Happy New Year!

Welcome to January and 2017, when did that even happen?! I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas and New Years! I know this post is a little late since we’re already 13 days into 2017, but I have been really thinking about it and working on it over the last couple of weeks. We spent our Christmas running around between all our family celebrations and then spent New Years Eve and Day in Yarrawonga, on the Murray River in Victoria with some of our friends and about a hundred glow sticks. I wanted to start this year on the blog with something a little different.

For a long time I have been nervous about making my blog a more personal space. I’ve kept it all about travel and the beautiful places in the world that I have visited. But I would really love to connect more in the travel community and I’m pretty sure the only way to do that is to also focus on the non-travel parts of my life. So to start the New Year I would love to share some random facts about myself with you guys, so here we go…

+ I didn’t start really travelling until after I finished my first university degree and Thom had finished his apprenticeship and we could actually start earning and saving some money

+ I love living in Australia but I’m not the biggest fan of Melbourne, I would love to move a little further north with more consistent warmer weather

+ I currently work for one of my dream companies and it has really made me reconsider everything I thought I wanted my life to be

+ Thom and I have been together for 9 years this year and we’re getting married in less than one month

+ I’ve found the best photo editing app is Photoshop Express, after upgrading so you can use all the features – it can make your photos look flawless no matter what style of editing you like

+ I always want to be planning my next trip to Africa, it’s one of the places that fascinate and intrigue me the most and I can’t wait to go back

+ Planning a wedding really made me see some people in a different light, both good and bad, and can definitely be a challenging experience

+ I have a regular 9 to 5 job in Melbourne, I don’t get paid to travel but my job is generous and flexible with annual leave and unpaid time off which I am very thankful for

+ Growing up with a big extended family was the absolute best, there’s no better support system than that. We recently took a trip to Malta together, so more about that coming up soon

+ The past winter in Melbourne really showed me that the weather can actually have an impact on my emotions and wellbeing, I feel so much better and more like myself when the sun is out

+ Being a travel consultant for a massive travel company might sound glamorous, but it was by far the worst and most difficult job I have ever done and I would never go back

+ Research is one of the most important things I like to do before I leave for a trip, if you don’t research it’s so easy to miss things that you would have loved to explore or experience

+ I went to university for five years and hold two degrees, a Bachelor of Psychological Science and a Masters Degree in Counselling

+ I quit sugar while I was working for a sugar company

+ I love driving on the open road, being able to drive on a road trip gives me the best sense of freedom

+ My favourite destination often changes depending on where I’ve just travelled or where I’m researching to travel next

+ I am absolutely not a stop and flop type of traveller, nothing is more infuriating to me than sitting by a pool or on the beach for a whole day. I have restless feet and always want to be moving and exploring

+ I had never been camping before I started going with Thom’s family, I’m much more of a beach baby

+ I have travelled to 20 countries in the past 3 years and am really hoping that number can just keep growing every year

I would love to learn more about you guys, comment me with some random facts about you, or feel free to send me an email anytime! Since we’re finally having a good summer in Australia I am going to focus my next few blogs on sharing some of my favourite places around Oz to spend the summer days.

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Emma Shaw

Emma is a travel photographer and blogger, living in Melbourne, Australia with her husband Thom in between adventures. She started A Make Believe World to share her experiences, travel tips and destination advice, and to inspire others to travel the world and their own backyard whenever they can.

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