Tnfld | Ep 40: Only the lonely

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Only the lonely

When you’re feeling lonely, it can feel like you’re the only person who has ever felt that way. But the thing is, we’ve all been there… many times and we all move through it! We wanted to put our experiences with loneliness out in the open to remind everyone it’s just part of being human and to hopefully help some of you to feel a little bit less alone.

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Muchas Gra莽ias!!!

Tnfld | Episode 34: The trip that changed our lives

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Pura Vida, Costa Rica

Tory and I basically divide both of our lives up as BCR (before Costa Rica) and ACR (after Costa Rica). It’s the land that swept us up in its heady, tropical ways and took us down a path we never even knew existed. It was the trip that started the rest of our lives….the trip that started our journey to live tenfold (#tnfld).

p.s. If you like the podcast, show us some love… 馃檪

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Tnfld | Episode 31: Our ultimate guide to moving

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Our ultimate guide to moving

It seems like a lot of people are thinking about moving these days… whether it’s to a new apartment, new neighbourhood or new country. We’ve both moved our fair share over the years and have it down to an art so we wanted to share our advice on how to know when the time is right, how to find the perfect place and how to ease the transition.

And check out the very handy articles

The 5 stages of moving and how to navigate them
Are you living in the wrong place?

p.s. If you like the podcast, show us some love… 馃檪

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Tnfld | Episode 27: Van Life with Josh & Jess

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East Coast Adventuring

Has quarantine got you dreaming of life on the road? Earlier this year, after offices began to shut down and everyone started working from home, our friends Josh & Jess bought a camper van on a whim and started out on an epic road trip up the East Coast. For the last 4 months they’ve been travelling through Queensland, spending a week at a time at different beaches – working and studying during the week, and adventuring on the weekends. They stopped by for a visit on their way back to Sydney and we chatted about how they’re living tenfold (#tnfld) through the pandemic and all the secrets of van life!

You might remember Josh as was one of our first guests… he’s the guy who has 3 months of vacation every 6 months written into his contracts! If you missed it,聽listen here!

If you’re looking for some inspo for your own East Coast road trip, check out their itinerary below:

  • Sydney
  • Byron Bay
  • Gold Coast
  • Hervey Bay
  • Tin Can Bay
  • Agnes Water
  • Yeppon
  • Great Keppel Island (a hidden gem, super quiet, you can get there from Yeppoon super cheap and one of the most gorgeous, long, white sandy beaches is there)
  • Airlie Beach (super cool little town)
  • Whitsundays (Whitehaven beach was just absolutely mind blowingly gorgeous)
  • Magnetic Island
  • Townsville
  • Mission Beach
  • Paronella Park
  • Atherton Tablelands
  • Cairns
  • Palm Cove (a perfect little town just outside of Cairns, great little cafes, tonnes of palm trees and right on the beach its another hidden gem)
  • Port Douglas
  • Cape Tribulation (Daintree rainforest its so beautiful, lush and unspoilt and just filled with wildlife and forest it was a whole new side of Australia)
And here are some epic shots of their adventures! To see more and follow their travels, check out Josh’s insta聽@thekiwinomad_.

Tnfld | Episode 22: My first time…abroad

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My first time…abroad

Usually around that time you finish high school is when, if you’re lucky enough, it’s time to take your first sojourn…solo. Tory and I both had the opportunity to travel in Europe separately around the age of 19 and from her stories as an au pair in France and Belgium and my stories as a backpacker in Greece…and two week au pair in Italy…we can pretty safely say we made the most of it. It’s not even what you do really, but what you become by the end of it. It’s the first test of who you are, a right of passage and memories you will never forget. If you’re looking for a little escape, tune into the podcast for story time.

Tnfld Podcast | Episode 16: There’s no place like…Australia

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Australia…the land of dreams come true

Do you live in a cold and grey place? Do you spend your COVID days dreaming of a land far, far…down under?

Well you’ve come to the right place. If you’ve ever thought about moving to Australia, but aren’t sure if the grass is really greener, listen to this episode for a breakdown on what makes Australia the best country in the world and the place you want to be…once we’re allowed to go places again :).

Do you know what these Aussie words mean?

Brekkie, Avo, Arvo, aggro, Maccas, mozzie, relo, renos, bin, rocket, prawns, barbie, thongs, Biccie, chock, Bub, cuppa, footy, deco, servo, bottle o, tinny, dero, coppa, tradie, muso, brickie, firey, ambo, facey, prezzi, Chrissie, root, Early mark, chuck a sickie, she鈥檒l be right, how ya going, no worries, reckon, heaps, keen, hire instead of rent, how you going, icy pole, sausage sizzle, shrimp on the barbie, sambo, scull, maaatttttteeeee

*Disclaimer: This is also a semi formal comparison of Canada vs. Australia. Proceed at your own risk and let us know what you think!

Our Aussie prep recommendations:

The 5 stages of moving and how to navigate them

You know how they say there are 5 stages of grief? There are also 5 emotional stages to moving that vary in intensity based on the size of the move, the stage of your life and your mental state.聽

It鈥檚 been just over four weeks since Alex and I left our lives in Bondi to move up to the Gold Coast. In that time, we鈥檝e gone through some huge emotional highs and lows and have realised it鈥檚 basically the same pattern with any move. It鈥檚 a tumultuous, emotional, roller coaster and despite having been on the ride several times over, the sheer range and depth of emotion that can come with it still catches me off guard and this is from someone who鈥檚 moved A LOT.

Here鈥檚 a quick breakdown of my life of moving:聽

  • Home base: Toronto, Canada | Family home and anchor for the first 27 years of my life
  • Move 1: Waterloo, Canada | Uni and my first taste of freedom and independence聽
  • Move 2: Evenos, France | Au pair job #1 in the French countryside with 3 kids聽
  • Move 3: Liege, Belgium | Au pair job #2 in an industrial Belgian city again with 3 kids
  • Move 4: Quebec, Canada聽 | Internship with the government to improve my French聽
  • Move 5: Paris, France | ERASMUS International student exchange program聽
  • Move 6: Windsor, Canada聽 | Law school and trying to find my purpose聽
  • Move 7: Jaco, Costa Rica | Escape from law school to learn Spanish/teach English聽
  • Move 8: Bondi, Australia | The start of a new, sunnier, life across the world聽
  • Move 9: Gold Coast, Australia | Trying out a more tropical, cruisey Aussie life聽

Moving takes you right out of your comfort zone and forces you to consciously build your life again. It can make you question who you are, what you want and a myriad of other things, but it is always (in my experience) 100% worth it. There鈥檚 no way to avoid the roller coaster, but knowing what to expect can make it a bit easier, so I鈥檝e put together a step-by-step guide to the emotions of moving.

My first move was just an hour outside of Toronto for uni. Here’s me with my floor during my first week in residence.

Pre-move: Stages 1-3

Stage 1: 鈥淥mg I have some news!鈥 (aka excitement)

You鈥檝e committed to the decision and are feeling the rush of excitement, anticipating the change, feeling free and like the world is your oyster. You鈥檙e a bit nervous but feel proud of yourself for taking the leap and excited for a bit of adventure. You spend time daydreaming about your new life and all the cool things you鈥檒l do, and you delight in telling everyone you know about your big plans.

Stage 2: 鈥淎hhh, I鈥檓 going to miss you SO MUCH鈥 (aka rose-tinted glasses)

The clock is ticking down to moving date and you start getting nostalgic and appreciative of everything in your current locale. All your friends make time for you and start saying how much they鈥檒l miss you; you probably get more quality time with them in your last few weeks than you have for the past few months 鈥 or even years. You feel a lot of warm fuzzy feelings and have new-found appreciation for your life as it is.

Celebrating with my law school crew about a week before I left Canada for Australia.

Stage 3: 鈥淔*#%! Have I done the right thing?鈥 (aka fear & anxiety)

The reality of actually moving kicks in and you start to wonder if you鈥檙e a bit crazy鈥hy can鈥檛 you just be like other people and be happy with what you have? Maybe you are running away from something? Will you ever be satisfied? Did you not try hard enough? What if you don鈥檛 like the new place/can鈥檛 find a job/can鈥檛 find somewhere to live/don鈥檛 make friends? ARE YOU MAKING THE BIGGEST MISTAKE OF YOUR LIFE?!?!

Your thoughts run wild with worst case scenarios and you may secretly check if your ticket is refundable (true story).

19-year-old me during my au pair gig in the South of France. It was my first time going overseas by myself and I had crazy doubts before I took off!

Moving time: Stages 4-5

Stage 4: 鈥淲HAT HAVE I DONE?鈥 (aka loneliness & displacement)

Once you actually make the move is when things get even more confusing. The roller coaster speeds up and does a few loop de loops and massive hills. You鈥檒l feel like you鈥檙e in a limbo where your old home is no longer your home, but neither is the place you鈥檝e moved to yet. You鈥檒l question why you鈥檝e put yourself through this and if it鈥檚 too late to turn right back around and resume your old life. But there鈥檚 something inside you that spurred the move and you hold onto whatever that is as your beacon.聽

聽One of my first days in Bondi – can you see the strained look on my face? I had just left Canada, my legal career and all my friends behind and was an anxious mess.

Stage 5: 鈥淚 can鈥檛 believe I didn鈥檛 do this sooner鈥 (aka belonging & joy)

This is where the magic begins. It may take days, weeks, months*, but eventually you鈥檒l start having moments where you feel at home in your new surroundings. Maybe you make a great connection with someone, find a new coffee spot that you love, witness some amazing phenomenon in nature, or just have a newfound sense of calm. There鈥檚 some sort of shift where you don鈥檛 feel quite at home yet, but you feel at peace and each new positive experience builds on this sense of belonging. When you start referencing this place as 鈥渉ome鈥, you know you鈥檙e in the clear.

Just living the life in Costa Rica… too swept up in the tropical climate and latin life to spend much time on phases 1-4.

There鈥檚 no set timeline to these stages and you鈥檒l probably run through them multiple times and go back and forth between them. Just know that it鈥檚 normal to go through the highs and lows and feel a range of emotions 鈥 and that those emotions aren鈥檛 YOU. It doesn鈥檛 mean you鈥檝e made the wrong choice, it just means you鈥檙e human! Emotions are the most tricky, fickle thing, it鈥檚 always best to take a mental step back from them, take a deep breath in and not make any decisions in the heat of the feeling. With any move I always remind myself: 鈥What鈥檚 the worst that could happen?鈥 You鈥檒l either find a new home that you love, or you鈥檒l learn to appreciate your old home more and have no regrets or what if鈥檚 because you gave something new a shot.聽

Carpe diem guys 鈥 xx Tory聽

* After very extensive research, we鈥檝e found the magic amount of time you need to give any move before you can make a decision about its success is three months. It鈥檚 enough time to feel all the emotions a few times around, settle in, make friends and get your bearings. You鈥檙e still on the rollercoaster for the first three months and no decisions should be made until you finally get off!聽


So you want to go to Bondi?

When I first visited Sydney I met up with some Aussie friends at Bondi (pronounced 鈥淏ond-eye鈥) beach. I remember being shocked that they actually lived there. I asked one of them: 鈥淪o you go to work and then you come home and鈥o to the beach?鈥.

Early morning on Campbell Parade #nofilter

I had travelled halfway around the world to visit this famous beach and here was a guy who had a similar day-to-day as me (similar job in media, working in the city), but he would finish his day in paradise. I couldn鈥檛 comprehend that you could actually live like this: city life and beach life together as one, with no compromise in sight. He then pointed to a block of apartments just behind me and said, 鈥榊up, and I live right there!鈥. Gobsmacked.

It didn’t take long for me to move over. Soon I was working in the city, living a block from the beach and enjoying this miraculous, #nofilter life.聽鈥 Alex

And now, five years later, it鈥檚 time to leave this beautiful place. It鈥檚 been amazing to pack up and not feel that panic of 鈥What if I never do this again?鈥. That sense of completeness has come from hundreds of sunrise and sunset swims, gelatos, boardwalk/coastal walks, grassy knoll sits, and more. I think Tory and I can both say that we鈥檝e lived Bondi to the fullest. In honour of this we鈥檝e put together a little guide to help you get the most magic out of our favourite bubble…聽聽

Just an average sparkly Saturday #nofilter

Bondi 鈥 The bad

A lot of people in Sydney have an opinion about Bondi. Most of the time it goes something like this: too busy, too touristy, too expensive, too vain, too party hard, too wellness, etc. But I think, as with everything, there are many facets to it. Yes, you can find all of those things if you choose to, but our experience in Bondi has pretty much been the opposite.

Too busy:

If you like walking, you鈥檙e in paradise. If you try to drive, then you鈥檙e asking for it. And of course one of the most famous beaches in the world, in the biggest city in Australia, is going to be busy. What else would you expect? Summer brings the crowds for good reason, it鈥檚 20min from the city and it鈥檚 gorgeous! Come winter though it鈥檚 a quiet little paradise, but you have to get out there to enjoy it.

Too touristy:

Campbell Parade, the main street along the beach, is usually tourist central, but as soon as you turn onto Hall St, Curlewis St, wander into North Bondi, etc. you鈥檙e all good. When you live in Bondi you get to experience the strength of its community. Try to NOT run into someone you know 鈥 I literally can鈥檛 leave the house without having an impromptu catch up with a few friends along the way.

Too expensive:

From billionaire penthouses (James Packer had a property on my street) to backpacker share houses鈥here鈥檚 literally something for everyone. I was lucky enough to find an apartment with very cheap rent and stay in it for five years. It was cheaper than what I paid in Toronto 鈥 and it was bigger, nicer and one block from the beach. Believe guys!

Wholesome afternoon at Icebergs #nofilter

Too vain:

The land of fitness and yoga. Bondi is a land of beautiful people and it’s easy to look at that as intimidating, but instead of looking at how 鈥榞ood鈥 most people look I think it鈥檚 important to look at what they鈥檙e actually doing鈥unning the beach, swimming at Icebergs, coastal walks, ocean swims, outdoor workouts鈥et amongst it! Find the joy and stop caring about what everyone looks like. Most people are outside pursuing their sporty passions, so find yours and join them. My favourite group are the 70+ budgie smuggler (speedo) swim crew, who are out for a sunrise swim EVERY, single morning, shouting hellos, always with big smiles on their faces.

Too party-hard:

If you鈥檙e looking for it you can always find it, but one of the beauties of Bondi is that most places aren鈥檛 open past 12. This means you can go out and still be well-rested for sunrise!

Too wellness:

The land of GF, kombucha, bio-dynamic, mylks…yup, all true. I think I鈥檓 too far down the rabbit hole to comment on this one haha. I鈥檝e drank the Kool-Aid and it was refined sugar free!

Tory and Anna, the sunrise squad #nofilter

Bondi 鈥 the good

It鈥檚 called 鈥the bubble鈥 for good reason.

It鈥檚 the only place I鈥檝e ever found where from about 5am-8am (give or take your schedule), you can swim, surf, run, do any other kind of workout, chat with friends while walking the boardwalk, meditate, be lucky enough to catch a breaching whale or jumping dolphin or two…but still be in your city office by 9am ready to pump out your day. And when summer rolls around, add coming home from work and doing it all over again until sunset. Absolutely life affirming.

Such an amazing community of positive, go-getting people who value and treasure how special the situation is. Case in point: there are two free foam surfboards that live in North Bondi, tied to the boardwalk. They鈥檙e for anyone to use and I鈥檓 guessing some magic fairy comes along to replace them if they ever get broken.

Top qualities: community, small-town vibes, friendly, safe, multicultural, the best activities are free, good food @ a good price, ridiculously beautiful, so walkable, best people watching, BEST ICE CREAM

Mysterious sunsets聽#nofilter

Our top 5 favourite things to do in Bondi

After five years of dedicated research, here鈥檚 our list of the top five things to do in Bondi. Also note…with the exception of one, they鈥檙e all FREE…oh Australia <3. Heed this advice, go forth and enjoy it to the fullest!

2 degrees out, 20 degrees in聽#nofilter

Sunrise (swims) / $0

The number one thing I would tell anyone and everyone to do is sunrise. If you aren鈥檛 doing Bondi sunrises you are missing the best thing about it. No matter how tired you are or how cold it may seem, when you get down to Campbell Parade and see that beautiful bay, it shapes your whole day. Each sunrise is different (just ask Aquabumps). No matter how early you wake up, you鈥檒l always feel like you鈥檙e late because there will always be someone keener than you already out on the boardwalk, the coastal run, in the water, etc. It鈥檚 a buzzing hive of happy people, all doing their own thing and you can鈥檛 help but be inspired by it. Starting your day feeling like you鈥檝e already accomplished something great = priceless.

And if you鈥檙e out there for sunrise, why not add on a swim/dip/dunk…be brave. Get in there. You will never, ever regret it. I promise!*

*You also never know who you will bump into. Like the time Tory and I were walking down the boardwalk and ran into Hugh Jackman and Zach Efron fresh out of the water and rinsing off at the outdoor showers鈥

Pro tip: Someone once told me that the water temp is a few months behind the season, so the water鈥檚 actually warmest at the start of winter and coldest at the start of summer. 鈥 Alex

Icebergs: the pool for the people #nofilter

Icebergs sauna and swim / $8 per visit or get a 25 visit card for $160

Confession…I didn鈥檛 even go to Icebergs for the first two years I lived in Bondi. Have you seen it? Coming from Toronto, where anything that beautiful would require membership and $$$, I didn鈥檛 even think it was something I was allowed to do. It wasn鈥檛 until I wanted to improve my ocean swimming skills and signed up for swimming lessons at the pool that I realised its motto was 鈥榚veryone is welcome鈥. I was never a lap swimmer until I took that course and learned the pure joy of swimming in a salty, straight-out-of-instagram pool. Add on some meditation or friendly chats in the sauna, complete with ocean view (I once watched a pod of dolphins leap for joy as I was dripping in sweat) and a post sauna hot waterfall shower in the change room and you are set…pretty much for life. 鈥 Alex

Coastal walk #nofilter

Bondi-Coogee coastal walk (or Bondi-Tamarama / Bondi-Bronte/Bondi-Clovelly) / $0

When I first moved to Bondi, I couldn鈥檛 believe the Bondi to Coogee coastal walk was in my backyard. It鈥檚 a 6km walk one way starting from Icebergs and winding along the coast on the cliffs past Mackenzies Bay, Tamarama, Bronte, Clovelly, Gordon鈥檚 Bay, and Coogee – all beautiful beaches unique in their own way. Everyone in the Eastern suburbs has a favourite and there鈥檚 really something for everyone whether you prefer rocky bays, white sand or cement or you鈥檙e into ocean pools, parks, bbqs, volleyball or tanning. Around every turn is another breathtaking view and there are some days when the sun is so bright and the ocean so blue that the water literally sparkles. During different parts of the walk you feel like you could be in the mediterranean, on mars or in the tropics and if you鈥檙e lucky you may spot dolphins, whales and the occasional local celebrity. I鈥檝e probably done the walk almost a hundred times by now and still, every single time, I stop multiple times along the way to take it all in. It鈥檚 the type of experience I would have only had once a year on vacation when I lived in Toronto (if I was lucky), and now I could do it every day if I wanted to which I still can鈥檛 quite believe. 鈥 Tory

Grassy knoll hangouts聽#nofilter

Grassy knoll sits (North & South)

North Bondi / Sunday summer sunset sesh:

Best place to listen to some acoustic guitar whilst watching the surfers, swimmers and sun, and enjoying a few before night falls. Also: very good people watching.

South Bondi / Full moon, new moon, or just any nighttime sesh:

Have sat on this well-lit grass, at night, with friends or on my own, probably over a hundred times. Lie down, take your shoes off, plant your feet on the grass and look up at the stars. Stay until everything feels calm, peaceful and right. Repeat as many nights as needed. 鈥 Alex

Nighttime runs / $0

One of my favourite solo things to do in Bondi is go for a run at night. I love running through the streets up to the North Bondi Golf Course where you can catch some epic sunsets and panoramic views of the neighbourhood and the ocean. In the summer, I鈥檒l run down to the beach for a dip and in winter to the boardwalk for a mini workout. The beach at night is a completely different place – no crowds but always enough people around to make you feel safe. Bondi is my playground on those runs. Sometimes I鈥檒l try to master a chin up at the infamous bars that are normally filled with musclemen and influencers (I still can鈥檛 do a single chin up without jumping!). Other times I鈥檒l practice handstands, do a mini workout or just sprint down the boardwalk at full speed. There鈥檚 a sense of freedom in the darkness that makes me feel like a kid again. If you鈥檙e ever feeling like Bondi is too hectic or just need some peace, then definitely take some time to explore the neighbourhood at night because there鈥檚 a whole other side to it in those quieter moments. 鈥 Tory

Our favourite Bondi eats

Bondi has heaps of food options and we haven’t even come close to trying them all, but here are a few of the Bondi staples that we love and highly recommend. If you’ve ever visited us, we’ve probably taken to you at least one (or several) of the places on this list. –聽Tory

Classic a莽ai bowl and choc peanut butter bowl

Cali Press – My go-to spot for smoothie bowls and people watching. They have the best acai in Bondi (expertly layered with delicious granola and topped with passionfruit, coconut flakes, goji berries, pistachios, banana, strawberry). Honourable mentions go to the PB & Choc and Green Me bowls and the Le Chocolat smoothie.

Nalinis – Delicious, healthy, plant-based Indian meals cooked with love! Nourishing food made by a mother and daughter team that feeds your body and soul. The falafel bowl and tasting platter are my favs and if you鈥檙e keen for dessert their nut-based ice creams are a treat.

El Indio – Authentic Colombian food and warm vibes. I recommend the bowls which come in huge portions and include your meat of choice, rice, beans, salad, and plantains (the best!). Always brings me back to the days of living in Costa Rica and getting $5 meals from the local soda.

Bangkok Bites – Best Thai food in Bondi. BYO, super fast service and delicious meals that come in generous portions. The seafood feast, papaya salad with softshell crab, and pad thai are a must.

Gertrude & Alice – The bookstore/cafe of my dreams – cozy, warm, serves delicious meals and always has a box of free books to peruse outside. The lentil soup is famous for good reason and their sweet treats will satisfy any of your sugar cravings.

Macelleria – I still don鈥檛 know how to pronounce this one but what I do know is that they have the best burgers in Bondi. And it鈥檚 not just burgers, you can get steaks and other meat cooked fresh as well as some delicious sides – sweet potato wedges and mixed veg are always winners.

El Indio…chicken, guac and muy rico

Messina – My first love in Bondi! Alex took me on a Messina Gelato tour when I first arrived in Sydney that included a 5 course degustation at their factory and I was hooked. They make everything themselves (they even have their own dairy cows now) and they put actual chunks of cake/pie/cookie etc. into their gelato. Every week they have new feature flavours and they let you taste test as many as you want! I recommend always trying a few of the features, but you can never go wrong with salted coconut mango, mint chip (very minty!), choc chip and anything chocolatey. Also pro-tip from the factory tour – any time they have pistachio gelato they are actually selling at a loss so take advantage if that鈥檚 your flavour of choice!

The Shop – Tiny spot owned by Bondi locals that makes it feel like you鈥檙e eating a home-cooked meal with your family…because they are…a family…and you feel it. Their salads are divine, especially the Japanese chop chop and Italian meatball.

* Side note – Just realised 5/8 of these places are on the same street within 100m of each other, that鈥檚 how small the Bondi bubble is!

Other random, wonderful Bondi things

  • Stop making sense

    Going to Harris Farm Markets multiple times a week (sometimes multiple times a day)

  • Margaritas at Bondi Rumba, cheeky dance sessions at Bar 34, chicken kahuna burgers at The Stuffed Beaver
  • Petting Billy at Birichina on the walk down to the beach
  • Going for a swim at the exact same time as [insert friend鈥檚 name here], without ever having to make plans to do so
  • Walking out of the house on a Sunday at 7am and not coming back till 7pm because you鈥檝e spent the whole day going from random run in, to impromptu activity to impromptu meal
  • Hearing so many different languages as you walk down the street
  • The little community library bookshelf popups scattered all over the place, often found in random little alleyways
  • Sunset summer surfs after work, even when there are no waves and you just sit out there surrounded by a haze of cotton candy skies
  • The days when the ocean is so flat you can just float on your back for ages
  • F45 Bondi, the BEST team of trainers and fitness community
  • Drinking chai at the market on Saturdays
  • The house on Curlewis that says 鈥楽top Making Sense鈥
  • Uge-spotting (Aquabumps)
  • Seeing every Australian reality TV personality in person at the pub, boardwalk, Icebergs, etc.
  • Chocolate chip cookies from Umu
  • Swimming the bay and having the lifeguards come over to ask you 鈥淗ow ya going?鈥
  • Sunset volleyball sessions: friends, music, life!
  • Walking the boardwalk: bare feet on warm concrete 鈥 one of life鈥檚 simplest pleasures
  • Spotting new art on the graffiti wall along the boardwalk
  • Forest Knoll Ave…if streets looked like fairy tales, this would be it

    Volley crew #nofilter

Mid-arvo, chilly swim, happy as a clam #nofilter

So that鈥檚 our little (long) love letter to Bondi, our cozy bubble home for the past several years.

Bondi, you鈥檝e brought us more beauty, joy, friendship and life lessons than we could have ever imagined. Thank you for the countless fairy floss skies, ocean therapy sessions, lazy beach days, boardwalk strolls and nights spent stargazing. You鈥檒l always have a place in our hearts as our first Aussie home. Bondi, you are pure magic and we love you!

Written by |聽Alex聽&聽Tory

So you want to go to Canggu?

In the last year and a half I spent about 5 months off and on living in Canggu, Bali. It鈥檚 now the unofficial #1 digital nomad destination in the world and a few people have asked me for tips so I thought it would be worthwhile to put together my own little guide to living short term in Canggu.

I鈥檝e never been a backpacker in the traditional sense. Whenever I go away for a chunk of time I tend to find one place I really like and settle down there till it鈥檚 time to go home (and then I usually go back a few times). Example:

  • Ios, Greece: A tiny party island in the Cyclades, near Santorini. I went for a week, stayed for a month and returned the next summer for four months. This was when internet was dial up and you had to pay $/minute(!). I worked as a waitress at a breakfast restaurant on the mountainside overlooking the ocean and made 20 euro/day, my room was 6 euro/day and that was all I needed.
  • Jaco, Costa Rica: A touristy beach town, an hour and a half from San Jose. I went for a week, came back for a month, stayed for three months, came back for another three months and then some more. I was already working as a freelance web designer in Canada and just continued working full-time in Jaco. 9-5 (give or take), Mon-Fri on my laptop, outdoors at beachside cafes, sweating like crazy and stopping when the mosquitos started to come out.
  • Canggu, Bali: A touristy beach town (they seem to be my fave), close to the well-known Seminyak and Kuta areas. I visited for three days during a girls trip, came back for three weeks, then later a month, then later three months. I tried not to do the full-time thing like I did in Costa Rica, but did do a few small freelance projects while there (a little $ goes a long way in Indonesia).

I still love all three places and basically left a piece of my heart in each one. It鈥檚 crazy to see how fast they鈥檝e grown though. In the last few years Canggu has really exploded 鈥 so much development and SO MANY digital nomads. Even if I’ve only been away for a month, Canggu is different every time I go back. This guide is very specific to my experience and my little pocket of life on the island of the gods. There is so much to do and see in Bali that I just can’t cover here, so for now…


There are definitely some misconceptions about Canggu. It鈥檚 not jungles and waterfalls and聽endless rice fields (although there are a few beauts left!). And on the main streets it鈥檚 crowded and loud and dusty. The beaches are not white sand and they come with their fair share of garbage (although there are lovely groups coming together to clean it). The sea is not turquoise tropic 鈥 you can go to the Gilis for that. But it IS beautiful in all its messy glory. There is peace amongst the chaos. And once you start to understand its rhythms you鈥檒l find so much joy bubbling up from the surface and understand why it鈥檚 becoming (if it鈥檚 not already) the most popular place to live in Bali.

The beauty of Canggu

Why did I go?

The first time I went for an extended period, I had a yoga retreat in Keramas聽to go to and decided to come early (three weeks early) and give myself the first proper break I鈥檇 had in a few years. After that I went back each time with different projects in mind, like finishing my portfolio, starting up Tnfld, and doing two different yoga teacher trainings at The Practice.

Living in Australia, Bali is a quick five hour plane ride away. You can get a return flight for under $400 AUD if you鈥檙e lucky. My favourite reasons to go: Surfing, yoga, food, people and the Hindu-Balinese culture.

The thing is…Bali is cheap. Like so cheap it makes Costa Rica seem like a high flyer trip in comparison. The low cost of living, combined with a ridiculous high quality of life is why so many people end up coming and staying. The beauty of this dynamic is that if you鈥檙e trying to get an online business off the ground, study long distance, write that book, etc. it buys you time. It gives you space. All of which give you the biggest luxury of all: creative freedom.



(Culture / Work / Sleep / Eat / Play / Getting around / Money / Visa)


Beach ceremonies at the temple

My friend, who had never been to Bali, recently went and texted me from the airport 鈥 聽鈥Alex…I love Bali already…it smells AMAZING!鈥. It鈥檚 true. The island of the gods is full of dreamy incense, beautiful flowers and 3x (or more) daily offerings to the deities. There鈥檚 always music in the air, ceremonies to be performed, special holidays shutting down the streets. The 鈥榠shvara pranidhana鈥 (yoga term for 鈥榙evotion to god鈥) is everywhere. The thickest thread tying together the cultural fabric.

Day out with the Five Pillar Foundation 鈥 a must do!

The Balinese are some of the most kind, friendly, funny, and easy going people. Family is everything and you see that everywhere. The support system is so strong. The Hindu Balinese religion is one based on karmic beliefs, which makes it the most special community I鈥檝e ever seen.

I highly recommend doing a day trip with the Five Pillar Foundation. I can鈥檛 recommend it enough and I鈥檓 NOT regularly a day-trip, tour type of person. It鈥檚 amazing and will start you off on the right foot in terms of beginning to understand the roots of where you鈥檙e living. Check out my “Learn/Bali” highlights on insta of my day with them (not sponsored!).

It鈥檚 really easy in a Westernised place like Canggu to skim over the Balinese culture, but if you want the full Bali experience, do yourself a favour and open up. There鈥檚 legit magic in the air there 鈥 let it in!



Good little worker bee (at Alter Ego cafe)

Don鈥檛 go to Bali expecting to find paid work. To legally work you need a KITAS permit. The government is very strict about this (especially in more populated places like Canggu) and has been known to look at social media, etc. so always be careful. Even if you鈥檙e teaching a one-off yoga class and want to advertise it online, it鈥檚 something to be mindful of.

I went with money saved and a few freelance clients and that was all I needed to get by. I鈥檝e met people doing everything from everywhere:

  • Marketers/developers/designers…and one lawyer (shout out Bibi xx) working full-time remotely for companies abroad (
  • Startups: lots of drop & ship, apps, fashion (baby wraps, bikinis, etc.)
  • Online English teachers for Chinese students
  • Freelance writers
  • Yoga teachers working exchange for room and meals
  • Bitcoin adventurers
  • Online health coaches, yoga teachers, fitness gurus, life coaches, etc.
  • And a lot of expats opening their own businesses in Canggu (restaurants, salons, fitness studios, luxe villas, etc.).聽

Co-working:聽There are a ton of co-working spaces now in Canggu, but I only have experience with the original: Dojo. It鈥檚 expensive, but it can鈥檛 be beat for an introduction to Canggu. Such a great, welcoming staff, awesome community, events, talks, Friday drinks (Beach & beers). So many inspiring people 鈥 you鈥檙e always learning something new. The Facebook group is one of the best resources and ex-Dojoers are still active (including me) from all over the world.

I usually get a smaller package of hours and spend most of my time working from laptop friendly cafes.



My #1 office

Guesthouse or villa? If you鈥檙e staying for a little while this is definitely something you鈥檒l need to consider.

For me location is most important. To make sure I would go surfing early mornings, get to yoga on time, be able to walk home safely if I went out at night…I needed to be close to the beach and pretty much on Batu Bolong (the main street).

Check the map when you鈥檙e looking for a place, Canggu is actually quite large, long and wide. If you鈥檙e not riding a scooter you want to make sure you鈥檙e near the places you want to be. I鈥檇 also recommend booking a place for a few nights and then seeing how you feel about it once you鈥檙e there. It鈥檚 way easier to walk around and find a place you like (not to mention negotiate a better long-term deal) if you鈥檙e there in person.

It鈥檚 hard to find a villa that matched my location needs (they鈥檙e usually a lot further out), so I chose guesthouse. I loved my big room, my balcony overlooking a field, within earshot of my yoga studio (and all the 鈥oms鈥).

If I was staying longer than a few months I would look into a villa, but for me (and for most of my friends) guesthouses were the way to go.

Price: I paid $22/night and stayed at D鈥機anggu聽(you can pay a lot more or a lot less, there鈥檚 something for everyone in Canggu).

Guesthouse:, airbnb, all the usuals,聽Villas: Facebook groups are the way to go. Try Canggu Community, Canggu Community Housing, etc.



The summer salad at Cafe Vida, topped with Barramundi. It’s one of the tastiest things I’ve ever eaten.

Eating is a huge part of my day when I鈥檓 in Bali. I tend to pick spots I can stay at for a while and get some work done, so they end up doubling as an office for me. If you aren鈥檛 living in a villa you really won鈥檛 have much, if any opportunity to cook. It鈥檚 usually cheaper to eat out anyways. It鈥檚 really interesting to see how much extra time you have when you take grocery shopping, food prep and cooking out of your day.

The food in Canggu is just…wow. Like you will dream about it for the rest of your life. It鈥檚 like living in a real life Instagram foodie account and finding out there are no filters. There is nothing sweeter than sitting on the porch at The Shady Shack for a whole morning, getting your work/study/relaxing done and enjoying every minute of it.

You can get Balinese, Australian, American, Vietnamese, Mexican, Japanese, Greek or search by vegan, paleo, refined sugar free, gluten free, avocado based (seriously) 鈥 whatever your preference.

You can eat for as little as $3/meal at a local warung or go as big as you want at one of the more 鈥榝ine dining鈥 restaurants. It鈥檚 all up to you and your budget.

As for drinking…I don鈥檛 really drink when I鈥檓 in Bali. The odd cider here or there, but I鈥檓 not there for the Bintangs and spirits are almost the same price they鈥檇 be in Australia. Sparse drinking helps keep my spending in check the most. It also helps me stay on track with everything else I love to do…like waking up early to surf, go to yoga, etc.

And not seriously, but also actually very seriously: coconuts. I drink at least one a day (avg. $3/coconut). Nothing better than getting a coconut, sitting on the beach, watching the sunset and listening to some live reggae.

Tory comes to visit. We drink coconuts.

My absolute fave places to eat in Canggu: (honestly even though a new restaurant pops up every week, these have all stood the test of time so far)

For doing (a lot) of work:

For some variety:

Food: I spent $15-30/day on avg. Check out my “Eat/Bali” highlights on my insta.

Cafe Vida strikes again. Fish tacos 鈥 art on a plate.




Living my best life

Yes, I live in Australia. Yes, I live a few minutes from the beach. But seriously, the surf in Canggu is my favourite. If you seem to be an eternal beginner like me, this is the place to be. On good days (and there are a lot of them) the waves are big enough to get on, but soft enough to not hurt, they break far back from the shore, and the water鈥檚 deep and gentle…it鈥檚 the most forgiving surf playground I鈥檝e ever been to. It鈥檚 usually pretty easy to paddle out. Standing up is…dare I say…kind of easy. You get to focus on practicing your turns, your speed, etc. Just like everything else in Bali…the waves give you time and space. Also the social aspect is phenomenal, people are friendly and open, you can sit on your board and chat between waves. It鈥檚 something really special. Go early, it gets way too crowded later in the day and watch out for beginner-beginners, their boards are heavy, big and all over the place!

I鈥檝e thought about buying a board while there before or bringing one from Aus, but in the end I always chose to rent ($5/day). Here are my reasons why:

  1. It’s cheaper. If it gets damaged, you pay a nominal fee and that鈥檚 it. You don鈥檛 have to spend the big $ to fix it or replace your own and there鈥檚 no downtime waiting for it to be fixed or finding a new one.
  2. You can change it up. Big waves = smaller board, small waves = bigger board…the waves are your canvas to paint with whatever brush you feel like.
  3. It鈥檚 social. You always meet other people renting, the surf hut locals, etc. Always a laugh.

My happy place. Ginger tea, bean bag chair, & the garden. Cue sounds of birds chirping and the pond flowing.

You can鈥檛 come to Bali and not do some yoga.

The Practice: And if you鈥檙e going to do some yoga…you can鈥檛 go past The Practice. It鈥檚 the heart and soul of 鈥渕y鈥 Canggu. Grab a ginger tea, cozy up on a bean bag facing the garden, look out for Jamu prowling through the grass and bliss out. And then maybe get to a class or two鈥

This is probably my most luxe purchase. It鈥檚 more expensive than a month at a Sydney studio, but it鈥檚 1000x worth it. This is the real deal. Get to one of Octavio鈥檚 class if you can and let me know your thoughts!

Serenity: I sometimes get a 10 pack of classes, my favourite thing to do is check out the different treehouse feeling yoga shalas and have tempe curry in their cafe. All their teachers are Balinese too, which can be a nice change of pace.

Getting around

To scooter or not to scooter?

So…I don鈥檛 know ANYONE who rode a scooter and didn鈥檛 get into an accident. It definitely freaks me out. A friend鈥檚 brother was in a life-changing accident and over a year later he鈥檚 still recovering. I鈥檝e seen more than a handful of crashes and injuries happen right in front of me. People don鈥檛 wear helmets, they don鈥檛 wear proper shoes, and they drive drunk (a lot).

That being said. It鈥檚 hard NOT to have a scooter and really experience Canggu. I was limited with where I could live and what I would do because of it, but I didn鈥檛 have a proper driver鈥檚 license at the time and I didn鈥檛 have insurance to cover any scooter injuries (***your insurance DOES NOT cover scooter accidents unless you have a scooter license back home 鈥 check into this!***). So even though I鈥檝e seen so much firsthand I will probably drive a scooter the next time I go back (but get my license first, like my friend Ruth is doing atm).

So my advice for scooter riding is:

  1. Just wear the helmet. And make sure it fits.
  2. Wear your Supergas/Converse/runners. Don鈥檛 wear flip flops. The first thing people do in an accident is put their feet down…and it鈥檚 not pretty. I had to pull a scooter off a girl who had fallen over while driving slowly down the street in the late afternoon. The kickstand had gone straight through her foot and dollar store flip flop. It was awful 馃檨 Shoes people, shoes!
  3. Don鈥檛 drive at night. Or at least please don鈥檛 drive drunk. You may think 鈥淚 would never鈥, but that鈥檚 what they all say…before they do it! Things feel different when you鈥檙e in the moment.

Pretty much anything goes with scooter driving, for better or worse…


Atms are everywhere, but be smart about which ones you use 鈥 there鈥檚 a lot of skimming going on. Just stick to the highly visible, high traffic ones…I鈥檝e never had a problem.

If you have to exchange money, get a recommendation 鈥 I鈥檝e heard so many stories about people getting conned.

They accept card almost everywhere 鈥 the positives of living in a highly developed piece of Bali.

Sid comes to visit. We sunset.



This is super basic advice, based on a Canadian passport experience. As always, do your research, they don鈥檛 mess around with this stuff, so get yourself in order before you go!:

  1. Make sure you have more than six months left on your passport otherwise they will turn you around at the airport.
  2. You have two easy options (there are more long term choices available, like a social visa, but I haven鈥檛 pursued them). The first one is an automatic you get 30-days as a tourist to enjoy. If you overstay your 30 days you have to pay by the day (I think it鈥檚 about $30/day atm). The second option is to do a visa extension which gives you 60 days, but you need to make sure you buy the 鈥榲isa on arrival鈥 that allows you to extend it with a visa agent past the initial 30 days. I think all-in-all the whole thing cost around $100, but I could be wrong (did not keep track). Doing a visa run is really common and pretty much essential if you want to stay longer. There are cheap flights to Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, etc. some people just do a quick run around and don鈥檛 even leave the airport, but I was lucky enough to have a good friend in Singapore, so I tried to make the most of my visa run when I was there for three months.

Sunsets. Worth every visa run.

My basic daily budget in AUD (not skimping, living THE LIFE):

Accomodation: $22/night (I made a long-term deal. You can do a lot cheaper than this, but I loved where I stayed 鈥 so much that I stayed there twice!)

Food: $15-30/day (At first I thought…wow, is that actually a lot? Then I realised I don’t buy groceries. In Sydney my weekly groceries, combined with going out for food with friends adds up 鈥 a lot! In Canggu I eat exactly how I want to, my dream day on a plate basically. It’s the greatest luxury.)

Surfing: $5/day

Yoga: TBD / You can buy class passes or unlimited per month

Co-working: TBD / Hour-based packages

Sim card: $20 every so often (they have great data packages, I always buy one as soon as I land and then top up at the convenience store. I think in three months I had to top up twice.)

My basic daily schedule:

Surf, fruit stand brekkie, yoga, brekkie/lunch & work for a few hours. Then nap or beach or popsicle or massage or all of those things together if I’m lucky. More work. Maybe some yin yoga. Sunset on the beach with friends and then dinner. Maybe some dancing. Bed. Repeat as much as needed.


Questions to ask before you go

  1. How long will you stay? (visas)
  2. Will you scooter? (insurance)
  3. Guest house or villa? (lifestyle)
  4. What do you want to focus on? Surfing? Yoga? Crossfit? Jujitsu? Work?

Best apps

Go Jek: it does everything for you. It鈥檚 your Uber, your Deliveroo, your grocery shopper, your Dial a bottle, you name it.

Gu Guide: Best advice on everything in Canggu from an Aussie girl who fell in love with an Indo boy and is raising their beautiful baby in the Gu. Her insta stories are my favourite.

What have I gotten from my times in Canggu, Bali?

I鈥檝e made some of my best friends in Canggu. Real kindred spirits. People I can鈥檛 believe I haven鈥檛 known my whole life.

I鈥檝e found so much inspiration, as well as confirmation that success is yours to build and hold. It seems like anything is possible in Canggu and I think that鈥檚 because you get a great spattering of entrepreneurs from all over the globe, it鈥檚 hard not to pursue your dreams with that kind of influence around you.

The first time I went on my own, I was coming off of a real hard period in my life. My health was haywire, I didn鈥檛 really know which way was up. But I went surfing every day. I got massages every day (did I forgot to mention the cheap massages鈥?!?!). I did yoga. I met amazing people. And legit, for the most part, all my physical ailments went away. There鈥檚 something to be said about getting out of your regular physical space. Sometimes all you need is a big hit of perspective and the soothing magic balm of Bali to believe.

This is the longest thing I鈥檝e written for Tnfld by far and I feel like I haven鈥檛 even touched the surface. If you鈥檙e thinking of going to Bali, just do yourself a favour and buy the ticket. Be open to everything and get amongst it…you won鈥檛 regret it!

Tnfld Podcast | Ep04: Josh, from ambitious dropout to dream maker

Hometown /聽Auckland, New Zealand
Currently resides /聽Bronte Beach, Sydney, Australia聽
Job /聽Full Stack Web Developer

A little bit about…

Josh is truly living a 2019 life. He’s found a way to have both work and play in the best way that suits him and his needs. A lot of that came with knowing himself and what would and wouldn’t work for him. A lot of people think “Oh, I want to be a digital nomad” without actually thinking about what that could mean (financial instability, bad wifi, the temptations of being in paradise, but not being able to enjoy it). As a full-stack developer he could have easily gone that route, but he knew being a full-time digital nomad wasn’t right for him. He wanted there to be a separation between work and travel so that he could fully enjoy his travel time and BE THERE 100%. But short trips weren鈥檛 going to cut it. So when he got back from Bali after a month he had a proposition for his boss鈥

Josh’s advice for living life Tnfld
  • Ask for what you want, especially at work, whether that’s more vacation time, flexible hours, a work from home option, etc. “It鈥檚 2019 I feel like we should be able to ask for what we want and not always feel like we work for our jobs, but that our jobs can work for us too.And we can kind of create this life 鈥 why do negotiation always have to be about money?”
  • Do different things to break out of your comfort zone: “Every time I鈥檝e made these drastic life changes it鈥檚 been kind of scary, but when I look back later I always think 鈥 wow that鈥檚 the best thing I ever did.”

  • March to the beat of your own drum. If you can’t hear that beat, do the things you need to do to grow your inner voice and your confidence in that voice. Over time you can teach yourself to be more confident with your decisions, with change, and ultimately with yourself.

Our favourite quotes

“For me the dream life would be a 50/50 mix of both travel and work. Take three months off for travel then come back and have a [9-5 work] lifestyle and nourish that other side of my brain [for the next six months]. The dream is to do both. So I asked for it. No one鈥檚 ever asked and no one thinks to, because negotiation is such an ancient thing. No one really asks for what they want and I thought鈥hat do I really want?”

“For the first time in my life I came back to work from the holidays and I didn鈥檛 have the post-holiday blues. I was ready to work. [I thought] “Man my life is sick, I鈥檓 ready to work”鈥t was my choice to be there. That was the difference.”

鈥淧eople say to you “Oh, I wish I could do that” and I think, “Why can鈥檛 you?” I鈥檓 not special. I鈥檝e had nothing given to me, not a cent from anyone ever….but I鈥檝e always just gone for it and slowly over time I鈥檝e taught myself to be more and more confident with those decisions and making those changes.鈥

Josh’s Motto

In 20 years’ time you鈥檒l always regret the things you didn鈥檛 do more than the things you did.

Inspired by Josh? Check out his travels on Insta…

thekiwinomad_ (he’s also an amazing photographer)

Josh’s Favourites

Some of the books that influenced him the most when he was first starting out…


How to live a life Tnfld. A life that is true, real and bountiful… expansive as the sky above.

Subscribe to Tnfld>>

Find us

In the Gold Coast – watching the sunset from the headlands or swimming in the sea

Talk to us

Send us your questions, thoughts, whatever’s on your mind… seriously, we want to hear from you! Drop us a line at聽hola@tnfld.com聽– no judgements, just love <3



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