Flashback 8 months ago to the Christmas break 2015 and we were in the Philippines with 4 of our friends. Between the 3 couples we were a group of 5 women and 1 man. Poor/ lucky guy, depending on how you want to picture it.
As I imagine every couple does, we have spent many a night of our 10 years together drinking (too much) wine and talking about our hopes and dreams for the future. In some of the conversations we are going to become property moguls. Sometimes we are buying land and building a fun-house B&B where slides from the bedroom windows go straight into a giant swimming pool, (one day). Recently we had been talking about quitting our jobs to travel the world as nomads. We want to see the real world before the driver-less cars and the fridges that put you on a diet take over, is how the conversation would start.
Another bottle of wine later and we are on YouTube trying to learn dance routines to perform next time we go out for dinner with friends – thankfully this has never actually happened. By the morning our business plans are nothing more than a hangover and the ramblings of mad women on a notepad covered in tell-tale red rings. And we’ve forgotten the 5 dance steps that took us hours and an extra trip to the bottle shop to perfect.
So there we were in the Philippines committing to “just do it”. We’ve decided, we were going to go travelling, we announced to our skeptical friends who had heard of our ridiculous plans time and time again. A few weeks before we’d been meeting with mortgage brokers having decided to buy and renovate a property without having a hammer to our names, so you can see why they were unconvinced.
“The world is very big, and it might be really dangerous for two women travelling alone, and it would cost us our life savings”, said my partner the next night. “Good point baby. I guess we should leave it then”, was my reply. I knew it would never happen. “We could just go around Australia though. If you fancy it.” A dusty cog somewhere deep in my brain gave it half a seconds thought. I’d had a good few cocktails. “Yeah cool”. I said. Never gonna happen I thought.
But now here we are in August, in the middle of Sydney winter, and as of a few days ago there is a 21 seater Toyota Coaster sitting on the street outside our house. It’s been converted into a motorhome and has cost us about half of our life savings and more than double what we budgeted. We’ve moved into a share house with some friends to save spending money and sold all our worldly possessions apart from clothes that we’ll need for the next few months and whatever we’ll take with us.
Furniture went on Gumtree and we had a fairly soul destroying car boot sale where we realised clothes that we thought were amazing and cost us hundreds of dollars were worth less than $2 to other people. Colleagues thought that we were pretty bizarre as we went from living on our own to going to live in a share house – for apparently no reason at all. “So why are you selling all your furniture and stuff”, asked my boss – an amazing woman who clearly suspected something was going on. “Oh you know, just for a change”, I said feeling guilty and wondering if you can give your notice in 6 months early without looking crazy and like you think pretty highly of yourself.
So we’re doing it. Apparently. At age 33, both doing really well at work, great friends in Sydney and loving our lives, we are going to quit our jobs. Come December, when the school terms finishes (my partner is a teacher), off we will drive into the sunset.
Minor things to work on now are; making the Coaster look awesome -for the Instagram pictures of course, actually handing in our notice, planning a route rather than just staring at the giant map on our bedroom wall. Oh and I need to learn how to drive…