About Us

We are a kiwi couple living in Christchurch, New Zealand. Sandra has always had a burning desire to travel, and Tony’s focus is on his career and working our way to financial independence.  Playing to each other's strengths, we can enjoy the best of both worlds!  Sandra makes sure that we have a holiday booked to look forward to each year, and Tony is keeping us on track to be able to take more trips for many years into the future.

Our story together began in 2005. We met in Auckland in our mid-20s, shortly after Tony had returned home from a Contiki around the USA, whilst Sandra was a single Mum raising her son, Brandon, who both had not long emigrated to New Zealand from South Africa. 

Once we all started living together our life was conventional and pretty much the version of what a life “should” look like. Work/School, pay bills, see friends and family on the weekend, repeat. There were regular family holidays along the way, mostly during school holidays, but nothing significant enough for Sandra to feel that her “travel bug” was being nourished. We were more than a little jealous of family and friends who all seemed to be heading overseas on their “Big OE” during this time, and we lived vicariously through their travel updates on social media, hoping one day that could be us.

In 2007 we made our first travel decision that was a little different to most people, which was to buy timeshare through Trendwest (now Club Wyndham).  This has enabled us to visit 14 destinations over the years spread across NZ, Australia, South Africa, Thailand, Fiji, Italy, and the USA.

The years passed, Brandon finished school, tertiary studies, started working and moved out of the family home - as independent young men do. By this time Tony was tired of renting, and desperate to buy our own home.  We made the call to move away from Auckland and all our family and friends, to purchase a modest, affordable property in Christchurch.  This move would enable us to have the best of both worlds.  We had a mortgage that was far less than the rent we were paying in Auckland, a home we could afford to pay off well before the traditional retirement age, and enough cashflow in the budget to give us the freedom to take to the sky more often to start exploring.  This is where the concept of “life by design” began, with the reality that we were now DINKS (double income no kids), so could plan the future we were both excited to live.

We came across several travel writers, bloggers, and vloggers, who were enjoying slow travel and spending longer in a location experiencing more than just seeing all the top attractions as quickly as possible. Airfares are one of the biggest expenses, especially with New Zealand being quite remote from the rest of the world, so taking less trips but for a longer duration in a location seemed smart.  

So, we planned and saved for our first slow travel experience in 2018 when we spent five weeks making our way from Rome, up through northern Italy, then on to Paris and Munich on route to see family in London for Xmas, finishing in Hong Kong for New Years Eve celebrations. We loved having time to immerse ourselves in the local cultures and learning more about each place we were spending time in.  We were officially sold on this approach to travelling!  An “unprecedented” global event in 2020 derailed our plans for three years, but in December 2021 we were excited to dust off our passports again and spent four weeks in Fiji.

As we’re now in our forties, we prefer a travel experience that is at the mid-way point between Backpackers and Luxury Travellers.  We prefer apartments to dorm rooms, the extra freedom that a rental car provides, and the odd fancy dinner with a view, whilst Sandra uses every spare minute to research, plan, refine, scale back, and tweak wherever possible to stretch the travel budget to spend as long as possible away on holiday.

Now that the world is opening again for travellers, we’re ready to head further away from home and to start our next chapter as “Mid-Life Travel Junkies”.  

P&O Cruise of the Pacific
The painted ladies in San Franciso
The Eiffel Tower, Paris
The Tower Bridge, London
Sydney Opera House
Disneyland, Anaheim USA
The Colosseum, Rome