Ostensibly, Sydney is a big city. It boasts the world’s largest natural harbor. It played host to the Summer Olympics in 2000. And it’s the most populous metropolis in Australia.
But, to Florent and Amberly — the couple behind @oftwolands — their home has never really felt like a big city, at least not in the same way that other international hotspots like New York or London have. Sure, Sydney is a “gateway” to the continent for tourists, attracting millions of travelers every year, but in the six years they’ve lived there as a couple, Florent and Amberly have never struggled to escape the bustle that plagues most major metropolises.
To them, the city feels relaxed, laid back, even. It’s easy to find a quiet spot to escape to, whether that’s a cozy café in Surry Hills, the vast and wild vistas of the Blue Mountains, or the azure waters of Clovelly Beach. Sydney’s surrounding countryside — with its rugged, natural landscapes and stunning oscillations of mountains and valleys — presents plenty of opportunities for exploration. Even the tourist magnets, like the unmistakable nested shells of the Opera House, are less clichéd than you might expect, offering spectacularly colorful views of every sunrise and sunset.
For Amberly, who grew up near the Blue Mountains, Sydney has always been home, but Florent has only lived there since 2012. Born and raised in France, he embarked on a six-month trip around the world in 2010, feeling compelled to explore what lay beyond the borders of Europe. He met Amberly in Sydney, and two years later, he decided to pack up his life and move to Australia permanently. The couple has been traveling and working together ever since.
Theirs is a union of creators, as they are both artistic spirits. A self-described lover of cinema, Florent has been interested in filmmaking since a young age. Amberly, on the other hand, has a background in graphic design and prefers to capture her surroundings through illustration and still photography. While most content creators stick to a single medium, together, Amberly and Florent are able to express their vision unencumbered by traditional limits. Preferring to work by instinct rather than follow any preconceived plan, their process involves exploring a new place and, once they’re on-site, deciding which of their skills they should employ to best showcase that location to others.
Though they live in the heart of the city, Florent and Amberly feel most at home when they’re in nature, surrounded by jagged mountain peaks and pristine landscapes. They’ve discovered these settings all over the world — from the reigning rock faces of the Italian Dolomites to the staggering beauty of New Zealand and the misty alpine forests of British Columbia — but their favorite continent to explore remains the one they call home. Many people may equate Australia with its luxurious white-sand beaches, but Amberly and Florent prefer the remoteness of its countryside and the unruliness of its wilderness.
And they both agree that they still have much to explore — when living in such a beautiful country, they don’t want to miss a thing.