Cancun to Castlemaine. Turning a dream into reality.


In July, 2013 I was sitting at a beach bar in Cancun, Mexico with an ice cold Corona nestled in my hand. At my shoulder was my great friend and the co-founder of this blog, Robert, and together we were contemplating life.

Now perhaps it may strike you as odd for such deep thinking to occur on a beach in Mexico. Cancun of all places! More renowned for its parties than philosophers. Furthermore I had flown there from Australia in Business Class to attend what was basically a massive reward for exceeding my company sales targets. So there we were – three thousand giddy employees, partying as one whilst uber popstar Pitbull performed as the headline act. It’s a pinch yourself situation right? Definitely!

This author centre left.
This author centre left.

But yet there we were, reflecting on whether there was more to life than just pay checks, job titles and succession planning. I realise it must seem like utter madness.

However in reality Cancun was just the cumulation of a year of intensity, toil, stress, long hours and a lot of duty travel that took me far, far away from my young family. Even the incredible reward conference saw me arrive at 9am on a Saturday all the way from Australia and leave on the Monday morning. My life was rush, rush, rush and my energies consumed with career.

An Epiphany.

A couple of years earlier I had heard a phrase that had had a great impact on me, I was just about to turn 40 when I first heard it.

I had been in a meeting with a successful Entrepreneur and, among other things,  we had been discussing the mythical quest for true work/life balance. During that discussion they had mentioned to me that they had recently significantly altered their attitude to life outside of the office. They had transcended from being obsessed and defined solely by their career to a new found focus on life and family, oh and themselves! The way they phrased their epiphany moment was …

“At 40 I realised I may only have thirty or forty summers, so what was I going to do with them?”

Those words were what my friend and I were discussing on that beach in Mexico – thirty summers.

Thirty Summers.

Upon our return to Australia it took us less than three months to arrange our first Thirty Summers weekend break. These were quickly anointed as  ’30S Getaways’. The aim was to escape the pressures of work, stay in accommodation that provided access to walking trails, mountains to hike etc and to ensure that the fridge was adequately stocked with frosty libations for post activity debriefs. In depth conversation over a sizzling BBQ was de rigeur as was stinky cheese and red wine to round out the evenings. (You can see one of our ’30s Getaways’ in the one minute video below)

These escapes from work pressures and status quo were so cathartic and liberating. They re-framed our views and expectations and showed me that you should not expect life to be linear. We always knew that Monday was only a day or so away, and that was fine, but this genuinely felt like escaping ordinary, at least for a little while, and gave us the nascent idea for this blog.

To say that much was to happen in the intervening eighteen months is an understatement. Changes of jobs for both of us, two interstate moves for one and momentous changes in lifestyle and attitude for the other. That said these changes allowed me to put in the many hours needed to actually get Thirty Summers up on to the Inter Webs.


And so it was that in the small regional town of Castlemaine, Victoria, and now as ‘co-founders’ Rob and I met to finalise testing on our soon-to-be launched blog. The blog that you’re now reading –

Finalising Thirty Summers
Finalising Thirty Summers

Aptly we did this on a ’30S Getaway’ and managed to squeeze in our agenda between visits to local markets, hikes, photography sorties, exploratory drives and respectful clinking of glasses.

A '30S Getaway' to finish Thirty Summers. Seemed apt.
A ’30S Getaway’ to finish Thirty Summers. Seemed apt.

The purpose of Thirty Summers is to provide you, our reader, a nexus for escape. An on-line nook & cranny where you know you can come and be free from pressure, business-isms and deadlines. We furthermore promise that we will never mention the word ‘scalable’ nor will our ducks ever be in a row. Thirty Summers is Personal, not Business.

We are a lifestyle blog with an emphasis on Travel where busy people can come and Escape Ordinary.

Parting thought.

I want to propose to you a re-framing of a very common phrase. You will utter these words for sure, in fact you might even say them a lot. The phrase is…

I’m too busy!

Said it recently? You mean it and it’s totally justified right? Well I want to propose this. Could that phrase really mean – ‘It’s not important enough to me.’ Just have a think about it. I was certainly way too busy to design, build and launch this blog but yet it exists. I truly wanted it! Be careful not to deprive yourself of life experiences and opportunities simply due to being too ‘busy.’ They might not come around again. Just saying…

Thanks very much for visiting.


Travel is my passion and also my career. I’ve spent my entire working-life in the travel industry with roles as diverse as tour guide, travel agent and marketing manager for some of the worlds largest travel brands. My favourite city in the world to visit is NYC and France is my most beloved country to explore. I travel to learn and observe to understand always with camera in hand.

8 thoughts on “Cancun to Castlemaine. Turning a dream into reality.

  1. It is an excellent phrase/watchword ’30 summers’ Saxon – our own move to a French Hillside was very much a ’30S’ moment – in the end, time is the most precious thing we have and it is far too easily swallowed up in the quest for material things and success, whatever that is! Definitely need to take the time to smell the roses…..Bonne continuation as our French neighbours might say 🙂


    1. Oh wow. What you have done is the definition of a ’30S’ moment 🙂 Are you planning on some Peter Mayle-esque revenue earning so you can do fun things like eat et al. Have you done a post on your move and reasons behind it? That would be a very interesting read – ne c’est pas!?

      Liked by 1 person

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