Welcome to Still As Life, my personal travel blog. I’m Matt, and it’s a pleasure to see you here!
I’m a mode agnostic traveller that writes about travelling from Australia on a budget with a weak spot for cruising and healthy living. I love to travel slowly and really get to know a place, seeing the things that often get passed over on the main tourist routes.
I started Still As Life waaaaaay back in 2006 as a personal blog. Over time, that slowly evolved into the travel blog it is today. You see, as a child, my family was widely dispersed around Australia so we travelled a LOT to visit everyone. I guess you could say I got the travel bug early. Soon after starting my blog I noticed I was writing about my travels, and in 2010 after meeting my future wife, we began travelling even more.
Since 2012, we’ve made more than 21 different trips to 11 countries across so many more modes of transport than I ever expected to experience. From ships to planes to helicopters to hovercrafts, it’s been a series of amazing trips as we’ve explored further afield and gradually gotten further around the world. Some of our trips are short, weekend getaways and others are sojourns of a month or more (like the time we spent 32 days on the North Island of New Zealand).
The thing is, I’m not a travel blogger, this isn’t my job. Sure, I make a few bucks from ads and affiliate links (in fact if you want to help out, you can check this article), but I don’t make a living from it and never intended to. My wife and I just love to travel.
I run a digital marketing business called TerraMedia, my day job. In between my work though, we take every opportunity we can get to travel! Sometimes that means I do have to log on and work while we are on a trip, but our goal isn’t to work everywhere we go, but rather enjoy the world that God created for us, and document our trips to hopefully help out others who travel the same way we do.
So, why do I write?
The more we travel, the more we’ve discovered that a lot of travel content is written in one of two ways:
- Digital nomads – written by people who travel constantly and find ways to work while they are on the move, often by blogging. Typically, they write for people who aspire to do the same thing they do. This isn’t the way we travel, and while their content is often great, it isn’t really written for us.
- The occasional traveller – people who typically work full-time and have limited leave available to travel. Most of the writing for travellers like this is shorter trips and is based on cramming heaps of activities into a short amount of time.
We fit somewhere in between. Running a business, we both have the flexibility to travel when we want for as long as we want, but of course, if we don’t get the work done, we don’t have any money. So we balance this freedom and travel as much as possible, while always coming back to our home base in Australia, where we live with our cat, Inca. I’ll admit, we are especially fond of road trips and cruising, but at the end of. the day, we really love to immerse ourselves in a place and really get to know both the area and the people.
While this blog started originally as a personal blog, documenting aspects of my life like university studies, tech choices, restaurant visits and our holidays, it has evolved into a journal of our trips, the things we like and dislike, and of course, the things we do to help facilitate travelling the way that we do.
So, back to that question, why do I write?
Honestly, I enjoy writing. I find it to be an amazing creative outlet, especially when it isn’t done for work. Since we take so many photos (and more recently videos) on our travels, it makes for the perfect combination of blogging, and I really hope that what I write is helpful for other people who live a similar lifestyle to us and are looking to find ways to travel more.
Have we seen the whole world? No, nowhere close. We have seen some amazing places though, and I love sharing them with you. I especially love trying new food and experiencing new cultures in the many places we visit.
Perhaps the biggest challenge though is that I love to do so many things, and I’m always finding new things I want to try.
Since spending three weeks in the Solomon Islands working on the Solomon Island GodPod recordings at the Solomon Island Adventist Mission with It Is Written Oceania, I’ve loved Pacific Island English Creole languages and want to learn more. Then there is the food! Wantoks, mi barava tumas kaikai! The Solomon Islanders know how to grow and cook amazing food, I tried 37 different varieties of bananas while I was in Honiara, some cooked in a motu (a traditional way of cooking wrapped in banana leaves in a pit with hot stones), many raw, and I can’t even begin to tell you how good the pineapple and pawpaw is over there. I don’t even like pawpaw! But, I digress.
Where have our travels taken us so far?
In addition to lots and lots of short one and two-day trips, below are the bigger trips that required longer time or involved a plane or ship.
- Australia: 4-day city stay in Perth, Western Australia
- Japan: 10-day Honshu trip
- Australia: 3-day city stay in Hobart, Tasmania
- New Zealand: 1 month New Zealand North & South Island road trip (our honeymoon)
- Australia: 10-day Adelaide to Melbourne via Kangaroo Island Great Ocean Road trip
- Solomon Islands: 21-day trip to record the Solomon Island GodPod with It Is Written Oceania
- Canada & USA: 18-day Canada road trip and Alaska cruise
- Australia: 6-day Sydney to Tasmania cruise
- Australia: 4-day city stay in Melbourne, Victoria
- Fiji, Vanuatu & New Caledonia: 13-day Pacific Island cruise
- Australia: 10-day Sydney to Uluru and return road trip
- Australia: 4-day Coastal Sydney to Melbourne return road trip
- Australia: 14-day Darwin to Perth one way campervan road trip
- New Caledonia & Vanuatu: 9-day Pacific Island cruise
- New Zealand, French Polynesia & USA: 20-day Sydney to Hawaii cruise and Honolulu city stay
- Japan: 13-day Japan trip (including 6-day Hokkaido Roadtrip and 5-day Tokyo city stay)
- New Caledonia & Vanuatu: 10-day Pacific Island cruise
- New Zealand: 32-day New Zealand North Island road trip + 10-day cruise
- New Zealand: 10-day New Zealand cruise
- Australia: 2-day Namadgi camping trip
- Australia: 4-day Eden cruise
- New Caledonia: 7-day Pacific Island cruise