The traveller's life
Travel blogger Sofia Machado shares what it’s like to pack a bag and move to the other side of the world.
It’s a long way from Portugal to Australia, yet following a chance meeting with an Australian while travelling in Montenegro, travel blogger Sofia found herself here. Sofia shares what sparked the move and what it’s like to live a life well-travelled.
Why did you choose a life on the road?
They say travel is a basic human desire and I’m no different to anyone else when it comes to this. It’s just maybe I have a compulsory need to go. I love all aspects of travel, whether it’s relaxing on the beach or finding your bearings in a new city. I love the tedious acts, from just getting to the next place for the night or sorting out our basic needs like cooking on a fire. It challenges me on many levels – I find it fascinating how we all live and interact on the road and at home. As Mark Twain said, “travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry and narrow-mindedness…”
How did it feel to pack up everything and move to Australia?
These days it’s pretty simple to spin a globe and jet off wherever your finger lands. And while travelling is important in itself, living abroad is a completely different experience. Packing my life into 20kg and moving to Australia was the jumpstart to make changes in my life, and at times was (and still is) quite scary. You’re somewhere nobody knows you – you’re pretty much a legal alien. There is a sense of not wanting to fail. You don’t want to go back to your friends and family having to explain your mistakes! There are a lot of emotions and you go through many of them more often than you would like, but I feel fortunate to have moved here, it has been one of the best things I have done so far in my life.
Most profound travel experience you have had?
Any new experience makes you think and wonder, but I must say Montenegro, where I met my partner Paul. This definitely changed my life. Because of those couple of days in Montenegro, we ended up together. Paul lived first with me in Portugal where he learned my language, culture and got to know my family and friends, and then I quit my job as a teacher and moved to Australia, where we now live together. This was definitely a profound experience. Neither of us were looking for a travel romance but we’re both very happy that we found each other.
Favourite destinations in Australia?
I could blog about Tasmania for a very long time and not do it justice. The scenery is simply amazing, supported by delicious food and fantastic wine. Although people in Australia are friendly, you would be hard pressed to find more genuine people anywhere in the world.
I think Australians are so incredibly lucky to have so many natural wonders nearby. I have to mention the Great Barrier Reef because it is such an amazing reef with diverse coral and fish that offers a diver a complete visual feast. I really hope that it can be protected and taken more seriously for being something unique in the world.
What do you want to share with followers of your blog?
When I started out, I didn’t know a thing about blogs and am still not the most computer-literate! I simply wanted to share my experiences with friends and family. I have always loved travel and am known for this among my friends, so they were curious. My blog readership grew as people shared my page with their friends. I have a lot of people that write to me that I have never met and have more people view this on a daily basis. Through my blog, I wanted to share my experiences, be it the big road trip or simply turning down a new road near our place that we’ve never travelled down.
Read about Sofia’s Australian travel adventures at sofianaaustralia.com