I feel as though I have been stuck on a treadmill for many years. Caught up in the daily bustle and busyness of the business world. Don’t get me wrong, I have had career opportunities that I am very proud of and grateful to have had. I have worked with many great people too. I guess I am looking forward to stepping off the treadmill for a while and working out what life is about and who I am without work defining that for me. I have always had a balance of personal life and work life and both have been full and amazing.
This is just a privileged year to stop. Drink coffee. Listen. Watch. Breathe. Learn. Love and Live.
I still remember the moment at Coffin Bay, reading an article suggesting that if driving around Australia for a year is on your bucket list then pick a date and make it happen… I actually found a photo of this moment.
So we did. It was about 18 months ago. We picked a date and began our planning. Decision made on the 23rd September 2016 to leave on 14th January 2018. Everything feels as though it has fallen into place from that moment. The stars have aligned and now we are set to leave!!!! It has seemed so far away for so long, but now it is suddenly here, hard to believe it is really happening.
I took my 3 months long service leave over 6 months at half pay and the remainder of time is leave without pay, we have a little annual leave to add to that too and have rented out our house for a year. We will also try to pick up work along the way. An interesting year ahead to say the least. I get to do this with my best friend and partner in life. Take the two cars, the boat and the van and fish and camp our way around this amazing country. So incredibly lucky.
I just read holly butcher’s final letter. A young 27 year old who died of cancer. A good reminder to focus on the things that matter. That life is not a guarantee but a special gift to be treasured and lived. Not to keep waiting for retirement: the future is now. I particularly liked her reminder to be kind and do good for others. Not to waste energy in the negative and to keep things in perspective. This is what I hope for the year ahead. A year of learning and growth. Of living and treasuring this amazing gift of life. Colin and I both realise the amazing opportunity that we have, we are so lucky to live in Australia.
We made a decision to take both cars so that I could tow the boat and Col the caravan. It has given us heaps of space to bring what we need to. We have UHF radios to communicate between the cars. We have had a lot of surprised reactions to this decision. It will be interesting to see how it goes as I don’t have a huge amount of towing experience, but luckily Col does. We think it will be good to be able to listen to our own music and will likely enjoy the space after living in a caravan together. We shall see how it goes but will try to keep the driving to 4 hours a day where possible.
We did need the full 18 months to do all the trip preparation, and my advice to others considering doing this is to start earlier than you think you need to. The time really does evaporate quickly. We had a heap to do around our house in preparation for the trip – concreting down the side of the house, building a gate, painting, paving, new carpets, packing, down sizing, Garage Sale, budget planning – to list just a few. As I was going to be away all of December and we had planned to leave in January, we picked a date for the start of October to advertise the house for rent. Just in case this took a couple of months to find the right tenant. I started packing boxes about 6 months earlier, at the time I thought I had started too early, but in the end I was grateful that I had. The house has a shed but we didn’t rent the shed with the house and kept it to store our furniture and belongings while we travel. As luck had it we found the right tenant at the first open and they moved in late October. We then moved in with my Son and his wife, Sam and Steff, for November, and that was awesome. We miss our Roomies!! I then went to Canada in December and Col moved into the Van at Christies Beach Caravan Park. I joined him there on my return from Canada late December and we began the final trip preparation. All in all we are pleased with how the preparation has gone and now we will see how this adventure unfolds…