A Bloggers Guide To Quitting Your Job And Traveling The World // Travel


By Sonia Afonso

I quit my job 8 years ago, leaving family and friends behind, to embrace an adventure-packed life abroad with my husband, and now my kids. We left our ‘comfort-zone’ of our native Portugal and embarked on a new way of living.

After some exciting experiences in Switzerland, Sweden and Japan, we currently reside in Oslo, Norway. We tend to move quite often, more or less every 3 years: the life of expats.

Like everything in life, there are always good and not- so- good things everywhere we go. As we move around for my husband’s work, finding a job in each new country has been one of the hardest tasks for me. Potential employers tend to be wary due to the language barrier (even though learning at least the basics of the local language is always a priority for me), along with the time that it takes to settle in (from my experience around 6 months) and the short time that we actually spend in each location. And I want a job with a good work/life balance as family is a priority for me! So you can see my dilemma. Therefore, I’ve begun a "mission", to explore new career possibilities, new fields, new areas, that could give me the opportunity to do something "location independent". After a "what can we do?" conversation with a friend, on a whim, I signed up for a web design course in Tokyo. I had no clue what I was going to encounter, the level of difficulty and if would work for me! 

Well, it turned out to be a great challenge, and now a passion, and as "one thing leads to another", since then, I'm discovering the world of social media and web design. My education and training has nothing to do with this area that I'm now working with, but at 40 years old, I have changed my focus and embraced technology! Even though I didn't grow up with technology side by side like my kids, I now live side by side with it! I'm not from this generation but I live in it! So, by trying, exploring, and experimenting I have found my way in photography and web design. Now I blog, photograph, code, design, and continue to learn to improve my skills and spark my creativity.  My desire for learning grows more and more, and most importantly, I'm intellectual active, I’m building something for myself and I get the chance to visually story- tell through my photography and design. In the beginning I wasn’t sure what to do with all the moving in my life but as Todd Henry says: "You must define your battles wisely, and build your life around winning them". I decided that if you want to do something new, don't let the "but's" be an excuse for trying.  I assure you, if you look deeper something good will come out of it!

You can find Sonia blogging at Out And About Oslo or on Facebook or Instagram


Food & Travel // Summer Suppers In Malibu


By Marita Karlson

Hello Blog Society! While Jaclyn is still getting over her jet lag I'm thrilled to be here guest posting from the other side of the world. I’m a Swede living in Venice Beach, California and since Jaclyn use to live here years ago, she asked me to share a bit of California beauty with you today so I've decided to show you what's cooking in Malibu from time to time, and what my idea of a fabulous dinner can look like.

I first heard about these "Farm dinners" from a friend of mine, actually the one who took all these beautiful shots. She told me about a Swedish chef who throws dinners out in the fields of local Malibu farms, which did sound like a pretty great concept to me. So I snagged a couple of these sought after tickets for her next event, which was held at a family strawberry farm.

Everything about it was adorable and I had to get my hands on the tickets for her next event as well. This time, One Gun Ranch was hosting - a ranch with a location to die for surrounded by spectacular mountains with gorgeous views of the Pacific Ocean. The farm produces healthy foods with biodynamic principles and the whole ranch is a living organism, which means that everything living at the farm is being reused back to the land.

Let’s go back to the Swedish chef for a moment. Helene Henderson has been cooking for Malibu locals for years and since she moved her dinners outside they have become extremely popular around the L.A foodies.  A year ago she opened her own Farm Cafe at the end of the pier in Malibu,  so now everyone can taste her home cooked delicious meals. Malibu Farm is one of my go-to places when I want something organic, local and cooked with a little extra love.

A wild caught albino salmon anyone?  A delicious appetizer cooked over fire. Absolutely divine. I try to eat locally and in season as much as i can to support the farmers. The natural weather and climate conditions gives the foods much more flavor and nutritional value. I think it’s important to know where our food comes from.  

The night at One Gun Ranch was a unique outdoor dining experience in a way that dining with people should be – some familiar faces and meeting new people, a very social experience and fantastic food, picked and cooked right there outside. Great spirit. To sit at the ranch enjoying a long dinner together and being so in touch with the food and nature will forever be something special.

Marita Karlson lives in Venice Beach and studies raw nutrition. She has just released her first book and you can find her blogging about the healthier life at Vavavoom.com. or on instagram at @maritakarlson.


A special thank you and shout out to our Blog Society partners this month who proudly support us: Babe Scrub, Farm & Pretty, Martine Gallery and Bloggers Bazaar

Food & Travel // Summer Blogging Escape To Tennessee

By Lean Timms

My husband and I quite often find ourselves in the mountains. It's become a lot like a second home. Sometimes Tennessee, other times North Carolina, most times we will be camping and quite often rock climbing is involved. We are, as it would seem, nature people. The woods provide a certain placidity vital to our souls. For him it is the challenge and the rocky surfaces, for me it is the green and the solitude I find there.  Often, it is just more simple. And we like that. 

The canopy of the woods in the mountains in late August provide an escape from the heat that lays still on the flat Floridian ground, where we live. It's nice to find that escape. Even still, late summer in Tennessee isn't always all that forgiving. And although the foliage provides the shade, the sweat still drips, the mosquitoes still bite and the breeze quietly tends to snuff out. However, the feeling of being among that, as the season intended and without the air conditioning, somehow becomes cleansing. The uncultivated surrounds and the leaving behind of any sort of normal routine make my body relish the simplicity. I feel happier, healthier and more rested.  

At one of our most frequented spots, there is a trail that leads down a rocky path to the river where a swinging bridge hangs. The river flows from the waterfall and like nothing else, we swim. The water is cold. Icy even. The late afternoon heat is perfect for that. It's also perfect for a simple sandwich snack for his tattered climbing hands to hold and my hungry hiking tummy to fill up on. 

I would happily spend any day by a tree lined swimming hole. No matter how icy the water or how hot the air. It leaves us refreshed of the heat and refreshed of complexities. We revive our sense of wonder at the world, and the best bit, we relish in the simplicity of summer life. 

Heirloom Tomato Relish

  • 550 gm heirloom tomatoes (about 4), coarsely chopped
  • 175 ml (3/4 cup) white wine vinegar
  • 100 gm (1/2 cup) brown sugar
  • 1 apple, coarsely chopped
  • 125 gm currants
  • 25 gm fine sea salt
  • 1 tsp white peppercorns
  • 1 small red chilli, finely chopped
  • 1/4 tsp ground cloves
  • finely grated rind of 2 unwaxed lemons

Some people like to peel their tomatoes by blanching them in boiling water and peeling them once they are cool. But if you don't mind a more textured relish, skins and all, don't worry about it. Just throw them in, as is.
Process ingredients in a food processor to a coarse paste. Transfer to a large saucepan, bring to a gentle boil over high heat, stiring to dissolve the sugar. Once sugar has disolved, reduce heat to medium low and stir occasionally until thick (about 1 hour). Set aside to cool. Place in Jar, refrigerate and use within 2 weeks. 

 A Simple Summer Sandwich

  • sharp cheddar cheese
  • rocket (arugula)
  • heirloom tomato relish
  • sourdough baguette 

Combine slices of cheddar, a hand full of rocket and a good spread of relish onto a sourdough baguette. Cut into individual size pieces. Wrap in brown baking parchment, tie up with string and bundle together in a piece of square fabric or a bento bag. Enjoy.

Lean Timms is an Australian photographer living in Jacksonvile, Florida. You can find her documenting her food, travel and photography journey at Lean & Meadow.

Travel // Bali Creative Blogger Retreat


Travel is certainly on the cards for me at the moment and before I head off to Boston for a trip home and to soak up some of the US blogging scene, I just had to share some pics from our most recent adventure (tough life I know). I promise this is only a small portion of the photos that were taken on our recent trip to Villa Sungai in Bali as part of a creative bloggers retreat organised by Eat Read Love. These gorgeous images by Luisa Brimble capture a sneak peek the beauty that surrounded us for four incredible days spent poolside, picnicking in the rice fields, sipping far too many lychee martinis (recipe coming soon) and altogether having the time of our lives. 


Looking to grow your blog and finally take it to the next level? This is an e-course you'll want to check out.

Travel // Villa Sungai, Bali


It's finally here, in just a few short hours I'll be off to the airport and headed to the stunning Villa Sungai in Bali. This has been a dream trip for me, something that has made all the late nights, long to-do lists and stressful moments worth while. Yes I'm pinching myself with how lucky I am for this opportunity and I'm even more grateful that when I arrive five blogging girlfriends will be there waiting for me and what an adventure awaits. Organised by Eat Read Love, this trip will be all about relaxation, replenishing our blogging mojo and coming back with not only some stunning content to share but hopefully a renewed sense of focus and purpose - oh and who am I kidding, a good majority of time spent sipping cocktails by that pool.  

Nat and I have some grand plans for a few more of these creative retreats around the globe in 2015 so watch this space. I'll be popping in to say hello over the next few days and if you'd like to follow along I'll be posting pics on Instagram...back soon!


Photography: Eat Read Love