Easing into 2015

Happy New Year! I hope you have had a wonderful Christmas and are enjoying the start of the new year. Sadly in my new home state of South Australia, and in Victoria, the new year has started with devastating fires, which certainly put life and our own worries into perspective .

View of the Adelaide Hills bushfires from our place in the Barossa, 2 January 2015
View of the Adelaide Hills bushfires from our place in the Barossa, 2 January 2015

I have been inspired and amazed by the work of the emergency services, many of whom are volunteers, and the community who have stepped up to offer food, accommodation and support. It is good to be reminded that there are some really good people out there.

Watching the most stunning sunset last night, but knowing it was caused by the fires, also reminded me just how powerful Mother Nature can be. While I grew up close to the bush in Wollongong and had bushfires come reasonably close as a child, living in Vietnam for 3.5 years I was removed from fires and I had forgotten how scary they could be. A windy day in the Barossa just before Christmas also resulted in some serious fires and I have been reacquainted with that dread that comes from high temperatures and strong winds. It has been a reminder to have a fire plan in place and to really think carefully about the things that are important if you need to leave quickly (in our case – important documents, our computer back-up, some old negatives and the kids special toys).

Fire fuelled sunset, Tanunda 3 January 2015
Fire fuelled sunset, Tanunda 3 January 2015

Our thoughts continue to be with those who have been affected by the fires. As the firefighters continue to work to get the blaze under control, many families now have a long journey ahead of them. Hopefully community support will continue over the long months ahead. For anyone wanting to know how they can help out, the SA Government’s Bushfire Recovery website looks like a good start.

After a brilliant Christmas with my family (which I’ll write about later in the week, including our meals and some of our Barossa adventures), New Years Eve itself was fairly quiet, enjoyed at home with Simon and the boys and some good food and wine. The boys managed to stay up to watch the early fireworks from Sydney and we lasted until just after midnight.

With so much change going on in my life, I didn’t feel the need to make any huge resolutions this year, although inspired by my sister, I signed up to World Vision’s 30 for 30 Fitness Challenge to raise money to help children survive past their first 30 days. (). I have committed to 30 minutes of exercise for the first 30 days of January and so far I’ve been on a couple of walk/jogs and had 2 days in the pool chasing kids and doing various exercises. I’ve also signed up to a 30 day squat and ab challenge. I’ll be tweeting my progress and I would love it if you could support me in this fund raising effort.

My career change continues and while I have managed to secure some great volunteer positions, I really would like to find a paying job once the boys are back at school. Unfortunately while I’ve been on “holiday” for six months and am raring to go, most companies are taking a well-earned break, which slows down the job hunt.

But it is a great time of the year to take stock for anyone thinking about changing careers. I’m using this time to really refine my CV and LinkedIn profile, finding new people to follow on social media, catching up on interesting podcasts and email articles and I’m continuing with my business coaching with Lisa from Multiples of Two. I’ve just read a great post on leaving a job that doesn’t work from you from Katy Potaty and I was really pleased to receive an email from Careershifters  (a great UK career change website) on their top stories from 2014. I’m also surrounding myself with inspiring stationery (something I can’t resist) and I’m loving the Collective Hub 2015 diary and my Leaders in Heels Make Your Mark notebook.

I’m also looking forward to some time at the beach when we head off on our first South Australian holiday later in the week – once the 3000 word assignment is done (because Summer seemed like a good time to complete another subject). I’m looking forward to exploring Victor Harbour and the surrounding areas and spending some time with the family on the beach.

I’m lucky to have some friend’s who have made inspiring career changes, so after the break I’ll be starting a series of posts sharing their stories.

Have you made any New year’s resolutions?

I’d love to hear them.


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I started this blog almost 3 years ago when we first arrived in the Barossa Valley. I've always wanted to write and I wanted to share my experience of my career change, our move to this beautiful wine region and discovering my next adventure. After 15 years as a public servant working in Canberra, Beijing, China and Hanoi, Vietnam, I decided it was time for a career change and more importantly, a lifestyle change. In 2014, we left Hanoi and headed to the Barossa Valley in South Australia with a dream of a more fulfilling lifestyle in one of Australia's premier food and wine regions. My husband and I both work in the wine industry - where my job could be described as anything but making the wine. In 2017, I decided to wind-up the consulting business I established in 2015 and focus on learning as much as I could about the wine industry and writing - both on this blog and a memoir of our time in Vietnam. This blog is an opportunity for me to share my writing - about everything from motherhood, to career change, fitness, travel and our vine-change/career change experience.

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