The Decade that Was
We returned to NZ this year after two and a half years around Australia in a motorhome (which we have shipped back to NZ), preceded by two and a half years around NZ in a Hino Rainbow bus. While we traveled around NZ I wrote articles for Motorhomes, Caravans and Destinations.
Shake, Rattle and Roll
This decade we went through the devastating Christchurch earthquakes, and although I’ve referenced them in the books I’ve written, I haven’t as yet written about them. It’s still raw, nearly a decade on.
We were nearly ready to embark on our journey before the quakes, but we both worked in the building industry and couldn’t leave when there was such a desperate need for help.
Eventually, we hit the road in 2014, after my hubby dealt with a dance with cancer.
Since Nanowrimo 2017, I’ve written 6 books, (self published one and a short story). All but one are either in a series or linked to the series characters.
The one not linked is about my step grandfather and the murder of his first wife (true story written as fiction).
Then I heard first books weren’t so good, (quite right), so I’ve shelved that story and learned to write romance so my grandfather’s story will be much better.
I’ve written a book at each camp Nanowrimo or November. Only missed my goal once, and I was gutted.
I’ve followed the advice to sit on my books and be ready to release them about a month apart, 2020 is my year.
We discovered Audio books while traveling around Australia (thank you Joanna Penn and the Creative Penn Podcast – and listened to the books relevant to where we traveled, like Outback Truckers while we crossed the Nullabor, by Jim Haynes, and Dust and Glory by Evan Green, as we traveled down the west Coast of WA, Outback Cop by Evan McHugh as we drove up the centre through Alice Springs. Birdsville was off our destination list, with the motorhome – surely one last place in Australia where the drive in is an adventure. We enjoyed the virtual adventure to Birdsville instead.
We listened to whales at midnight at St Mary’s Inlet, WA. Visited the Queen of Sheba, a wildflower orchid, WA, known only to grow in five or six locations in WA. We got caught up in a bushfire in Franklyn while waiting to continue up into the Huon Valley, visited the Field of lights at Uluru, watched the sun rise on the Olga’s, toured into the Bungle Bungle – the road was so rutted we wouldn’t take a rental car in there, watched the sunset in the Coroobee surrounded by crocodiles (well one or two).
Kangaroos and wallabies of all shapes and sizes, the colorful birds, the wombats, koalas, lizards and snakes (yikes). It was near the end of our trip before we finally saw a cassowary in the wild, and tree kangaroos (thought the Aussies were pulling my leg about them).
I was so excited about the cassowary. We’d got word my Mum had a stroke and my hubby was taking me to the airport when I spotted it. Mum passed away, but I got to spend five weeks with her. I feel so blessed we can live the life we live, and make the choices we do.
Most terrifying moment was on the stage coach ride at Longreach, hubby pulled the shotgun seat, and I got the rear, at the top of the stagecoach. Realised quickly, I could fall off if I didn’t hold on for dear life. ‘Oh yeah, there were lots of injuries of people falling off stagecoaches’. Those Aussies can be so laid back.
Where to Now?
Our next journey is to travel the South Island and find somewhere to make our base, probably in the Nelson/Tasman area.
We’re off to Elton John at the stadium in Dunedin, followed by a tour around the bottom of the South Island and Central Otago.
We usually have an overarching plan for our roadtrip and look ahead to see if any events are on. We work out the finer details each morning at breakfast.
Life in a small space has cured us of materialism. We’re inadvertent conservationists. Our 100 litre tank of fresh water lasts about a week when we freedom camp. The average household uses 240L a day. We have no space to put anything if we buy it, so we don’t. Shopping is groceries (as unpackaged as possible so we don’t have to look for rubbish bins), and clothing when we need it.
My hubby qualifies for the pension next year. We’ve self funded our travels by renting our home in Lincoln and a flat in Christchurch. Our other flat in Christchurch had liquefaction in the backyard. An earthquake tilted the garage one way and the door wouldn’t shut, but before it was repaired another earthquake pushed it back to where it should be. Once the repairs were done, we sold the flat.
Looking forward to:
Launching some more books
Time with friends
Wishing you all the best for 2020 and the next decade. I’m looking forward to your predictions for the future and how they pan out.
In case you are interested, my Instagram account is @Eidlewise. The name of the Hino Rainbow was Eidlewize when we bought her. She had a slide out in the living area and I fed breakfast to 15 as they tried to warm up when our campsite got flooded on our maiden voyage.