Worldly work

Al­ways wanted to travel the world for a liv­ing? Ten Ki­wis show us how

Nadia - - CONTENTS -

If you’ve ever dreamed of leav­ing your job to travel the world, don’t read this – un­less you’re ready to be se­ri­ously in­spired. While re­search­ing this story, we met 10 in­trepid Ki­wis, all of whom have found ways to live on the road with­out leav­ing their day jobs. De­spite fol­low­ing very dif­fer­ent paths, what they all have in com­mon is a burn­ing pas­sion for their work, as well as the courage to seize the op­por­tu­ni­ties many of us miss to lead a more ad­ven­tur­ous life.

Amanda Hol­land in­cor­po­rated her love of travel into the run­ning of her Wellington home­ware store Small Acorns. While vis­it­ing In­dia twice a year on buy­ing trips, Amanda re­alised there was a mar­ket for peo­ple who wanted to see the coun­try through her de­sign savvy eyes. “I had so many peo­ple ask whether they could come on one of my buy­ing trips,” Amanda says. “A few days be­fore Christ­mas, I posted one im­age on In­sta­gram ad­ver­tis­ing a tour, and within a few weeks it sold out.”

This year, in co­op­er­a­tion with a lo­cal con­tact, Amanda launched Ad­ven­tures with Marigolds, a bou­tique tour of­fer­ing an insider’s ex­pe­ri­ence of In­dia. She took 10 trav­ellers on a 12-day trip from New Delhi to Agra and Ra­jasthan. The plan is to do one be­spoke tour per year, but Amanda ad­mits the de­mand is al­ready so high that she may have to run more.

“I never set out to travel the world for a job, but over the years it’s be­come es­sen­tial to stay con­nected to friends, fam­ily and stu­dents” –Michael James Wong

Vicki Roy­croft from Wild­flower on Wai­heke Is­land has also ex­panded her busi­ness to in­clude over­seas of­fer­ings. The florist and teacher took The Wild­flower School on tour for the first time this year, of­fer­ing a week-long work­shop in Marche, Italy. Novices and pro­fes­sional florists from around the world learned to cre­ate bou­quets, in­stal­la­tions, gar­lands and more, while soak­ing up the ro­mance of the re­gion. The week was such a suc­cess that Vicki plans to run a sim­i­lar work­shop in France next year. “By tak­ing our work­shops over­seas, my pas­sion for flow­ers, teach­ing and travel can be com­bined,” she says. “I didn’t plan for this to hap­pen, but some­how it has all come to­gether and I am lov­ing it.”

For Auck­lan­der Emily Gal­lagher, travel is a con­stant. The con­scious busi­ness coach was strug­gling to make ends meet when she started her busi­ness. Now she’s on six fig­ures while coach­ing, run­ning work­shops and speak­ing at events around the world. She splits her time be­tween New Zealand and Los An­ge­les, with stints in spots such as Lon­don, Italy, Greece and Mex­ico. She’s ob­sessed with busi­ness and travel, she says. “Travel al­lows you to meet so many amaz­ing peo­ple. You tend to be more open, and have new ex­pe­ri­ences nearly every day. I love

that about both busi­ness and travel, and be­ing able to com­bine the two is even bet­ter.”

Trav­el­ling for the ma­jor­ity of the year can take its toll, how­ever, so from next year Emily plans to base her­self for longer stints in LA. “I have team mem­bers in dif­fer­ent time zones, and this past 18 months I was chang­ing cities, coun­tries and time zones every few weeks, which re­ally took a hit on my en­ergy and my pro­duc­tiv­ity. You start to miss things like early nights, rou­tines and your own kitchen!”

On the op­po­site side of the At­lantic is New Zealand-born yogi Michael James Wong, who was raised in LA but is now based in Lon­don. He has taken his pas­sion for yoga around the world “from LA to Aus­tralia, Sin­ga­pore to Swe­den, and ev­ery­where in be­tween”. The sought-af­ter yoga teacher and speaker has cre­ated a global busi­ness through ini­tia­tives such as Boys of Yoga, which Michael founded to cel­e­brate male yoga prac­ti­tion­ers, Just Breathe, a range of med­i­ta­tion events, and the teacher com­mu­nity Sun­day School Yoga. He is also cur­rently pro­mot­ing his book Sit Down, Be Quiet.

“Trav­el­ling and yoga are very sim­i­lar in ethos,” says Michael. “Both come from a place of con­nec­tion to our­selves, each other and the world around us. For me, these are not only pas­sions in my life, but part of my pur­pose as a teacher and com­mu­nity leader.”

Not ev­ery­one has a base – Thomas and Sheena Southam of Chas­ing a Plate have been with­out a home for two years now. These Ki­wis ap­pear to be liv­ing the dream, trav­el­ling full-time, snap­ping

and film­ing them­selves eat­ing lo­cal del­i­ca­cies for their Youtube chan­nel, blog and so­cial me­dia ac­counts. But years of hard work pre­ceded their cur­rent ad­ven­ture.

The cou­ple started their blog as a way to meet fel­low food­ies when they were liv­ing in Mel­bourne where Sheena worked as a lawyer and Thomas man­aged an or­ganic gro­cery store. “The blog was our cre­ative out­let when we worked 9-to-5 jobs, but af­ter years of tak­ing months and months off to travel (we had very sym­pa­thetic bosses) we de­cided enough was enough,” the cou­ple say.

Now they travel full-time, us­ing Youtube to share their eat­ing ex­ploits and fi­nance their trav­els. “It’s a pretty in­cred­i­ble lifestyle, trav­el­ling the world, eat­ing and film­ing with your best mate!”

Speak­ing of best mates, brothers Fred­die and Arthur Gil­lies and their school friend Sean Wakely threw in their day jobs fol­low­ing the pass­ing of Fred­die and Arthur’s un­cle af­ter a long bat­tle with leukaemia and can­cer. Re­al­is­ing there was more to life than the daily grind, the boys em­barked on The Big Bike Trip, an over­seas ad­ven­ture with a twist. They spent 15 months bik­ing from Bali to Lon­don to raise funds for Leukaemia & Blood Can­cer New Zealand. The three mates were joined by an­other friend Timmy Chen for the fi­nal leg of their jour­ney.

From as­cend­ing the Hi­malayan foothills to bat­tling gi­a­r­dia in Ge­or­gia, the ex­pe­ri­ence was

filled with highs and lows. “It’s nearly im­pos­si­ble to pick high­lights,” says Fred­die. “It was the trip of a life­time and is lit­tered with won­der­ful mo­ments. We were so lucky that when one of us was weak, the oth­ers were strong. We helped each other through tough times.”

Hav­ing re­cently com­pleted their trip, the boys are now fig­ur­ing out their next move and how to fund their next travel buzz. They’re rid­ing the Round Taupo Cy­cle Race in Novem­ber and will con­tinue to fundraise for Leukaemia & Blood Can­cer New Zealand un­til then. They’re also mak­ing a cof­fee ta­ble book fea­tur­ing the best of Sean’s 35,000 pho­tos of the trip.

Fred­die says the jour­ney was life-chang­ing, but not with­out its sac­ri­fices. “The trip was my mo­ti­va­tion to work two jobs and 60 hours a week, at times. It was the cul­mi­na­tion of eight years of dream­ing. I sac­ri­ficed a lot of time, money and my first love for the trip.” But he’d do it all again in a heart­beat. “I can’t wait to get back out on the road. It’s not enough to do some­thing big and crazy, then just set­tle back into what I was do­ing. That just doesn’t feel right.”

“A mil­lion things scare you when you’re at home with all your com­forts around you. In New Zealand the world felt scary. Truth is, it re­ally isn’t” – Fred­die Gil­lies

Clock­wise from top left Breath­tak­ing mo­ments like this in Myan­mar were par for the course on The Big Bike Trip, a 23,000km cy­cle trip through 24 coun­tries; Thomas Southam trav­els the world with his wife Sheena, pho­tograph­ing their culi­nary ex­ploits; Wai­heke florist Vicki Roy­croft hosted a week-long flo­ral work­shop in Marches, Italy, this year. Op­po­site Amanda Hol­land of Wellington home­ware store Small Acorns, bot­tom left, turned her buy­ing ex­per­tise into a side busi­ness and hosted her first tour of In­dia this year.

This page Michael James Wong (top left and bot­tom) cre­ated Boys of Yoga to des­tig­ma­tise men’s yoga, and has pho­tographed yo­gis around the world for the project. He also runs the Just Breathe mind­ful­ness events in Lon­don (top left). Op­po­site Hus­band-and-wife team Thomas and Sheena Southam cre­ated Chas­ing a Plate to share their love of travel and food. Their blog and Youtube chan­nel have taken them around the world, in­clud­ing, from left, to Thai­land, In­dia and Malaysia.

This page Busi­ness coach Emily Gal­lagher, aka The Con­scious Boss, trav­els al­most full-time to run work­shops and train clients. Here she is on a rare hol­i­day in Greece, on busi­ness in New York, and film­ing for an LA tele­vi­sion net­work. Op­po­site Vicki Roy­croft hosted a group of florists in Italy ear­lier this year. The group took part in flo­ral work­shops, en­joyed long lunches cooked by Vicki’s hus­band Mark and for­aged at Pus­cina Flow­ers, a farm in Tus­cany (bot­tom).

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