We are moving to the Philippines!!
Melbourne is certainly getting a bit chilly & oppertunity calls. We’ve been city bound for 8 months and we’ve learnt a lot, travelled a lot, worked a lot and now it’s time to move with the exciting plans and follow the sun.
So. In about a week Lee and I fly to Cebu & on to a new job for Lee and a freelance ecotourism consultant & freelance writer role for me. These will be for a few months until an exciting opportunity pokes up again at Christmas.
So we thought we'd take this opportunity to digest Melbourne, reflect on our time and to also give you a low down on why we've chosen The Philippines.
We moved to the 4 season city at the end of July 2017, to follow Lee’s work. Melbourne is a progressive city in a progressive state. We knew we'd like it and we chose it especially for it's liveability and the opportunities we'd get here. We moved to a super central city apartment, somewhere we knew we could knuckle down whilst enjoying city life whilst we could.
In the time since, Making Roots has grown, we’ve worked bloody hard, we've met some game changing humans, we've explored a lot of beautiful Victoria- Wilsons Prom, The Great Ocean Road, The Yarra Valley. There was sure a heap more we wanted to do (Grampians please!) but there is always scope to come back!!
I've been working alongside Feast ff Merit- who through a changing climate for Feast, have stood by me and looked after me through thick and thin, allowing me to grow and come into a safe nurturing workplace, come home and focus on my "other" work. They have also been so open to working with sustainability, developing and evolving their systems to become more environmentally friendly (more to follow!!)
My favourite time in Melbourne was my Mum's visit to Wilsons Prom and The Great Ocean Road. Absolutely amazing memories, and I am so excited about her next visit in our next location!!
Melbourne has certainly been a “working holiday” though, with a lot of fun balanced out with a lot of hard work. And this is something I’m so proud of, our time in Melbourne has been a time to focus, and we’ve done so much with it.
Lee has loved being so close to his family again for a while, living back in Australia for the first time in 10 years and enjoying a completely different part of Australia to the parts in which he grew up. Seahorses, Weedy Seadragons, Koalas and The Great Ocean Road being the highlights for him. Diving in temperate waters is exciting, he tells me, a whole new world to explore.
Why the Philippines?
Lee and I are both island babies. We don't need city lifestyle, sleek apartments and a 9-5 to afford it either. We're both a bit more philosophical about how we spend our time, money and effectively our lives. We want to be doing something we can be passionate about, feel good about and enjoy.
Working in the tropics is important in conservation. It's where a huge percentage of the worlds biodiversity resides. It's also where a huge portion of developing nations live and work. This often leads to problems, with rapid development causing havoc in these richly diverse ecosystems. Finding sustainable ways to develop in these zones is something myself and Lee are incredibly passionate about. Conservation is rarely just about the animals, but working with amazing local communities to get a good deal for them as well as the planet, is priority.
The Philippines is a good example of this situation. Lee will be working with an organisation who are working to bridge the gap and create sustainable opportunities for all (more details to follow). He'll be working with communities, governments and in the scientific realms too, to create positive change. I have an enormous passion for tourism, especially ecotourism, and how this can be a route for sustainable development.
Whilst I am focusing on my freelance ecotourism consultancy, freelance writing, I am ceasing every opportunity that comes my way.
We want to connect with the fantastic organisations who are doing this vital work within sustainability already- showcase them, work with them, volunteer, advise. I'm looking forward to getting my hands dirty cleaning up plastic, hair wet diving for coral restoration and toes in the sand (cocktail in hand) talking to tourists about how to reduce waste. Making Roots writing base will also be expanding, there is more scope to bring you more literature, more writing and more fun stuff too! Guest writing spots are opening up every week, meaning more variety of points of view, styles and understanding.
I'll have the ability to travel in The Philippines and bring you some amazing things going on. If you know of any organisations, or you are one, that would love to collaborate, or need volunteers etc, let us know!!
We do foresee a big challenge already. The extreme lack of recycling, or even waste disposal. The Phillipines has been named the third worst plastic polluter to our oceans. We are already adopting a waste free lifestyle, but this is going to have to be super fast tracked and a zero plastics challenge is in full swing. We do not want to contribute in any way to a poor sanitation situation, and so ecofriendly plastic free and waste free is a top priority for the entirety of our time in The Philippines, but especially whilst living in a fragile island ecosystem! We hope to do some community engagement work about plastics too!
If you know of any fantastic eco friendly ethical companies who produce plastic free products, that we can collaborate with, to help us go completely plastic free whilst doing this conservation work, please please let us know! If they are based in The Philippines, even better! Products can be toiletries, clothes, keep cups, metal food containers, anything! We’d love to put them through their paces and review them. We want to be ambassadors for waste free living and traveling in their beautiful but sensitive locations.
Very exciting times for Lee and I. I arrived not knowing a single person in Melbourne and I leave behind so many incredible people that I know I’ll be back.
We’ve had the most incredible time here, but we’re ready for a new challenge.
And a challenge indeed it is!