Meet Monique and Ellie
Monique and Ellie and a couple of 20 something-year-old women from the UK. Monique is from Essex and Ellie is from London, they have been together for almost four years now. They’ve been living it up large on the Gold Coast of Australia for just over 2 months so far, and are making the most of everything the region has to offer. Before the decision to sell up and make the big move literally halfway around the world to live out their travel dreams, Monique and Ellie worked in real estate to save up the 9,000 pounds they needed.
Where did you catch the travel bug?
Ellie: I caught the travel bug when I was 17. I remember the first trip I took without my family, it was when I went to Paris. I guess I was lucky that my mum was a traveler at heart too. We spent a lot of my school holidays with my family going to “non-traditional” places like Hungary or Czech and being immersed in different cultures! I spent the next few years taking weekend trips around Europe while I was studying at University. Once I graduated I knew that the 9-5 lifestyle was not for me. I wanted to go long-haul!
Monique: I always knew I wanted to travel, I even took travel and tourism at college and worked as a flight attendant for a short while! But it wasn’t until we went to Australia for the first time in 2019 on a two-month trip that my passion for travel was truly ignited. All though Covid, all I wanted to do was get back to Aussie and be able to travel for a much longer period of time.
How long have you two been travelling?
We first travelled the whole East Coast of Australia in 2019 for 2 months. Then covid happened not long after! This time around we’ve only been here almost 2 months so far, but it’s the start of a long and incredible adventure!
Which one of you has the ideas and which one makes the plans?
“I’d say we both have the ideas, although coming to Australia in the first place was Ellie’s idea. I (Monique) definitely make the plans though!!” Monique is much more organised which is great because Ellie is too easily overwhelmed!
How do you afford to travel?
Honestly, we’re both big believers in the law of attraction and manifestation and we put in the WORK manifesting getting over here to the Gold Coast of Australia! Especially when it seemed that covid would never let it happen, we had to keep total faith, and the same goes for being able to make it work financially. While we were back home, we had to figure out how to save for travel. We lived with Ellie’s mum, which gave us more opportunities to save. We literally saved everything we could and weren’t really going out all too much!
That meant we could have a good couple of months’ holiday when we first got here, without having to work. Now we’ve settled for a bit and have an apartment, we have found local jobs that we’ll probably do for 6 months or so, while we save up for the next lot of travels! We’re also going to be working really hard on our travel content creation via our Instagram @wildforwanderlust with plans to turn that into an income stream too!
How long do you want to travel?
As long as we can! We’re on a 12-month working holiday visa in Australia at the moment, which we’re going to try and get extended for at least a second year. We also want to travel to New Zealand, South East Asia, and possibly the USA and Canada! So who knows what will happen!
What is the worst piece of travel advice you’ve been given?
‘Don’t wear high heels whilst hiking’ is probably up there! but generally, I feel like loads of people try to weigh in on your plans and have their own say on it, like ‘oh nah you won’t be able to drive there’ or ‘nope that won’t be open’ but whenever we’ve trusted our gut and gone with it, those people have always turned out wrong and we were so glad we didn’t listen to them!
What is one thing you wish you’d known before you started travelling?
When you arrive in a new country that you’ll be living in for a while, set aside a few days to get all your admin done!! For us, there was lots of paperwork like getting our tax number so we could work, taking our ID to get set up at Services so we could register the car we bought, sorting out our Medicare, getting a bank account, new phone numbers, etc… it’s best to just plough through and get it all out the way. Also, decide 100% what area you want to live in before you start job hunting, we very nearly ended up living in an area we didn’t even like just because of a good job opportunity!
What is one thing you will never travel without?
Monique: A decent refillable water bottle!! Never underestimate how much water you’ll need and save on plastic waste!
Ellie: Bit random, but whenever we go out for the day we always have our picnic blanket in our bag. You won’t believe how many times it’s been a lifesaver, whether you just need something to sit on during a hike, you want to wrap it around you as cover-up clothing, or use it to dry off after an unplanned swim!
Any fun travel anecdotes you want to share
Australia is full of the weird and wacky, which is what we love about it! There are lots of hippy and bohemian people. When we were on our way up to the Daintree Rainforest, we stopped off at this one tiny village in the woods, which was the coolest thing. We ended up stumbling upon this place that was like a tiny, indoor fairy kingdom and the owner came to us and explained that she is actually a real-life fairy. She made us walk through this whole fairy quest (which involved sliding down corrugated iron and crawling through tunnels full of stuffed animals) and she said on completion of this quest, we’d now be able to see the fairies too. Still have yet seen one though…