Friday, 4 April 2014

“Six Months In A Leaky Boat”

Well not quite a boat and definitely not leaky but the lyrics of the famous Split Enz anthem seem to apply to us as well.

“When I was a young boy
I wanted to sail around the world
That's the life for me, living on the sea
Spirit of a sailor, circumnavigates the globe
The lust of a pioneer, will acknowledge
No frontier
I remember you by, thunderclap in the sky
Lightning flash, tempers flare,
'round the horn if you dare
I just spent six months in a leaky boat
Lucky just to keep afloat”

Before I carry on with the backlog of blog posts from Manapouri & Milford I wanted to post on this, our first milestone; today we have been 6 months “on the road”, living in our fifth-wheeler “Out There” and following our dream of exploring this wonderful country we call home & especially the South Island.

Technically its not six months on the road but this anniversary is when we handed over our house keys to the new owners and left our quiet little cul-de-sac & suburbia behind, towing our van over to the Mount campground where we spent the next 3 weeks while tying up all the loose ends before we left Tauranga. We then had 3 weeks parked beside my parents home in Napier so in fact it was six weeks before we actually “hit the road” and it is only four and half months since we arrived in the South Island with 5 of those weeks based in Invercargill visiting family over Christmas & New Year.

And how do we now feel about our new life? We love it, we absolutely love every day and have no regrets whatsoever. We would thoroughly recommend this lifestyle to anybody that is contemplating a change. We have had no problems adapting to the change of pace & routine (and the size of our home) and I can honestly say that other than a few minor hiccups (and one not quite so minor), everything is running smoothly & to plan. Of course there have been the odd occasions when one of us gets a little stressed out but we tend to time it right where the other one keeps an even keel & perks the down one up.

We have had some amazing experiences and have met some wonderful people along the way. We’ve stayed in great places & have seen some fantastic scenery. Best of all, we’ve had some thrilling & wonderful encounters with wildlife. And really, so far, we’ve only been “doing” Southland so we have lots to look forward to.

Here are a few of the notable things about our new lifestyle; things I love, notice or miss;
  • I take much more notice of the weather now but I notice the weather forecast is much less accurate.
  • It feels rather strange laying in bed in the dark early morning while camped somewhere isolated & listening to the radio hearing about the traffic congestion, road crashes & closures in the cities. And thanking our lucky stars that we don’t need to be apart of the rat race.
  • Every turn in the road is pure joy as I see the scenery through my photographer’s eye.
  • I’ve been amazed that we’ve been able to live with so much less material possessions in life.
  • And that I managed to stock the van with everything we needed and other than a couple of small items have not had to buy anything I’d forgotten.
  • I love waking up every morning with a different scene out the window, whether it’s a new site or a change in the weather. I love the amazing sunrises & sunsets, the black inky sky & the millions of stars.
  • Missing family & friends goes without saying but I also miss golf & my little buddy, my cat Lily.
  • I’m loving the lack of housework & knowing that when I do have to do it, it only takes a short time.
  • I thought I’d miss the dishwasher but no, the dishes only take a moment to do as there are less of them and I can even leave them if I like, I have the excuse of saving water! 
  • But I do miss my washing machine. And I smile when I think about how my friends would laugh if they saw me balancing on the the slippery rocks while rinsing out the clothes in the river.
  • I miss fresh herbs the most (especially after breaking the herb planter early on), I miss citrus & Vogels Original Mixed Grain Toast Slice!
  • “Rain fade” is the bane of my life, it of course happens just when you need the TV!
  • I miss easy access to the internet & the humungous amount of data you get on a landline (data that would hardly ever be completely used up- wouldn’t it be great if all that excess data was handed out free to friends! Smile )
  • We both miss running water, & being able to stand under a hot shower & soak up the warmth.
  • And on the water theme, it feels rather surreal watching David doing his regular chore of collecting water from the nearby stream or river to fill our tank.
  • Last but not least, I LOVE my every changing big backyard.

I asked David for some of his thoughts;
  • He loves meeting and engaging with so many different people from all walks of life & different countries.
  • He also loves playing camp director when the need arises (which if you know David, is quite often)
  • He misses his two grandchildren in Tauranga but loves being close to the two in Invercargill.
  • David, like me, also loves waking up in a new place and the total freedom of travelling at a snails pace.
  • He does find the driving sometimes quite stressful; just keeping an eye on everything from making sure everything is correctly hitched to navigating the wide variety of roads we travel and always being alert to other traffic etc
  • He has never felt unsafe in any of our overnight sites 
  • David loves the fifth-wheeler concept & the 4WD Ute combination as it really does give us total versatility and the ability to explore virtually anywhere.
  • He is often amazed at night how dark it is “out there”
  • He also loves having a co-pilot that is not directionally challenged like he is & is so well read on the places we visit! (I wrote that Winking smile)

Finally, I want to take this opportunity of thanking you all for following along on this journey with us. I love doing this blog and recording our adventures and it makes it all the more worthwhile knowing that there are others “out there” enjoying it too.


“Out There” somewhere…..

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