helps me feel all those things above.

Sometimes I walk, sometimes I run, sometimes I do yoga. It depends on what I feel like, (freedom allows me to choose what that is each day).

I’ll be moving every day in some form because vitality is important to me. I don’t even consider the end result of losing weight and getting fit, it’s a by-product.

It’s amazing how much my life has evolved by focusing on these things instead of goals. These feelings grow for me each day, which is how I evaluate if my life is successful and in balance.

Try it.

But don’t expect overnight results, please. It takes time to change – step by step, day by day.

I had a subscriber email me today to tell me how she completely transformed herself and her life in just nine months by choosing to do one thing different each day – simple things like shopping at a new supermarket or trying a new dish.

She said she can’t even remember who the old person was. That’s how you subtly and slowly change your life. Small steps fueled by a feeling that you value the most.

That’s how you subtly and slowly change your life. Small steps fueled by a feeling that you value the most.

Small steps fueled by a feeling that you value the most.

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Where are you headed in 2017? We share our travel, life and business plans for 2017 plus my unusual approach to goal setting What's yours? May your 2017 rock!

Where are you headed this year in travel and life?

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34 thoughts on “Where are we headed in 2017?”

  1. SMART goals have never worked for me, but I’ve struggled to define what my alternative is. I like the idea of intentions and I’m going to dig into those links you shared about not having SMART goals. Thanks for sharing the info!

  2. Have you read the book “The Slight Edge” by Jeff Olson? It’s a game changer, and one that I can see you enjoying.
    2017 sounds like it is going to be a great year for you all!

  3. Thanks for your inspiring post and for sharing these tips. Sounds like a great idea not to set goals but focus on words and intensions. I will give it a try this year.
    Setting goals usually puts me on pressure and slows me down a little.

    Good luck with the visa and can’t wait to follow your exiting America unplugged trip. And hey, that would be cool to see you sitting on Ellen’s couch 🙂

    Sunny greets from Perth,

    1. I hope we can make it on there Reni!! You don’t want to be slowed down so definitely try the intentions this year and see how it works for you.

  4. Caz, great to hear you’ve had a good experience with ONTRAPORT and our bootcamp class. Thanks for sharing.

    I’m looking forward to meeting you this year at ONTRApalooza! Wishing you a prosperous 2017.


    1. My pleasure Jasmine. I’ve been busy since Bootcamp organizing Ontraport and setting up my funnels. I’m so amazed by what I can do! See you at Ontrapalooza!

  5. Glad to hear you are finally kicking off America Unplugged! Since you weren’t sure what to do in Texas I just sent you an epic length email through the contact page. I just wanted to let you know it was there so it didn’t get buried

    1. Hey Eric, thank you greatly for your email and Texas recommendations. Will reply to your email separately. We’re excited to explore Texas and the rest of the USA.

  6. In all my other Texas recommendations in my email, I forgot to mention the Bob Bullock History Museum in Austin. It’s fun with a great video theater about Texas History. Also the Tower of the America’s in San Antonio is worth doing for the views.

  7. hey caz and craig

    I love your website , the way you have managed it is really lovely and professional work. i also have a blog on travel on blogspot platform (http://bagpacktravel.blogspot.in/) but not like your website (your is really awesome) . i created my blog to earn money through affiliate marketing but can not get enough as traffic is very very low (only 30 people per day). how much you people are earning with this lovely website ? I hope you will answer me.
    thanks caj and craig, love you both.

  8. Hello from East Lothian in Scotland where it’s the middle of the night and I am wide awake! Good to read this list and to follow your journey.

    My New Years Revelations (not resolutions!) are that I’m definitely not a nomad, I love to live in new places and explore from there, more a emigrant who loves holidays. This year we will be in Orange most of the year – hooray – with many trips home to Scotland as Mum is in need of help. Maybe a country change in 2018… but Australia is where I will grow old so it’s home.

    Another Revelation is that I loathe being across all social media so am giving them all up except Facebook… what a great feeling. With limited time, I feel too confused trying to feed all the channels – hungry beasts. So just on FB for at least a few months.

    And LOVE is the word… my kids all need it – yes even the big teen boys tough they deny it. The little ones are ten and still need the huggles as well as the love.

    And my mum has dementia and she needs love and care most of all. And Paul and I need to share our love for each other too. So in 2017 it’s love, all around, it’s the drug etc etc

    Can’t wait to celebrate as you get on the road and thrilled to hear you are off to Hawaii… love my armchair travels with you.

  9. Really nice article and very helpfull for me who’s not that big traveller;) but love to hear from others and plan for my next trips. You guys are really my inspiration. I had gone for many trips but how you people travel is next level. Really nice travel plannings

  10. I usually do specific goals and this year I chose words instead- Automate and Appreciate. I spend WAY too much time ordering supplied and doing banking, I want to automate all of those items. I also want to appreciate the things I have instead of reaching for the next thing.
    I love your travel plans for 2017. I can’t wait to read about what you get up to in Hawaii as we’re planning to visit there in 2018. I’m also to read more about North Carolina- we’re headed to Topsail Beach in September and I want to do more side-travel this time.
    So happy for you guys making this dream become a reality- it’s inspiring!

  11. Great read and love hearing about your 2017 plans. So many blog posts out there on last years achievements that its good to read about this years goals. Will certainly be following the US trip. Especially Hawaii as I’d love to get over there as well during the Ironman World Championships.
    Good luck and safe travels

  12. So excited for your travel plans and grateful that I found your site! We lived in Hawaii for 6 months last year and it’s definitely my favorite place in the world.

    I love your advice regarding focus words. It’s so easy to get lost in things we “should” be doing to attain a certain goal, but I agree that actions rooted in positive emotion yield the most fruitful results.

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