Below’s a story that captured my imagination. As we’re slowly getting ready to close down the editorial section of our site and moving all our content to this Medium Magazine, I stumbled upon this post by Bradley. It stands the test of time and I feel this must be updated with an interview to see where we both stand a couple of years later. I feel an instant connection with people who chase the dream and share the insights that come with facing the challenges of living a good life. It’s never as easy as it sounds. But always worth it.
“Our journey of (more than) a thousand miles did start with just one single step. It was over 4 months ago now when we sold our house. I left my job; we cleared our debts and set off on a family adventure. It was just one step, but it was a big one. A liberating one.
We travelled in a caravan down the east coast of Australia for seven weeks, experiencing everything the incredible coastline had to offer. We found paradise repeatedly and stripped it all back to pretty simple living.
Next was the North Shore of Oahu. 5 weeks immersing ourselves in the Hawaiian culture, living with and doing community with the locals while experiencing our first North Shore winter. Our minds were blown and our hearts captured by the small island and its people.
Now we are back in Australia, and people say to us, “I guess it’s back to reality?” To which I’ve often replied; “Maybe, but we are creating a new reality — we’re not going back to the old way of doing things”
We’ve set out to do life a little differently. We landed in this fine country 12 years ago with nothing but a kitchen table, our wedding presents (mainly kitchen appliances), 3 surfboards and $1000 in our pockets. We spent years chasing the dream of owning a home, having kids, taking holidays and climbing the corporate ladder in order to make it happen. And there is nothing wrong with that if it’s what makes you tick. But I realized I’d lost my passion for what I was doing. I was living to work and not working to live. Going through the motions because it was what I did, what I was known for, even good at. But it all means nothing when the flame has dimmed and you’re stuck on the hamster wheel of your career. So we decided to break out, to live a little and grow as a family, and yes now it is back to the reality of earning an income and having a place to rest our heads — but what if it can be done differently?
I write this sitting at the kitchen table in a beach shack in one of our favourite places on the Northern NSW coast. I can hear the sound of waves crashing over basalt boulders a short distance away. It’s a place we’ve frequented on holiday for years, a place that lights our collective souls and a place that we’ve fantasized about living in. Now it’s the place we will call home for the next year.
We’ve wondered how we could set up a working lifestyle where we could be flexible and work from anywhere, travel a little more and earn a crust by doing the things we are passionate about. Now we have a boutique marketing agency, specializing in brand journalism and freelance writing, and my wife is shooting photos and we dream of creating something special together. We may have just started over again, but we are not going to die wondering if this kind of life exists.
Our story is far from over; in fact, it feels like its only just beginning. I’ve often said that nothing changes if nothing changes. And now we can say it’s completely true. It all starts by taking just one single step. All you really need is a little bit of courage and a pocket full of faith. An air of expectancy follows us around now, and my soul comes alive with every breath of salty air I breathe each morning as I realize; this is the life I’ve dreamed about.
We’ve all got a story — People, brands, and businesses. Sometimes they’re right there for all to see and other times they’re hidden a little below the surface. But great stories are meant to be told. It’s what makes life, brands and people interesting and inspiring. We crave authenticity and we gravitate to what is real. We shouldn’t be known for what we do, but rather for who we are. Maybe it’s time we talked story as you prepare to take your next step?”
A Story by Bradley Bricknell
Former professional surfer in South Africa, sponsored by Billabong from the age of 18. Prior to joining the brand as an employee in 1999, Brad surfed in events domestically & internationally, studied marketing and experienced various roles as a sales rep, recruitment consultant and in-house brand specialist for a supermarket chain before ultimately settling into a long-time role in the surf industry.