Life overhaul: time for an update – PART 1

by | My life as an artist | 18 comments

My lovely creative friend…

First, let me apologise for being a bit out of touch over the last 12 months, and let me tell you: it is time for an update about the life overhaul I just went through!

A LOT of things happened during 2023 and I needed to take a biiiig step back but I’ve missed you!

Would you like to know? It’s all positive, I promise 🙂

Let me rewind to the end of 2022…

Most of you will know I ran my own business, The Mixed Media Store, selling mixed media art supplies to the whole of Australia.

Get your mixed media art supplies from the Mixed Media Store!

Remember the jars of Dylusions paints???
Ahhh, so impractical but so pretty to look at 😉

While many changes were happening in the world, and especially, during the second half of 2022, I watched how the cost of products, overseas imports, and of shipping within Australia just kept on rising, making me wonder where this was all going. For my lovely friends outside Australia, I’d love to hear if you noticed the same thing happening during that time??

I was really in a pickle for a while, wondering what to do: one minute I was ready to hire someone to help me cope with the workload, and the next, everything was slowing down!
Of course, when you’re in business, there are always ups and downs, however…

After working so hard for about 6.5 years building the business from scratch and getting several thousands of beautiful customers throughout the country, I also felt trapped with no way out for me to follow some of my other dreams!

You see, having lots of customers comes with lots of responsibilities and since I promised them the best customer service I could possibly provide, this also kind of backfired on me(having integrity can be a problem sometimes hahaha).
I always felt like I was ‘on call’, even during weekends and holidays and could never completely ‘switch off’ because I always wanted to give the best I could.
At times I would lay in bed for hours unable to sleep until I got up and packed a bunch of orders so the following day would be less hectic. What a catch 22 hahahaha

On top of feeling my freedom and dreams thinning out, the workload made my physical health suffer.
The problem was: it wasn’t obvious until much later that the pain I felt (which prevented me from getting good sleep for several years) came from my work!
As you can imagine, all of this added up and made my mental health suffer too  – no surprises there.
I thought I was keeping it together but I think I was going a little crazy on the inside!

The start of my life overhaul…

Many years ago, I had a 1975 kombi I adored – I often dreamt of living in it and becoming a gypsy travelling around Australia.
I don’t have it anymore but I have always had a campervan of some sorts so I could get away on my terms, and dream of going where-ever the wind would take me.

Pete, my hubby, was not a gypsy AT ALL when I met him!! But after many years together, my passion rubbed off on him a bit 😉
While working hard on my business, I watched the tiny house and vanlife movements becoming more and more popular, and the itch started, well…’itching’ again!!

My kombi and I, along with my beloved little Poppy (rest in peace) went on a LOT of adventures together!!

Hubby and I had many, many discussions about this and the more we discussed, the more I knew I just could not postpone this dream anymore!
And so I made the difficult decision to close the Store temporarily so I could fulfil my dream of travelliing around the country.
But, I’ll be honest, it was a very, very hard decision, and it put a lot of stress on our relationship – to the point that I thought I would have to do this trip on my own 🙁

sell house. Quit jobs. pack it all away.

Thankfully Pete can adapt once he puts his mind to it and after a lot of resistance, he finally agreed to go along with my crazy plan…

That one sentence above does not begin to describe the intense stress that decision ensued though!

The following 2.5 months (Jan-Mid March 2023) were spent in total madness:
We fixed and cleaned up the house and I guess did something right as it sold in a flash.
We packied ALL our belongings into a big shipping container (a nightmare).
Pete quit his job.
I sold off most of the Store’s stock and said a temporary ‘au revoir‘ to all my customers.

we are closedAnd if that wasn’t enough, while doing all of that we worked day and night to finish building our campervan (which was completely empty when we bought it.
OH. MY. GOD. So, so, soooo stressful!!!

the release: 5 months of travel

We moved into our van full time the day we handed over the keys to our house. Well actually, 2 days before because we had packed all our stuff away and had to clean the place up so… There we were, sleeping in our van in our own driveway 😉

We spent a couple of weeks finishing up the van and visiting family in Sydney before finally heading north along the coast of Australia. This was so, so exciting and so liberating!!

I won’t go talk about our travels because we documented it all (in bite sizes) on our youtube channel ‘FurryAdventuresOz’. If you’d like to see how beautiful Australia is and how we spent our days, go check it out!
By the way, this is just a personal channel to keep track of our travels, not to become youtube famous or gain followers 😉

our van at the NT border

Our van about to enter the Northern Territory!

Phew. This is a rather long story so I’ll stop here for now.

In part 2, I will tell you about the two light bulb moments (big realisations) that happened to me during the trip, how I got ‘sensory overload’, moved to a different part of the country and enrolled into art school!!

Have you gone through or thought about a life overhaul too??
Tell me about it in the comments section below, I’d love to hear about your experience!
And if you have any questions, please write them there too 😉

See you soon with PART 2 – stay tuned!
xx Mimi Bondi

18 Comments

  1. Oh wow! What an amazing adventure for you both. So many scary moments, but so many awesome memories to be made!

    Reply
    • Mimi Bondi

      Thanks Kim! An emotional rollercoaster no doubt 😂

  2. Wow! You’re both so brave!!! I closed my business for the same reasons!!

    To take the steps to live your dream takes courage.

    Thanks for being an inspiration to us all! I’m looking forward to part 2!

    Reply
    • Mimi Bondi

      Thank you so much Cheryl, I appreciate your message! It was a lot of scary decisions to make, no doubt but I wouldn’t change anything 😉 xx mimi

  3. Tu as fait quelque chose de courageux mais nécessaire pour ta propre santé physique et mentale. Bravo ma cousine, bien fier de toi. ♥️

    Reply
    • Mimi Bondi

      Merci mon cousin!!! Ca me fait tres plaisir de recevoir ton message. Gros bisous d’Australie 🙂

  4. There is always more inspiration, stimulation and delights on the path less travelled. I look forward to you sharing the “new you/ old you revitalised” very, very soon. Keep us posted.

    Reply
    • Mimi Bondi

      Thank you Colleen! The rest of the story will be posted soon 🙂

  5. I can totally relate to the burn-out. I worked for over 20 years in the corporate world and it took a huge toll on my health. So much so that I left and started my own business. I did that for about 10 years and had some of the same issues you are describing. Taking care of clients is a huge responsibility. I burned out more. So I closed my business and retired. It was the best decision I ever made. I am happily living in the country, making art, slow stitching, reading, and taking online art classes.

    I really admire you and Pete for leaving it all behind and embracing your dream. I LOVED your furry adventures and really appreciated being able to see Australia through your eyes. I miss them now that they are over. I’m looking forward to the next installment in your journey. Thank you so much for sharing it with us.

    Love,
    Kim

    Reply
    • Mimi Bondi

      I feel you Kim!!! And I am so glad to see the change you made for yourself. Living close to nature and making art is the dream 🙂

      I’m also glad to hear you loved our little travel videos… You know, I got burnout from making them that’s why I still haven’t uploaded the last 1 or 2 🙁
      Even though they are only 5 minutes, they took so much energy to make (sorting out all the photos and all the videos from 2 devices, and editing everything) but I am glad I put the effort in to have a memory of it all, and share it with anyone interested 😉

      Come to think of it… Making art, close to nature, while travelling has to be the BEST hahaha xx mimi

  6. Hi Mimi, If you end up at Bunbury while your travelling, let me know & you can come & play & get covered in paint if you need to lol.
    I understand completely why you’ve done this, your living my dream 🙂

    also loved the chicken Pick its perfect,

    Safe travels,

    Reply
    • Mimi Bondi

      Hey Sydney! I would have loved to but we went through Bunbury last year. Also went to crazy Gnomesville, OMG hahaha
      What did you mean by ‘chicken pick’??
      And don’t let your dreams be dreams, you can make them happen too you know 😉

  7. Welcome to the Life of Living on the Road… I started my adventures 7 yrs ago & I love the life & have many traveling friends. I do art, mainly postcards & when we have a get together I try to impart some of my knowledge onto others. Enjoy… 💖🚐

    Reply
    • Mimi Bondi

      If I understand, you are still on the road now? Where are you writing from? I did a lot of art tags because they are small but couldn’t wait to spread my wings 😉 I will update the rest of the story very soon as it changes radically LOL

  8. Good for you too . Life’s too short . Have been around Ausy twice & only seen a small proportion as was in a Hyno bus so limited to go to some parts. Would do again but 80 at end of month but love seeing others venture out. Wish you guys well keep traveling.

    Reply
    • Mimi Bondi

      Oh you are an inspiration Charis!! And you are so right, life is too short, we have to constantly remind ourselves of that 😉

  9. Good on you Mimi. Look forward to part 2.

    Reply
    • Mimi Bondi

      Thanks so much Michelle, great to hear from you!

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Mimi Bondi Profile

Hi there, I'm Mimi!

Artist of Wonder ♥ Author ♥ Designer ♥ Teacher 
My style is abstract, whimsical, expressive, full of positive energy!
From layering to collaging, throwing ink around, painting with my fingers…
To creating digital art… my creativity has no bounds!
I hope to share with you the joy and peace I experience when creating 🙂

Mimi Bondi PETA Member - Protect our beautiful animals!

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