Saving up extra cash can be a challenge these days. Between housing, car payments and the rising food costs there is rarely enough to cover the bills, let alone have some extra to save for a rainy day.
Once you get your nest egg built, it can be hard to decide what to do with the money. Whether you have goals of renovating your house, saving for retirement or buying a new car, often it is a tough choice.
For Evie Farrell, the decision became clear when she had an epiphany in 2015, after her best friend and mother of 2 died of cancer at the age of 42.
"It was a big reminder to grab life and do everything while you can," she said.
This working mother managed to save up $30,000 for a kitchen renovation through her career as a public relations consultant.
After some soul-searching, she came to an important realization that changed her life.
“I thought that in ten years, my daughter Emily wouldn’t thank me for installing a brand new kitchen and bathroom in our home. She would thank me for filling her early years with amazing experiences, learning and sights and sounds from around the world,” she said.
That's when the 42-year-old single mother decided to take all of 2016 off from work and use that money she had saved to travel the world with her daughter.
"She's at a desk at school and I'm on other side of Sydney at a desk, working long hours, and I thought I'm staring down the barrel of years of getting up, going to work, doing the dinners and Emmie will be doing the routine until she's 18 or 25," she said.
Taking off in February of 2016, they had plans to visit China, Singapore, Thailand and Sri Lanka.
See what their year of travel looked like on the next page.
During the year of their travels, Emily was homeschooled, with her mother using their adventures and explorations through Asia and Europe as a way of broadening her daughter's worldview.
Emily was a well-traveled little girl before the mother-daughter duo took off on their grand journey. At just 4 months old, she was already racking up frequent flyer miles with her mom.
“We have already done a lot of travelling and it has really helped with Emmie’s development,” said Evie. “It helps her understand that there’s a lot more out there and broadens her mind.”
Our first trip together - May 2010 when Emmie was four months old. This is at the Warwick Fiji where we had an amazing time, Emmie had her first swim and I had a break while she was looked after by Seru, the gorg babysitter. And so began our love of Fiji! @warwick_fiji @qantas @tourismfiji @fijitourism @fijifinds #fiji #travel #travelwithkids #kidstravel #holiday #sun #beach #instagood #instagold #love #travelgram #instalike #photooftheday #picoftheday #fun #singlemum #happy
They traveled to Fiji, Singapore, Hong Kong, Barbados, the Philippines and the US together before she turned 2.
"Disneyland is her favourite place, but we went to Borneo last month as practice for the year away and she just loved it," Evie said.
From heading up the river to visit the Wind, Clearwater and Young Lady Caves in Mayalsia.
To canopy walking in Gunung Mulu National Park in Borneo.
To turtle adventures on Lady Elliot Island.
There's no question that their adventures were eye-opening for both of them.
See where they are now on the next page.
After a year of adventure and exploration, Evie and Emily found it hard to settle into the idea of returning to the day-to-day lives they had before.
Naturally the pair have extended their time away indefinitely.
Evie has plans to take her daughter to Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, Myanmar and China where they intended to camp on the Great Wall.
Suns out Mums out! Happy Mother's Day 💕💕💕 Basically we are all bloody AMAZING creatures so I hope everyone is patting themselves on the back, accepting the love and sharing smiles and support with the sista-hood 💙💙💙 Sending lots of LOOOVVVVEEEEE to everyone from me and Emmie 💕💕💕 via this special limited edition Boring Beach Pose photo 😂😂😂 . . . . . . #srilanka #traveltime #mothersday #mumsday #familyfun #happymothersday #besttimes #funtimes #worldschooling #travelfam #travelwithkids #familytravel #kidstravel #travelkids #holidayswithkids #takemethere #travelgram #travelbuddy #traveldiary #mytravelgram #ouradventure #lpkids #travelmum #jasperhousesrilanka #traveltheworld #letsgoeverywhere #olympusinspired #mumsout #srilankan #jasperhouse
All the adventure in foreign lands didn't stop Emily from learning what she would have if she was sitting at a desk in school.
With the help of online programs, she is able to stay caught up with curriculum.
Oh my gosh look at this! Last night I downloaded the free Mathspace Essentials program thanks to Westpac - and now Emmie is doing maths online and she is enjoying it! By some force of serendipity the first lesson was exactly what I was trying to teach her yesterday and we were so excited to see it in a video. It's the first time we've jumped with excitement over maths 😊 Mathspace Essentials is an interactive textbook with world-class content that is so great for kids. We can just jump online wherever we are and learn and it will make my life so much easier. 😊😊😊 You can download your free version at http://bit.ly/2pERACq or just click on the link in my profile. 🎉🎉🎉 Hooray! @Westpac #Mathspace #ad . . #schooling #maths #school #learning #worldschooling #learnmaths #worktogetger #schooldays #schooltime
"So my advice is do your planning then book a ticket and just leave," Emily said.