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


When Bloggers Invade Bali // Travel


When bloggers invade Bali something magical happens or as evidenced by these photos, once in a lifetime memories take place. Earlier last year I was lucky enough to travel to Bali with a few blogging pals and stay for a few blissful days at Villa Sungai which I've come to realise as heaven on earth.

I've been waiting to share these photos with you for ages and have a few more up my sleeve to share later in the hope they can help cure the back to work blues (don't hate me but when you travel with photographers in tow the photos are too pretty not to post). One of the most incredible, jaw-dropping moments of the trip (and yes there were many) came in the form of a rice paddy picnic in Cepaka that saw us enjoying chilled wine, gourmet food all while taking in some of the most stunning scenery and light that I've ever seen. It was so perfect it almost seems ridiculous trying to convey the memory here but it certainly is etched into my brain as one of the most luxurious, and beautiful moments of my life.  I'll let the photos speak for themselves...  

Images: Luisa Brimble

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 // 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