Welcome to CGKjourneys
Charlotte and Greg here, we live in the Gold Coast, Australia, after finally making a three year dream a reality.
We have been traveling to over 25 countries around the world since 2001 finding new adventures, seeing and enjoying what the world has to offer. We have been together since 1996 and got married in Fiji in 2006, 10 years on the day we met.
From world travel, beautiful wedding, losing Greg's father at the age of just 63 to terminal cancer, the heartache of finding out we can’t have our own children, Greg getting cancer to now with CGkjourneys.
Life is an adventure a journey to the unknown, it’s what you make of it and what you do with it that really counts. We only have one life so enjoy it, keep pushing forward and achieve the dreams and goals you desire.
We thought we would share a little bit about ourselves and how we have got to where we are today and the creation of CGKjourneys.
Traveling started in 2001
Our thirst for traveling and seeing the world really started when we decided to do our big OE (Overseas Experience) in January of 2001.
We were both super excited and nervous at the same time and l remember us saying to each other, "if we can survive the trip together, we can do anything."
We had enough money to pay for our flights and the bus journeys around Europe, however, that was about it. Then a friend offered us a job in Tasmania helping to tie apple trees (tie two small apple tree sticks together to grow another apple tree) we took him up on the work.
No one can say we haven’t done a hard day’s work - 120,000 new apple trees we tied in ten weeks! Back-breaking stuff, this gave us the extra money we needed to travel for the next nine months.
Our first stop was Bangkok and then a month in Koh Samui. This was our first taste of Thailand and really fuelled our passion for Asia and travel.
In Koh Samui we stayed in a one-room hut for three weeks right on the beach and it was magical. Every morning we woke up, two steps on the beach and ten steps into the water, this was always, followed by breakfast and then either sunbathing for the day or hopping on the bike and exploring the island.
From that moment we fell in love with Koh Samui and really did not want to leave our spot of ‘paradise’.
From there we spent a few weeks in London before heading off on an amazing trip around Europe for 7 months. What an adventure meeting new people, trying new food, experiencing new cultures, seeing amazing sites and really getting a feel for traveling and the adventure and excitement it brings.
We covered over 12 countries in this time with some of our highlights were, Paris, San Sebastian in Spain, camping just out of Venice, Gibraltar, beauty of Switzerland, Rome, Sorrento in Italy and Capri, just to name a few.
When we headed back to London we thought we would only stay a few months and 7 years later we finally left. We loved living in London as it allowed us to do loads of travel around the UK, including Wales, Ireland, Scotland as well as trips to Ibiza, Egypt, New York and Las Vegas.
After traveling and living in London for 7 years we decided to head back to New Zealand, set up in Auckland, get jobs and think about starting a family. However, the journey that we thought we were going on was not going to be and life was about to change forever.
Who would have thought it could be so difficult to start a family?
After a few tests it was determined that Greg had low to no sperm, so we spent a year putting him on horrible medication and going through surgery to see if anything would help, however after a few years of testing our specialists said that there was not much more that could be done.
Shattered, devastated, heartbroken doesn't even start to explain how we felt. We looked at adoption, however, it’s not easy in NZ to adopt a baby (at the time there were 6 babies up for adoption with thousands of Kiwis registered for them), IVF was not for us.
After many tears and sorrow, we concluded that kids were not for us and instead we would be awesome Aunty and Uncle and travel and enjoy life.
Diagnosis is not good!
We slowly got back on track when Greg one day was in huge pain and called me and said he needed to go to the doctors. I knew something wasn’t right. The doctor we saw suggested getting a scan and Greg was diagnosed with Bi-lateral Testicular cancer.
Two weeks later he was in surgery, followed by more surgery three weeks later. Suddenly our life really turned upside down, we had lost Greg’s dad to terminal cancer a year earlier and now Greg had been diagnosed with the big ‘C’.
All l can say is thank goodness for medical insurance and the great specialists and doctors that looked after Greg.
Three years in and Greg is all clear, though still continues to get check-ups and has an injection every ten weeks for the rest of his life plus having to manage daily life differently now.
Time for a change
Greg took about 3 months off work and then headed back doing short weeks, part-time hours, he was happy to be back, however, something had changed. Work was not the same and he didn’t want to work the normal 9-5 job for someone else, so we made the hard decision and he resigned from his job and looked at creating another life/income that wasn’t a 9-5.
A last-minute decision to do a trip to Australia to attend a seminar around creating an online business really started the new journey for us and the realisation that we didn’t need to work for someone else and we could create a lifestyle and income online.
I suppose you could say, that was the moment when we decided to take a different path and look at how we could create our own income online and lifestyle. A year and a half later Charlotte left her corporate job after 10 years to be a contractor and work for herself.
Is it always easy ‘hell no’, there are times when l think "what are we doing" when bills are due and work for me is not coming in, however, I would not change this journey for anything for the flexibility and life it is allowing us to create and share with others.
CGKjourneys is born
So, from all of this, we have been inspired to create 'CGKjourneys'.
Though CGKjourneys trades under a corporate company called Makara Limited (CN - 5714707). Makara Limited is very dear to our hearts as Makara is a name of a child we sponsor in Cambodia.
Since we cannot have our own children we decided to help another family and community in Cambodia. Part of the profits from CGKjourneys goes to support Makara, his family, and community.
We hope by sharing our own story and the journey we can inspire and help you and others through difficult times.
We hope you enjoy CGKjourneys and continue to enjoy the adventure we are on and follow us on Instagram and Facebook.
You too will have a story to tell......
Life is full of ups and downs but it’s about taking steps (as slow as it may feel sometimes) so that those steps become strides and then it becomes your journey.
We would love to hear from you and learn about your journey, just send us an email firstname.lastname@example.org
If you are a business or company and would like to collaborate we are happy to talk with you.