Meet Courtney Adamo, entrepreneur and mother of five who, together with her husband Michael, made the courageous decision to uproot from their life in London to travel the world. Here, at their new family base in Bangalow, Northern New South Wales, Courtney shares her thoughts on motherhood and living life to the fullest.
Now that you are settled here in Australia, and you have had some time to explore, can you tell us what you love about your new lifestyle and how your family has embraced the changes?
“There are so many things we love about the lifestyle here, it’s impossible to list them all. If I had to choose a favourite thing — apart from the obvious good weather, good waves and natural beauty of this area — I think it would have to be about the ease of community here and how easy it is to socialise. People are so relaxed, and impromptu picnics and dinner parties are quite normal. When we lived in London, socialising was so much more scheduled, nothing was ever spontaneous. I always struggled with the formality of London life. I feel like we’ve finally found our place here in Australia and we all feel so thankful for our friends and community and the ease of it all.”
Your great passion is traveling — how have you and Michael managed to travel so successfully with a young family in tow?
“We’ve travelled with the kids since they were tiny babies, so it’s just something we’ve always done and never really thought twice about. Because of this, the kids are seasoned travellers — they eat anything, sleep anywhere, recover from jet lag quickly, and share our eagerness to discover new places and meet new people. I think it’s all about making it a priority and not overthinking it. So many people point out the challenges of travelling with kids, but we actually think having kids makes travelling so much more exciting and rewarding. Not to mention, it’s so much easier to meet people and connect with locals when you have kids in tow.”
Can you describe a typical Sunday at home in Bangalow, what do you love to do together?
“We’re a family of surfers, so a typical Sunday would find us all at the beach enjoying the waves. With five kids, it’s not easy to keep our weekends commitment-free, but it’s always been important to me to try to limit our weekend obligations so that we can enjoy time together as a family. Thankfully the kids all really love surfing, so that’s an activity we all get excited about.”
How do you encourage your children to immerse themselves in the environment?
“My kids don’t need much encouragement when it comes to enjoying being outside. It is where we are all truly happiest. It helps that we don’t have a TV, the children don’t have phones or electronic games or anything like that, so there’s really nothing keeping them tied up inside.”
What is your philosophy on motherhood and parenting?
“I am the eldest of five children, so I’ve been raising little people since I was very young. To be honest, parenting has always felt really natural to me. It’s not something I overthink or even have any set philosophies on. My siblings and I were raised on a big farm in the country, and my parents were strict about chores and rules and being polite, but they were pretty relaxed in terms of giving us the freedom to run and play and climb trees and ride horses. I guess I’ve adopted a similar parenting style. I’m not an overbearing mum, but I am quite strict about some things, and I think our kids would probably label me as the ‘strict’ parent. I think it’s important for kids to know where the boundaries are, but to be given the freedom to navigate their way within those boundaries.”
Can you describe your personal style, has it changed over the years?
“I’d say my personal style is quite relaxed, simple, and perhaps a bit bohemian. I wear a lot of dresses because I like the way they make me feel feminine and relaxed and it’s an instant outfit. Living here in Byron, you never really have to get too dressed up or fancy, which I like. I ran into the grocery store the other day without shoes and no one batted an eye! I guess my style has changed a bit since living in London. I definitely wasn’t doing any barefoot grocery shopping in London, that’s for sure.”
Lastly, what is your idea of ultimate happiness?
“A sunny weekend at the beach with my family — with light winds, perfect waves, a packed lunch and nowhere else to be.”