Ch.. Ch.. Changes

It only seems fitting that I’m writing this post while listening to the song that always pops into my mind when I’m debating life changes. That’s right, I’m listening to David Bowie’s Changes. It only seems fitting.

A photo posted by Nicole Smith (@nicoletravelbug) on


It’s been a little quiet over on my side. Sure, I’ve been spending a lot of time enjoying the long warm days that summer and autumn bring, along with the packed calendar of events which fills Melbourne for the first few months of the year, but I’ve also had some personal changes.

I began blogging six years ago. Sure, in the early days I entertained fantasies of being a full-time writer but as I began to develop a portfolio of professional writing, I very quickly came to learn that I like writing for you, for Bitten by the Travel Bug, and – most importantly – for myself. It’s a passion project that I’m vehemently pursuing, and will continue to, but it’s never going to be my career. And that’s my decision.

I love photography and writing but I love the business development side more than the actual writing. It’s taken me six years to own the fact that I enjoy business. So, I decided to test the waters and see if it’s what I actually enjoyed.

In December, I applied to work at a Digital Advertising Agency. In all honesty, I applied because it was for a seven-week Community Manager role in a suburb near me which could provide me insight into a potential career while also earning valuable professional skills. I didn’t think I had a hope getting it, but I applied anyway.

Cadbury Dairy Milk Australia Easter Bunny Video

I got the job! And what started as a seven-week contract turned into five months working as a Community Manager and Copywriter for Fortune 500 brands, luxury automotive, and retail shopping centres. My copy has been seen on global brand pages (like the above on the Cadbury Dairy Milk page!) and I was even the Creative Lead for a pitch.
I was part of an incredible team who is growing and changing, but as each week passed I felt like I was sinking rather than swimming. Busyness is a good thing to have as a business, but when there’s no time to develop and train… well, I’m just not the right fit for their jigsaw, and that’s okay and so it was time to move on.

my Qantas birthday cake

But don’t you miss travel?

I thought turning to full-time work would mean I’d feel like I was ‘missing out’ on travel. But I didn’t. Sure, on a particularly bad day I would throw my hands up and question why I turned from freelancer to office maven, but then the next day I get stuck back into it and realise that I do love every bump and high of Agency life.

Melbourne is still a new destination for me. Despite having lived here for the best part of five years now, I haven’t really ‘seen’ Melbourne. I’m not a local despite calling it one of my homes, and I’d like to change that.
In the first three months of 2016, I’ve ticked off more ‘Bucket List’ items than I had in the previous five years.
Summer is a great time to be in Melbourne with the Comedy Festival, art exhibitions (like the Andy Warhol / Ai Wei Wei exhibition where the collage of colourful photo at the top of this post featuring my friend Brendan and I is from!), and all the good things that come with summer in the city.

I’ve continued to rent my guest room on airbnb which is both thrilling and tiring, especially through the super busy summer season, which is keeping my home filled with foreign language, film and – most importantly – food!

Even my work was full of adventure. Our office is diverse – there are two Estonians, two Indians, a Vietnamese designer, a Canadian, two Brazilians, a Columbian and a Brit working there!

So, what’s next?

Honestly, I haven’t thought too far ahead. This weekend has been about enjoying the last days of sunshine in Melbourne and welcoming a new housemate. It’s been about Mother’s Day and reflecting on where I want to go.

I’ll be starting a Digital Marketing course next week to see if Business and Marketing is an area I want to pursue and then continue working out where I want to go, one step at a time.
The only sure thing is that I’m still here and can’t wait to continue sharing tips, adventures and stories with you.

Let me know in the comments below

What’s happening in your life?

Have you got any upcoming travel plans?

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  • Reply
    May 14, 2016 at 2:06 pm

    All the best with your course. Exciting times

  • Reply
    May 22, 2016 at 10:10 am

    Congratulations on the new life change, and if you ever get the travel itch again badly, know that Your skill-set is easy to digitize and take on the road with you!

  • Reply
    Emily Ray
    May 24, 2016 at 5:52 am

    It sounds like the last few months have been spectacularly busy for you, and also productive in helping you work out what you want to do. Life is way too short to get stuck doing something you hate, but as someone said above, your skill-set is enviable and very easy to take on the road with you. Enjoy the Melbourne sunshine and enjoy your course – and I look forward to reading all your forthcoming updates and adventures 🙂

  • Reply
    Sara | Belly Rumbles
    May 24, 2016 at 3:11 pm

    You’re still young and the mother in me says you have made the right decision. Spread those wings, learn, grow. Keep up with the blog, enjoy writing for us as a fun creative thing to do, not as a chore. Who knows what you will be doing in five years time, but new doors will continue to open, jump through them with all the passion you have.

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