Back in 2009, I was offered a job via Twitter for a design agency in New York City. I accepted the offer, packed up my bags and took the 24 hour flight from Sydney to NYC and have been living life there ever since.
However, the time has come for me to leave NYC and pursue something that has always been a passion of mine… traveling. On April 2nd, my wife and I are set to leave NYC and go globe trotting, chasing summer for 1.5 years, over 50-60 countries & 6-7 continents.
We’ve given notice to our employers, donated or sold most of our belongings and have minimized our lives down to a 65L backpack, ready to tackle the world before we settle back down in Australia to have children in 2016/17 – who knows?
We are houseless, with no overheads and no responsibilities.
We’re saddened to leave our friends and life here in NYC but also extremely excited to start this new chapter in our lives.
Below you can read our future plans and highlights from the past 5 years.
Subscribe to our Travel Blog
My wife and I will be running a travel blog, separate to Just Creative to post our photos, stories & tips while on the road. The blog is called JUST GLOBETROTTING (http://justglobetrotting.com) and you can subscribe to our updates.
There’s not much on there yet, but we will building it up as we travel. Please note, it will be much more personal & casual than Just Creative. Business up front, party in the back!
Plans While We’re On The Road
Freelance: The plan is to do some freelance design work while on the road, where it makes sense in terms of Wi-Fi availability and client schedules. This will help offset some of the costs of traveling, as well as the passive income coming in from my sites.
Just Creative: I plan to manage the Just Creative blog to an extent, although unfortunately it will slow down in terms of new posts and comment replies. The same goes for the Just Creative social channels.
Logo of the Day: A passion I have to put on hold. I will cease to post new logos to Logo of the Day while traveling simply because it’s too time consuming.
2009-2015 Personal Highlights
It’s important to look at where you’ve come from, to track your evolution, to know where you’ve failed, to know where you’ve succeeded and ultimately try plan for your future, both in the short and long term.
With this said, I would have to say that the past five years have been the most progressive of my life thus far, both personally and professionally. I’ve learned so much, made a bunch of mistakes and I am extremely grateful for it all.
Excuse my indulgence, but these were my highlights from the past 5 years. I hope that they will inspire and show you that anything can happen if you have the right attitude and JUST do it.
1. Becoming fully independent
Becoming independent, paying your bills and actually living life in one of the world’s most unforgiving cities is something that once you accomplish, is very liberating (no matter the city). The American Dream some may call it.
Whatever you call it, I personally feel like I “Made It” in NYC but this of course could not be done without the help of many others, especially my parents who gave me an extremely loving & fortunate upbringing of which I am forever grateful, and the job opportunity that drew me to NYC in the first place.
2. Marrying my Best Friend
I moved to NYC a single man, then my life-long best friend also moved over (for her own reasons). A few months later we hooked up which was extremely bizarre as we were like brother & sister, then we started dating. Fast forward two years and we were engaged and then in 2013, got married. Now, I couldn’t be more excited to go globetrotting with my best friend & lover!
3. Becoming Healthy & Fit
A few years ago I was having bad back problems, so I set a very “original” new year’s resolution of going to the gym. I set my goal for going at least 3 times a week and I’ve kept that up and have never felt better, both mentally and physically. I also play soccer twice a week for a more competitive challenge, and eat healthily when possible, although I must admit I do have a rather large sweet tooth.
4. Pursuing Passions
As mentioned earlier, one of my true passions, other than design, is traveling and over the past five years, my wife and I have been fortunate enough to explore dozens of countries (36+) & cities across the globe. Traveling is the perfect way to get refreshed and broaden your mind.
5. My Personal Mistakes
It’s much harder to define the mistakes you’ve made, as they are not always in front of our face. We learn by doing, by trying and improving and this happens over a longer period of time without specific milestones.
This said, the biggest way to see how you’ve improved and the “mistakes” you’ve made is by looking at the quality of your work & skills from 2-X years ago. Not just design work, but how you’ve improved your relationship skills, your business skills and overall presence in the world.
These would be my greatest “mistakes”. Oh, and getting deported from the USA.
2009-2015 Professional Highlights
Following on from the points above, a great indicator of growth is looking at the caliber of your clients and work being completed. These were my professional work highlights from the past five years:
1. Rebranding Just Creative
In 2010, I changed my business name from Just Creative Design to Just Creative, bought a new domain name and rebranded my business into what you see now. Since doing so, my freelance business has flourished and I’ve had the opportunity to work with hundreds of clients from all over the world, the vast majority of which come through my blog or word of mouth.
2. High Profile Clients
Moving to New York City and working at multiple agencies has given me the opportunity to work on an amazingly diverse range of clients.
Some notable brands I’ve worked with over the years include; Jerry Seinfeld, Nintendo, Powerade, VitaminWater, Disney, Red Bull, Nike, Vibram, Capcom, OMEGA, Cutty Sark, Cannondale, Seagrams, Zynga, Pirates Booty, Sweet ’N’ Low, In The Raw, Labatt, SmartWater, Jimmie Johnson and some smaller clients: Ligne Roset, Edrington, Energy Kitchen, GrimeBoss, Nice Pak, Brooklyn Bowl, TFC, FXDD, Brodsky, BCorp, BMC, CableFax, CitiHabitats, CoffeeShop, Crestron, CSG, Montauk Brewery, Prolo, DreamDry and Guru.
Below you can see some completed websites that I did the design / UX / UI for. Development was mainly completed at Ammirati.
- Vibram *Fav
- TFC Real Estate *Fav
- Comedians In Cars Getting Coffee *Fav
- Prolo Finder
- FXDD Mirror Trader
- FXDD MTClear
- Montauk Brewery *Fav
- Cannondale Synapse
- Seagram’s Escapes
- Bridgehampton Motoring Club
- B Impact Assessment
- Union Square Ballroom
- Live Bait
- The Coffee Shop NYC
- Sweet N Low
- Flywheel *Old Fav
- Fossil Fighters Frontier *Fav
- Code Name S.T.E.A.M. *Fav
- Bayonetta 2
- Bravely Default
- NES Remix *Fav
- Mario Golf
- Lego City Wii U
- Lego City 3DS
- Mario Party Island Tour
3. Won the Young Alumni Award
Early in 2014, I was nominated for the Young Alumni Award from The University of Newcastle Australia and in September I was generously flown back to go to the award ceremony and to my surprise, actually won the award for being a “game changer”. The award recognizes “innovation, creativity, exceptional leadership and those who inspire others through their local, national and international achievements.”
I’ve also just been told I will be a ‘featured graduate’ in thee 2016 Undergrad Prospectus which is sent out to all Year 12 high school students.
4. Published in Newspapers, Magazines & Books
Although not a motivation for my work, it’s always nice to be recognized and have your work published. A good handful of my client’s logos were published in Logo Lounge’s amazing logo book series and I’ve also appeared in the New York Post, Wall Street Journal and front page of The Newcastle Herald, amongst many more.
5. Spoke at TEDx
Public speaking is far from my forte or passion, however when I was asked to speak at a TEDx I couldn’t turn down the opportunity. I spoke at TEDxCMU about personal branding, social media and how to handle being deported from the USA.
6. Free Logo Design Inspiration eBook
Earlier in 2014, I put together a free logo design inspiration eBook highlighting over 1000+ amazing logos and since then it’s been downloaded over 16,000 times. A huge thanks to all the contributors and sharers!
7. Social Media Growth
All of the above would not have been possible if not for the valuable design community, so thank you for following and sharing the love!
- Facebook: 41,000 followers (Follow)
- Twitter: 72,500 followers (Follow)
- Email Newsletter: 16,000 subscribers
- Just Creative Traffic 500,000 hits per month
A Reminder to Subscribe to JUST GLOBETROTTING
We’re planning to visit 50-60 odd countries over the next 1.5 years so check out our rough itinerary to see if our paths will cross and subscribe to get our updates!
Let me know if you have any questions and what you would like to read about on our travel blog!