Say hi to Evie, a mother who decided to quit her full time job and set off adventuring with her daughter!
14 January 2016| Last updated on 23 October 2017
At first our family and friends thought my travel plan was another one of my crazy ideas. The ideas that usually start with a huge flame of passion and determination, only to die out, never to be discussed again. They just nodded their heads and raised their eyebrows when I told them that my five year old daughter and I would be packing up and traveling Asia together for all of 2016.
And now, all of a sudden here we are with only a few weeks to go before we leave for the Philippines, our first stop on our 12 month adventure. The plan is still alive, and is about to kick into action.
I’ve enrolled my daughter, Emmie, in long distance education. I’ve resigned from my job and finish in three days. I’m packing up the house and it’s already on the market for rent. We have a backpack and a daypack to share and I’m carefully curating the items that make it inside. Luckily a five year old’s clothing takes up a tiny amount of space – but in this age of technology our computer, cameras and other devices will be taking up the most real estate. We have our vaccinations scheduled for next week, I’ve organised our medical insurance, our money and I have a long list of other day-to-day debits and payments that I will be cancelling for the year or automating so they won’t even cross my mind. I can smell the freedom from here.
You might also be interested in:
- An expatriate guide to living in Australia
- Would you like to contribute to ExpatWoman?
- Chat with fellow expats on our bustling forums
So why did I decided to quit my full time job, pull Emmie out of her school and set off adventuring for a year? Well, I’ve always loved traveling, and Emmie and I have seen a lot of the world together so far. At the same time, I’ve always felt compelled to live within the lines, to work a stable job, move through the ranks and maintain my financial independence. And that’s the opposite of what I love doing – exploring, adventuring, seeing the world and being flexible and spontaneous.
Earlier this year I decided I would try to build travel into my life as more than just holidays every few months with Emmie, but I just wasn’t sure how to. I started writing about our trips and posting photos on Instagram, and the more I saw, wrote and shared, the more excited I became about showing Emmie more of the world.
Emmie started school and I just didn’t feel like we were getting anywhere or doing anything really meaningful. We have wonderful friends we adore, and we live in a lovely old house near the beach in Sydney, but I felt like I was treading water. Not seeing enough of my daughter, not being present in her life and not having a big enough hand in her upbringing and development.
I felt I had done the wrong thing sending Emmie to school while I was always at work and relying on an au pair to look after her. I felt she needed at least one more year of running wild, being creative and curious, of exploring and discovering, rather than sitting at a desk in a classroom being regimented and following routine. And she needed her mummy.
At the same time I was about to spend the money I had saved to renovate our kitchen. I had quotes for the work, and on paper it made sense but I just couldn’t sign off on the work. After much soul-searching, yet also on a whim, I decided to use the kitchen money to travel with Emmie. I cancelled the renovation and started planning and saving as much as I could. We took a three-week trip to Borneo to see if we could extract ourselves from a pampered resort lifestyle and travel from place to place in budget and resort accommodation and it went wonderfully. There was no reason to not go, and every reason to start our adventure.
I’ve realised that working until I retire and then finally doing what makes me happy is not what I want my life to be about. I don’t want to work all through Emmie’s childhood. I want to enjoy our time together now and learn, explore and adventure together.
SEE ALSO: Subscribe to ExpatWoman today
So on 1 February 2016 we leave Sydney, Australia and kick off our adventures in Cebu in the Philippines. After traveling around the Visayas and Palawan we will travel to Sabah in Malaysian Borneo, then Taiwan and onto China…and from there, well we don’t know yet! We’re flexible enough so that when Emmie watched the Mulan movie and asked to see the Great Wall of China I could add it to the list. But we’re still somewhat structured in routine and will be following a path. We will be staying at a combination of basic accommodation and resorts – depending on when we need to rest and I need some me-time and a wine.
I’m looking forward to sharing our adventures with you here at ExpatWoman. You can also follow us at our website at www.mumpacktravel.com.au, and on Instagram at @mumpacktravel
Evie and Emmie xo
About the Author
Meet Evie and her young daugher, Emmie. They love travelling, and decided that they want to see the world together. Evie strongly believes that there's more to life than a mortgage and a swimming pool, and so they're both determined to share a life full of meaning, which you call follow here on ExpatWoman or over at Mumpack Travel.