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Roaming Outback Australia
On The Road to Where?
In 2002 I made the decision to pull the plug on society and plug into the life force of nature by setting off solo on a working holiday trip around Australia.
The two daughters I had raised on my own, no longer depended on me. They were living their own lives and I was feeling the meaning of the 'empty nest' syndrome.
However it took some time and persuasion, or was it emotional blackmail by way of My Letter to her, before my youngest daughter understood my reasoning and gave me her blessing.
My name is Kim and this is my first article on Hub. I'm hoping to add many articles, one at a time, which will eventually and hopefully lead to a completed journal of my Australian outback adventure.
This first article is based around the deciding factors and the motivations that made me take off around Australia.
With each article there will be more interesting scenic photos of where I was and what I did. Mind you it was such an adventure with so many stories I don't know where it will end. A lot like the trip itself.
I was born with itchy feet and the desire to experience new things. Due to motherhood the longing for adventure had to be contained, but now with my daughters grown up, I was free to wander the highways and outback roads of Australia. I was about to embark upon my dream.
It took some time and planning to get my act on the road. Family and friends were either horrified or encouraging when I told them of my intentions. Most were worried about my safety or loneliness of doing this alone.
The preparations leading up to my departure were impatient, chaotic and tedious, but at the same time ruthless. They involved financial planning, physical and mental preparation and loads of emotional strength.
The end result was a thorough cleansing of my material and emotionally attached worlds. The clutter of both worlds had to go, but it was a struggle and took enormous discipline to finally "let go".
At times it seemed easier to abandon the whole idea and just stay rooted in the comfort and security of the small world I had worked hard to create around me. To venture alone into the unknown with no set plan and on a shoestring budget had a ring of doubt and insanity to it.
But the yearning ache of experiencing the rawness of nature over-rode the comfortable and predictable daily routine that no longer held any surprises or positive challenges. I think the best way to describe it is that the ego part of me had been satisfied but my soul hadn't. My soul had patiently taken a back seat while my ego was busy with the demands of a suburbian/cosmopolitan lifestyle.
To use a quote: 'Sometimes you just have to leap and build your wings on the way down'.
A few weeks before my departure I remember sitting on my favourite sofa and wistfully surveying my surroundings and being engulfed by feelings of peace, love and satisfaction. I began to question myself - was I doing the right thing?
I had amassed and surrounded myself with a variety of material possessions to create a home of comfort. It was a secure and safe haven to be in. But they were only things. It was a double edged sword - these possessions seemingly added to the harmony of my environment, but they were also keeping me from seeking out new experiences. I also was giving up a full time job, that I still enjoyed, and the financial security that came with it.
The question was could I recreate this harmony and security in my physical being without the safety net of four walls filled with much loved material possessions?
My instinct told me that it was essential that I do for continued spiritual growth.
So there I was, committed to explore another way of living, by working and travelling around Australia, when most other women my age were comfortable and secure with their lot or had just accepted their place in life.
I was so grateful for a second opportunity to experience a journey of self discovery and independence in full health. I felt like a teenager leaving home and going out into the world for the first time. A mixture of excitement and apprehension, the uncertainty of what to expect.
I had finally set the date. Friday 13th September 2002. It was my second attempt to go as family commitments cancelled my first attempt. However, my second attempt was not meant to be due to superstitious friends and families. They thought it a bad omen to go on Friday 13th, so I listened to them and went the next day Saturday 14th. By now all the excuses had expired!
I had arranged for a job through the employment provider Work About Australia so that I had 'somewhere' to go 'to'. Nice and safe, baby steps to begin with! The job was pruning grape vines at Riversands Vineyard in St George , Queensland only 300km from the Gold Coast, which was my home town.
Up until then all my jobs were in administration doing accounting and payrolls. I had never worked in paddocks before or in the horticultural industry. I had no idea what was in store for me and looking back it was probably just as well.
Part 2: On The Road
Part 3: Working The Grape Vines
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