Yes, I know, another excuse for a cheesy music reference (check out those perms) but we really are in the final stages before we head off on our big trip. We’ve had multiple work leaving celebrations, people have been very kind and said nice things and now we’re without gainful employment and making the last preparations for our travels. How good is the cake that Andy’s colleagues had made for him. We’ve included a picture of our jeep, OTIS, as a point of reference.
We’ve been spending a bit of time taking in Bargara and surrounds before we go, so this post includes some random pictures of our home for the last eight years. We are really looking forward to seeing parts of Australia and the world we’ve not yet visited, but we do feel privileged to have been part of this community. We think we’ll be hard pressed to find anywhere more beautiful. To find out more about this region of Queensland, check out our post ‘This is Australia’. We’re also starting to try and increase our fitness levels. Sedentary jobs aren’t great in that regard so we’re beginning with a conscious effort to walk more, and complete our 10,000 steps every day (well nearly every day). We also thought we’d share with you some of the practicalities of leaving behind a permanent base and beginning a life on the road.
Packing and storage
We sold our house last year and have been living in a rented furnished apartment since then so we thought we’d already divested ourselves of most of our extraneous belongings. How wrong we were. We’ve decided to really cull our possessions and just keep items that mean something to us. This isn’t for everyone but we’ve found it quite liberating. The local charity shops, or op shops as they’re known in these parts, have benefited too. We didn’t quite realise how many wine glasses we had and not sure what that says about us. Along with glasses; crockery, kitchenware, clothes, books and DVDs have all been donated. We were worried, after the third or fourth car load that we were going to have to start rotating between different shops but our local ‘Vinnies’ continued to seem to be grateful for our visits.
If you read our post about the first part of your trip ‘The Big Trip – Aussie Aussie Aussie Part 1’ you’ll see that we’re driving around Australia, and our accommodation will be a combination of camping, airbnbs, motels and housesitting. We will therefore have a well stocked jeep with hopefully everything we need to set up camp. When we have one of our first camping stops, we’ll write in a bit more detail about our camp set-up. The remainder of our wordly goods are being taken to a small storage cube for locking up until a time at which we want to re-establish a permanent base.
Address and postage
We’ve come to realise how dependent our society is on its members having a permanent place to call home. Being of no fixed abode is definitely frowned upon, and banks and government agencies can’t cope if you don’t have a physical address, even if very little is sent by hard copy these days. We did look into contracting a mail forwarding service such as http://www.aussiemailman.com.au. However, because we get so little snail mail these days we struggled to justify the expense. Fortunately for us, Jane’s parents live in Queensland and have offered to forward any mail that is sent to us. We’ve therefore set up our address as theirs and they will send things on at regular intervals. The Poste Restante system still operates in Australia so you can send mail to a Post Office in a town and the recipient can pick it up from there, e.g.
Mr and Mrs Pademelon,
Woop Woop Post Office,
32 Banjo Paterson Street
We don’t envisage needing our mail forwarded more than once a month and we’ll review this when we go overseas in case we need to use a mail service at that stage. These services often give the option of scanning and emailing post which may be more convenient when we’re not in Australia.
We’ve also taken a belt and buckles approach to our important documentation such as passports, life insurance, wills, evidence of qualifications etc. We have copies of these in safe hands across the globe in case we, or anyone else, needs to access them.
So we’re beginning to feel like we’re almost there. We know our direction of travel, and are comfortable that we’ve tied up the formalities of leaving our home behind. No doubt there will be things we realise we forgot to do, but I expect we’ll find a way to address them. The excitement is building and in less than a fortnight we’ll have started our adventure. D Day is Tuesday 17th July 2018.