Turning my life upside down – Part 2

by | My life as an artist | 26 comments

Hello again beautiful soul,

If you haven’t already, please read PART 1 of my life change, so you know all the juicy details!
In part 1, I tell you how and why I came to close a business I worked so hard for during 6.5 years, sold my house, packed all my belongings into a shipping container and moved full time into a campervan with doggy and hubby to travel Australia!

Ok, let’s continue this story about turning my life upside down 😉

TWO light bulb moments

During our time travelling (it was so incredibly awesome and I highly recommend doing it!), I did some soul searching…
You know,  when you are travelling thousands of kilometres, you get to do a lot of that!
At one point, we crossed the Nullarbor Plain and other than plains (surprise), and lots of boring bushes, there was really not much to see for about a week (apart from the amazing Bunda Cliffs)!

But moments like these can actually be a good thing sometimes!
You see, getting a lot of distance from everything you are used to gives you the mental space you need to process the many thoughts and feelings you usually ignore (or are not aware of) when you are ‘stuck in a routine’…
As we all know though, your thoughts will follow you everywhere, no matter how far away you’re trying to get away so you really don’t need to go to the extreme of turning into a vagabond like I did to get some clarity BUT, it does help 😉

So for me, this mental space and very big shake up from my usual life allowed for TWO huge realisations/decisions to come into focus during our trip:

1. I had to stop creating distractions from my life’s calling and make CREATING ART my priority (again)
2. I could no longer keep eating animals and their products so I became vegan ‘on the spot’ (I’ll talk about that later).

Although they felt like a-ha moments, these were in fact the result of a long journey I went through internally.
I know they don’t sound like earth-shattering (I didn’t have a crocodile chase me, almost fell off a deadly cliff, or met any aliens) BUT: they don’t need to be!  
If you can get clarity on something in your life, no matter what how big or small, then you are already on a better path.

Need a life change? Try getting some clarity on what's important!

Finally getting some clarity and it feels good!


While I was doing some soul searching, and spending every minute of my day in a big metal box with my other half and fur baby, I also want to share with you one major difference between Pete and I, between a woman and a man, between an artist and a non-artist.
While hubby will look at something and say ‘that’s cool’ and walk away a few minutes later and forget about it…
Well, me? I don’t just ‘look’ at animals, waterfalls, the ocean, mountains…
I study them, I feel them, I breathe them in. I feel their energy and share my energy with my environment. It all impacts me emotionally.
Sounds a bit woo-woo, doesn’t it?!! If you stop thinking for a while and connect with nature, you (will) know what I mean 😉

Now… There is a lot to see in Australia, having a big, very tall van meant we couldn’t explore many roads.
And we couldn’t properly visit any national parks (there are a lot oft them here!) because we have a dog but…There is still a LOT to see!
I forgot to mention that our goal was to mostly travel the coastlines of the country and see the beautiful nature (we were not interested in shops, restaurants and cities!).

We were so fortunate to see one waterfall after another, oceans, lakes, mountains, beaches and sand dunes galore!
At one point in our travels, the beauty around us just blew my mind on the daily – it was one wonder after another and… Can you believe it was hard to take it all in???

After spending time on top of a mountain surrounded by rolling hills, watching the sun and clouds creating ever changing shadows around us, with the town and rainclouds in the distance, I felt like I had to stop. Wait – Whaaat???

hancock lookout

Too much beauty for my heart to handle!!! Hancock Lookout, South Australia

Yep, another difficult realisation for me, and a difficult thing to explain to hubby: I  would rather stop our life changing trip and start again later so I can appreciate every minute in its full glory rather than keep going and not be able to absorb any of the wonder around us anymore!

If that sounds a little confusing, let me explain to you how my brain/body seem to work – just like I tried explaining to Pete:

Imagine I have an internal dial that registers everything I see and do. This ‘dial’ goes from 1 to 100 points, with 100 being the maximum I can handle in one day.

Everything I see and do has a certain number of points (that I allocate according to how much energy it takes out of me – completely subjective).

A small beach with nothing exciting? Let’s say 20 points, I can keep going and explore more for the day.
A peaceful deserted road among the fields in the early hours of the morning, maybe a 50 – I can handle another ‘medium size’ sight afterwards.
The top of a vertical cliff with a rocky beach at the bottom, covered in wild sea lions lazily sunbathing and frolicking in the water – 90 points!! I’m done for the day!! All I can handle after that is just highways, and I’ll need to stop to re-energise with some art, reading or sleep.

For me the Wave Rock in Western Australia was 80-90 points!!

Does that make sense?? Let me know in the comments below if it does!

On top of feeling like my brain couldn’t handle many more explosions, I have to admit making art on my lap or a tiny table with minimal supplies was starting to get rather frustrating HAHAHA
Balancing tubes of paints, glue, bit of collage etc is just not fun (especially if you are outside lol).
And on top of that, the tenant in the older home we had bought as an investment a few years prior had just left and my ‘nesting’ needs were growing 😉
I guess you can guess what happened next?


I’ll skip a few details but basically, after 5 months of full time travel and around 23,000 kms (that’s about 14,300 miles), we ended up in Adelaide, South Australia, with the goal to stay for 5 days and see how we felt.
Sadly, I have to confirm that, when people say there isn’t much to do in Adelaide, well, that seems to be true! If anyone lives there, please correct me because I asked a few locals and they couldn’t recommend anything!

After 5 days, we decided to leave Adelaide and make a 15 hour drive dash back to Sydney (took us 2 days) to celebrate Father’s day just in time. Pete’s mum had the shock of her life when she opened her front door because we kept our return a secret LOL

We loaded up the van to the brim with belongings we’d left there and long story short, ended up moving to the house in Queensland – another big change for poor husband Pete 😛
And this is quite a change: a completely different house with no neighbours I can hear (or smell), in a rural area, in a different state with a different climate!

We got our shipping container delivered and unpacked (the house is still a mess even after months) and have slowly been adjusting to our new life – and absolutely LOVING it!
We are renovating a bit here and there (the house is old and needs TLC) and trying to focus on the simple things.

back in the studio!
Back in the studio!

It feels so good to have space and time to create!! I appreciate every square inch I get!!
When I am not creating, I am organising all my supplies as I have a lot more now than ever  (leftover stock from the Store, which I decided to close for good – SNIFF!!).
I am setting up a new studio and have purchased lots of blank canvasses ready for new adventures. And…

We have a BIG empty shed that could be awesome for really large paintings, or a small gallery (I’ll need your input on that at some point)!
I have decluttered so much, and lived in a tiny house for so long that now I just don’t know what to do with all this space LOL

One thing is certain though: because I have made ART my priority again, I work on it every day.
And because I want to make the best art I can and be able to express my message properly, I decided to enrol in art school with the Milan Art Institute (happy to share my experience with you if you are interested)! I could have done something like this before but resisted until now. I wonder what changed?? ;-P
So now not only are my hands covered in ink and acrylics but on some days, also in charcoal and oil paint!


Despite taking a long break, I never stopped creating and as a result, I have a LOT of art to sell!
I am making time to organise it all because I want to send it out into the world so…
If you ever wanted to get your hands on a little Mimi Bondi original then watch out for an upcoming email with lots of goodies to grab.

Even though the art supplies store is closed, I still continue helping artists in any other way I can:
– with mixed media workshops (online for now, I may resume in person teaching in the near future)
– lots of new collage books full of backgrounds and elements you can use in your own art
– a HUGE library (almost 500 files!) of collage papers and elements you can download RIGHT now to spice up your art (or to simply find inspiration and ideas)
And of course, my blog where I will keep you updated with what’s happening, share inspiration, tutorials and new paintings!

WOW. Talk about turning my life upside dow, right??! Or is left? I don’t know anymore 😉

There was a lot to cover here and I skipped a lot of details but I think the moral of the story is:

IF you want to change, then DECIDE TO CHANGE.
The rest will follow.
Yes, it is THAT simple.

See you soon!


PS: You can also find me on Instagram, YouTube, Facebook and in my Facebook group.
Social media is fickle though and my website is the ONLY reliable place that can never go away.
See you here, or there, BYYYEEE!!

And don’t forget to leave me a comment below with your thoughts and ANY question you may have, I always respond 🙂


  1. Thank you Mimi for sharing your journey of courage and creativity. I’m looking forward to the next post and wishing you the very best!

    • Mimi Bondi

      You are so sweet Denise, thank you so much for your kind words, I really appreciate them xxo mimi

  2. I love how you are evolving!!!

    Thank you for this honest and joyful post! I totally get the points system!

    I really hope you’re enjoying art school, and all the space to paint!

    Thanks for sharing all this with us!!! Cheryl Turtlemoon x

    • Mimi Bondi

      Hello Cheryl! Thanks so much for stopping by and for your lovely comment! So glad you enjoyed reading all my shenanigans 😀 So glad you get what I mean with my points system, it really helped me explain how things can get overwhelming to someone who isn’t as sensitive 😅

  3. Comment *Thank you for sharing your story, travels and the wonderful places you explored and to have Pete and Elliot along to share the adventures makes it even more special. And thank youuu for all those mixed media You Tubes which first got me hooked on my mixed media journey. So brave and inspiring to follow your heart…enjoy!

    • Mimi Bondi

      You are so welcome Jackie! I want to share that we CAN do what we want to do, and BE who we want to be. It’s scary and uncomfortable but oh so worth it…
      The key is to DECIDE to change and then the rest follows. I am very grateful to have been the catalyst for your mixed media journey, hooray to that 🙂 🙂 xx mimi

  4. I’m so happy to know more where your adventures on the roads led you! And I can relate to your feelings of being overwhelmed by the beauty around you, as a high sensitive person I understand this so much and I also can relate how hard it can be to make understand such deep emotions to people who aren’t highly sensitive!

    • Mimi Bondi

      It feels good to know you can relate Salomé! I think being a highly sensitive person can be difficult at times but overall is a blessing as I’d rather feel ‘more’ than ‘less’. I hope you agree!

  5. Wahou, impressionnant, Mimi !! C’est super, vous êtes de vrais ‘risk-takers’ tous les 2 ! En tout cas, je vous souhaite tout le bonheur possible dans votre nouvelle aventure !! Gros bisous de Slovaquie ! Manu

    • Mimi Bondi

      Coucou Manu, c me fait plaisir de te voir ici 😀 Ce n’est pas grand chose à côté de tous les déménagements que vous avez fait autour du monde tout de même haha Ke vous attend toujours en Australie, gros bisous 😘

  6. Happy for you. I’m glad you found where you want to be…even if it was in a roundabout way. It has all fallen into place.

    • Mimi Bondi

      It certainly was Joanne HAHAHA Knowing me though, things will always get shaken up every now and then 😉 Thank you for your message xx

  7. I totally get what you were saying about sensory overload. My hubby and I and another couple took a 2 month trip along the coast of Oregon and Washington state (the Pacific Northwest as we call it in the US) last summer. There was so much to see! One day my friend said she had to stop taking pictures because her eyes were too full! 😂 I found that I needed about an hour of quiet time in the morning to mentally prepare for the day ahead. Perhaps as artistic people, we “see” things in a different way than others, because our way of seeing includes an emotional aspect as well. (At least for me!)

    Can’t wait to watch your videos on YouTube!

    • Mimi Bondi

      My eyes were too full too HAHAHA Love this Debbie! And my heart because when we really open up to your surroundings, it takes a lot of mental and emotional energy out of us. I imagine we have a small door inside. Some people keep it locked because they don’t want to feel anymore, Pete’s door is barely ajar and I think I push mine wide open on purpose, despite the emotional doorstops in front of it 😉

  8. Hello Mimi, I salute you for making so many lifestyle changes in such a short period of time! I always had the intentions but bogged down with responsibilities. Good on you and good luck!

    • Mimi Bondi

      Thank you Vivien! We are all the same, we all find excuses to avoid doing the things that scare us and make us feel out of comfort zone.
      Sometimes you just have to push through, knowing it will make you grow so much bigger 😉

  9. So exciting Mimi. I can relate to everything you said and even though your hubby can’t – he is definately a keeper to go along with you. I am looking forward to seeing what is next for you.

    • Mimi Bondi

      I might keep him a bit longer then, what do you think? 😉
      Thank you for your lovely comment Marjorie xx

  10. I can so relate to the overwhelm after too much energetic stimulation. What you describe as a bit woowoo, is a real thing and a by-product of being a “sensitive”. You are not alone. There are lots of us out here. I have experienced that feeling of overwhelm when in the presence of the majesty of our natural world too. I am not religious, but I am a spiritual person and I believe, in those moments, that I am experiencing Divine Love. It is a powerful energy and can feel as if my heart is going to burst. It brings me to tears each and every time. I do my best to open my heart to it and take in as much as I am able.

    I also relate to the inner journey when traveling. There is something wonderful about having no responsibilities, taking to the open road, and leaving daily distractions behind. I always had my nest to come home to tho. I don’t think I could sell it all and travel without a base to come back to. I really admire folks like you and Pete who can do that – even if Pete was a bit resistant in the beginning 🙂 His willingness (eventually) speaks to his love and commitment to you and your bond together.

    Enjoy setting up your new home and art studio Mimi. xxoo

    • Mimi Bondi

      Thank you Kim! Yes, you are totally right, that comes with being a sensitive person. I’ve since done a bit of research on this and realised it is more of ‘a thing’ than I thought!

      Reading your experience brought tears to my eyes. I’m not religious either but I agree with the divine being all around us and it is VERY powerful!
      Imagine if we travelled together?! I’m pretty sure we’d be a sloppy emotional mess the whole time hahaha
      I guess having someone who’s a bit stoic helps putting boundaries around my madness LOL

      Selling our house and go off into the wild (ish) was definitely a bit scary but you know, were not that attached to the house itself and I just knew if we had a base to easily go back to that we would be tempted to shortcut the big trip if we got a bit tired or ‘hit’ a bump on the way.
      We didn’t know how long we’d last on the road (3, 4, 6, 12 month??) so having an empty house empty or strangers living in it didn’t appeal. We had to empty it no matter what (good opportunity to declutter) so it made sense to sell it off and remove the big safety net it represented so we could truly feel free.

      I think I’ll keep Pete around a little longer hehe I wanted this to be an experience to make us grow individually and together and even though I’m always the catalyst, I always make sure he doesn’t do things just for me, but for himself too.
      Thank you for your lovely heartfelt message Kim 🙂

  11. I totally understand the sensory overload! I also need to spread it out to fully give the appreciation that it deserves. To fully experience it!

    Thanks for sharing your story. Glad your husband can adapt!

    You are a great teacher! I have always been attracted to art but didn’t really try to create it until well into my adult years. I have never taken an in person class. But rather have depended on books and videos. You have definitely been an influence on me and have given me the confidence that i too can be an artist! Thank you for all the encouragement!

    • Mimi Bondi

      i am doing a little happy dance right now Nancy! So, so happy to hear I’ve helped you get confident because you already ARE an artist!!! Sometimes we just need a little guidance to get that artist out and that’s where I hope I can come in 🙂 Happy to hear I’m not alone with this sensory overload thing LOL

  12. WELCOME BACK MIMI! I loved reading of your cross-country adventures and oooh-aahed often at sights you shared. Your bravery in selling and packing up life so far was phenomenal but on a totally selfish level, I am so grateful to have my arty Guru art back. You have taught me much over the years and I look forward to continuing my daubing fun in your inspirational, creative hands. Best wishes and huge thanks to the three of you. I wish you many years of health, happiness and fun in your new abode….. and enjoy all your s – p – a- -c – e. Marion, UK

    • Mimi Bondi

      Oh Marion, what a lovely message, it really touches my hear, thank you!! I can’t wait to share all my art with you and hopefully give you some inspiration 😉 xx

  13. Mimi, so nice to hear about all of your adventures and I am so happy that you have settled in to your art again. Have a very happy life with your wonderful understanding and co-operative hubby!

    • Mimi Bondi

      Thank you so much, I am so happy too and my head is bursting with ideas! I’ll let Pete know 🙂 🙂

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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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