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Chapter 2


We hit Australia in late March. The plan was to immerse ourselves in Sydney for about a month and then head to the Gold Coast and Byron Coast for some fun in the beautiful, beachy sun.

So far, we’d learned some great lessons on the careercation. We didn’t need as much stuff as we packed, so we unloaded quite a bit of gear on friends at the EO conference to take back to Seattle for us. The trip gave Alice and me some unexpected spousal challenges we had to work through while campervanning. In hindsight, of course we should’ve anticipated a little conflict. But sometimes you just don’t know what you don’t know.

We worked through it, and to this day use the “check in” process that we developed in New Zealand. Kayla gave us another unexpected challenge when she almost left before the trip began. We thereafter remembered to keep a pulse on her needs. In spite of all that, the careercation was overall providing the break I so desperately craved.

With respect to lodging, we had great experiences throughout New Zealand. However, the worst accommodation and service we experienced on our trip—maybe ever—was at a townhouse we initially rented in Sydney. There were cockroaches scrabbling around, which freaked out Alice. Shards of glass in the carpet freaked me out, since Keira could easily mistake it for food if not step on it. Management was unapologetic and terrible to deal with, which put an initial damper on our spirits.

As they say, “we can’t control situations, just how we react to them.” We focused on positive thinking and ended up at a beautiful townhouse that was even cheaper and more convenient in the Bondi Junction area.

We quickly found our groove! I jogged around the neighborhood park. Alice and Kayla went to yoga together. Keira enjoyed the spoils of the neighborhood library. Kayla, our au pair, also had ample opportunity to meet up with friends who were living in Sydney. Overall, we found our stride as a family unit.

Now that Alice and I weren’t living in a campervan, we were able to bask in all that lovely Sydney had to offer. One of our favorite memories was attending an outdoor opera overlooking the Sydney Opera House. It was magical, and it would not have happened without our awesome helper, Kayla. I was so grateful to enjoy some couple’s time alone with Alice. Plus Alice could have some down time to explore Sydney since I had arranged to interview nine entrepreneurs.

As in New Zealand, I arranged to talk to a diverse group of entrepreneurs. I was excited to see how welcoming they would be to share their experiences.