Although our travelling started on the first of June 2015, today is actually the anniversary of when our lives changed. With our three boys settled in new homes we had manoeuvred ourselves into a position where we could make decisions for the future without any pressure.
So let me set the scene for you. It is March 2015 and we are living in a small rented house just outside Maidstone, Kent having sold our family home the previous summer and given away 90% of our possessions. A few clothes and minimal furniture along with a car were all we owned as we started having a few discussions about which direction our lives should take.
Life, the Universe, and Everything
A random exchange of emails whilst at work seemed to kick us into action (The Email that Changed Our Lives) and we began to daydream about exciting adventures and new beginnings. A couple of weeks later we were sat in a coffee shop in Maidstone when we eventually had that ‘lightbulb moment’.
Without too much preamble we both arrived at the point of saying virtually the same thing;
Let’s do it! Let’s just go.
To be honest we weren’t exactly sure what ‘IT’ was, we just knew that we needed to do something different. Very different. With minutes we realised that the ‘IT’ in question was travelling and that was it, we were off! So many people ask us if it was a difficult decision but it really wasn’t. It felt like the obvious thing to do for both of us and there was no fear at all, only excitement.
Where to then?
Well once again it all seemed so obvious to us. We both wanted to visit Australia and New Zealand so it seemed the sensible thing to go as far as possible but we decided that we needed a little time to just sit back and relax before heading ‘down under’. So three months in Europe was decided on and in a matter of minutes our plans were made.
- New Zealand
Nine and a half months of travelling was planned immediately and we were off. Scary? Well maybe a bit daunting as we started to appreciate the complex arrangements we would soon have to start making but as I said the excitement carried everything else in it’s path.
What happened next?
We needed a start date and June 1st seemed like a good place to start plus it worked with our notice periods at work. Again without too much anguish or discussion we agreed we should resign the following day. And we would give notice on our rental property which should tie in with the beginning of June. This gave us 11 weeks to organise everything and get our lives in order, not long really.
It didn’t all go smoothly as you can read in Building a New Life in 11 weeks but it did work out eventually.
So although the physical travelling didn’t actually begin today was the day, six years ago, that we changed our outlook and our lives. As they say in The Goonies ……
It all start’s here.
Was it what we expected?
Easy to answer that. No it wasn’t as we started this whole adventure expecting nothing and not having a clue what we would get out of it. We wanted new experiences and to live far outside our old lives and that’s exactly what we have been doing these past six years.
We had no idea how long the adventure would last either as we weren’t rich and were spending the money we had received for our house. But that was also part of the fun, the fact we didn’t really know what would ever happen next. Over the past six years we have never known how our lives would look more than 6 months in the future and that’s been so exciting and given life a real edge.
The pandemic over the past year has affected us of course with a whole host of trips and housesits cancelled but we have managed to still travel around the UK from Devon to Sussex, and Suffolk to Worcestershire, with road trips and walking challenges thrown in for good measure. It hasn’t stopped us although we taken each step completely in line with the restrictions.
Have we travelled the whole time?
We occasionally get a comment from people that we don’t really travel anymore and just housesit in the UK. Well as far as we are concerned it’s still travelling and in many ways we have enjoyed exploring our own country more than overseas trips. So much to see and discover here in England, Scotland, Wales and Ireland and so many wonderful people to meet. Our JWalking hasn’t stopped for a moment.
Ha who knows? With the world still locked down and currently no travel allowed we are just trying to find places to stay for the moment and then hope that our summer housesits all work out. Then who knows? Like I said we never plan more than 6 months ahead so the future is always grey. Hopefully the world will return to some sense of normalcy and options will once again open up.
So after 6 years, that’s 72 months or 313 weeks or even 2192 days, we are still living the nomadic life that we had absolutely no clue about in the beginning. We’ve visited so many places, met so many people all over the world, and had so many experiences that we will never ever forget. We may not own very much but our hearts and souls are absolutely jam-packed full of memories.