Five Years on the Road

Five years ago this week we left our old lives and wandered off together into the big wild world to have a bit of an adventure. To be precise we actually left the UK on June 1st 2015 not knowing what the future would hold for use and without any long-term plans. Exciting but a little scary. Our lives were changing completely and would never ever be the same.

What made us leave our old lives?

Nothing specific just a general feeling of ……

“There must be more to life than this.”

Our children had all grown up and left home, we were in comfortable safe well-paid jobs, owned a lovely house and car, and life was good. Except we both felt that there was suddenly something missing. We didn’t want to just ease slowly into retirement, treading water and watching those years drift past. We wanted an adventure and we wanted to take some risks and live a little.

So selling the house, giving away all of our possessions, and quitting our jobs just seemed the natural thing to do. It wasn’t easy and took a while to downsize from a full life to one in which we carried all of our possessions on our backs but we weren’t fazed by the challenge and it just felt the obvious thing to do for both of us.

Croyde Bay Walk


How did friends and family react?

In a variety of ways but most people fell into one of two camps. The first questioned whether we had lost our minds and wondered if we were having some sort of major mid-life crisis and meltdown. They didn’t understand it one bit. The second camp appeared to be unequivocally  supportive and considered it to be an absolutely incredible decision to make. They got it completely.

What did we plan to do?

Our initial thoughts were just to travel and see a few places that we had always been interested in. We had drawn up a bit of a list, utterly by chance, in the Email that changed our lives so decided that after an initial few months in Europe just chilling out and recovering from the ‘change of life’ experience we’d head further afield. Australia and New Zealand seemed an obvious destination as they were the furthest places that we could travel so we booked a huge 6 month trip down under.


After those nine months of travel what were we planning next?

Nothing. Part of the added adventure was that we had no clue what we wanted or where we would go following our return from Australia. The empty future and lack of plans were all part of the excitement as we just let our lives evolve organically in whatever direction fate took them. Whilst we were in New Zealand we planned our next trip to the USA and Canada. Then whilst we were in Calgary we discovered housesitting and began investigating that opportunity before also learning about Helpx and the Workaway world.

Various channels and options do just appear if you are open-minded and ready to take a bit of a chance so we signed up to TrustedHouseSitters which enabled us to extend our travels once again. So life has just evolved one step at a time into a situation where we have no idea where we will be going a few months into the future and try to embrace every opportunity with open arms.

What have been the highlights?

Impossible to say without droning on and on for thousands of words and boring the pants off every single reader but we are a little different a lot of travellers in that we don’t measure our lives by countries visited or miles travelled. I could very easily quote how many flights and cities we’ve been to but that’s not the reason behind how we live. We prefer to look back on the fascinating people we have met, the amazing experiences that we have had, and the lovely friends that we have made.

That doesn’t mean we don’t keep a record of where we go of course and being a statistics-nut I may very well bore you all with lists of our favourite cities or walks or housesits or beaches in a future post but that can wait.

Perugia


What are the plans for the next 5 years?

Haven’t you been listening? We don’t make plans that far ahead. Generally, outside of lockdown-times, we never plan more than 5 months ahead which retains an air of excitement and a little uncertainty and fear which to be honest we quite like. We did have several wonderful trips planned for this spring and summer but like so many others they have been jettisoned and we are currently relaxing quietly down here in Devon waiting for opportunities to show their head again.

Here’s hoping that our ‘Organic Nomadic Lifestyle‘ continues well into the future. There are still so many experiences to have and people to meet that we haven’t come to the end of our JWalking road yet. Who knows how far it goes?

Thanks so much for joining us on our little adventure.

01/06/2020


53 comments

  1. Hopefully you will be able to get back to your travels soon!Lovely photo of Jon and Molly.I miss her so much.Walking during lockdown is not the same!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m sure it won’t be too long until we can move on but it’s lovely down here so we’re not complaining. Bet you miss Molly so much, she was a real character.

      Like

  2. It’s always so heartening to read your posts Jon and Jo. They remind me that selling every possession to become mid-life nomadic globe trotters is a real life choice and not such a crazy idea after all and that lots of other people are doing it too. We have just passed our 6th year since selling up to travel and like you we don’t regret a thing – even during these crazy months of being grounded because things have somehow worked out despite not having a plan – and we can’t wait to get away again and resume our adventures. In the meantime – keep on blogging!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Janice. It’s a little frustrating being in one place for so long but we’re so lucky being here that we are actually enjoying ourselves. Hopefully we will all be off travelling around again very soon. Any potential plans?

      Like

      • We are still chasing airline refunds at the mo and expect it’ll be a while before international travel can properly resume. It feels like we are waiting it out – but there are a few benefits of being back in the UK. Potentially hoping to resume in 2021 all we had planned in 2020 – summer in Central America and the Caribbean before moving onto Asia for the end of the year. Here’s hoping. What about you two? Will you be resuming your Silk Road trip?

        Liked by 1 person

        • Not sure what we’ll do yet. I guess the Silk Road could happen again but we might feel it was meant not to happen and organise something else. Just treading water like you guys currently. Waiting on airline refunds too, big ones! Quick to take our money but slow to return it aren’t they?

          Like

  3. An inspirational post Jonno. So pleased that your nomadic lifestyle works well for you and you have no regrets. It must have been a massive step to sell up rather than take the easier option of renting your home out. Here’s to the next five years Let’s see what the future holds.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks it was a major step but just seemed an easy decision for us at the time. Just happy to be able to sit out the current situation in such a lovely location but admittedly we have got it itchy feet.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. An inspirational post Jonno! I’ve been busy working long hours from home during lockdown and Chris, being a self-employed driving instructor has had no work since early March. Hoping we can all travel again soon… after our 12 month career break in 2016 it is very tempting to change our lives and go off on another long adventure at some point 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • It’s a really tough time for everyone isn’t it Laura? Hopefully the restrictions will slowly ease with no negative effects and we’ll all be able to start planning and getting back to our previous lives again.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. It’s certainly an exciting way to spend you life and one many people would envy you for. It takes a lot of nerve to give up all that security and home comforts ,but the benefits for you have been fantastic. Here’s to the next 5 years!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Wow 5 years? What an inspiration you guys are! It was a big step to take but I totally get that feeling that there must be more to life. And it sounds like the nomadic life really does suit you. Filling your life with experiences and memories is priceless. The longest I have travelled for (so far!) is a year and I just loved the freedom and the uncertainty of it, that feeling that I did’t know where I might be tomorrow or next week, it was great! I wish you both all the very best and I hope you can get back out there again soon.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks we’re still enjoying it, even these lockdown days are okay. It was a big step but just seemed obvious to us at the time. Not for everyone but suits us down to the ground at the moment.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Cheers. Currently just wish we could book something for the next 5 weeks let alone 5 years. Hopefully things will start easing here soon. Hope all is good with you?

      Like

      • Yes thanks Jonno. We’re all starting to cautiously peep out of our caves of hibernation here. Grateful for our politicians for stepping up and heeding the medics. Grateful for the medics. Grateful for the internet and grateful for TV! And hopeful for the scientists who are working around the clock.

        Liked by 1 person

    • It was a pretty serious decision wasn’t it but we felt it was just meant to be. Hopefully we will be in a position to start planning and organising life again soon.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Kate. We’ve had an unbelievably great time so far and are really looking forward to getting going again very soon. Hope you’re keeping safe and well?

      Like

    • Thanks Pam. No plans to stop with the keeping on if only this virus would ease up a little. Keen to start planning adventures again.

      Like

  7. Great post Jon, really inspiring! I know I’ve said it before, but I do admire your courage, enthusiasm and commitment towards ensuring your new life’s journey worked. I’ve so enjoyed reading your adventures and look forward to reading many more. Good luck to you both and thank you for sharing your world the last five years.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks so much Liz, so pleased that you enjoy our blog and so grateful for your support. The past five years have been so exciting and we can’t wait to get going again.

      Like

    • You’ll have the opportunity when the time is right Rosie. We’ve had an incredible five years on the road and are looking forward to getting going again as soon as this lockdown situation is over. Hope everything is good with you?

      Liked by 1 person

  8. What an amazing lifestyle. I take my hat off to you both. Isn’t it incredible how life changes when we’re open minded. So very inspiring. Happy and safe travels into the future, wherever it leads you. 😍

    Liked by 1 person

  9. This is amazing! I really hope that I can be that brave sometime in the future I would love to do this. Australia is my number 1 place I’d love to visit, and maybe even one day live there, if only for a short amount of time. I’m looking forward to following this blog more and seeing where you end up in the future 🙂 x

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for the lovely comment Clara, we’ve certainly enjoyed the past five years and can’t believe how far we’ve been and all of the places and people along the way. Australia was one of the first and a great adventure.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Unbelievable scenes Jon. 5 years, where did that go? Brilliant for you guys that you’ve had such wonderful adventures so far but it serves to remind me how I’m still at KP plodding along! I still haven’t forgiven you for the jet washer though! Here’s to many more adventures.

    Liked by 1 person

Please leave us a comment, it always makes our day.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.