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.
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.
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.