Posted Under: burnout and society
Apologies for my absence. I’ve been busy preparing for the greatest adventure of my life. And that of my partner, Jeff. Why a grand escapade? Because we’re both knackered.
It may seem a little strange to decide to have an adventure while feeling uber-spent. But out fatigue relates to a fundamental discontent with how we are living our lives. Something had to change. And change it did…
One ordinary Tuesday morning in September last year…
Jeff stood naked in the shower with an expression of complete and utter dread. Nothing particularly new was facing him that day. But it was if he were a small purple grape about to be crushed by the foot of an apprentice viticulturist.
Jeff has always been better than me at expressing how he feels. Even in unintentioned mime. That morning’s expression changed everything for us because I was feeling exactly the same. I was another small purple grape.
“Let’s sell the house, buy a camper-trailer and hit the road.”
These words emerged out of my mouth, calm and with absolute conviction. Except I don’t really ‘do’ camping. Being a white fluffy robe and mini-bar chocolates kinda gal, the suggestion surprised both of us. Jeff looked at me sideways as the showerhead pounded water into the back of his head. “Really?” he asked. “Really,” I said. Due to my concrete-strength ennuis, I knew the white fluffy robe and mini-bar chocolates approach wouldn’t work. It would be like drinking Verve Cliquot to get over chronic migraines.
No. It was time to get real and go raw.
Breathe the elements. Even if that meant eating over-processed road food, being continuously smothered in sunscreen and insect repellent, and owning only four pair of undies, so be it. There were some questions that needed to be asked, however:
- Travelling for how long?
We decided 6-12 months.
- Where would we go?
We live on the ‘hip’ of Australia’s east coast – from here we figured we could go further north, then cross the country to the west coast, then…
- Where would we end up?
- What would we do for a living once we’re there?
Not sure on that either.
My Incredible Hulk
Never have I seen a man transform so dramatically so quickly, without his skin turning green. Upon my crazy suggestion, Within seconds Jeff was bigger, louder and ready to take on the world. Me? I remained pretty tired and, to be honest, mostly shell-shocked.
Gobsmackingly, extraordinary transformation occurred without us having to do too much at all. Okay, renovating the house took three months. But selling our house for more than we hoped (and we hoped pretty big, 12 real estate agents said we were dreaming) only took THREE DAYS.
BUT there were other mountains to conquer before leaving home to…look at mountains:
- Sold/gave away over half of our possessions, via mega-garage sale, ebay, gumtree and charity stores
- Storage for remainder: kind friends immediately offered under their house for nix (bless ‘em!)
Accommodation & vehicles
- Temporary home for two months post-house sale: within a week of putting out the word, a beautiful apartment in the best suburb of our city (for next to nothing) landed in our lap
- Sold Jeff’s car privately: 3 days (including mechanical checks)
- Sold my car privately: took a bit longer but it sold exactly when I was ready to say good-bye
- Bought a 4WD: 3 days (including mechanical checks), Toyota Prado at a brilliant price
- Bought a campertrailer, immediate deposit after sale of house (we had researched extensively on the net and trawled the camping expo during renovation)
- Storage system in back of 4WD: (incl. removing back seats): Jeff achieved this himself over 6 weeks
Lewis, our cat (wah!)
- Finding a temporary home for for 6-12 months: kind friends immediately offered
- Getting therapy for me to emotionally cope with the separation: one session with a pet therapist (no, I’m not kidding – and, yes, she was brilliant)
Money & businesses
- Deciding how to invest the ‘house money’: three meetings with a financial advisor
- My business: transform from a copywriting enterprise to a Skype-driven marketing coaching business (ref: new version of: www.MyMarketingThing.com)
- Jeff’s acupuncture and massage clinic: close clinic, car signage for mobile massages on the road
- Our biz/marketing coaching service for natural therapists and counsellors continues as an online resource
And now we are half-way across Australia
In the next post..hear about the nail-biting camper-trailer’s water pump debacle, the highly distressing fridge failure, and worst of all – the weak toilet flush in every second public facility I have needed to ‘resource’. I’ll also tell you about what has been surprisingly amazing about this trip – and how I’ve remained awake through a good part of it.
By all means go have a nap now, but stay tuned to adventure with me…
Megan is sometimes a writer, marketing swashbuckler, and cartoonist who is learning how to live with less – like how draw and upload a cartoon without a printer, scanner or even blank paper… Find out more about Megan