What a year of hitting the road etc

I’m a bit sad this year is coming to an end. But I am very happy that, for the first time in my life, I have stuck to all my new year’s resolutions. And we have even more adventures to look forward to in 2018 as we test run a new reality.

1.Quit job 2. Pack it all in 3. Hit the road. 4. drink less Visit more wineries

Tick, tick, tick and tick. It has been a most enjoyable and life changing to do list. And for the first time that I can remember, we have arrived December and I haven’t thought – wow where has the year gone?

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For once, this wasn’t our year

2017 hasn’t flown by without us noticing, stuck in the same routines week to week. Our 322 days on the road so far have been filled with so many new and varied experiences, places, climates, landscapes and friendships that I actually can’t believe it has only been just over 10 months. We haven’t just added another year to our life – we have definitely added more life to our year.

In the last two weeks alone, since finishing up in south-west WA, we have seen explosions in the super pit in Kalgoorlie, crossed the Nullarbor (in a day and half – and we only got pulled up for speeding once), hiked in the Flinders Ranges, paddle steamered down the Murray River, biked long the rail trails of Rutherglen, and had some butt clenching, wine bottle shattering 4wD action up in the Victorian high country.

We have been through four states and four timezones (there is a bizarre 45 min fast forward in middle of the Nullarbor).

We have sweltered in 40+ degree heat, shivered around a campfire in 2 degrees with snow on the mountains above and narrowly avoided floods along the Murray.

Oh, and we have visited a shitload of wineries. Though admittedly they are less fun at the moment than they were at the beginning of the trip when we were (relatively) loaded. The Riverlands, Renmark, Mildura, Rutherglen, Beechworth have all been taunting us and our diminishing travel funds with their tasty reds, proseccos and ciders. Sucks being broke and surrounded by vines.

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 So we paid a visit to the cask kings – our go to 4WD proof, and budget friendly drop

5.Start a blog

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My final new year’s resolutions was to start this blog. I had thought a corporate workaholic packing it all in for a life in a tent on wheels may make for an interesting read. When we hit the road I quickly realised that this was not a radical adventure (I am a lawyer after all, nothing I do is ever going to be that radical)  but a well trodden path. There are hundreds, if not thousands, of families out there doing just what we are doing. And pretty much all of them have blogs.

Before we set out on this trip I was never on social media (well apart from a mild Linkedin stalking habit) – no facebook, no instagram. I seriously had no clue what a hashtag was. To be honest, I am still a little perplexed, though I do find them amusing. When I joined Facebook and instagram I soon found that they are chock full of travel blogs. I don’t have a Facebook travel page because I am #clueless. I didn’t even know what a Facebook page was – but now that I am finally figuring these things out, I am too #lazy and can’t be #arsed to have something else to update.

I love following the travels of the friends we have stalked made and picking up tips from other random travellers I follow. It is a wonderful, generous, info sharing community out there and social media has turned out to be incredibly, well, social. Who’d have thunk it?

There are some people out there who even manage to fund their travels with their blogs. Hats off to them. I will never be able to do this because I am #clueless and #lazy, we are just muddling our way through and have no advice or genius hacks for laundry, or kids entertainment on car trips and I simply do not have the energy, superlatives, exclamation marks or sufficient knowledge of emojis to join an already over saturated market. Not an ideal combo for money spinning a blog. We are just boofheads who cannot for the life of us stick to a budget, who yell a lot while reversing the camper, and who (me, not we) accidentally put petrol in our diesel guzzling land cruiser. Oops.

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I can’t really see anyone forking over $$$ or free [insert camping, 4WD, car, other random outdoorsy product] to be featured/spruiked in these ramblings. Note – this does NOT apply to wine. I will happily find the energy, emojis and ecstatic punctuation required for any free wine that happens to come my way. (Disclaimer: no free wine has ever come my way).

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Forked over $$$ for each and every one – sigh

Poverty, and complete lack of free products aside, I just love writing this blog. It has been so much fun, and has led to a few other (also non-revenue-generating but highly enjoyable) writing projects (such as this guest blog, and some others I am currently working on. Sadly none involve free wine). It’s so lovely after all these years of being work consumed and incredibly dull, to finally have something I can legitimately call a hobby. (Because I have come to realise that when you say drinking red wine is your hobby, you can get some weird looks … and in trouble with HR).

2018 – do what we have to do, until we can do what we want to do

I guess I should come up with some resolutions for 2018. Having now been on Facebook for a year I see there is this thing where it tells you what you were doing this time last year. That’s going to really suck if we go back to reality and Facebook keeps telling me how much better my life was every single day of the last year.

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A snapshot of some of the awesome memories that will be thrown my way daily

So our plans are to test run a new reality. It’s back to law for me – but on more of an independent and free agent basis, working remotely from Hobart (so if you need any corporate lawyering done – at very reasonable rates, just let me know!) Working from home and having a bit more control over my hours will give us time to explore Tassie in our spare time and hopefully leave some time for the things I love – hanging out with the fam (though I am beyond excited to have the kids go back to school, the quality time together this year has been awesome, the quantity time –  has been a bit overwhelming), writing, bush walking – oh, and visiting wineries. Hopefully if we can make this work then this is something we can continue wherever we travel after Hobart, and wherever we settle down. So the resolutions for 2018 are pretty simple – save to travel more, and make time for the things we enjoy. While we’re doing what we have to do, we’ll squeeze in as much of what we want to do as we can.

And good old Facebook will be there every day to pull me up if 2018 is not stacking up.

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And that’s a wrap on these ramblings for this year. Merry Christmas, Seasons Greetings, Happy Holidays etc. Catch you in the new year. Over and out.

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I am (was?) a corporate lawyer who has packed it all in and hit the road. With my hubby, three young kids, Bonnie (our 4WD) and "The Shack" (our camper trailer), we are taking a year (or so) to forget about work and city life, enjoy our amazing country – beaches, mountains, outback, desert, food, wine and adventure – and figure out what we want to do next.

2 thoughts on “What a year of hitting the road etc

  1. Hi Jac. Love reading your blog and seeing what you are up to (and wishing we were still on the road!) Spot on with the stuff we accumulate. Our house is great, we love it but having said that, everything we need to be safe, happy and comfortable is in our box on wheels. Everything else is just stuff. Life is for living!

    Merry Xmas to you, Sam and the kids. Look forward to following your travels in the new year.
    Cheers.

    Like

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