So – today is the day I reveal our new challenge, but first let me put a little story behind it…
A few days ago I woke up and felt different – I couldn’t put my finger on what it was that felt different, but something wasn’t quite right.
I got ready for work @ the orchard as normal and then as I was about to leave the caravan with Dena I said to her ‘I wonder if we’ll do anything challenging today’.
It wasn’t preplanned, and it certainly wasn’t meant to kick off the whirl wind that has been the last 3 days.
As we walked up to the farm yard we didn’t say anything to each other, we met the boss and were told that we were pruning for the day, so off we went with hand-saws and secateurs in hand.
On the way through the orchard Dena asked me what I meant by my comment a few minutes early.
As I thought about it, I wasn’t really sure exactly what I meant by the comment – but it led to us talking the whole day about our future.
What I now realise I meant was that although we were in a job that we had wanted for years – we work the land, reap the rewards and to top it off we also live right on the land: something was still missing.
When I wake up in the morning I know pretty much exactly what we’ll be doing – mainly because the orchard grows the same things year in year out, but then so do most farms.
The problem with that I realised, is that it has stopped being a challenge.
We’ve only been here @ the orchard for 2 years, but I feel like I can do the job with my eyes shut – I dig, plant, bash, carry, pot up, weed, prune, pick, drive tractors etc etc, but it’s the same every day and it doesn’t seem to challenge me lately like it has done over the last 2 years.
Up until a few years ago I had longed to find somewhere I could settle – and here I am settled and I thought it was the happiest I have ever been.
And yet I now found myself yearning for something else: something more challenging.
But what could be that challenge?
Like I said, we spent the whole day whilst pruning the apple trees talking about our future, and more importantly what could we do that would challenge us.
And thankfully it was us – Dena agreed that she too was getting restless and was in need of a new challenge.
By the end of the day we realised what it was that we wanted to do.
And what was that realisation??
We wanted to travel.
Yep as simple as that – we both realised that we wanted to go travelling again.
Nothing that profound really to most people: but we both now feel that we need to go to another country, to meet new people and more importantly to have new experiences and new challenges.
We’ve been travelling before, Denmark and New Zealand in 2003-04, and Denmark again in 2008, but all 3 times we were naive and narrow minded.
We didn’t open ourselves up to enough new experiences and challenges, we didn’t connect with people properly.
We just did the backpacker thing and came home, almost ticking it off our life’s list of things to do.
And since then we’ve lived our lives – yes of course most of the time it’s been different lives than other people, but it feels like even though we’ve done things differently than most people we’ve met, being here in the same place doing the same thing day in day out makes us feel like we are doing the same as most people do.
So we both agreed that it’s time to shake things up, it’s time for a change.
One thing that I was reminded of whilst talking throughout the day was that during the summer last year I came across a travel blog article that was written by a 33 year old guy who had gone to teach English in Thailand, but before he went he had found he could get a visa for New Zealand through a company called Bunac – specifically a visa that allowed him to work for 12 months in the country (normally you can only get one if your under 30)
The article was about his adventures through New Zealand and then Thailand and if my memory serves me correctly, I think he actually ended up staying in Thailand with a full time teaching job.
I put this to the back of my mind, but obviously since then my subconscious has been playing games with me and I have finally cracked!
OK, OK, enough story telling – I’ll get to the point, more specifically now…
We’ve decided to go travelling, and we’re going to New Zealand for 12 months and then onto Thailand for 6 to 12 months.
We’re going to apply for a visa through Bunac for New Zealand, which will allow us to work legally there, and then we’re going to Thailand through an organisation called Languagecorps – which will enable us to teach English there.
Again,to some people, this may not seem that challenging nor that different really, but for us this is a challenge that we’re in dire need of, something to bring us back alive again, in fact I’d go as far as saying that this is something we’ve been wanting to do for a while now but without actually knowing we wanted do it – if that makes any sense at all?!
So – we’re going to New Zealand and Thailand, but how and when?
Well, if you follow the blog regularly you may well know that we’re both working at an apple orchard, and we both earn just above minimum wage – so that is a challenge in and of itself.
However, we live in a caravan on site too, which means we have a decent chunk of our monthly wage that we can put aside – which I’ve worked out will equal a half of what we want to take with us.
So it does still mean it’s a massive challenge financially – so we’ve got to get our thinking caps on and get into action straight away.
I say quickly, but we’ve got about 10 months.
We’ve set a date of 1st December this year as the date we’ll be leaving the UK.
We wanted to go sooner but we just cannot get the finances together to do it properly and because we want this to be a long term thing, we want to get ourselves off to the best possible start.
I’ll elaborate further in future posts on the in’s and outs of how we are going to do things etc, and if I’m honest with myself I am actually pretty damn excited about sharing the whole journey with the whole interweb!
Until next time…