Australian Stories: Remote Nurse Miquela Vos

Australian Stories: Remote Nurse Miquela Vos

Nature nourishes me by creating a space where I can just turn my brain off and live in tune with the environment. When spending a few days out camping, waking up with the sun, enjoying nature and then slowing down with the sunset does absolute wonders for me. It feels like a total reset. I forgot to mention that 99% of the time, there’s no phone reception which allows you to really wind down.

Miquela Vos is a remote area nurse, part-time model & ETTO ambassador living with her partner and doggos in The Kimberley, Western Australia. We chat to Miquela about making the move from the city to this stunning part of Australian Country, working in the community school, sustainably catching your own fish for food, and generally getting nourished by nature.

What kind of Australian environment do you live in, tell us about the environment? 

I live in a remote Aboriginal community up in the Kimberley. It’s right on the coast and surrounded mainly by bushland and desert which is special because I get the best of both worlds really! It’s very hot, dusty and dirty up here but at the same time, the landscape is stunning.

The street we live on is a dirt road with venomous and non-venomous snakes constantly living in our backyard. Wild cows will roam our street often at night too. It’s pretty fun to be honest!

Our wet season is during summer which means, humidity of 60%+ most days and above 30 degrees, lots of mozzies and wet season storms (if we are lucky), they bring the most incredible lightning shows. During winter we have the dry season where the humidity drops with warm sunny days, but the temperature drops at night, and we are able to enjoy the outdoors more!

Do you have a home base or are you always on the road?

I have a home base, we have been in the remote community for 3 and half years so far. Friends often think I’m still road tripping as we are always making the most of our weekends and holidays by getting out camping or road tripping to other places close by!

With your partner Jack and your cutest pack of dogs, you spend a lot of time in the outdoors, what do you get up to in nature? 

We love getting out and enjoy nature, especially with our dogs Zig and Mango. We often get out on the boat and go fishing out to sea or in the creeks and the pooches coming along with us. I think they are more excited than us about it too haha! We go camping by the ocean every second weekend, we head out fishing and diving if the weather turns it on but also just to kick back and enjoy being outdoors.

Tell us a bit about one of your favourite experiences travelling remotely?

I have so many favourite experiences it’s hard to really narrow it down to be honest! One experience that I absolutely loved was when we went to the Northern Territory chasing waterfalls in the wet season with some mates. We were able to enjoy the most insane waterfalls during the day and spent most nights all huddled under an awning while the wet season storms bucketed down with lightning spreading across the sky for hours. The Northern Territory wet season is so wild and fun. We can’t wait to go back.

You catch a lot of your own food. Tell us a bit about this and what does it mean to catch your own food?

Yes, we catch all our own fish for food and go hooking for crabs, making sure that we only taking what we need to feed us for a week or two. We sometimes drop fish off to friends and families in the community too!

We often spear fish, and it is reassuring knowing that this form of hunting is possibly the most sustainable out there. Going out spearing is also a great form of physical exercise and great for mental health which are both important to live a well-balanced life.

I feel like I have learnt so much about the environment out here, what tides work best for fishing/spearing, watching the behaviours of fish and sharks in their natural habitat. This just scrapes the surface of what I’ve learnt.

It sounds cliché but every time you’re out in the bush/on the water you learn something new, adding to what you already know every time and I have started to feel quite in tune with the environment around here. My respect for the ocean just builds constantly, often we just swim around just observing and admiring the incredible sea life! Eating fresh fish directly from the ocean is not only a healthier food choice and a more sustainable way of eating meat, but we also use our fish carcases as fertiliser for our veggie gardens. Nothing better than putting completely organic fertiliser back into the soil for our plants to feed off.

You seem to follow a very naturally led lifestyle, tell us what are some lifestyle non-negotiables for you?  

Some lifestyle non negotiables for me would be living along the coast, I would go mad without being by the ocean. Living somewhere that’s preferably warm and can get some sun on your skin most days would be one too. Since moving North, I have realised I am not a winter / cold weather person; I just get sick instantly. Living a balanced lifestyle is a definite non-negotiable for me. 

How does nature nourish you? 

Nature nourishes me by creating a space where I can just turn my brain off and live in tune with the environment. When spending a few days out camping, waking up with the sun, enjoying nature and then slowing down with the sunset does absolute wonders for me. It feels like a total reset. I forgot to mention that 99% of the time, there’s no phone reception which allows you to really wind down.

You travelled a lot internationally for several years as a model, do you miss that or happy in Kimberley and exploring the west coastline and NT?

I do miss parts of travelling with modelling. There’s some amazing work opportunities overseas and also having time to explore other countries and cultures with your free time was something I still miss to this day. I’m also happy with the change and new chapter of my life. I have experienced so much and learned so much since living up here, especially learning more about the Aboriginal people, their culture, their history, and their way of living - there is a lot to learn from such an incredible culture and I hope with years to come everyone else is able to learn too!

You used to live in Perth, what made you move into remote Kimberley? What was the transition like?

My partner’s work moved us to the Kimberley and I was keen to try something different so I thought well why not try it and I have been loving it since!

Before committing to the move, I was actually really nervous and scared for the change. Having no friends up north was a very uneasy feeling but I was quick to find out that everyone up here is so kind and welcoming so that fear quickly disappeared.

Also, having a complete career change was quite challenging, but I’m very lucky that I have been able to do some freelance work with brands and clients which is nice to dabble in occasionally! It also helped going on a 3-month road trip from Perth to Wyndham beforehand which was so enjoyable and distracted me from all my worries about the move. At the end of the trip, we drove back down to Broome to start work. The transition was lots of fun because I always loved spending time in nature and then moving here, I was surrounded by it.

You are working with children in the community, can you tell us a bit about this and what you do? 

Originally, I was working at the community school for two and half years as an Education Assistant while studying my Enrolled Nursing Diploma at the same time. Working with the kids was so fun and rewarding but hard work at the same time as I had no experience working with kids AT ALL. I learned a lot about myself too along the way, really shifting my perspective on a lot of things. For the last year, I have been working as a Remote Area Nurse at the community clinic and have been absolutely loving it. Being able to work at the school and then at the clinic allowed me to experience community life in two different ways and I will be forever grateful for it all!

What are three top things that are a must have for you when you go on a remote camping trip?

Sunscreen, mozzie replant a my 1,8L yeti water bottle

Your favourite thing about Australia? 

My favourite thing about Aus is the vast range of different environments you can explore, it literally has everything! There is honestly no better feeling rocking up to an insanely beautiful waterfall or beach and having it all to yourself and you can find it all in Aus. So cool.


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