Part 1 of Our Story:
So here is our story, all the good, the bad, and the juicy details of why we made the decision to travel! (Especially in the craziest of times).
One Sunday afternoon in June we received an email from our landlords with the notice to leave. It stated that by the end of August we had to vacate the premise in order for them to renovate the property.
Ahhh… my brain, my mind, went dead. Numb.
I had been reading this aloud to hubby Simon in the driver’s seat next to me. He must have been fried too because there was silence for a good two minutes.
Thankfully both boys were asleep in the back – or Colton would have had a ton of questions.
I looked at Simon, the tears welling up in my eyes, “What do we do?”
“We find a new place to live of course,” like that was the definite answer. The only option we had.
We were about to enrol Colton into kindy next year and we loved the area we were in.
I jumped online to real estate.com and started looking:
Woodburn – Evans Head $450 -$800+
Ballina $650- $900
Lismore , $400 – $700 +
Casino $300 – $ 550
It shocked me. I knew we had been so fortunate to have our house with all the land, space, and location for only $270 a week – but this brought a whole new level of appreciation to just how lucky we had been. No wonder they were ‘renovating’ to put up the prices up. I would be too.
The ones in our price range were crappy, didn’t allow dogs (we had 3 of our own at that time), or were just way too small for our family of 4.
What we needed was going to take half of Simon’s wage just to pay rent! If not the whole lot!! Paying off someone else’s mortgage – made me ridiculously angry…
“You’ll have to go back to full time work and art on the side.”
Now the tears wouldn’t stop coming. I knew he was right – but it was not going to happen. My business is my baby and I refuse to abandon it. That life wasn’t the life I wanted to live!!!!
After 3 years of working from home I was not about to give that up.
The thought came, it was clear and cut through all the fog happening is my mind.
“Take the opportunity.Travel.”
Very cautiously I voiced my idea.
Planting the seed and lots of questions and conversations to be had.
What about our debts / loans?
We pay them off before we go.
Sell all our stuff.
What do we travel in?
Whatever we can afford to buy. But how?
We sell more stuff the cool room, trailer, quad bike, furniture, appliances, and artworks.
What about schooling Colton?
Distance Ed. Home school? NO.
How do we pay our way around?
My business. Simon to pick up work as we go. Farm work, fruit picking, labourer.
Where do we stay?
Free camp as much as possible, farmhouse sit, and caravan parks as necessary.
How will the boys cope?
They will love it and it’s the perfect time for them being so young.
What about our friends and family?
Keeping in touch is easy these days – I refuse to miss out on living a life because I’m tied down to someone else.
Oh yeah – that! I’d like to forget it exists and start living my life again. Avoid lockdown where we can and cross borders when we can.
What do we do with our animals?
We sold Rowell and it was heartbreaking. He was my jack russell puppy and I still miss him!! We sold all of our ducks, chickens, guinea fowl, and quails and rehomed my beautiful cat Nayla. Meg & Mia were the lucky ones to come with us.
For the first few weeks after receiving the notice we discussed, looked for rentals, and had more discussions.
We had to make a decision. Travel or move?
In the end the final decision was based on how I felt. Moving into another rental stifled me and gave me anxiety. It physically gave me headaches and made me feel sick. Travel = excitement, joy.
“Take the opportunity. Travel.”
The words kept playing in my head. Obviously it was meant to be.
We gave ourselves the last 4 weeks in our home to sell everything + buy everything we would need. This didn’t make us debt free. We weren’t financially ready to start our travels.
And so the biggest question still remained, where to?
We decided we would see out the year with Simon still working and Colton would continue at preschool – that would help us save money to pay off our debts – the ute loan $11,000 and a $5,000 credit card.
Right, we had somewhat of a game plan.
As the time loomed closer we still had so much STUFF and it really was just stuff. We tried selling it on FB and wanted to donate to charity but in the middle of a 6 week lockdown no one could come pick stuff up. We even requested an extension to stay a few weeks longer but that was denied or we pay approx. double our rent. Ugh!
Apparently we had upset them and hadn’t kept the house ‘maintained’ as agreed.
Honestly we had no idea as they never mentioned it to us. There was never an inspection or anything in the whole 4 years we lived there.
Even as we sold our stuff and packed our ute we still didn’t know where we were moving to.
It was STRESSFUL!
Days before doomsday we called the local caravan parks
Surely they would have room as it was lockdown and no one was travelling. But guess what? It was lockdown and they weren’t allowed to let us in!
Maybe we really would be homeless.
We inspected a place outside of Swan Bay to set up camp. It looked great but he still wanted $25 a night and there were no toilets, showers, or any facilities. He had plans for it though. Maybe it was our only option. It seemed to be.
Simon asked me on our way home, 1 day before doomsday.
“Will you and the boys be right there without me when I‘m gone for work for 3 days or would you want me to come home every night?”
My mind immediately went to “yeah we will be fine, it’s not going to make a difference if you’re home between 8:30 pm- 5:45 am.” Then I continued to think if something happens to us it’ll happen any time of day.
A woman with 2 young boys staying on a stranger’s property (a man on his own) for 3 days, middle of nowhere, with no one else around.
I am a good hearted, see the kind in everyone, sort of person – but let’s not also be naive until something bad does happen to us.
This was no longer an option.
Wtf were we going to do now?!
A relative of a good friend of ours made the comment “give us a ring if you get stuck, we have a paddock…”
So we did.
To be continued…