The year 2019 was a big year for Kayleigh and me here at Wanderwalkers. Every year we write a blog post to talk about the year that’s gone. This is our 2019 year in review and what to expect from us in 2020.
In 2019 we travelled overseas twice, we went camping and we moved out of our apartment. We also made inroads with our own personal work, we decided to expand the Wanderwalkers brand. More recently we got a puppy and created a small home office and are just about to pass 1,000 subscribers on Youtube. There were also some failures, some low times and some struggles. Just a warning, this is a much longer post than usual.
Disclaimer: Some of the links below may be affiliate links or referral links. At no additional cost to you, we may earn a small commission if you make a purchase through these links. By purchasing through our affiliate links you are supporting us and this blog.
The 2019 year in review
Overseas and domestic travel
In May we travelled to Bali for about nine days, this was our first time to the popular island. We were invited to a friends wedding there and decided to spend a few extra days. We filmed our trip and put it on our YouTube channel, you can watch the videos here:
Then between late July and September, we travelled to New Zealand. For the first nine days, we stayed in a self-contained apartment in Queenstown with Kayleigh’s mum and her friend. Kayleigh’s Mum turned 60 this year so we decided to surprise her with a nice trip. After they left, we picked up a campervan and drove around the north and south islands. New Zealand was the first place we ever travelled to as a couple and we had wanted to go back ever since. You can watch all our New Zealand videos here:
Right at the beginning of the year, we went camping on two occasions. This was the first time we had done this as a couple in our entire five year relationship. Our first camping trip was at Wilson’s Promontory and our next one was in the Grampians. We absolutely loved camping and want to do it again. Check out our camping videos here:
Moving back home
Something we didn’t talk a lot about was moving out of our apartment. In late May/early June, about a week after getting back from Bali, Kayleigh and I moved out of our amazing apartment in Essendon, Melbourne. We decided to move interstate, back home to our parents’ houses in NSW. There are a few reasons why we moved.
- We want to start saving for a house but paying rent was making it much harder for us to do this. We were paying probably about $20,000 per year on rent alone. Moving was an opportunity for us to save a lot more money so we can afford our own home much faster.
- Being closer to our family members. We really missed them because we had rarely seen them since we first moved to Melbourne in 2016. Some of our family members are getting much older and some have various health problems that may get worse. Being nearer to them is important to us.
- Something we have wanted to do for a number of years is to get a puppy. We have always wanted to get a whippet, but the timing had never been right because we have been travelling abroad almost seemingly nonstop since 2015. It was also almost impossible to get a dog because of our landlords. The landlords we had would not allow pets in their properties.
Kayleigh is a fashion and beauty photographer and has been doing this freelance for a number of years. In 2019 her photography business, income and the number of clients she is working with have increased. Kayleigh even managed to hit 50,000 subscribers on YouTube and also has her very own agent now. Her business is booming and is continuing to grow with no sign of slowing down anytime soon. This is something she has worked hard at for many years and all the effort and sacrifices she has made is starting to pay dividends.
Early in 2019, we decided that going forward Wanderwalkers was going to steer away from being a travel only brand. We decided to create a brand that also encompasses lifestyle. This was an easy decision for us to make because there were so many positive benefits for doing this. Below is a list of the main reasons why we chose to broaden Wanderwalkers.
We don’t want to be full-time travellers
We have never really wanted to be full-time travellers. Travelling can be extremely exhausting and it’s not something we think is sustainable or practical to do forever. Because we don’t want to be travelling full time we can’t always be creating travel content for our blog, our YouTube channel or any of our socials.
We want to buy a house
Within the next three years, we would love to purchase our own house. Our dream is to be able to call a place ours. We have been paying rent for the past three years and we haven’t been able to do simple things like painting the walls or hang art or photos on the wall without seeking permission. Having a place to call ours and do what we want is something we want in our lives.
We have always wanted a dog
Dogs are the most lovable and affectionate animals in the world. We have always wanted a dog but we have always been fully aware of the commitment they require. We have been travelling so often and we always knew we wouldn’t be able to provide adequate care a dog would require. For at least six years we have waited. Now we are finally ready and able to provide a great life for a dog for many years to come.
We love being at home
When we aren’t travelling we just love being at home. We are, maybe surprisingly to many, the definition of homebodies. Staying at home in our pyjamas is something we do almost every day and working from home is something we both do and enjoy. Of course, we love to get out but staying at home is something we both genuinely enjoy doing. Staying at home and watching Netflix or doing deep dives on Youtube is more enjoyable to us than going out when we don’t have to or want to.
Indoor plants and gardening
Over the past year, we have both become really interested in indoor plants and gardening. We want to cover our house with indoor plants and grow our own fruits and vegetables. Growing our own food is important for us but so is providing plenty of flowers to attract insects like butterflies, bees and native birds. Travelling full time would prevent us from being able to pursue this hobby more often.
We love to cook
Travelling has made us really appreciate different foods. We have been inspired by foods from all over the world. Cooking different cuisines is something we love to do. We never get bored with the foods we eat because we are always trying new dishes and altering recipes we already love. Travelling less means we can cook all these foods for ourselves anytime we want to.
We want to learn languages
Learning languages is something we are really interested in. Of course, travelling helps with this but to learn languages we believe that it takes a lot of time and commitment. However, we feel we wouldn’t be able to properly focus on it if we’re constantly travelling.
Kayleigh’s photography business is booming
Like I said earlier in this post, we have so many other different interests and hobbies. Fashion and beauty photography is one of those things for Kayleigh. Kayleigh loves what she does and wants to concentrate on that as much as she can. However, travelling can interfere with her work and can prevent her from collaborating with the people and the brands she has always wanted to shoot for. It’s important to us both that she continues to pursue something she is so passionate about.
We want financial freedom
One of our biggest goals in life is to have financial freedom. To do this we need to make better financial decisions. One way we think we can do that is to travel less, for the time being at least. Money and finance has become much more important to us. We don’t care about being millionaires and living in a huge mansion, what we do care about is being able to live comfortably and to live the lifestyle we want to. Financial freedom for us means living with less financial stress and being able to live a happier more enjoyable life.
Our aim for the long term is to build our wealth through investing in the stock market. We want to let our money grow with compounding interest. By travelling less now we can save more money for the future. That extra money will allow us to invest, build passive income streams, become financially free, provide a great life for any future children and live the way we want to for the rest of our lives.
We got a whippet puppy
After moving back home it seemed like the perfect time to finally fulfil our dream of getting a pupper. We prepared for this by putting our names on several waiting lists very early in the year. We knew we would be ready for one come the end of the year. While we were travelling around New Zealand we found out a little fawn and white coloured whippet was born. The breeder told us via email we could pick her up in mid-October, just after we got back from our two month New Zealand trip.
Other achievements in 2019
For the past few years, we have had our own space in Melbourne. Here we could film videos, work on this website and not be distracted. However, after moving back home we came back to a house where other family members live. We really struggled to get back into it, we were unable to focus on what we really needed to do.
To combat this dilemma we decided to help Kayleigh’s parents clear out their garage, a job they have wanted to do for a long time. In the now junkless garage, we created a small office space. We painted the wall white and laid down some click in vinyl floorboards. It’s still not fully finished, we still want to decorate it with some scandi furniture, books, artworks and plants, but it looks really great so far. This new space is where we will film all our future videos. It also gives us a quiet place away from everyone else inside the house.
1000 YouTube subs
After three long years of ups and downs and over 120 videos later, we are about to surpass 1,000 subscribers on Youtube. Our goal was to hit 1,000 by the start of 2020 but we are so close, we are currently sitting at 989, so I’m going to count it. Some of the videos we have uploaded are horrible and some of those, particularly our more recent ones, are pretty amazing. We want to continue uploading videos and we hope the channel continues to grow.
I would be lying if I said that everything that happened in 2019 was perfect. There were also some negatives. Some of the negatives include:
- I quit my part-time job early in the year because I was really unhappy there. However, after I quit I struggled to find something else. Unfortunately, this blog doesn’t make us a full-time income yet so I need a part-time job. Having a part-time job allows us to continue working on this blog.
- I was diagnosed with an anxiety disorder. It started with the stress of being in a job I didn’t really like any more then it got worse when I couldn’t find another job. While I was out of work I became increasingly worried about finances and how I would pay my rent. I am still affected by it but working on it and improving my mental well being each and every day. The anxiety impacted my desire and love of working on Wanderwalkers. It is part of the reason why our blog posts, social media and Youtube channel were updated so sporadically during the year.
- Not really as bad as the previous two points but I lost my Samsung s9+ in New Zealand. I wasn’t too worried about the phone itself but what was on it. There were some photos, files and videos on there that I lost forever. The most recent ones included a great video of us surprising Julie (Kayleigh’s Mum) at the airport when her friend suddenly appeared and told her she was coming to New Zealand with us. Julie had no idea her long-time friend was coming, her facial expression said it all. Unfortunately, that video was lost.
- Kayleigh’s business is going really well but she has had problems with several clients not paying on time, in fact, some of them not paying for more than three or four months. This put a lot of strain on us financially because our rent needed to be paid.
- Towards the end of 2019, my desktop computer died. Due to the busy Christmas period, I haven’t had the chance to get it fixed yet. I was also unprepared financially to outlay a few thousand dollars for a new one straight away. I have since ordered the new laptop but at the time of writing have not received just yet.
Goals for 2020
Every year we set some goals for ourselves to achieve, for both the short term and the long term. There are many goals we have set for ourselves. Our goals include relationship goals, career goals, financial goals, personal development, educational goals, spiritual goals and physical and health goals. I’m a big believer in keeping some goals private, however below are some of the goals we want to achieve.
One of the major reasons we moved back from Melbourne was to be closer to our family and close friends. We have missed out on many birthdays and events. In 2020 we are going to make a conscious effort to improve the relationships with those closest to us by making more time for them.
In 2020 I hope to grow my own content creation business. I want to build a portfolio and do more freelance work. The eventual goal is to stop working part-time jobs and work on my own content full time. Kayleigh will also be focusing on growing her photography business. She wants to work with more brands and release a photo retouching course.
Our financial goals include growing our personal income streams. We want to earn money from multiple sources. Our other priorities include continuing to invest in the stock market and saving for a house. We also hope to substantially increase the revenue Wanderwalkers makes.
Personal Development Goals
Personal development goals are really important to us both. Some of these goals include reading more, learning a new language, overcoming anxiety, becoming more of a minimalist, focusing more on only the important things in our lives and setting achievable goals and completing them. I also aim to start a successful content creation and photography business. Kayleigh aims to continue growing her business and personal brand.
Educational goals in 2020 include continuing to learn foreign languages and improving and upskilling in the things that are most important to us like photography, video editing and writing.
We aren’t religious at all, we don’t believe in a god but we do have spiritual goals. Our spiritual goals probably align with Buddhism more than anything else. In 2020 We want to be more mindful and practice meditation. We want to stress less and live in the present moment more. Getting back to nature, even more, is also important for us.
Physical and Health Goals
Last but not least we want to be even healthier than in 2019. In 2020 we want to go to the gym and go for a walk several days a week as possible. It’s also very important for us to consume less meat and dairy than we currently do, to cook more and eat less takeaway. Being healthier also means using fewer chemicals like shampoos, deodorants and domestic cleaning products. Using more natural bathroom products like those from Lush and creating our own house cleaning products will benefit our health.
Wanderwalkers goals for 2020
We, of course, have some big goals for Wanderwalkers in 2020 below is a list of them:
- Update content on our website and YouTube more often and more consistently
- Grow the amount of income we earn through affiliate links and any possible future sponsorships.
- Increase the readership of the blog through regular posting, better SEO and promotion on social media and through email
- Create a successful expansion focusing more on lifestyle content
What you can expect from us in 2020
In 2020 we want to be more consistent with everything we do. In 2019 we would post on our YouTube channel sporadically and even more rarely on social media platforms like Instagram. Our goal is to post at least once every day on insta and at least two Youtube videos a week. You can also expect us to be using Pinterest a whole lot more in 2020. Pinterest is fast becoming our favourite social media platform. In 2020 we will be sharing more of our blog posts on Pinterest and reposting content from sources we love.
Make sure you follow us on Instagram @wander_walkers
Subscribe to us on Youtube @wanderwalkers
& Follow us on Pinterest @wanderwalkers
In 2019 we expanded our travel only channel into a lifestyle and travel brand. So in 2020, we want to create more lifestyle based content and move away from being travel only. To do this we will be writing more on the many hobbies we have. A lot of our blog posts in 2020 will revolve around things like language learning, sustainability, photography, money and finance, food and maybe even minimalism. This will also apply to our social media accounts. We will no longer only post photos of our travels. Our feeds will be filled with various pictures and videos. The feeds will be filled with behind the scenes content, language learning updates, foods we create, house fund updates and how we are living more sustainably.
Higher quality content
In 2020 you can expect us to have higher quality videos. Throughout 2019 we invested and will continue to invest heavily in new gear. We purchased a drone and we recently purchased new microphones. Audio is something we have skimped out on for the past few years, this has been well overdue. We also have two LED Aputure video lights and a new laptop (which at the time of writing hasn’t come yet). Our aim is to purchase a mirrorless Sony A7 series camera and a gimbal. Upskilling in crafts we enjoy and are passionate about is one of the goals we have set ourselves. That includes getting better at video editing and filming techniques. We have no excuses for not being able to create more content in 2020. We have now set up our own office space at home and have all the gear and equipment we need.
We’re hoping and will work extremely hard to make 2020 our best year yet. We have so many things we want to do and achieve. 2020 is our year to take the next step towards bigger and better things.
You may be interested in these recent articles: