Hey Travel Family,
Hope you all had a fantastic time over the Easter period and managed to find time to rest and recharge. Can you believe we’re already in May? I don’t know if it’s just me but last year it felt like it took forever to get to May, the start of the year just dragged on. This year, however, is absolutely flying by!
Matt and I have been so busy which, when you run your own small business, is always a very good thing. You might remember I spoke late last year about how things had really slowed down for us and earlier this year I updated you with how they had sped right back up. Well, that busy pace is continuing! We’re pretty much booked out until mid-August which is fantastic. It’s great to be able to plan our YouTube publishing schedule and know, for sure, we’ll have some fresh guides and content for people to use.
We were having our morning coffee with the cats this morning and Matt noted that we’ve been working solidly for quite a while now! Meaning, we haven’t really taken a proper break since the start of the year. Things have just been so wonderfully busy we’ve been in this crazy cycle of going away on trips and filming/photographing then coming back, catching up on deliverables, prepping for the next trip and doing it all over again. I definitely had many moments of doubt at the end of last year, it felt like we had been busting our asses for years and to not have solid, paying work lined up and still feel like we were struggling was getting disheartening. This year feels much different.
In fact, we just got back from a trip up to Bundaberg and the Fraser Coast! The amazing team at Scrunch (an agency who connects brands with influencers) reached out to us a little while ago and asked if we’d be keen to do some filming and photography work in the region. Of course, we said YES! Turns out the job is with Tourism and Events Queensland and Newscorp. They sent us up to the Southern Great Barrier Reef and Fraser Island to experience the region through our camera lenses, capturing images to be used in a full page spread in Escape magazine!!
If that weren’t enough, we also go to visit Newscorp HQ here in Brisbane and film a to-camera interview about the trip, which will be overlayed with some of our footage and shared on Newscorp’s digital platforms. Matt was a little nervous about the to-camera filming as he’s always been more comfortable behind the camera. We spent the whole weekend while we were up in the region going over prep questions in the car haha it paid off because he NAILED it! Seriously, you would’ve been so proud of him – he answered each question really well and totally knocked it out of the park.
The trip was fantastic too. We flew up to Bundaberg on Friday and freaked out a little at the sight of bucketing rain as we came into land. Thankfully, when we woke up the next morning the sun was shining bright in the sky. We headed down to the marina and boarded the most incredible boat for a full day tour to Lady Musgrave Island with Lady Musgrave Experience.
Given we had to film all day I was nervous to take a sea-sickness tablet because I couldn’t afford to get drowsy and have my brain slow down. I figured I’d just take a whole bunch of ginger tablets and I’d be fine, cos that’s what I do when I fly. Well, I got that very wrong and ended up boat sick and it was all my fault! The crew were so helpful and when I told them I’d taken ginger, they had a little chuckle as they knew that just isn’t strong enough. Apparently, TravelCalm is non-drowsy and takes care of business. Lesson learned and noted!
It’s easy to love someone when they’re at their best but what really matters to me is that deep, unconditional love comes from still loving someone when they’re at their worst. I get motion sick at the drop of a hat so, with no effective seasickness medicine in my body (my own silly fault) things got pretty gross pretty quick for me. There I am, all dolled up ready to film, throwing up in sick bags. Matt’s right there next to me, using his body to shield me so I don’t feel embarrassed, subbing out sick bags, handing me napkins and water, rubbing my back like super-husband. I was so thankful!
As soon as the boat arrived at Lady Musgrave Island, the water became flat and calm and my sickness went away. The second I saw that bright blue water, I felt right back on top of the world! It’s such a stunningly beautiful place, even if you’ve seen it before it still takes your breath away when you see it again. We did a guided tour of the island with Master Reef Guide, Natalie, then a glass bottom boat tour we got to spot a few cheeky turtles and fish of all shapes and sizes.
Back on the boat, we slipped into our swimmers, strapped on our snorkels and fins and jumped straight into the water. I’ve been practising my free diving and loved having the chance to dive a little deeper this time, getting up close with the Southern Great Barrier Reef and all the beautiful fish who call it home. Just when I thought life couldn’t get any better, the crew asked if I’d liked to do a beginner/intro scuba dive! I didn’t even think that kind of thing was an option, that you had to go for your diving certificates to do it but, apparently, you can do a short beginner’s dive with a certified instructor!
This has been something on my life bucket list for a very long time and I couldn’t think of a better spot to do it. As I’ve shared before, Matt’s been struggling with asthma and chronic sinus problems recently so he had to give it a miss but I represented for both of us! I have always been a bit nervous to scuba, I think because I have a lot of respect for the water and how dangerous it can be if you’re silly. But, I LOVE to swim, snorkel and dive. I LOVE the water and would be quite happy to swim every day, all day, so I felt incredibly at ease and comfortable the second we got into the water with all our gear. It’s like it just clicked with me or something, it felt so natural to breathe underwater. I’m definitely hooked and need to go get my dive certificates sorted so I can do more scuba as we travel.
The day was over all too soon and nobody was happier than me that the boat ride back to the harbour was smooth with not a speck of sea sickness in sight. We got a good night’s sleep then woke early the next to drive from Bundaberg to Hervey Bay. We returned our hire car and jumped in our hire 4WD, getting a detailed safety briefing and asking a LOT of questions about how to drive safely on Fraser Island. We caught the barge over and hit the sand, excited for a brand new adventure. We’ve both been to Fraser Island before but never on a DIY 4WD trip.
We visited Lake Wabby and Lake Mackenzie, capturing some gorgeous photos at both spots and taking the time to film a little at each location too. Then, we headed back to Kingfisher Bay Resort, ate dinner and got another early night in preparation for a huge day. We woke up really early, checked out and made our way back to Lake Mackenzie for a second shot at filming and photographing. It was worth it too because we had the whole place to ourselves and the early morning light was perfect.
Afterwards, we drove out to the Eastern Beach, pausing for a quick coffee break, of course. Then, we made our way up to the Maheno Shipwreck followed by time spent floating down Eli Creek and marvelling at a dingo in the sand dunes. Before we knew it, our massive day of filming was coming to an end. We spent a little bit of time photographing on the beach, visited Central Station then made our way back to the barge. We made our way back to the mainland, dropped the car back then headed to the airport for our flight, getting back home at about 9pm and pretty much falling face-first into bed.
We packed SO much into such a short timeframe and, with any big work trip like this, were a little nervous as we really wanted to do a good job. I sent a whole bunch of photos to the clients the next day and they were so happy with them, it was immediately a huge relief! We always have those little moments where we worry we haven’t done enough or the clients may not feel the photos are what they wanted – I guess that’s normal when you’re passionate about what you do, right? The idea of messing it up makes you ill! Thankfully, we nailed it!
Since then, we’ve been flat strap finishing off the rest of the deliverables for that trip and getting ready for our next adventure on Tuesday! I’ll tell you more about it, how it came about and all of those juicy details in another post but we are heading to San Diego next week. We’re both BEYOND excited to be going back to the states and we’re going to be visiting Joshua Tree once the work portion of the trip wraps up. It’s a place we’ve been wanting to visit for a long time so finally decided to make it happen.
Alright, if this post gets any longer you’re going to lose a whole day reading it and my fingers might fall off typing it!
I’ll talk to you again next Friday. Be sure to watch our latest YouTube video below, sharing our trip to the islands of Thailand!
Love, Phoebe xx