Escape plan: Get a job

Hang on, I hear you say… Didn’t you guys just QUIT your jobs so that you could live a carefree life, with no responsibilities, going wherever you like, whenever you like?! Well, yes and no…

Welcome to the first of our ‘Escape plan’ posts, wherein we aim to record our (rough) plans as we make them. By getting them down on paper – or rather, on screen – we can keep track of our ideas/thoughts/hopes/intentions, and reflect on them as they change…as we have absolutely no doubt they inevitably will! While our overarching escape plan is to (eventually) find ‘a place to call home’, and we’ve taken the first step by leaving our familiar, comfortable life in Melbourne behind, we have no real ‘plan’ other than to explore as many parts of Australia as we can, to travel slowly, and to be open to whatever experiences and opportunities may arise along the way. (Or as Paul likes to put it, much more succinctly: ‘The plan is, there is no plan.’) Perhaps that’s more of a ‘mission statement’ than a plan, but you get the drift (no pun intended!).

‘Flexibility’ and ‘freedom’ are all very well, though (and those who know us best understand how much we both value these concepts); but we do need to have some direction, and at least a vague notion of ‘where to next?’. Seasons and money are of course the two main imperatives that will guide our plans; and as we left with much (much) less in the bank (by about, oh… $20,000!) than we envisaged when we started planning our escape at the beginning of 2012, the latter is the driving force behind our current plan: to get work.

Making the most of the opportunity to stay on after house-/dog-sitting for friends in Tatura (a lovely little town around 170km north of Melbourne, in Victoria’s Goulburn Valley region), we both found work locally within the first two weeks of arriving on 20 August. Paul was first to score a job: a two-week (hard, dirty) labouring stint in Numurkah, around 50km north-east of Tatura. With 6.45am starts, 10-hour days and six-day weeks, Paul set up home in the camper trailer at Numurkah Caravan Park, from where he could walk the 400m to work and back, rather than commute each day. This arrangement also allowed me to accept a two-day stint of audio-typing work (at a law firm in Shepparton, less than 20km from Tatura) at short notice, and to attend a couple of interviews. I’m now working full-time in Shepparton, while Paul has a break and works on the car and camper trailer in preparation for us hitting the road again. While it looks likely that we could both continue to have work here for the foreseeable future, we’re starting to think and talk about our next move… And that’s when our new lifestyle hits home: the excitement of deciding where to go next; not knowing how long we’ll take to get there, nor how long we’ll stay; researching what work we might find there; wondering what might come up along the way to take us somewhere else altogether…

Relaxing on the 'verandah' after a hard day's work: Numurkah (Vic), August 2014

Relaxing on the ‘verandah’ after a hard day’s work: Numurkah (Vic), August 2014

So, yes, we quit our jobs in order to travel wherever and whenever we like. Yes, we don’t have responsibilities such as rent/mortgage or ongoing work commitments. And yes, we are hoping that our ‘lifestyle change’ will mean less stress and more contentment. But, no, (unfortunately) we are not independently wealthy, and we had no property (nor art/jewellery/antique coin collection) to sell to fund our travels, so we are certainly not definitively carefree (not financially, at least), and must earn an income, pay bills and stick to a budget like everybody else (except the independently wealthy)! At this (admittedly, early) stage, though, we have no doubt that making the decision to ‘just go’ was right; although it’s only one calendar month since we escaped, and we’re still less than two hours’ drive from Melbourne, our old life now seems a very long way away.

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4 Responses to “Escape plan: Get a job”

  1. Sue 30 September 2014 7:27 am #

    Your blogs are brilliant Kim! Love what you’re doing and yes I’m more than a little envious! Big hug for you both xxxx

    • Great Oz Escape 30 September 2014 10:31 pm #

      Thanks, Sue; nice to know that somebody’s reading and enjoying! More posts to come this week 🙂 Kim x

  2. Jess 22 November 2014 9:21 pm #

    Well done finding some work so fast! I’m envious of all the great choices and adventures still ahead of you! Can’t wait to hear all about them!

    • Great Oz Escape 26 November 2014 2:38 pm #

      Thanks, Jess. It has proven a little more difficult to find work in other places since then…and where there’s work, it’s hard to find suitable accommodation! We are certainly learning as we go, though 🙂

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