Rewriting the rules
TARA Toohey was sitting in the car with her husband Jayden one day when she turned to him and asked if he was happy and what he would do if he was retired.
He was completely happy, he replied, Although he wouldn’t mind travelling Australia one day.
Three months later, that is exactly what the young couple is doing.
Instead of waiting to become grey nomads, the twenty-somethings have hit the road before the grey hairs sprout.
The clever pair of Gen Ys have come up with their own brand of working holiday to travel Australia for a year.
Tara, a photographer, and Jayden, a cinematographer, have combined working at home with working on the road.
Between their camera work at home on the Sunshine Coast, they will fly and drive Australia, photographing and filming people and places.
It is a clever way for them to maintain their professional profiles and keep up the mortgage payments on their Wurtulla home while “living the dream”.
“We worked it out that we had enough jobs booked to cover the mortgage and we could travel in between,” Jayden said.
They will post one photo a day and one video a week on their website, www.theaustraliantourist.com, which officially launched yesterday.
The canny young business couple intends to seek sponsorship as they go, with a view to promoting tourism operators whose services or accommodation they sample.
As they drove out of Gundagai last week, Jayden said they wanted to show Australia in a way that had not been done to an audience that might not otherwise look at travelling Australia.
The high school sweethearts have travelled overseas through countries such as the United States, South America and Egypt during their 10 years together and realised during their travels how much Australia had to offer.
“We talked to people from the Netherlands and different places overseas and realised they they’d seen more of Australia than we had. We want to promote Australia to our generation,” Jayden said.
The Tooheys hope their high- quality images and videos on the ’net will inspire other Australians to see their own backyard first.
Although places like the Kimberleys and Byron Bay are on their list of “must-sees”, the couple is keen to show off some smaller, lesser-known locations.
And as well as showing the places, they want to show the people.
“Who better to promote their town than some of the local characters?” Jayden said.
For Tara and Jayden, who do a lot of wedding work on the Sunshine Coast, the trip is also a chance to expand their professional skills. Tara, who is used to working with people, is finding herself doing more landscape work than ever before.
And Jayden, who is usually behind the camera, has ventured in front of it to introduce and conclude the videos that he shoots and edits.
“It’s pushing us both into new areas,” Jayden said.
The two plan to continue their adventure for a year but are not setting any limits.
“My dream is that this gets so big that sponsorship might be so good that it’s something that can carry on for a couple of years to come,” Tara said.
Added Jayden: “The worst-case scenario is that we’ve had a year around Australia and have some great videos and photos to show for it.”