Thank you for taking the time to visit us and affording us the opportunity to introduce ourselves.
We are not lifestyle advisers or certified councellors. We have our fair share of past decisions we are not proud of, we occasionally party too much, say things we don’t mean, and have a great collection of photos we can have a good laugh about. We are also not world-renowned travel experts, as we have had our fair share of mishaps and problems while abroad, and are still learning as we go…
I first met Nix while I was working in Bloubergstrand, Cape Town, South Africa. One of the most popular drinking venues in Bloubergstrand is the Blue Peter Hotel, where I worked as a manager for nearly 3 years. During this time I was approached by two girls who filled in application forms to work in our tavern, an extremely popular venue for both locals and tourists. It’s a great place for an afternoon drink, particularly on Sundays and holidays where patrons come to watch the setting sun, drink cold beers and enjoy tasty pizzas.
At this stage of my life I would consider myself a weekend dad, day-time surfer, night-time drinker, and overall great-guy-who-didn’t-give-a-fuck-about-anything. I was also in charge of hiring, so after the initial introduction and usual paperwork, offered the girls a job. They accepted and started training shortly afterwards. The next few months, maybe even a year or two, is a bit blurry, as we worked, partyed, repeat, 7 days a week… It was a job that was extremely demanding but we finished relatively early each evening so we spent many late nights together, before starting the whole cycle again the next day.
Nix and I started seeing each other outside of work hours, changed jobs a few times and even did a short contract working together in USA. Once we returned from overseas, we moved in together and then started making plans to change our lifestyles, become more settled and thinking of our long-term goals. Nix did some administration courses and landed an office admin position while I tried studying, something which did not work out in the end. I remained employed in the restaurant industry while Nix settled into a daily schedule which was more in the nine-to-five range. It was at this stage in our lives that we decided to become home-owners. With assistance from Nix’s parents we put in an offer to purchase an apartment, got the required finance, and eventually moved in.
Nix then got a position in retail, working for a high-end tech brand, in a mall which was open seven days a week, nearly 365 days a year… Soon she was travelling to work in the mornings, sometimes up to two hours, before sunrise, only to return later that evening again nearly two hours, after sunset. As I was working restaurants, I would leave at around four in the afternoon, only to return in the small hours of the morning. We were passing ships in the night, only enjoying time together on the rare days we were able to take off at the same time. There seemed to be less time to experience things together and even less money to do so. Each month we scraped by, struggled and planned, even taking hand-outs from Nix’s folks for essentials such as car repairs or apartment fixes.
Nix’s job was sucking the life out of her, mine was long and unsatisfying, and we were not seeing enough of each other. I would kite-surf during the day and work at night, while Nix spent her evenings planning the week’s meals and budget. Her salary was a fixed monthly income which covered the official costs such as bond payments while my contribution was daily, assisting with day-to-day expenses such as fuel and power bills. It’s amazing how easy it is to get stuck in this kind of lifestyle, and not even be aware that it’s happening. Don’t get me wrong, we have always managed to work out ways to spend amazing times together. We were also blessed to experience and share some milestone events in my daughter’s life such as high school graduation, prom night, her first car, and enrolling in college. We spent a lot of weekend time on the beach, which has always been a mutual favorite pastime, myself in the water, while the girls enjoyed the summer sun.
The last few years have bought great change to our lifestyle. Our commute is now a two minute barefoot walk along the beach to our respective jobs, through the palm trees and along the water’s edge. We see each other every evening, can enjoy coffee together in the mornings, do not wear shoes for most of the year and most importantly, we travel now more than we ever could during our past lives. Our future dreams and aspirations have also changed as we have stepped outside of our respective comfort zones and altered our vision of what we expect from the years to come. We have also become much more aware of our global environmental crisis, and try to affect change in our lives to ensure the sustainability of our planet.
I now operate a water sports centre in the tropical paradise that is the Maldives. Nicole works on the same resort island as an administrator in the dive centre.
During our first trip to Bali, I purchased a tee shirt that pretty much sums up our travel requirements and desires. In a small, quaint designer store, located next to our favorite breakfast venue, I found a shirt with the logo that read: ” Coconut don’t grow there, I don’t go there”. The following year I purchased a beach bag for Nix, with the same logo and design, from the same store, and the catchy phrase has stuck with us ever since.
We have had many adventures during our stay and look forward to many more in the future. Please join us as we share our past, present and future adventures, or share with friends and join us in our blessed journey while we search for coconuts.