After I returned from the big trip 18 months ago I knew I had let the travel genie out of the bag and there was no way that itch was ever to be suppressed again. So I hide it in liberal dosages of home improvements, work commitments and summer windsurfing, with the hope I can just keep it under control for a while, until Hazel moves on and I've trained up another few Aussie docs at the practice. But in the back of my mind is that in 2014, when I hit the big half century, I'm pulling up sticks and heading outta town!
Doing the tax return is a stark reminder that I have less than four years left to get my finances in order so I can live the dream of a self financed retiree (50 may be the new 30, but "retiree" sure doesn't sound anything but old does it?) and do what I like when I like. By then there'll be a big port at Oakajee being built and I'll be able to rent out the house here for a fortune. Certainly enough to live on whilst I swan around Asia for a while.
So I recline in the hammock dreaming about just where I'll go given no restrictions on time, or hopefully money. Although I've done my fair share of exceedingly expensive luxury holidays, I'm just as comfortable travelling solo on a very low budget. I'm able to juggle the best of both worlds: pay for comfort when wanted or needed, but mostly I neither crave home comforts nor resent not having them when it's not available. I'm very lucky that my personal needs are few - provide me shelter, food and water and I'm happy - and that wherever I am in the world I find it incredibly easy to feel totally at home.
Should I head around Australia again visiting those places that I couldn't go with a dog? Should I spend a summer at Gnarloo riding the perfect wave? Head off to New Zealand for a ski season then the summer tramping and cycling? Or back to the Indonesian Archipelago to explore further afield before heading off through the rest of Asia and beyond? Since all of the above are on the wishlist, it's just a matter of working out where to start!
But it's all mere dreams right now, thank goodness dreaming doesn't cost anything - more money for travel!!
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