Fifty-Five Days with Gwen

In my last reblog I explained in detail the circumstances of Uni and my new job not turning out as expected (that’s putting it mildly). But the upside was that instead of having to beg for annual leave down the track, Bill and I could plan to go overseas with our friends, nick-named Jay and Waddie for the purposes of this blog, which was created to document our travels. How nice, while it is impossible for the average Australian to leave the country, to look back on that adventure, starting with this post which was written only a few days prior to our departure.

The Reluctant Retiree

It is not actually true that I have too much time on my hands.  In fact, I have been having a quiet meltdown in the lead-up to an overseas trip.  There is much to arrange.  Four months is a long time to leave your ‘normal’ life behind, and the expedition has co-incided with a period in my life when I seem to have several projects on the go.

We are spending half of the travel time with our neighbours, Waddie and Jay.

Waddie has been walking around for the last six months with his head in his hands.

“Ohhhh, nooooooo.  Fifty-five days with Gwen,”  he moans and shakes his head from side to side, faking a migraine.  “Ohhhhh, Ohhhhh.”

So I did the only reasonable thing to put the poor man out of his misery.  We extended the time together to fifty-eight days.  Watch this space for more stories of Waddie…

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21 thoughts on “Fifty-Five Days with Gwen

  1. Ah, I love how sensible you were and blew your savings on a four month overseas trip, Gwen. Sounds exactly like the logic I would use. Life is too short not to travel when these unexpected opportunities present itself. And a perfect time to look back on it, when it is impossible to leave your part of the world at the moment.

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    • And we still put food on the table and ran the car when we returned. Of course, we were fortunate to have the disposable income. It’s not like the hand-to-mouth living I did growing up (which may have had a role in my readiness to “waste” the savings). As it happens, very good thing we did it then. At 72, Bill is no longer inclined to the long trips, unless we have a base for a month and fan out from there. And it is so unlikely the average Australian can leave the country again until another year or two have passed. I’ll just relive the memories. Must do another repost soon. Another blogger has suggested how to do it so they don’t keep duplicating.

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      • Yip, this pandemic has certainly curtailed travel as we’ve known it. A South African friend of mine said she has now resigned herself that she won’t be able to leave the country for the rest of the year, which is quite hard on her. Reliving memories is perhaps the best way to not feel one is missing out on something. I must say, even at my age, I prefer Bill’s way of travelling. Settling in one spot, and then fanning out.

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        • When I was younger, I used to resist what I coined, the “airports of the world tour”. But, somehow, as an Australian (and you would know this too as a South African) it takes so bleeding long to get there that you feel compelled to move from place to place every few days. I am (was) a great packer: One outfit on, one in the bag, one in the wash – but even I am (have) lost the knack and need. Let’s see what it all looks like in the future. Meantime, we have been very brave and booked a holiday across the border to Queensland in mid-May. Let’s hope we don’t have an outbreak that causes the border to close and us to go into quarantine. And our destination – Cairns – should be a sunny break, but has been deluged recently. We are supposed to have some tours that take us out to the reef and tropical islands. Who knows what awaits us? Let the adventure begin.

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          • Michael always tells me that it is the unplanned and unknown that make for the best adventures, so it sounds like you are guaranteed an adventure, Gwen. Good luck. I hope there will be no need to quarantine, and that the trip will be a great one.
            Yes, I completely understand what you’ve so aptly termed ‘airports of the world tour’. One spends so much money on just getting somewhere that one has to make the best of the time available.

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  2. “We have moved through the stage of life where we are working to live. Now we just want to live and love life.” That sounds good! Over here, we are in semi-retirement, which means we still have to work at least part-time to live. Prices and cost of living in general have just gone up way too much. No national health care over here, at least not yet.

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    • Hi Lavinia, so glad that comment resonated with you. Oh yes! I have some knowledge of your health care system and how it can be a life-changer financially. I may have told you previously that my (Australian) friend who lives in Texas was left with a million dollar+ debt after her husband failed to come through a heart transplant. And because he was unable to work right up until his surgery, his medical insurance cut out! She is still paying it off in instalments to around thirty different providers.

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  3. I don’t know where to put this comment; on this one or the original? So I’m putting it on both because your story is renewing remembrances from long ago.
    Yes, me too. Cashed in a Scottish Amicable Life Assurance policy to go overseas with wife and nine month old child. During the planning stage there was work in England for Australians with an English ancestor. By the time we got there the job in Somerset was cancelled because the regulations changed and I couldn’t get a work permit. The school in Somerset were really upset because they couldn’t contact me to tell me the new rules until I arrived in my new M&S suit. Sorry John, but there nothing we can do. So a couple of years OS turned into six months and the money ran out.

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    • Ah I don’t think I knew the background detail to how you ended up overseas. What a catastroph!
      You’ve also touched on something that has been bothering me with these reblogs – in that the article appears twice. Do you have any suggestions for a better way for me to revisit the posts from 2013?

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    • Effectively our international borders are closed and will remain so for the foreseeable future. That is to say, only some thousands can enter per week. The number changes but you could say around 6000 Australia-wide in any one week.
      If we were attempt to leave and come back, assuming we could get a return aircraft seat, and that would be at top dollar, we would then need to quarantine in a hotel at our personal expense of around 1500 pounds for 14 days.
      So strap that seat-belt on and let’s review that travel of a “mere” 8 years ago 🙂

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