Why our travelling life is not lucky or serendipitous

A little under 4 years ago we made the decision to change our lives and head off into the sunset. The date was Sunday March 15th 2015 and the following day we both marched into our respective managers offices and gave in our notice. It was the beginning of our new JWalking world as we knew it. The next few weeks were spent in a flurry of organisation and planning for the adventures ahead.

We were met with a spectrum of different reactions from family, friends and colleagues as we revealed our intentions and took every one, however disparaging or critical, in good part. Everyone has their own ambitions and objectives in life, and we are all so very different so it was no wonder that we experienced such a myriad of opinions on the radical path we were embarking on.

However, there was one reaction that we did not take quite so readily. It was when we were told;

You are so lucky to be able to leave everything and just go!

This prompted a reaction then and still does. This post is actually in response to someone saying it again to me this week. It always makes me stop whatever I’m doing or thinking and reply in exactly the same way.

We’re not lucky. Anyone could do what we’ve done. Anyone can quit their jobs, sell their home, and give away their possessions if they wish. There is no luck involved whatsoever. It’s a choice.


Now we have never claimed that it was easy to do any of those things and everyone has varying priorities and responsibilities in their lives but ultimately it is still a choice. Do you want your nice big 4-wheel drive and your comfy sofa or do you want to go travelling? Do you want those 45 pairs of shoes and set of golf-clubs or do you want to become a vagabond? Yes or No. Easy questions with very difficult answers. We didn’t toss a coin to come to this decision.

We have never preached that anybody else should copy what we have done and certainly would not dream of claiming that our path is the right path. It’s just our path. We try desperately not to shove our way of life down anyone’s throats or show off about it. We are all different aren’t we?

So we aren’t lucky to be able to do this, we just chose our path and made a decision. That’s all.

But ……………….

There is another way that we have been more than lucky. Something that we always try to explain in discussions like this and something so important that I don’t particularly like using the ‘L’ word to describe it.

We are lucky in that both of us wanted to change our lives in this way at the same time.


There must be so many people that would like to just ‘go’ but have partners that don’t feel the same way. In fact on our trips we have met a lot of couples where one member claims to want to travel but can’t go because the other wouldn’t want to. That’s human nature surely as the majority of people desire a settled life. It’s our way of life that is so strange and unsettled. You can’t blame anyone for not understanding or not wanting to copy can you?

So I guess that we are lucky. Lucky to have each other and lucky that we both feel exactly the same way about life, travelling, and possessions.

If one of us changes their views in the future then we will stop and put down roots somewhere, no two ways about it. Where those roots might be and how we will live is another question!

But for now we are very happy to be living our serendipitous life together.


You can read all about the email that started this whole JWalking adventure and the subsequent planning that was required to organise changing our whole lives in a couple of our previous posts. Might help explain things a bit more I guess.


(sorry if this has seemed a bit like a rant, didn’t mean it come across like that. We both feel quite strongly about it and after the five millionth time of being asked thought we should get a reply out. We much prefer the word Serendipity to Luck but it doesn’t always seem to fit properly and serendipitous is just so hard to spell).

44 comments

  1. It’s certainly is a brave step to take, but a rewarding and fulfilling one if both of you are in the same frame of mind. You are absolutely right though, all it takes is the decision, the rest is down to the individual to make it work. Well done to you both for doing just that!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks it has been so rewarding and we’re still enjoying every single day. That first decision to go was the biggest and hardest for sure but since then we just take each step as it comes.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. At the risk of experiencing your wrath – you are soooo lucky! Lucky to have realised it CAN be done. As you’ve no doubt noticed, lots of people are prisoners to their ‘ stuff.’ Stuff goes by all manner of names – security, treasured possessions, or just something that can’t be let go of because it cost a bomb and is worth nothing on re-sale. The chains that bind us…. I know, as you both know, that once the realisation comes that it’s just, ‘stuff’, it no longer has the power to chain us down. Some people just aren’t lucky enough to ever come to that realisation. I had a friend who was very attached to her ‘stuff’. A bushfire went through her area – all gone! So it can go in an instant anyway.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Chris you are so right about having the realisation that you can actually change your life. It’s so easy to get bogged down by routine and responsibilities and a lot of people are not aware that they can get out of that. Making the first big ‘let’s go’ decision was the major step.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Yes, a brave step. I might do it, but my wife wouldn’t. There was a time we might have sold up and bought a camper van and gone on the road, but even that would have been temporary. No, nothing to do with luck other than you both being in agreement.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. No explanation needed for me big man. Any luck involved is the luck that you are both bold enough to make such a decision. That the life you have chosen has gone so well is fortuitous at best but probably just down to determination and bloody good planning.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Lucky to have the good health required for travelling, lucky to both enjoy doing similar things, lucky to be able to do your own thing when your partner wants to do something else, and I’d say lucky to have worked really hard to be able to fund doing what you love. People often comment to us about how lucky we are to be able to have nice holidays – no luck involved, only hard work and careful planning.

    Liked by 1 person

    • You’re so right, it’s not lucky for you to have good holidays. It’s all about priorities and how hard you work to plan and organise them. As you say the real luck is in being healthy and both wanting to do the same thing. We did work hard but don’t really have much to fund our lifestyle, thats why we budget so hard and do a lot of housesitting and helpxing. Small pot of savings decreasing by the day.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Jonno,
    I couldn’t agree more. We are just beginning our fifth year traveling…after making the decision to sell the house, sell our belongings and see whatever strikes our fancy. We move slowly; we have no bucket list. We go where we want to and stay for long periods of time. We too hear again and again, “You are so lucky!” And yes, while I agree we are lucky to have each other and our health, our peripatetic lifestyle was a choice that took a whole lot of thinking and planning. We are lucky to be surrounded by 4 kids as well as their spouses who have supported our way of thinking. Good luck in your future. We hope somewhere down the road our paths will cross. I guess the luck comes with being blessed with dispositions that allow us to take the risk to enjoy, what for us, are the greatest times of our lives. If you get a chance, check out our blog: Hendricksonadventure.com

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sounds like a wonderful life Jane. Slow travelling is always the best way to go as you get a chance to really live in different places and experience different cultures properly. So we’ve both made similar life decisions I guess? No house, jobs, or possessions? Liberating isn’t it?

      Like

  7. We could relate so much to your post Jonno. We’ve done the same and get the “lucky” word all the time. You are right, it’s a choice and many people could do it if they really wanted. It’s a mindset. We let go of possessions and comfort zones – which is too difficult for many. It can be a little frustrating when we are seen as lucky or loaded! We are neither – and just choosing to live for today and do what makes our hearts sing. Not one day … now X
    Happy Travels xx

    Liked by 1 person

  8. It’s an interesting one ‘luck’ isn’t it? I was told that a lot when I was living in London, travelling every few weeks. I think to some extent, yes I was lucky that I could afford to do what I wanted in life. I wasn’t living below the poverty line, I grew up learning the value of money, freedom and making the most of my life. A lot of people around the world can’t say that. But, on the flip side a lot of privileged people will still say we’re lucky and its to those people that we can say it’s not so much luck as it is, priorities in life. Thanks for the reminder with this post!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Good point on the affordability of the travelling life Ngaire, you do need a certain level of finance to be able to just go. And you are right about the priorities, it’s all about personal choice isn’t it?

      Liked by 1 person

  9. People make their own luck. The only person who can make you happy is you!! We had similar said to us, when we decided to make our lifetstyle change back 2011. Friends use to say and still do “it’s alright for you, we can’t afford to give up work” ignoring the fact that for many years we both worked extremely long hours including weekends and evenings to get us to the point where we could make that lifestyle change. It didn’t come easy and it came with sacrifices along the way. You put your point across very well Jon👍😃

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Liz. It really is all about priorities and compromise. A lot of people aren’t willing to give up their belongings and lifestyle which is their choice completely. Just irritates when they think we have been handed this life on a plate.

      Like

  10. Not a rant at all but a fabulously honest post. And I agree, one hundred percent with you, that what you’ve created, what you’re doing, has come about because you’ve chosen it, not through any sort of luck. Happy travels to you both. I think you’re wonderful examples of going after and living your dreams. 😊💕

    Liked by 1 person

  11. As you know I too love the word serendipity and serendipitous but agree it’s harder to spell! I think your post is so honest and generous – you aren’t lucky in that it’s what you both chose to do together, but you are lucky in that you have each other as travel companions on the dame page as each other. Life is all about choice and priorities and you are more likely envied by many who say you are ‘lucky’. We also understand this in all that we do and the choices we have made in our lives. It’s not always easy or smooth sailing as you know but we try to make it fun! Lovely to read and travel with you 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Nice blog Jon. To be honest, I could have probably joined in this rant! I like to think I always had an awareness of the sacrifice and thought that has gone into your travels and lifestyle changes! It’s great to see you both having a great time. You could have just had a white BMW 3 series though??!

    Liked by 1 person

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