Thursday, 6 September 2012

Change in Website

This is a quick post to inform that I have decided to discontinue this blog in favour of a website in a different format.
You can now continue the journey with us at . We trust you enjoy it.

Thursday, 30 August 2012


Have you ever felt that you live a privileged life? 

Coffee in the sunlight
Not too long ago we camped alongside Jones Creek next to the highway between Leinster and Wiluna in Western Australia, and while the camp itself was nothing spectacular (except maybe the sunset) the next morning while I was lying in bed enjoying the silence I happened to cast an eye towards the kitchen sink where my freshly brewed cup of coffee was sitting. And it was while I was deciding whether to get up or just snooze for a few more minutes that I began to watch the steam rise from my freshly brewed cup of coffee in the sunlight that was beaming through the window .

What came to mind in the mornings silence and as I watched the steam rise in the air before it dissipated, was how nice life was right at that very moment and how such simple things can bring happiness and contentment to our lives. I wondered why I had not taken the time to enjoy such simple pleasures before.

One of the thoughts I had while enjoying my moment was that we are privileged (some would say lucky) to live in a country that allows us to do what we are doing. We are privileged because we generally live our lives safely and comfortably each day without having to wonder where our next meal is coming from, or if violence will visit us or not.

The mere fact that Joanne and I have absolutely no restrictions on our movements and are free to roam as we choose is a real privilege and one that we intend to remember and enjoy each and every day.

How privileged do you feel?

Wednesday, 29 August 2012

24 Hours a day – together!

Isn’t it funny how before we got married we spent as much time as we could together before the big day (before the days of trying before committing) and then after we say I do, we spend most of each day away from each other because of work and commitments. Well I am not sure about you but to my mind this totally defeats the purpose of being married and together!

The beauty of being on the road however is that unless you choose to be apart, you are together all of the time. Now some may say that that is a good reason to stay at home, and granted being together all the time can have some moments where you crave some space for yourself, but we enjoy being around each other  or working on things together even if we are not talking all of the time. Just being in the same space is enough, and of course we get to share all of those wonderful campsites, moments, sunrises, sunsets and anything else that happens in our day with each other - all of the time!

Have we had times when being together all of the time was just too much? No.

You really get to know someone when you spend time with them. You also get to know yourself better as well.

Tuesday, 28 August 2012

The first few weeks

Like any trip it took us a little while to get into the swing of things, and of course to get work and the rat race out of one’s mind. The time since we left home had gone quite quickly but we had only travelled as far as Kalgoorlie, normally only an 8 hour drive from home. We had taken some back roads, some dirt roads and had some beautiful campsites as we adjusted to this our lifestyle and the rhythm of life on the road. To be honest, we had no idea of what we were supposed to do, where we were supposed to go or how to do it, so with a blank canvass in front of us we just made it up as we went. There was a temptation to travel around like a mad man because we have quite a few places that we want to visit and experience, but that is old thinking isn’t it? With no time constraints we figured we were able to just do it tomorrow and that we would get there when we did. How would you do it? Where would you go if you could go absolutely anywhere?

Someone once said that you don’t know what you don’t know, and so, as we had no idea of what the daily, weekly or monthly costs would be we were heading off somewhat blind. When we cycle toured we spent around $60 a day (all inclusive) and so we figured it would be similar. Sure we didn’t have a fuel cost when we cycled but the rest should be similar – shouldn’t it?

Having had a 3 week trip previously (which we named Work Experience) we knew that it is easy to travel each day and to go through plenty of fuel. Not only is it a huge cost it is one we have to have if we are to travel. So, in the little bit of planning done an allocation of one tank of fuel was allowed per week (only one?). Now why would you do that someone asked? Well the simple answer is that it provides a simple controlled measure of expenditure and it forces us to linger longer as we travel.

We have a 75 litre fuel tank and get around 13 litres to 100 kilometres so and that equates to about 576 kilometres per tank. Divide that by 7 days and you get 82 kilometres per day. Hence our saying “if we have gone more than 100 kilometres in a day then we have gone too far”. Now we have exceeded that some days but sitting and relaxing or looking at things on other days with no travel has meant that our days were filled totally with our own desires and our fuel budget is remained intact. After all, we don’t have any commitments or need to be anywhere, and that truly is freedom!

We have been asked a number of times if it has worked and have we stuck to it? And the answer is pretty much, yes. We use a spreadsheet to track a number of things including expenses and fuel so it is pretty easy to type in the latest odometer reading and have the spreadsheet give us an instant answer.

So what do we fill our day with I hear you ask. Well if we are not moving or looking at a particular place we like to try things with our new camera (Canon 550 with 18-55 and 55-250mm lens), catch up on reading (including where places and things along the way we are headed), bird spotting and identification, sitting around relaxing, taking in our surroundings or reading favourite websites.

We all have favourite websites which we follow and which often have an impact on our lives. Below are some of my favourites. The great thing about these sites is that they often have little gems within their pages that enrich our lives even if we don’t fully subscribe to the theories they profess.

I could go on to explain more about these sites but I will just let you go to them and find your own little gems – mine today was from tinybudda which in part said “doubt is just a feeling that comes to us when we are about to step out of our comfort zone. We are all familiar of the good old comfort zone—it’s the tiny little circle where we all feel safe. But here’s the deal: When we stay in our comfort zone for too long, it begins to shrink.” Need I say more?

Monday, 27 August 2012

The story so far...(long)

Yesterday was 4 months since Joanne and I drove out of our eldest daughter’s driveway and into our new life, travelling nomadically around Australia in our home on wheels, and on our own terms – YAY!

But this story started well before we turned the key in the ignition, in fact, it started around the time we first met each other way back in the 1970’s. Somehow we knew we were matched and almost from the start Joanne and I were making plans for our life together before we were even married and one of those plans was touring Australia in a campervan.

We married young, but like everyone else we soon settled down to marriage; family; commitments; never enough money and the stresses and strains of everyday living. Added to this I had joined the Royal Australian Navy not long before we were married and that of course meant I was away from home leaving Joanne to fend for herself (how else was she going to learn to start the lawnmower?)

Then in a blink of an eye there we were in the year 2001 with our children grown up and starting out in their own married lives. A chance discussion between us led to a decision (as some people do mid-life) to leave the so called normality of life to take on some adventure.

Our adventure turned out to be a 23 month circumnavigation of Australia by pedal power on recumbent tricycles which we reported on via our website – . Camping in the bush, on the side of the road or wherever we felt safe, just doing our own thing with no work; no hassles; no home; no time constraints; and the two of us together 24 hours a day. The trip was bliss and as it turned out, was one of the best things that we have ever done. But like most good things it eventually came to an end as we turned the pedals on the last of the 19,000 kilometres we had ridden we returned (with one eye on the past) to a rental house (just in case we found another escape tunnel), work and the chains of the so called normal life.

Of course wanderlust and the adventurous spirit will always return for those who have it and so it was not long before we again downsized, packed our gear into another storage unit, cycled across to Melbourne (to get fit) before jetting off to Canada to prepare for another self contained cycling trip from Prudhoe Bay Alaska to Mexico, for adventure number two (also on

And so after another 18 months away we returned again to Perth Western Australia and set up home again (in another rental just in case we found another escape tunnel) and began working and dreaming of freedom again.

The road to freedom and adventure number three raised its head when friends of ours decided to buy a Winnebago motorhome and as our dream of travelling Australia in a campervan was still there some 30 years later, it was not long before we followed suit.

Over the next 12 months many wonderful weekends and holidays were spent in our home on wheels, and the more we did it the more we liked the idea of being in it, and just having AJ (Andrew and Joanne) as we initially referred to it parked in the driveway was a delight. Any excuse to get in it or to do something to it no matter how small was always welcome. So, after 35 or more years since we talked about getting that campervan to tour Australia in, we had one albeit a slightly different type to the original planned.

Life continued to be ruled by work commitments and as time went on Joanne and I had more and more discussions about how we could leave it all behind again and try not just a new adventure - but a new life style. Not a sea or tree change but a life change.

Lying in bed one Sunday morning Joanne and I had another one of our discussions about chucking it all in and leaving and it was during that discussion she uttered the words of commitment that I had wanted to hear “let’s just do it...”  This would be the third time she had uttered words of this type and the third time we had jumped head first into the next adventure. Looking back we had both decided each time that the adventure was on but it needed us both to commit to it and as before, those words sealed the deal.

A quick mud map stocktake of our financial situation showed us that whilst we were not filthy rich, there was enough there, according to our rough calculations on how much it would cost to live on the road, to at least start.  Our plan was to start with the best advice anyone ever gave after quitting a job – to take a holiday! Then as time went on settle into working as we go (or needed), after all work every now and then leads to meeting new friends, learning new skills, keeping the mind and body active and helps finance keep the dream alive that little bit longer.

After submitting the my resignation letter the 3 months of the required notice period went a bit quicker than we thought and Easter, which was also the end of our lease was almost upon us. We cleared the house of things we did not want to keep and turned them into money through a garage sale and we sold the car. We packed our remaining things into about 24 boxes and put them into storage, cleaned the house to hand back to its owner and moved into AJ fulltime which was then  parked in our eldest daughter’s driveway for the last two weeks of work.

Goodbyes to family and friends are never easy; they weren’t the other two times nor this one, especially with 9 grandchildren to say farewell to.  Everything that had to be done was done and there was only the open road and a new life in front of us. And so on Thursday 26 January 2012 we pulled the windows closed; unhooked the power; pulled the step in; closed the door; turned the key and pulled out of the driveway straight into a new life; a new adventure and leaving the old all behind.

Have you ever...

Have you ever... just wanted to chuck it all in to just get away from that job; that house; that mortgage; the landlord; those bills; the clutter; the noise; the eternal quest to get paid more and more so you can spend it on more and more stuff you don’t need or want; or worse still - to give it to someone else?
Have you dreamed of living a life where you are free to wake when you are ready; free to free to roam and explore or do as you please; free to be yourself; free to decide to move on if you don’t like it where you are; to be of no fixed address and to have nothing you “have” to do or place where you “have” to be?

Well that is exactly what Joanne and I did on Thursday 26 April 2012 and our blog will not only tell you why, but allow you to travel with us.

Our blog has only just commenced so there is some catching up to do and we will post some articles we wrote long the way so that the whole story is told.