Land Down Under

Austria JWalking Vochera an der Lassnitz

When we first decided to go on our ‘little trip’ we didn’t really have any idea what to expect. We knew we wanted a serious change of direction and that we kept thinking ‘there must be more to life’ but it was a step into the unknown. Getting rid of our house and everything in it and then both quitting work were major steps but we weren’t at all stressed or worried about it because we had each other, and we knew that we could handle whatever life threw at us as long as we were together.

The first three months of our new nomadic lifestyle are now over and between you and me they turned out to be so much better than we could possible have imagined. All of the Airbnb accommodation was as expected and the locations exactly as we’d planned but the experiences we had and especially the people we met were amazing. We had no way of knowing if we would connect with our hosts but in both Holland and Austria we’ve made lifelong friends.

We’ve talked about the trip in detail in the blog over the past weeks so you know what we’ve up to and who with but I just want to say a massive thank you to Tonia and Andre in Groesbeek who were fantastic, a great big hello to Andy Anja and Anouk in Mook who we will never lose touch with again, and a massive hug to Eva, Andre, Maggie, and Marie-Therese who welcomed us into their family so warmly. We miss you all.

Tonia, Andre and Joanna
Tonia and Andre
Andy, Anya, Anouk, Jo, Molenhoek
Anja, Anouk and Andy
Stainz Austria
Maggie and Marie-Therese
Graz Austria
Jon and Othmar carefully checking out the beer and schnapps supplies.
Jon and Othmar carefully checking out the beer and schnapps supplies.

It’s been a hectic week back with visits to family and friends all over the South East, we’d love to have seen more people but that’ll have to wait until March when we return again. The support we’ve had from so many friends has been quite humbling and we hope that you all know just how much we appreciate it. It has actually been an eye-opener in that certain people we thought would be interested just aren’t at all, and others have completely stepped up. You just never know do you?

Austria JWalking Vochera an der Lassnitz
Cheers and Prost to all the wonderful people that we’ve met over the past 3 months. We will never forget you and hope to see you all again very soon.

So onto Australia and New Zealand. We’re leaving from Heathrow tonight at 10.15 for a mammoth 18 hour flight via Dubai to Perth (and no we’re not shopping in Dubai, we’ve been shopping before). Looking forward to getting going now and starting this 28 week trip and meeting more lovely people and hopefully visiting some great places. We’ll keep you posted obviously, if you’re still interested of course …………….

Thanks so much for all of the fabulous comments on the blog, it really makes our day as we know that you’re with us and following us wherever we go.

We do have a couple of worries about the journey of course. Firstly Jo will never be able to choose a film to watch in just 18 hours! Far too much choice. And secondly I’m hoping not to be arrested walking through the airport with my long flight socks on and shorts! Not a great look.

See you all on the other side.

1.9 – 8.9.2015


  1. Lovely seeing you over the weekend while you were back, can’t beat a late night, alcohol-fuelled game of Canasta! (Even if Mum did win).

    Glad you’ve had such a great time in your first three months, hope the next 28 weeks serve up just as much excitement and even more good friends.

    See if Emirates can put Friday Night Dinner on repeat for Mum! Failing that, go with Chickens! (Shut up George, shut up mate!)

    Keep us posted with the journey if you can and drop us a line when you get to Perth. Have an amazing time!



    Liked by 1 person

    • This is a note from the canasta queen!! The next adventure begins… It was brilliant to meet up with you and thank you so much for travelling so far to be with us. Your own adventure begins now with a new job and new home. Changes come in threes – any more news? Lots of love from your irresponsible parents!


  2. Glad that the first part of your tour has turned out even better than you expected and looking forward to the next installment from down under!!

    Cheers from the Briggsies !!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Perfect Perth nearly beats Magnificent Mook…. Having a great time – will try and fit in a post asap – look out – it will be a long one! Love to all the Briggsies from the Ringos. x


  3. Hi Jo & Jon
    Seems amazing that three months have passed already since you started your adventure. Have a good journey to Aus, and look forward to hearing news from you. When you come home next year perhaps we could manage a MKC catch up, loving retirement, not missing the first week of term at all!!! Take care

    Sue B XX

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Sue
      Where has the time gone? Three months in Europe whizzed by and here we are now in Perth. It is great and we are having fun exploring and meeting people. Like you, not missing the start of term madness. Will be keeping the blog updated – only worry is having enough time when we are out and about having so much fun. Gud’ay! Jo and Jon x


  4. Dearest Jon and Jo, would loved to have met up but hopefully next year. Wishing you all the luck in the world, take care and we look forward to your installments from down under. I will email some of Nick’s wedding photos!! Much love C & T xxxxx

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sorry we didn’t get to see you when we were back fleetingly. The seven days went so fast. Definitely need to get booked up for our return in March. We are loving Perth and it is easy to get about. Lots of expats – the man in the post office was from Sunderland! Looking forward to seeing some photos of the 2nd big event of the year (sorry out of loyalty I have to say Sam and Tabitha’s was No 1!!) Love as always J & J x


  5. Dear New friends, have a good flight and an amazing time at the other side of the world! Hope to meet you again next year! With lots of interest we follow your blog! Many regards André and Tonia

    Liked by 1 person

    • We arrived in Perth tired but excited. It is a lovely city and certainly makes the most of its outside spaces. Not long before we will be planning Canada so keep your diary free! Jon and Joanna x


  6. So fab to see you both on Friday, I felt quite tearful saying goodbye again! Have a fun flight and a fantastic time down under. I look forward to the blogs to come and I’ll see you in March. Debs x

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you for making us so welcome on our flying visit. Great that we managed to see Emily and Jake too. The Australian adventure has begun in earnest!


  7. Good luck in Oz! Avoid talking about cricket, rugby and the Queen and you should be fine! Wonderful to see you both and hear just some of your adventures. A few hours just wasn’t enough! Perhaps you should do a blog to keep everyone up to date on your travels! See you in March.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Have a fab time and Jo, when I travelled to NZ I wanted the flights to last for ever as I just wanted to watch all the films!!! Jon, Paula keeps saying how well you looked when she saw you in Blighty. Anyway looking forward to hearing from life down under, and make sure you visit plenty of vineyards both on Oz and NZ love Dawn xx

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Dawn. Flights were long enough for us and we watched a couple of films. So far going brilliantly in Perth but not a drop of wine!


  9. Lovely to see you both and looking so well and happy! Enjoy your time on the other side of the world and keep the blog up, the whole world is watching!!
    xXx 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  10. This struck a chord; we’ve been using Airbnb almost exclusively here in the US and we’ve met some amazing people and had some great experiences. I also get what you mean about friends and family, we also find that some just aren’t interested in out travels, but that’s ok 😊. Great blog by the way, I’m excited to follow you through Australia and New Zealand, it seems like so long ago that we were there and we still dream of returning, particularly to NZ.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for the kind comments. We have had great Airbnb experiences so far, every place we’ve stayed has been so good. Currently in Sydney at the moment and loving it.
      It is so weird with friends and family support as you said, we are constantly surprised at the people supporting us and conversely at the ones not bothered.


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