Yep, that time of year again to reflect and celebrate.
It’s been a massive year full of travel, highlights and unexpected surprises for Team Makepeace a.k.a Caz, Craig, Kalyra and Savannah.
Let’s take a look at the year that was 2014.
The Sunshine state
Then we hit up Queensland.
We spent a couple of weeks enjoying the thrills and chills of the Gold Coast, and then discovering some new and amazing places further north in this tropical state.
Our highlights were:
- Fraser Island
- the Town of 1770 and Agnes Waters
- Magnetic Island
- Airlie Beach and the Whitsundays
- the Great Barrier Reef
- and the Daintree Rainforest
Thanks to our work with Tropical North Queensland, we discovered an absolute treat of Queensland that is not often visited or spoke about – the Savannah Gulf. It’s the tropical outback side to Queensland and thriving with life and stunning landscapes.
Definite highlight and Queensland’s best kept secret was Boodjamulla National Park.
The Top End
We were blown away by the beauty of the Northern Territory, Australia’s Top End.
Kakadu National Park is a definite highlight of Australia and we only saw a smidgen of it.
West Coast Oz
A few months ago we drove into Western Australia and will possibly have another two months here in this beautiful state. It’s a shame more people don’t venture this far west as it is STUNNING and full of many superlatives.
Broome is my favourite place in Australia and we bunkered down here for five weeks to just enjoy its chilled beach and yoga lifestyle.
WA doesn’t stop there.
We enjoyed a week or so exploring Ningaloo Marine Park, swimming with manta rays, snorkelling with turtles and quad biking through the sand dunes.
We’re currently in Perth, where we enjoyed Christmas with my sister and friends and in the New Year we’ll be moving down to Margaret River for a few weeks. I think it’s going to be another one of those special Australian places.
Don’t forget to follow our live journey on Instagram.
You can see a post with a lot of our road trip highlights here.
New site design
This was a massive project that took most of the year. It’s much easier for you to find the travel information you need, and our 12 steps page takes you through the process of dreaming to travelling.
We love our new Australia hub page and plan to be creating more of these for destinations around the world.
You can read more about the site design process here.
Money and digital lifestyle hub
This year, we started a Money Project and Digital Lifestyle hub on our site. We know the biggest barrier to travel is not having enough money so we want to help you find more ways to create the money for travel.
Next year, I’ll be launching a 30 Day Money Cleanse, which you can sign up for updates here.
There are also many readers who are working towards a digital lifestyle to fund their travels. We now share our tips for making this possible.
Second eBook published
I published our second eBook, Step into Sacredness where I share 12 steps to creating the life your soul yearns for. We’ve a long list of ideas for more products to produce, time just is not on our side at the moment to do them!
Writing for Conde Nast online
It was a treat to be asked to write for Conde Nast online. I never believed that would be something that would happen to me. I wrote my first piece on why you should not ignore Western Australia and will be writing more stories in the New Year.
Virgin Australia named us in their top travel bloggers for 2014, Babble as on of their top travel bloggers, and we were the runners up in USA Today budget travel blog of the year.
Featured experts on a Lonely Planet Google hangout, you can watch that here.
Featured in a radio 2GB interview as blog of the week.
I enjoy speaking and want to do more of it this coming year. This year I spoke about the benefits of family travel and at the Tasting Australia food festival in Adelaide and about building a tribe through blogging at Tourism Queensland’s Digital Big Bang conference.
Invited to The White House travel summit
It’s not every day people from Woy Woy, Australia get invited to the White House! It’s awesome to know that we are in a position to help people change their lives through travel. It’s what keeps me writing on this blog.
You can read our post about study abroad featuring our insights here.
We bought a camper trailer
We’ve since discovered that a caravan would be better for our travel style. We move too quickly and have too many time constraints with the business to manage the involved setting up and down of the camper.
Plus the Jayco has been horrible. We’ve had it repaired at least five times and it continues to fall apart. We’ve learned on the road they are known as the Jaycrap and Juncos! But, at least we’ve had a stable home, which has made the travel easier.
We travelled with some awesome peeps
We’ve pretty much been travelling with friends since the Savannah Gulf. Road tripping is so much more fun when you can travel with like-minded peeps you have fun with, and especially if they have kids.
We met the lovely family from The Block Shop in Cairns and travelled on and off with them all the way to Broome. They had two children, Scarlett and Jack around the same age as the girls. We had a blast playing with them all, and Nick’s parents when they came to visit in Broome! I don’t think we’d drank that much wine in a long time!
Then in Broome, we met Nikki and Drew and their daughter Maddie and have been travelling on and off with them since. It turns out Maddie goes to the same distance ed school as Kalyra and they are in the same grade.
Nikki’s parents are visiting at the moment and we’re spending the Christmas break together. We’ve had many memorable experiences with them, but our favourite would have to be Karijini National Park!
Don’t carry food with you over the border of WA
We never knew this, and only got the warning billboard close to the border.
We lost a bunch of fresh fruit and veggies. The worst thing about it as the quarantine inspectors were so freaking rude. I was appalled at the way we were spoken to. If they train these officials with better people skills, everyone will be okay with handing over their “illegal” goods.
I don’t need to put up with abuse
We work extremely hard to create a community here that uplifts, inspires and encourages one another. We only want the best for you and we hope that intention is reciprocal for us. Tall Poppy syndrome and meanness gets under my skin.
We want every reader’s voice to be heard and sometimes I follow that guideline a little too closely, allowing people to speak when all they really want to do is vent their own anger and hatred.
It’s not in keeping with the atmosphere we want to create. I decided this year that I’m in control of it and I don’t need to listen to abuse just because I feel I shouldn’t “censor” any voices.
I turned off the comments to a couple of posts because it was a continual barrage of people telling me that my children should abandon me, I’m a bovine whore, a sell out, and yada yada. I don’t take these personally as I know it is not a reflection of me, and I do find many of them quite humorous.
I particularly loved the constant stream of commenters telling me that I was doing my best to scare people away from Australia and painting it as a scary place. WTF?
Search around on the site a little before you make comments like that so you can see how much we actually promote this beautiful land of ours!
I don’t want people reading this blog who don’t want to be here and it amazes me how masochistic people can be.
Now, when the abuse and obvious hatred for us comes out on Facebook, I politely invite the person to reclaim their power – Just hit UNFOLLOW!!! So simple. OMG!! Why hang around people you don’t like!! Who has time for that?
I want to live in a world where people are excellent to each other and that is what I will continue to work to create ere. Different opinions are welcome, but an outpouring of abuse and hatred is not.
I will not tolerate it for myself or towards any other readers who want to join this positive space we are creating! It will be deleted.
Let go of Resistance
I’m learning that much of the drama and challenges we go through are created because of our own resistance. This year I’ve been practicing just letting go. Accepting what will be will be and stop worrying.
I wrote about this delicate dance between striving and being here. I was stressed trying to manage our travels with the business and family life. And then I decided not to be. This was just the reality of things. I had less time to do. I just needed to stop resisting that and go with what was.
Once I stopped resisting, things started to flow better and I was enjoying our travels more.
I was putting more time into my health and well-being and the kids and enjoying the travels.
Sure, I know there is a lot more I can be doing with this blog, but I’ve stopped frantically pushing against that and have accepted that for now, it will move slowly but right now I’m having this experience around Australia and I need to enjoy it.
Just this past week the same resistance appeared causing me all kinds of stress in regards to getting my 30 Day Money Cleanse done in time for my Jan 3rd launch.
The White House trip threw a grenade into the timeline and I saw my Christmas evaporating as I rushed to get it done. It meant my free training series was not as good as it could be (I’m a videographer novice and you could tell) So I just decided to give up the resistance and delay the launch.
I felt awful about it because I like to follow through with my commitments to you, but there was nothing else I could do.
I gave up the resistance and instantly felt better. Once I did, I sat down to write this post and everything flowed freely again. Whereas the days and weeks before, the tension I was creating for myself was blocking any words from coming out.
Health needs to be a priority
I battle with staying on top of healthy choices due to the constant movement and a way too busy work plate. The balance is skewed and I’m working hard to fix that.
This year we decided to travel with a high speed blender and cold press juicer to make better decisions at home.
I’m making sleep a priority as it affects everything (just have kids and you learn how vitally important it is) and I’m discovering the joys of yoga, thanks to my five week experience with it in Broome.
Read More: 13 steps for staying healthy on the road.
Lock up your valuables
So I live in this bubble that says the world is full of amazing good people and you can just live openly and freely and be totally fine.
Thanks to the persons who stole our $1100 portable fridge from our current campsite in Perth (seems to be a problem here) for shattering that dream and forcing me to lock up everything and worry about strangers in the dark.
As Mulder says, Trust no one!
You can’t do everything and plans sometimes have to change
A couple of our big bucket list items on this trip did not happen.
It was disappointing, but there is not much else you can do, but let it go and focus on those amazing experiences that made it on the bucket list.
We missed out on the Gibb River Road and Cape York because our car was not up to it. I also missed the Pinnacles because I was really sick, and visiting Arnhem Land was going to be too expensive.
It’s been a pretty amazing year filled with many highlights and memorable moments.
I must admit, as 2014 draws to a close, I’m feeling like I have hit the last two kilometres of a marathon.
I’m needing to gather as much support and energy as possible to finish the remainder of this journey around our country.
I am feeling exhausted and a little over the nomadic lifestyle. There are other aspects of my life, like my health and the creative growth of my business, that I don’t feel get the attention I”m wanting to give to them.
At this time, I’m thinking more about stopping the travels for a while then continuing the 4-6 month journey. I know it looks so glamorous from the outside but it does require a lot of work, especially juggling it with the kids, schooling and the business.
I’m now at a crossroads and am not getting any clear answers as to which path to walk. I hope 2015 speaks with more clarity.
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Thank you and your turn
Thank you so much for all your support with what we do.
Thanks for reading, commenting on, and sharing our posts and updates. For sharing in our journey and offering your tips and stories. For sticking up for us when people abuse us, and for supporting our advertising and sponsored campaigns on this blog.
That is what helps us to continue to deliver useful and inspiring content for you.
In the New Year, we’ll be publishing a series of posts focusing on the year ahead, so stay tuned for those.
For now, we’d love to hear some of your highlights of 2014.
1. What were your most memorable travel experiences?
2.What’s been your biggest lesson and achievement?
Allow us to help you celebrate.