Hello from Paul & Chrissie
Paul, in particular, has always felt that there should be more to life than working and taking the occasional holiday but with the age old adage of “if you have the money you don’t have the time and if you have the time you don’t have the money” it has remained a dream of his to have both the time and money to travel the world.
A throwaway suggestion at the beginning of 2018 to close their business led to many “should we, could we, what if” discussions. We didn’t want to stop work just to sit around and fester, we wanted to make a change to our lives so having sufficient funds to support our future endeavours (whatever they may be) was an important factor.
Up to this point in time we had both led a conventional lifestyle with jobs, work, mortgage, children etc. and the idea of doing something that took us away from the ‘normal’ lives we were used to made us feel uncomfortable and uncertain.
The “should we, could we, what if” discussions centred around what we would do if we stopped work, how long we would live, how much money we would need and, in the absence of a crystal ball to answer these questions, we felt the prudent approach would be to carry on working for a few more years.
That was until a bad news event in the family caused us to re-consider. We finally decided that even if, against all the odds, we would go on to live a long and healthy life we would make do with the finances we had. We finally decided that our wellbeing was more important than money.
Decision made to close the business….what next.
Well, a bike ride of course.
In an attempt to become more active, and at the same time satisfying a desire for travel, Paul suggested a long distance bike ride in Sweden. Although neither of us were great cyclists, or very fit, we got ourselves all the gear and, with no idea, set off to Sweden at the end of May 2018 with a planned return date in mid-August.
Summary of the bike ride – hillier than we thought, more trees than we thought, more head winds than we thought, we got fitter, we camped in some beautiful locations, we got bitten by horseflies and mosquitoes continuously but, and this turned out to be the best part, we met some of the most kind and generous people we could have ever hoped to meet.
Setting off after breakfast not knowing what the day would hold, who we would meet and where we would end up sleeping that night was, despite all our original fears and concerns, simply brilliant. The joy of freedom.
We had returned the company car and bought a Land Rover Defender just before we left for our bike ride and, following invites to return to Sweden in the winter for ice fishing, northern lights, skidoos, dog sledding etc., we looked at the possibility of converting the Land Rover to allow us to use it as some sort of camper van. Searches on the internet of how to do this introduced us to a new word – Overlanding.
The internet seemed to be full of people Overlanding. For those, like us, to who this is a new world Overlanding is simply self-reliant adventure travel to remote destinations where the journey is the primary goal. Paul spent many hours reading blogs and watching vlogs until in early September 2018 he said “Chrissie, get ready to pack your bags, we’re going on another adventure but this time it’s a big one”.
As with the bike ride the response to these announcements is never quite as enthusiastic as Paul would hope for. Chrissie is always a little disturbed by the idea of venturing outside her comfort zone and needs a little time to digest things.
I mean, she wasn’t keen on the idea of a long distance bike ride but she did it, and loved it…I think!
Wish us luck!