My assistant, Alby Barrett, and me, surveying our new office in Vietnam. Photo: Emma Byrnes.
It’s partly a chance for us to work together – me writing the stories while Em takes the pictures – but it’s also a chance for us explore a concept that has been bubbling away in our hearts for quite some time.
With both of us working as freelancers we enjoy a lot of freedom but regular life – three kids and a mortgage – makes us creatures of routine. We’ve been yearning to break away and explore the world but how to do it?
We started by talking about ‘taking a year off’ and camping around Australia. But we’re hopeless campers. Working on organic farms (WOOFing) in Germany appealed for a while. But what would the kids do all day while we dug turnips?
Then a friend suggested Vietnam – it was relatively close (three hours behind Melbourne) so I could continue to freelance into Australia, and it was relatively cheap (less than AUD $1 a beer, snap!). The more we thought about it, the better it began to sound.
In the final analysis, we opted for baby steps and went with three months instead of a whole year. But given our children are aged 11, seven and two, baby steps seemed more than appropriate. This would be an experiment to see how things worked. We could come back to Melbourne when it was done, take stock and plan the next adventure, if all went well.
And so, Lifestyletravller.com.au was born, an online project about ‘deep travel’ (taking the time to sit with a place and people to learn, observe and absorb) and family (learning about the world together and using our adventures as a natural classroom). There will be more on the education/family side as we develop the new website, so please drop by for a visit.
Meanwhile, I’ll continue to post articles I’ve written for other publications here but you’ll also start to notice stories from our new baby pop-up in amongst them, too.
To sum up, if you’re interested in Vietnam, travel, photography, education, parenting, food, or any combination of the above, please visit us at Lifestyletraveller.com.au. Emma and I are still available for story, copywriting, photogrpahy and design commissions, so keep us in mind if you need our services.
Take care and travel deep! – Peter