Sometimes when you really want something you have to push past the boundaries, take a risk and just go for it. We had a dream to travel this beautiful country, we planned, worked toward our goal and made it happen. It won’t just happen for you, you have to take charge and make it happen – but know this; YOU really can make it happen. You can dream about it all your life and say “one day” and hopefully if all goes well that one day will come, but if you put a date on it today, then that one day will happen – no maybe’s. If we were waiting for me to embark on this journey; this life changing lap of Oz we would still be waiting, that is all my beautiful wife. She has taught me that anything is possible with a dream, plan and action.
Do you even lift? Coasting along and letting life happen is still a gift but why not push yourself outside the box and outside the comfort zone just a little, good things are almost certain to happen then. Our car is old, a 97 Land Rover Discovery, we bought it for $2900 from ebay. That’s risky – what if it’s a lemon, That’s risky – what if it’s not a lemon?!? When we talk about lifting; our car, which was then known as the ‘Lil Red Rover’ is a lifter. It didn’t reach rank of ‘General lil Red Rover’ until we hit the Gunlom Falls road in Kakadu. As if you would buy a car from ebay, as if you would then proceed to drive it around Australia towing an ’84’ 17ft Viscount caravan (‘Big Van’). Why not? We did and like we always say, if we can anyone can. It’s like the time my lovely wife said to me “If we win a piano for $1 on ebay from Brisbane (2 hours away) can we go and pick it up”, “What!?, yea yea darl sure” I said rather dismissively. Next thing I know we are driving to Brisbane to pick up a rather out of tune piano for $1 that looks fabulous in our front room, we sure had to lift that day – those things are heavy and we are not exactly weight lifters!
It’s not always rainbows and butterfly’s but it is worth it, when we say it’s a life changing experience you can take our word that IT IS A LIFE CHANGING EXPERIENCE. When we say it is the premise for creating lifelong family memories, guess what – it is! When reaching outside your comfort zone be sure to have a backup, a plan B if you will. Why? Because it just makes good sense too, it’s called mitigating the risk; For us our Plan B was simple, we worked hard and in return had secured a very modest mortgage, in a small rural town, home. A mortgage we still pay off on the road as we understand the value of property and a base in the grand scheme of things. Ask yourself … no really ask yourself “What’s the worst that can happen?”. If you can face the worst case scenario and still feel ‘we got this’ then it doesn’t matter if you bet on red or bet on black you will still win.
Let me share candidly a real life experience with you – it happened on day ONE of our ‘let’s travel around Australia conquest’. So here we are packed and ready to roll, our deadline (put a date on it) had come and gone and we were feeling a little frantic and somewhat ‘It’s now or never’ about the goal. Most people would have gone for a few short runs to iron out the creases, it ‘s advisable and definitely a good plan. Not us though, it was the first time we had ‘Big Van‘ hooked up to the ‘General lil Red Rover‘ before that it had only been hooked to our tiny lil subaru (cowboy much?). Driving away from our home in Killarney was a real moment for us, full of excitement, a little nervous but overwhelmingly a feeling of being proud; we had put a date on it two years ago, worked towards making it happen and now here we were, doing it.
Our family chant “How Lucky are We – Woohoo!” was soon quelled by the voice of cranky reason, “Shoosh! I need to Listen”. That was me, freaking the heck out, we had gone just 2kms from home and were now going up a decent hill, it was to much for our beast – the ‘General lil Red Rover‘ it seemed at the time was struggling. Well this is awkward. Peaking out at 40km/hr on our first decent hill with black smoke and I mean black smoke just
billowing out behind us. When we got to the top of the hill barely moving it was obvious to me a parental urgent meeting was required, we pulled over at the golf club right there as you leaving Killarney. Annie and I hop out in a calm manner and wander over to the side to work out what our next step was. Alright it went more like this “Well, what do we do now”, barely out of our home town and clearly can’t be going up hills doing 40, not just a small run here we are about to embark on a lap of Australia – “Hello! this is not good”. So after feeling a gamut of emotions in about 10 seconds from sadness and failure to crazy-joy we decided to throw caution to the wind, “We are not turning around now”. So we asked ourselves and really did “What’s the worst that can happen?”.
As it turned out it wasn’t the tools at all the ‘General lil Red Rover’ is boss, instead it was the tradesman – Having never driven the beast under load and having not driven a diesel much at all the problem was me, the driver. Turns out adopting a less is more attitude in relation to the accelerator is all that was required. Do we even lift? Considering that we are about to spend Christmas on the other side of the country, it’s fair to say yes – yes we do.