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?

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