Making a decision for slow nomadic travel lifestyle is one thing, but having the courage to make it happen is another thing entirely!
In 2011 this was not trendy for the veteran & boomer generations. Yes there are the Grey Nomads, but full time House & Pet Sitting was in its infancy. Downsizing was unthinkable to generations brought up on a steady diet of whoever dies with the most wins, and going nomadic before retirement meant you had better have millions to live on.
We were talking budget travel, which meant doing things differently and making it up as we went along...
The first obvious step was to try out house & pet sitting (for people we didn’t know) and see if we liked it, as this was going to be a large part of our lifestyle.
Honestly if this step didn’t go well then it would be a deal breaker.
After researching the subject of house and pet sitting and checking out a number of housesitting websites, I arranged 2 short term housesits a couple of hours away, in opposite directions.
This was a big test in doing things differently and it could easily end the adventure before it began...
Thankfully we found both to be very positive experiences and enjoyed caring for the pets and living in new places, so our nomadic travel lifestyle got its first, TICK.
Read about them here...
Feeling keen to move forward, avoid procrastination and keep the momentum going we set the intention of getting on the road in 3 months. How we were going to budget travel was the next question. We each had a car, so we could keep the larger one, or sell both and buy a station wagon and tow a trailer with all our gear etc.
But Gavin came up with a better idea of buying a campervan.
Neither of us were keen to be towing a trailer or a caravan, or living out of a station wagon, so this seemed like a perfect solution.
This was the catalyst for our first memorable story of ‘liven what’s given,’ in this adventure.
I was happy to hand off the responsibility of researching campervans to Gavin. It all happened very quickly once we established what style we wanted and how much we were prepared to spend.
After a few inquiring phone calls we found the one we wanted to look at was several hours away, so we arranged to go and check it out the following weekend. Two hours after that call the owner rang back and informed us that he had another inquiry from a guy who wanted to look at it the next day and he had the cash ready to pay for it, so could we possibly come up first thing tomorrow morning before him?
He wanted to give us first option since we had called earlier (how nice was that!).
It took a bit of rearranging but we had a good feeling about this particular campervan so agreed to make the trip the following morning.
After looking it over and taking it for a test drive we knew she was the one for us, so on returning we offered to pay the asking price and the deal was done.
It all just fell into place so quickly and easily and felt so right.
I think we were both in shock on the way home, as the adventure just got a lot more real.
We came up with the name "Paris" for the van because it was arty and I had very fond memories of the time I spent in Paris some years ago, also with the desire to spend more time in Paris.
It was encouraging to see Gavin’s enthusiasm for doing up the campervan and fitting it out with what we needed to make it a portable self-sufficient office and home. My job was to decorate the interior and arrange the cupboard space to make it liveable.
Hmmm, how do you fit the contents of a 3 bedroom unit into a campervan? The obvious answer is YOU DON’T.
So this required us to get into action straight away, which meant we needed to dive into the next stage of preparations. Downsizing = SELL, SELL ,SELL!
Stay tuned for the next instalment where I will share some tips and tricks on downsizing and selling your personal possessions and how to deal with the emotional aspects.
Until next time...
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How and why we got started on this Nomadic Travel Lifestyle and how it has unfolded as we travel within Australia and globally.