Wednesday, 25 July 2012

The Meaning of Life, the Universe and Everything... 42.  Everyone who has read Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy knows this.

But this post is more about what the meaning is for us, or in other words why Cor and I are on this journey in search of "the good life".  We are often asked why we left good careers, a happening place like London (in an Olympic year), and all our friends, to go off travelling the world.  Well, actually that part people understand, but what they don't understand are our plans of buying a smallholding / hobby farm and growing our own food.  That seems just like a crazy amount of work, right?  Why go to all that trouble?  So a post to explain a bit seems in order.

Back in December 2010, Cor and I were back in Australia on holiday driving from Ingham to Albury when we had a nasty car accident on the highway between Mackay and Rockhampton.  We aquaplaned off the road at about 105 - 110km per hour headfirst into a ditch and flipped the car over.  We were lucky, and for the most part walked away mostly unscathed.  I had a broken nose (check out the Disaster post for the issues this is causing now), whiplash, a gashed leg, a busted head plus some soft tissue bruising courtesy of the seatbelt, while Cor had a tiny scratch on her foot.  But more than anything else it was a wake-up call.

If we had come off the road 5 metres earlier we would have hit a massive gum tree and be dead.

There was lots of water on the drive and if there had been just 1 to 2 feet of water in the ditch, we would be dead (upside down, it took us a while to get out).

Take a good look at the photo of the inside of the car.  See that small tree above the driver's seat?  6 inches lower and one of us would be dead.

See what I mean about wake up call??

We owe thanks to our family Justin Burnside and Vayne Monzeglio for coming to our rescue after the accident.

At the time we were living in London going through the motions, but after this we decided that it was time to reassess our lives and live where we could engage in what made us happy, which is being outside.  Whether it is climbing, running, diving, fishing, camping, hiking or skiing, we love being outside.  So we decided to move somewhere we could do that from home, rather than living near work and commuting to what made us happy.  Our friends Tim and Lynne had done this with their new massage business and were an inspiration.

The other thing we love, though, is food.  We love growing it, cooking it and eating it.  We had an allotment and a great garden in London and were largely self-sufficient for fruit and vegetables 8 months of the year.  It had always been our dream to do a Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall or Gourmet Farmer, raise our own animals and be self sufficient in food as much as possible, but that was always off in the future in a semi-retired state.

Well, after our wake up call, we aren't putting it off anymore.  Bucket list?  Doing it now.  There is no point being rich but dead and therefore unable to dive Sipadan, or climb El Cap, or ski some insane off-piste.  The time is now.  And as for a smallholding, well why wait to do the things we have always dreamed of?  Some people ask if we have enough money to do it, and as anyone who has followed their dreams will tell you, you can keep chasing "just a bit more" but you will never have enough.  Far better to get out of the comfort zone, and see what happens.

I hope this goes towards explaining why we seem a little crazed, and perhaps inspire a bit of craziness of your own.  Perhaps we'll see you on that dive boat this year or maybe coming up the drive of our little farm one day for a cold cider and a warm welcome.  Palya!


  1. Welcome to the journey Matt. Its a daunting step, but very much worth it.
    I look forward to the cider!

  2. Awesome mate... glad to hear you are living your dream. I am counting down my journey round Asia... 4 months to go and then I too will be leaving London (although I may come back). Hope to see you on the other side of the world soon. C

  3. There are no regrets when you're doing what your heart feels is right. Live it, Love it. Cider for me too please :)

  4. Thanks for sharing you amazing travels and adventures!
    Love it! Keep safe...Rx

  5. Count us in for that cider and visit! The kids are still talking about the farm that Cor convinced them we were going to visit (or live near!). Damn them for good memories.