Well hello there! Long time no speak! Well, what a year 2018 was. I think it had to have been one of the hardest years of my life, hence the radio silence on my blog.  I have finally got two seconds to sit down and write about my year in review. To begin with, if you are not signed up to my newsletter then you would have no idea what has been going on.

Back at the beginning of 2018 my marriage ended. I actually find this really difficult to talk about. As much as I am an open book most of the time, I don’t like to talk about my personal life in such a public place. But I also use my website as a journal of my life and that’s why I started this blog – good or bad.

After 10 months I am finally ready to talk about what happened. I feel like this is such a life changing event it is important to write about it.

Byron Bay Lighthouse
Byron Bay Lighthouse

The big move…

After my marriage ended with my partner of 18 years, I went through a truck load of emotional ups and downs. I had to move out of the house that I loved which I renovated twice with my ex husband. I didn’t really have anywhere to go, I didn’t have a full time job as I was a free-lance photographer at the time and that doesn’t really give you much financial security. My first thought was to travel around Australia for six months in a van but then what was I going to do once I was done with that? I needed some stability so I decided to get a “proper” job. I applied for  jobs all over Brisbane but wasn’t having much luck as I had been out of the work force for 3 years. Everyone wanted up to date experience which was making it really difficult.

I sat down and had a good think about where I really wanted to be at that point in time. Byron Bay was calling to me as I have always wanted to move back to Northern NSW. I also had the option to live with my parents down there until I got back on my feet again.

Peaceful afternoons down at Wategoes, Byron Bay
Peaceful afternoons down at Wategoes, Byron Bay

I had a look on www.seek.com and there was an accounts job being advertised in Byron Bay which I applied for. After speaking to the recruitment agent I found out that it was for the clothing company Spell. I was so excited as Spell is such a huge, well known brand with gorgeous boho pieces of clothing.

The recruitment agent wanted to interview me asap so the next day I headed down for an interview and ended up getting the job. I was so excited, not only because I love fashion but the building that I was going to be working in is absolutely stunning. Plus, I would be working in Byron Bay and they let you take your dog to work!

Working at Spell

Working at Spell was so exciting. One of the most amazing companies I have ever worked for. Working with 50 females was a bit daunting at first but  everyone was so lovely and supportive of one another. Every single woman that worked there was so inspiring and believed so passionately in what they were doing.

The company was striving to be 100% sustainable which is amazing considering the fashion industry is one of the worst industries for pollution and waste in the world. There were recycling bins everywhere. All food scraps were taken down the road to the local cafe to be put in their compost garden. The packaging they used for all the clothing was 100% recyclable. There was an Eco committee who worked on sustainability.

The other bonus was getting a clothing allowance and huge discounts off each new clothing range!

Being able to go to the beach for sunset after work each day was nice too. Unfortunately I only lasted there for six months…

Living back in Northern NSW

I thought living back in Northern NSW was going to be the fresh start that I needed. I grew up there and I always loved going back to visit regularly on weekends and holidays from Brisbane. Who doesn’t want to live in Byron Bay? It’s one of the most beautiful places in the world right?!

For starters living with your parents again after years of not living with them can be tough. They still treated me like I was a little girl. My parents live about 40 minutes away from Byron Bay which was a long way to drive each day.

Sunsets along Tallows Beach, Byron Bay
Sunsets along Tallows Beach, Byron Bay

I started looking for a place of my own to live in Byron Bay. Everyone knows how expensive it is to live in Byron, so living on my own became a fading dream. My only other option was to flat share with someone (or a bunch of people) which is not my idea of fun and nothing really suitable came up. Secondly, Byron Bay is a very cliquey place. Even though I was working at Spell and a lot of the girls who worked there, lived in Byron, they all had there own friends so it made it difficult to make new friends. It probably didn’t help that I was going back to Brisbane most weekends to visit friends and for photography workshops etc.

As the days went on I was missing Brisbane more and more. Plus I was dating a guy that lived in Brisbane so that made it even harder…

Sunset at Wategoes, Byron Bay
Sunset at Wategoes, Byron Bay

Back to Brisbane…

After about 5 months had passed I made the decision that I wanted to move back to Brisbane. My whole life was still up there. My friends, my boyfriend, my dogs etc so I started looking for a job in Brisbane again. Being back in the work force made it a lot easier to get a job this time and I successfully secured a job working at a natural health clinic.

I didn’t have anywhere to live up there though so I lived with my boyfriend for the first two weeks until my ex needed me to house sit for him while he was overseas.

Two month later I am still living with my ex but separately until I find a place of my own. Luckily we are still really good friends.

I love being back in Brisbane, being able to see friends and enjoying the things that I loved about Brisbane. Hanging out at Kangaroo Point at sunset, going for a walk/run along the floating walkway. Enjoying all the amazing cafes, swimming at Southbank on these hot summer days. Being able to go to a shopping center that has everything in one place and spending time with both of my dogs.

Sunsets back in my home town, Brisbane
Sunsets back in my home town, Brisbane

What the future holds…

After what feels like a massive roller coaster ride and the toughest year of my life, I feel like things are starting to calm down and my life is getting back on track again. I feel like I am finally home and I have a new found love for Brisbane. I have started a photography business with my good friend Stephen who I was doing Astro photography workshops with this year.

We are branching out into family, couples and maternity shoots which I am really enjoying. Stay tuned for the new website coming soon.

I am excited to finally have time to start blogging again. My passion for travel which I seemed to have lost for the last two years has come back again. I can’t wait to have my own place to call home and have my dogs with me again.

Watching the sunset from Bribie Island
Watching the sunset from Bribie Island

But what about Byron Bay?

It was always my dream to live in Byron but after living there I realised it wasn’t for me. It’s a great place to visit but to live is a completely different story. I prefer to enjoy it as a weekend getaway like most people do. I always thought that Northern NSW was my home, but after moving back and living there, I realised how much I missed Brisbane. It’s my home and has my heart.

I just spent a wonderful 4 days in Byron over Christmas and its the first time I have thoroughly enjoyed it in a long time. The weather was perfect, the water was aqua blue and warm and the atmosphere was alive with tourists. This is the Byron that I remember and love and am happy to experience these moments now and then.

Broken Head, NSW
Broken Head, NSW

As for 2019?

As for 2019, I started the year fresh with a trip to Fraser Island (stay tuned for that blog and video).

I am single again and looking forward to focusing on me this year. Getting my life how I want it which includes finding a place to call my own, focusing on my photography business and going on lots of new adventures with good friends.

I am thankful that I have gotten through the hard times and am excited for what this year holds.

I hope your year has started off nicely too and you have lots of wonderful things to look forward to!

Let me know in the comments below how you felt about 2018 and what exciting things you have planned for 2019. I would love to know!

8 thoughts on “Where I’ve been for the last 10 months….

  1. So good to hear from you Larissa and what you’ve been up to. I’m glad I’ve been able to go on most of this journey with you. This fantastic piece of writing. So honest and from the heart. Your images are beautiful! Even I got emotional reading it! lol! I definitely believe 2019 will be your year!

    1. Thanks Stephen! Its nice to be back! And yes, you were there for most of the ups and downs of last year and I will be forever grateful that you were! You’re a great friend! Bring on lots of new adventures and happy times for 2019!

  2. Hi Larissa,
    Thank you for sharing your story.. I am very sorry about what u went through last year .. sounds hectic.. but at the same glad that you have some sort of direction now with your photography business and doing things for yourself. I also am at a crossroad where I want to pursue my dream of photography in some way, shape or form ..I am recently single as well at the age of 29 so I’ve got more time on my hands .. but I’m not sure where to begin. I invest a lot of time and energy into photography and I love it!! I was wondering if you could check out my page on insta (maybe even follow πŸ˜†) and let me now if you think I have an sort of talent so I can pursue it further as right now I lack the confidence in my work to push for anything more than a hobby. If I could join you for any workshops or events coming up or small jobs to assist.. I would be super super grateful as well.. hope to hear back from you

    1. Hi Ashley, Thanks so much for your reply. So sorry to hear that you are single again too. Hopefully you will find the love of your life this year! And yes I will let you know if I need help with anything. Don’t forget I am running a sunset / city lights long exposure workshop on saturday 19th January if you wanted to learn new skills and improve your photography! πŸ™‚

  3. One of the things I love about your blog posts Larissa (besides the stunning images) is the way you craft your story around them, and give us more of an insight into you, Larissa the photographer, Larissa the woman, Larissa the supremely gifted human being….for me the end of 2018 was a planning stage to start setting up new videography projects for early 2019, and also get started on my long awaited motorcycle documentary which begins this year on the Great Ocean Road. I think for further episodes here in Australia I will simply hunt through your blog and Instagram feed and find some more stunning locations!! Thank you for being amazing, thank you for your perfectly framed moments of pure beauty, and thank you for being you! Can’t wait to see your magic unfold once more this year πŸ˜ŠπŸ™πŸ˜πŸ˜˜

    1. Thank you so much for taking the time to read my blog Anthony and for your lovely words. Your continued support means so much to me. Im glad that my blogs can bring you some enjoyment and give you inspiration for your motorcycle documentary! You will have to let me know when its ready. I would love to see it and it sounds like a really exciting project to be working on for 2019! I wish you the best of luck with it! πŸ™‚

  4. Hi Larissa, I must admit when I first got your email and saw the link of what has been happening I left it as I thought ‘here we go again’. But, I can say it was nothing like I had imagined! So positive, real and so well put together. I love your photos, they are so different to nearly all that I see on FB/Insta. For me 2018 ended with a jolt, as I was handed a redundancy letter from my employer. This however, like you have shared so well, has created new opportunities for me, and I am starting a small business with my wife, centred around photography. So I am so excited for what 2019 will bring. All the best for the future, and looking forward to seeing more of your photos and reading more of your adventures.

    1. Hi Dale, Thanks so much for taking the time to read my blog. I’m glad you thought if was a good read. I’m sorry to hear about you being made redundant. Sometimes life throws us curve balls and it’s how you deal with it that makes the difference. Sounds like you are making the best of your situation. I wish you all the luck in the world for your new photography business and for 2019. πŸ™‚

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