Anyone who knows me, knows I like to plan. I like knowing what I am doing. I like working from lists. I like to be organised.
Failing to plan is planning to fail
So the idea of selling up everything and leaving Australia, with no real plans on where we are going, has been a real test of my abilities to adapt!
In the past 6 years we have had two big international holidays. The first, a nearly 4 week trip to the USA, and the second, an 8 week trip through South America and the US. Both trips were VERY well planned. Every day was nicely plotted on the WorldMate App, and perfectly laid out to ensure we saw everything we wanted to with a day or so here and there for rest Without plans, we’d surely miss something!!!
This trip however, can’t work in the same way.
At this point in time, I know with certainly, that we are renting the unit we are in until 14th January next year. And that, is where our plans end. What are we doing beyond that? Where are we going? What will we do each day? We have no idea! And whilst I’ve had a minor freak out or two, I am learning that the unknown is part of the fun.
And the events of the last couple of days are proof that spontaneity will be a very big part of our lives going forward. And I am sooo excited about it.
In the past few months, semi-desperate for some sort of plan, I’ve spent a lot of time researching South East Asia. I’m not sure how it appeared on my radar, but a lot of people in travelling forums talk about it, so for the want of starting somewhere, it sounded like a plan.
So, up until recently, the plan went something like this. Leave Australia late January and fly to Hanoi, Vietnam. Spend a month or so travelling through Vietnam and then into Cambodia. Follow the path around and ultimately move on to Thailand. Nothing really set in stone, but a rough plan which settled my anxieties!
Throughout all of this I have been spending a lot of time looking at house sitting sites (I’m loving Trusted Housesitters) – the idea of caring for someone’s home, having cuddles with their pets (whilst I’ll be missing my gorgeous Toy Poodle “Pepsi” at home in Aus) and staying for weeks at a time, rent free! That sounds like the perfect way to travel! (A little side note, you don’t have to travel overseas to use Trusted Housesitters – there are plenty of Aussie families looking for housesitters too! Your next holiday could be a whole lot cheaper than you might expect!)
I have spent hours primping and preening my profile – lots of references and a whole lot of time spent writing and rewriting my spiel, all in the hopes that it might catch the attention of someone! Application after application submitted (I will definitely be writing a blog post about this experience at a later date!), but what did I get in return??? Nothing. Actually, to be fair, I did get a lovely message from a family in Bali who had already found someone but want to keep us in mind for the future!
BUT, that all changed overnight – when I stumbled across a post by a lovely lady, who is leaving her home to travel to Thailand throughout February.
Lots of messages went back and forth on Facebook… and now, it seems, our first destination that we jet off to will be…
Al Ain, in the United Arab Emirates!
To be honest, when I first saw the post, my first question was “where on earth is THAT!”… but the dates worked, and we certainly haven’t committed to SE Asia in any way.
I have learned more about Al Ain, Dubai and the United Arab Emirates in the past 24 hours than I have in my entire life. I’ve spent hours reading the blog of the family who’s home we will look after, and I have to say I find it a little ironic that we leave Melbourne to fly to UAE to look after the home of some fellow Victorians!!!
The kids are super excited – Sienna is dreaming of Camels in the dessert and Brody is just downright excited!
And what I’m really excited about? That Cam is happy at the idea of going! Something like this seems so out of character for him… I actually thought he would say no! But my motto is “there’s no harm in asking” and look where we’ve ended up.
So from late January to mid March, the King family will be experiencing desert life! Luckily for us it will be winter which I’m told is a truly magical time of year, with an average temp of 20 degrees!
It truly is amazing how quickly plans can change. I’m certainly learning to loosen the reins and give up my need to plan every minute. And you know what? It’s lots of fun!