Q TRAVEL – Serena Star-Leonard, 37, spent seven years living in Sydney’s idyllic Bondi Beach before selling all of her worldly possessions and travelling overseas.
With just a backpack and her husband Johnny, now 40, they bought a one-way ticket to Venezuela and haven’t settled down since.
‘When people ask me how we managed to do it I tell them you just have to set a deadline.
‘We walked into a travel agent one day after dreaming of going to South America for years and booked a one-way ticket then and there.
‘We were set to leave in about five months. Which meant we only had five months to sell our belongings, give away the rest, and go.
‘If we’d changed the departure date it would have been fine but by having that looming it forces you to kick your goals into gear,’ Serena told Daily Mail Australia.
The 37-year-old was working full time in the corporate world when she decided to trade up for a mobile income when she was 29.
‘I had a great job and great career prospects but it wasn’t what I wanted to do with my life. So I ditched it for the joy and slog of self employment,’ she wrote on her blog in12months.com.
She started multiple blogs, one for business and one to document her discoveries, and set about realising her true passion: charity projects that make little to no money.
The now 37-year-old works alongside her husband as a video production crew and a resource to help small businesses grow online all while travelling the globe.
At the moment the pair are based in Ireland but they have created more than 80 documentaries and been to 26 countries.
‘After that first trip to Venezuela we ended up staying in Latin America for two years. We then went and caught up with family across Australia and New Zealand for a year before making our way to Asia.
‘One of the hardest parts of our job is finding good internet connection really. In the highlands of Guatemala the internet doesn’t work when it rains. There is also no technology in the Costa Rican jungle.
‘So when we go to these places we need to either find accommodation that allows us to use our mobiles or we move on after awhile.
‘In the end it’s not that worrisome. We spend two days out of every week working and the rest of the time doing passion projects. We don’t need to be connected all the time,’ she said.
Serena mentioned that the greater freedom in travelling also gives her time to process things like grief without worrying that she needs to be back at work the next day.