365 Days Later…
26th January 2013 we said goodbye to everybody and everything we knew and drove out of my parents driveway in Swansea chasing the sunrise east until we couldn’t possibly drive any further on the Eurasia continent. I will never forget that day. With a lump in my throat I drove for the last time through streets of childhood memories and down familiar roads. Its difficult to describe what we were feeling at that point in time. It was certainly a small mix of sadness and apprehension, along with questioning doubt. We didn’t know what lay ahead for us, what the road would throw at us or what would happen next. We were very sad to be leaving loved ones behind but we knew that overall we were doing the right thing. It felt right. To make a change and better ourselves.
We had cleared out our lives. Put Careers on hold, sold everthing we were not taking with us, cancelled insurances and contracts, erased everything we had built up, everything we had known. All for this.
For the first few months, to comfort ourselves we would always joke that “we could always turn around?”. This worked till about Uzbekistan then it became “There’s no going back now!” It was always seen as just a long drive to us, nothing more than that. Quite matter of fact we would often discuss route options. Like driving back from Russia to the UK saying thinks like “it’s only 10,000km from here, we could do it in 3 to 4 weeks” working out budgets, timeframes and fuel stops in our heads as we drove. With no jobs, no house, no dog, no kids, no debt, no fixed agenda we were free. Free to roam our beautiful planet, your beautiful planet.
We didn’t have much time to write blogs prior to leaving the UK earlier last year and maybe that is why so many have asked ‘when will we return to the UK?’. The overall plan was always to leave and find something better. Why go through all that just to return to your desk? The trip was always a means of getting to Australia. The catalyst. To achieve something more.
So where do we go from here? The plan is settling out to incorporate 12 months of working and saving while we obtain a more long-term Permanent Residency visa and think about moving the Land Rover onto a permanent import and off the Carnet de Passage. We are not rich, never have been, never will be. We arrived here in Australia with next to nothing so we have to work hard again to get going again. How long will we be here? Who knows, we are looking at 3 to 5 years minimum. If we like it we will stay if not we will move on. Nothing is set in stone.
I am writing this from a free campground on the Great Ocean Road in Victoria. It is Australia day here and 365 days later we are still out there… exploring.