After a couple of years of looking, searching, trying to find a way out of a black hole of depression, I applied for a job in Alice Springs as a Resort PA and fortunately for me – got it! If I thought living in Canberra and Sydney was different from where I was brought up in Brisbane, I was in for a rude shock. Being isolated in the middle of Australia was challenging. It is not like changing jobs where your friends are just nearby! It was a life changing experience for me. Relocating to a place where you know no one AND starting a new job! It was a little scary at first, but then on the first night when I sat back on the sand dunes and witnessed my first sunset over Uluru – it was breathtaking! That black hole of depression – What black hole? All my worries seemed to fade away. The views and people I met while sitting on those dunes or sitting on my verandah made the transition to
Alice Springs so much easier. It was a place of endless opportunities. There were so many experiences to be had. The cultural side of Alice fascinated me and I learned and shared so much with resort guests. Driving to Alice Springs for a shopping fix and being tested by the locals on the drive home was a little nerve racking, but I also avoided dingoes, snakes and hopping mice! I could go on forever. The opportunities I received, I accepted and treasured are something I wish for everyone about to embark on an adventure. Have Fun!
Almost four years ago I found myself with a five week old baby and all alone in the world when it became apparent that my husband had emptied the equity out of our home loan so he could buy a new home with his girlfriend. I was left holding a new born baby and with little money I felt a life changing experience thrust upon me. I cried alot and worried about the next day and then the next. I am glad to say that four years later I am glad that I am no longer in that marriage. I put into backup financial plans to make sure that I will never be caught out in that situation again.
I was the CEO of a finance company and my wife worked in Accounts Section. In November 2008, we packed in our jobs, rented out our house and we are now travelling around Australia with our Caravan. We have two children aged nine and ten, who attend school through distance education. This transient lifestyle we live has been absolutely fantastic for all of us as individuals and as a family unit. Australia is a special place with many places and people of interest – it could take a lifetime to really experience what this country can offer, but unfortunately, we will have to return to the rat race.. one day!
Last year my wife, Sheila and I, after a lot of discussion, decided it was time for a change. We both had secure employment. My wife as a Sales Representative and I as a Systems Specialist for the same telecommunications company. We discussed the idea for quite some time and decided that we would sell everything and move from Bendigo in Victoria to Mareeba in Far North Queensland. When we told the Manager of our plans we were given a very bad response, which made us think our decision over again as he is also a very good friend. However we made our decision and so we would stick to it. We planned to leave on 14 March 2009. We decided we would first get rid of our accumulated junk which was squirreled away throughout the house. Man we found stuff we had forgotten we had. Our resolve was strong and soon I was tasked with the job of putting items up for sale on EBay. Sylvia had the job of going through all the stuff in the house and deciding what to keep and what to get rid of. It was hard, there was so much to remind us of the past, both good and bad. I found this part of the plan to be the hardest. Not to get rid of things but convince Sylvia to get rid of things. In the end we sold a lot of our stuff on EBay very cheaply. People who bought our items commented on how cheaply they had got the item. That was a concern at first as we knew we would need all the money we could get to make this happen. However after a while our attitude changed toward the whole process. So what if some people got a bargain, good luck to them because we were doing something these people would never contemplate doing (except in their dreams). On the appointed date (14th March) we left. We had not sold our house like we wanted to because at this same time the world economy decided it would go on holiday. So we organised with a real-estate company to rent out the house for us. This turned into a nightmare! The people who wanted to rent the house wanted more from it than what we ever had. They didn’t want a home they wanted a mansion. Gold for the price of dirt! So after spending a lot of money to make everyone happy, we finally rented the property out. With our caravan in tow we headed north. Myself, Sylvia, sons Joshua 8 and Tyler 18 years old and his 18 year old girl friend and our 13 year old dog Toby. We took 14 days to travel from Bendigo to Koah just outside of Cairns. We had a great time seeing lots of sights and having lots of fun. We took time out when we reached our destination to do some of the touristy stuff, but also to go off the beaten track. We finally moved out of our caravan in June when we managed to find a lovely farm house for rent in a very quiet spot. We converted our caravan into a mobile workshop and I started drumming up work at caravan parks looking after the grey nomads computer needs. We have met some really nice people up here and we have also come across stories that we are not welcome, but mainly from those who see us as a threat to their business. We finally sold our house in Bendigo for the price we wanted and last Monday we opened our office in Mareeba and am starting to feel as though we are getting somewhere at last although it’s like one step forward 3 steps back. Many of our friends in Bendigo asked us why? I can’t tell you why except for the challenge and the change of life. Now Mareeba people ask us why did we move from Bendigo and we look around and say “for this!”. For us this has been a stressful and exciting time. To say we have put ourselves out of our comfort zone is an understatement! We are still out of our comfort zone. We know a few people here although not really anyone we can relate with as yet. We had to go out and get things done not because we wanted to, but because we had to, there was no choice. This what we expected and this is what we decided to put ourselves in for. This is the short version of our story. There is so much more to tell, but not enough time to tell it now.
Bryce and Sheila
Thankyou to the Australian Life Change Experiment for the above stories.
Names have been changed.