Thursday, 15 September 2016

Caution to the Wind

So let's see, where are we up to?  Last time we spoke, before I got sidetracked by a jinxed purple Mazda and a cute blonde Welshman, I had made the rather monumental (for me) decision to sell Nawtypoo Cottage.  Having come quite accidentally and unexpectedly to this conclusion, something rather funny happened almost immediately.  I put the glass down.  If you don't know what this expression means, click on the link and watch it right now because there are a lot of people out there holding glasses.  It was as though an immense cloud, which had been hanging over me since goodness only knows when, decided to just float away.  I started sleeping again and I stopped worrying.  Literally just like that.  Incidentally I really appreciate everyone's wise and supportive words, it meant a lot to me to know your thoughts.
So we are on the market and if I'm honest with myself I detached my feelings from Nawtypoo probably a good year ago.  We haven't got around to listing yet, I just need to stop procrastinating and worrying whether everything is clean and tidy enough and be brave and let people in.  The subject of listing or selling privately is a whole separate blog which I'm currently struggling with so today we will go with the big question everyone is asking me - 'Where are you going?'  To which I immediately and uncontrollably beam back at them, all toothy and twinkly-eyed 'Everywhere!'   Yes dear reader, I am going to buy a motorhome!  To be honest, it's always been my plan, my dream.  I've been researching this lifestyle for months.  I'm just very lucky that now I get to achieve my dream a little earlier than planned, and with the love of my life in tow rather than just me and a tubby, snoring spaniel (although of course she is coming too)!

My reasons for choosing a life on the road are many, but in a nutshell these are the main ones:

* I have no idea where I want to be right now.  I know where I don't want to be and that is here, but I do not want to tie myself to anywhere I may not like or which isn't calling to me.  I also do not want to rent, that much I know.  I refuse to hand over my money to anyone for a property which is not mine.

* A motorhome does not cost anywhere near as much as a house.  If my home sells in the vicinity of the price it has been valued at, I will be completely debt free and mortgage free.  I will also have a roof over my head which is all mine and with a bit of luck a nice little nest egg to grow some significant savings; which is a lot more than I could ever hope to achieve in my current situation.

*I am in the position to be able to live wherever I like because I can write from anywhere.  My choice of lifestyle really will enable me to live my dream - to write and travel, travel and write.  My writing will be more prolific, I will be more inspired by the things I see and experience and all going to plan I might finally get to write the books that have been sitting in my head for so long.  I can also be wherever I need to be should any of my family ever need me.  

Excited doesn't begin to describe how I feel at the prospect.  I am so blessed and fortunate to have someone in my life who is just like me, who doesn't really want or need anything but to just be happy. I already know how to live on next to nothing and I will continue to live this way, but without the stress of having the world and his wife chasing me for money and never being able to hang on to any of it myself.  I came across a poem a few days ago and I think this sums up my decision perfectly:

'You start dying slowly
if you do not travel,
if you do not read,
if you do not listen to the sounds of life,
if you do not appreciate yourself.

You start dying slowly when you kill your self-esteem,
when you do not let others help you.
You start dying slowly if you become a slave to your habits,
walking every day on the same paths - if you do not change your routine,
if you do not wear different colours, or you do not speak to those you don't know.

You start dying slowly if you avoid to feel passion and its turbulent emotions, those that make your eyes glisten and your heart beat fast.
You start dying slowly if you do not change your life when you are not satisfied with your job, or with your love, or with your surroundings.
If you do not go after a dream,
if you do not allow yourself
at least once in your lifetime
to run away from sensible advice'.

Pablo Neruda

I've been doing a lot of research into sensible advice lately too and I don't think I am being silly in choosing to invest my money into a home which isn't a house.  In fact I think it's quite sensible; at least I will only be using part of my money and growing the rest.  Were I to buy more bricks and mortar it would necessitate using all of my money from the sale and would also be a huge gamble as like I have already mentioned, I don't even know where I want to live.  This way, should I find anywhere I want to settle on my travels, I shall be able to do so.

There's one other reason for choosing to live my dream now, rather than later - my dad.  He was a truly lovely man.  Everyone loved him and everyone loved being in his company.  He worked harder than anyone I knew.  During the week he was a builder, at weekends he worked for a local earl and his family, looking after their massive grounds and garden.  He enjoyed it there, the peace, the solitude, the people, but most of all he did it for me and mum, to provide for his family.  When he wasn't working for someone else he was working at home.  Every night he would nod off in his armchair in front of the TV, his fingers draped over his face like a bunch of bananas.  Mum and I would always look across the room at each other and giggle.  It never occurred to me as a kid how tired he must always have been.  

When I moved across the other side of the world age 19, Mum and Dad came to visit me twice.  Dad loved NZ and talked about how he would love to emigrate when he retired.  I have such fond memories of him sitting for hours watching the boats come in and out at Tairua, and carrying five month old Liam in a backpack up the steep Coromandel bush tracks.  We didn't know that perfect day as he sat with his baby grandson on his knee that Dad had terminal cancer.  He passed away eight months later, aged just 57.  Dad never got to retire.  He never got to do any of the things he and Mum dreamed of being able to do when he reached old age.  His biggest regret was not spending more time with Mum and me, always working instead wherever there was work available.  I don't want that to happen to me.  I want to live the life I dream of while I'm still young enough to be able to.  I think Dad would approve.

On the whole, most people think it's a brilliant idea - in fact most people sound envious.  'I've always wanted to do that!' or 'Ohh, I wish I could do that!'  My response is 'What's stopping you?'  There have been a couple of people who ask 'But where will you settle?  What happens when you want to buy a house?  What if you can't?'  If truth be known, I don't know that I will want to settle - but if I do it won't be for a very long time, and it most likely won't be a conventional house but a tiny house or something of the like.  Like I said, I don't need much.  My days of spending and consuming and wanting are long gone.  Give me a beautiful view before my eyes, my soul mate by my side and my loyal four-legged friend at my feet and I will be completely and totally happy :)


  1. Way to go Jackie!!!...... Enjoy every day as if it is your last and be thankful every morning when you open your never know who you are going to meet on your exciting!

  2. You are so right in everything you say. My husband and I bought a motorhome and travelled around NZ but unfortunately we did not get to enjoy it for as long as we intended. DH got bowel cancer and left this world four years ago. I miss the adventures we used to have and I am now settled in a home. But I have not stopped travelling. It may not be in a motorhome but it is travelling. It is hard to save but I am determined to go places in the world I haven't seen. With the help of all the info on the SS website and the BOOK I get to my desired destination. Good luck Jackie and enjoy.

  3. Oh Jackie , that was beautifully written, I am crying into my tea. I am so happy for you, that lifestyle sounds amazingly lovely, you deserve every bit of happiness that will come your way. Have fun and don't worry. It will be alright in the end.
    Love Fi

  4. I would of love to do this but because of my hubbies health prostate cancer we need to be by his specialist but we have brought a caravan and will do small trips around NZ goodluck with everything and keep us up to date with your journey you are a great inspiration.