© Copyright Chris and Kerrie Jones 2018 All rights reserved
Well, this is what it’s come down to.
We’re embarking on a new chapter in life.
We’ve watched loved ones lose their health and their lives. We’ve seen friends who had a dream for their twilight years unable to follow that dream.
We’ve questioned the purpose of why we do what we do each day and decided that while we still have the blessing of good health we’ll make life as full and meaningful as possible.
Looking at it plainly and simply, one day we’ll wake up and it’ll be our last day on earth in this physical dimension. This is inevitable! We don’t know which day that will be – it could be today.
There’s no sense getting morbid or depressed about it, it’s just the way it is! The older one gets the more aware we are of this reality and once it really sinks in it impacts how we look at our every day lives. It makes us ask the question, “If today was THAT day for me, have I lived life to the best of my ability? Have I taken advantage of the great opportunities that are available to me? Did I hide behind excuses for not living life to the full? Did I allow an obsession for safety and security rob me of a more enjoyable life? ”
Asking these questions of ourselves made us look deeply into how we were living and frankly we didn’t much like what we saw. We saw ourselves as a couple who were going through the motions of life as if on a carousel of pointless daily routines that were carried out more out of habit and comfort than to create a more worthwhile and enjoyable life’s
We weren’t influencing anyone for the better, creating anything exciting or experiencing the wonders of God’s great art gallery that is this beautiful country.
Apart from the occasional holiday or weekend drive our world was small and growing smaller. The scenery consisted of the same streets, the same workplace, the same houses and landscapes day after day. Conversations about tiny mundane details of living started to dominate our conversation and it was like we were losing the ability to discuss anything outside the things which took no effort and little risk.
In short we were becoming old, not so much in our physical bodies but in our thinking. Our mental age was overtaking our physical age and we were starting to think like people who believed that all the opportunities for adventure, for achievement, for living on the edge were over.
Family and friends are so important to us and we love them all dearly so a big question arose as to whether we would lose touch or not be there when we were needed. However important friends and family are we had to admit that very few of a year’s 8736 hours involved face to face contact with friends and family, the vast bulk of those hours were spent in our own company.
Would a life on the road diminish the love we have for friends and family? As we spoke of our plans it became obvious that it would not and we received only encouragement to “Do It” from them.
It was time to break free! We just decided not to continue living the mundane preconceived idea of life any longer. We decided to off and discover this great land of ours. We couldn’t afford to wait for the “Perfect timing”, till all the ducks were in the correct row so to speak. We knew that perfect timing was a fantasy and waiting for it would ensure that THAT day would come before we ever made a move.
Our home was initially the lovely old 1971 Viscount Caravan that was in the family for 30 years. It had already been around Australia and we renovated it to allow us to live and work as we travelled.
The transformation from living in a conventional house to living in a 15-foot van is dramatic especially where ones “Thing collection” is concerned. A major culling of belongings was the first and most painful aspect of our decision.
We basically rid ourselves of a lifetime of material goods collecting.
As we cast off and rid ourselves of the weight of our “thing collection” we began to experience a freedom that only those who have “Culled the Clutter” can understand. Life seemed “lighter” somehow and less busy as sorting, cleaning, maintaining and adding to our material world dissipated.
After a period of settling in and learning from experience, life on the road became continually more enjoyable as we began to learn just how little a person can own and still be deeply contented every day.
Sure there are ups and downs but overall we’ve not regretted for a minute our decision to live on the road. We love living in our simple and compact home. We enjoy the freedom to go wherever we desire and take on whatever challenges may present themselves and we love meeting and talking to the many people we meet who have a similar mindset and outlook to ours.
We came to a point in time where knew we would not be giving up the lifestyle any time soon and although we dearly loved the old Viscount Van we wanted the room to live more easily and organised rather than the constant “packing and unpacking” of life in the 16 footer.
This led us to the purchase of our 20 foot Aussie Wide Caravan and to a transformation into the most simple, enjoyable and organised life on the road that any human can wish for.
We gave the old Viscount to a lovely young couple in Melbourne who keep in touch regularly and send us photos of the “Old Girl” as she enters into yet another phase of providing endless joy for a third generation of young family caravaners – something it has been doing non stop for 35 years.
Now, because of the blog, we now know another couple have the “Old Girl “.
After purchasing the Viscount, Wayne and Karen were searching the internet for information on 71 Viscount caravans and came across a photo of the “Old Girl” . This of course lead to the blog where they was able to see the vans history.
We now keep in contact with Wayne and Karen and happily follow their journeys. They still get asked 20 questions about the van every time they stop.
We are thankful every day for the opportunity to live life Wandering Australia.
The two vans side by side for the last time