Allow us to introduce ourselves…
We are Kim and Paul, two forty-somethings who decided to sell (almost) everything we own, pull up stumps and hit the road indefinitely. With our 4WD, camper trailer and kelpie, Banjo, we’re going in search of a place to call home, taking it slowly and enjoying the ride.
Known for her love of animals, the natural environment, good grammar and precise punctuation, Kim is an extroverted, heart-on-sleeve, talk-to-anyone type. After some 20 years working as a professional writer and editor – both in-house and as a freelancer – Kim turned her hand to university research administration, which challenged her to apply her communication, organisational and interpersonal skills on a whole other level. Having edited and proofread more Lonely Planet travel guides than she cares to count, Kim is looking forward to the opportunity, mind space and inspiration that the Great Oz Escape will provide for her own travel writing, and to having more time to indulge both her newfound interest in designing websites and her long-standing passion for making fresh pasta.
Favourite escape (to date): (So hard to choose just one!) Alice Springs to Darwin, 2009 – our first venture into the outback. Having loved green, pastoral landscapes all my life, I never expected to be so blown away by the variety of colours and diversity of flora in the desert. After that trip, I understood the meaning of ‘red dirt fever’ – the outback really gets under your skin!
Favourite travel resource: Websites and blogs written by others who are passionate about seeing Australia and/or who have chosen an ‘unconventional’ life.
Favourite quotation: You can always make more money, but you can’t make more time.
More your strong, silent type, Paul is renowned for his made-from-scratch red curry paste, his delicious home brew, his ability to (consistently) thrash Kim at Scrabble, and his recently acquired, self-taught auto electrical skills. Paul has worked in logistics and supply chain management for several of the biggest operators in that sector, as production manager for two family-run, independent Australian manufacturers, and most recently for Mazda Australia. Paul hopes that the Great Oz Escape might provide opportunities to apply his experience working for Hanging Rock Winery, which (for now) remains his favourite job of all time (and not just for the view). When he’s not tinkering with the 4WD or camper trailer, Paul can often be found escaping the everyday in a hammock slung between two trees, usually with a beer in hand.
Favourite travel experience (to date): Coming face to face with a cassowary in the Daintree (2007); after a day of searching for a glimpse of one in the rainforest, to walk around a corner and have this endangered bird only metres away – and coming so close we had to walk backwards to avoid coming into contact with it – was awesome. Not a great time for the camera battery to die, though!
Favourite gadget: Engel cool bag; fits a whole bag of ice AND plenty of beers! (Although my Exped Mega Mat comes a very close second…especially after a few quiet ones.)
Favourite question: Do you want a beer?
Another extroverted, heart-on-sleeve, talk-to-anyone type, Banjo is a six-year-old kelpie who is passionate about balls, frisbees, sticks and anything else that can be thrown and retrieved (and preferably caught mid-air). Having been surrendered to a Macedon Ranges animal shelter as a puppy, Banjo found his forever home with Kim and Paul on Grand Final Day 2011, and has taken to camping like…well…a kelpie to sheep. You can read more about Banjo and his adventures on Banjo’s blog.
Favourite place: anywhere with Kim and/or Paul
Favourite toy: ball… no – frisbee…no – stick…
Favourite treat: Lickables Roo Bites