We are Cuppa & MrsTea, a couple of Aussie ex-poms who fell in love with Australia when we migrated here 30 years ago (’87). I’m about to turn 60 & MrsTea is a year younger, something she is prone to reminding me about with a smirk from time to time. We’ve been a couple for 36 years & each other’s best friend for most of that.
Both of us were psychiatric nurses, but whilst MrsTea remained working in the field until her retirement (this year), I changed & became a farmer on the property we loved & nurtured atop the Strzlecki Ranges, Gippsland, Victoria, where we lived a semi self sufficient lifestyle for almost 20 years. MrsTea earned what money we needed, & we saved excess to fund travel. I stayed home & raised animals & vegies providing the lifestyle we loved
In 2008/9 we travelled 45,000 kms in a figure 8 around Australia (<- Link to previous blog) in a bus I had converted. Travelling for 18 months felt huge at the time, & it was, and we loved it, in spite of major mechanical woes along the way! The time passed all too quickly & we found ourselves back home, wishing we were still out there ‘on the road’.
A 5 year plan was hatched which we hoped would enable us to become full time travellers, & now a little over 7 years later we are on the brink of realising the dream which has sustained us. We sold the farm, moved to a smaller property in Central Victoria which we intend to rent out, having fenced off an area of paddock & constructed a modest but comfortable ‘bolt hole’ to return to whenever we want or need to.
We have been travelling for over five years, continue to relish our lifestyle & still have destinations we intend to reach. Destinations in themselves are helpful, but the journey is not about reaching them, but about travelling slowly enough to find opportunities for adventures along the way.
Our travelling style has changed. Our preference for the bush & remote areas has if anything strengthened but we have also taken up house sitting & caretaking as a means of gaining experiences that can only be had when stopping in one place for longer periods. The balance between ‘stopping’ & ‘going has tipped toward the stopping end of the continuum for the time being at least.
So, are we still travellers? Yes very much so! The ‘stopping’ remains primarily to enable more immersive experiences in places of interest in between travels. Immersive as in getting to know country, wildlife, weather, season, people & culture.
As yet there is no end in sight to our travelling lifestyle. We do have an inkling that when the time comes to stop travelling that the reason will likely be health related & that the process of settling down may not be easy, but for now we continue to love what we do, & feel very lucky we can do it.
We have now been in Northern, tropical Australia for 4 years, in Far North Queensland for almost 3 years of that. Currently we are on Cape York where we expect to remain until the end of the ’22/’23 wet season.