Water to Oil – our bus break down

We had one thing in mind for travel and our year to come – head north to warmer weather, and see what flows.

After leaving The Planting Festival (Woodfordia) about the only thing that flowed was the water into the oil of our bus. We immediately thought the worst. Money and stuck in one place.

Just days before our bus break down we were in a state of confusion about what we wanted to do and where we wanted to go. The last year aboard although an amazing experience, was also a disappointment for many reasons. Mainly by our own expectations. Social interactions for our children, small community connections, tending a garden and growing food, clean water and pristine environments were all lacking.

Amazing how the synchronicity of life steers you on certain paths and at times stops you in your tracks. I can be pretty stubborn and sometimes it takes massive shifts to make me adjust my mind-set.

Driving back from the festival we headed towards Pomona, needing a couple of days to adjust the solar and gather supplies. We had arranged to camp behind the Vipassana centre, adjacent to a state forest, on land owned by a couple whose address had been given to me while on my last meditation sit. The land is just 10 mins bike ride out of the town of Pomona with loads of firewood. Just perfect. When I had called the owner he had said how strange it was that he had seen our bus go past a week earlier and he knew that we would call and that we would stay. He had mowed an area in preparation.

We drove our massive green bus through the townships watchful eye, past a small school and onto a narrow dirt lane, lined with eucalypts and kangaroos. About 100 meters down the road an alarm sounded inside the bus and our dashboard lit up. Something was wrong with Gypsy Green. Water and oil light on, alarm still shrieking we ambled into a cleared area beside a small dam and  parked her up.

Long story short'(after hours of investigation and dismantling the head) when the bus had its motor reconditioned some 80,000km ago someone had forgotten to tighten some small toppers. These had slid off into the head and clanged around, metal on metal until they wore their way through the side. Not a total rebuild but when your dealing with parts this big its in the thousands. Even if we have the money….its times like these when you have to access what lifestyle (home) you live. We still come out way cheaper.

Its been over 6 weeks now since we arrived here and with the freedom of moving at will forcible removed from us we have settled and found a strange sense of peace. Its feels like a homecoming, a welcoming from the universe to say its OK to stay still.

IMG_7610 (1)

We have met the most amazing people, mingled with the wildlife, started a garden that Adam would be proud of (sorry for that reference) and felt so invited by the community. It’s all we were looking for in our travels overseas that was missing.

I am certain we would have kept heading north, searching for that perfect place, if we hadn’t broken down. Sometimes the searching can be fun but mostly it just blinds us from the real beauty of the moment, the place, heart or face. We simply cannot see what makes us happy let alone live in a manner that allows that joy  to permeate into our daily routines and lives.

We will be on the road again real soon (thanks to Paul our new best diesel mechanic friend) but our adventures will be a little more planned as of now. Perhaps a festival in Townsville, winter over WA next year or weekends (weeks) away exploring new lands. Besides I have invested some decent amount of love into an amazing garden so will be back and forth to keep it evolving.

What ever we choose, we will do it because we have the freedom to choose and not because we are lost in the search, driven by a longing or craving for something. The older I get the more I realise that everything I want is already inside me….I just have to remove all the shit to see it.

There are so many of us on a search for the right community at this time in the world when really I think we need to start with our own self community. The relationship between our own mind, body and spirit.

It’s nice to find myself happy and in one place long enough to be able to share it with others. After 5 years retreat in the forest and one year abroad, we are stationary and we area happy.

I hope you find happiness in your own home, your own heart.

Much metta.

 

 

 

 

Advertisements

Starting Again in Australia

 

Homeschooling done, Valentines just remembered (oh well) and one green bus sitting silent on the farm, waiting for us to board. The plan is to get the next Gentle Revolution registered before the end of this month and hit the open road again.

gr-2-blending-in

Our goal is too open our hearts and see where life draws us.

After returning from a year overseas and no longer owning land here in Australia we needed somewhere to house our limited amount of personal effects and physical bodies. A safe haven to withdraw and maintain our families health and sanity while still enabling us to move at will. It also means we are free from mortgage and debt. Working, volunteering and exchanging our experience to fuel our lifestyle (and bus).

We decked out a bus in England last year and loved it but the whole time knowing we would sell it and almost ALL we had accumulated in 12 months of travel. Our attachment to the bus was not strong and letting go was part of the journey.

Based on our last bus make over we had some ideas for new and improved designs. With a larger bus we have room for a simple open plan living – unlike many of the new age caravans and camper vans on the road today and at a fraction of the cost.

First things forst remove the chairs and install some walls that will become the kids beds and our rear main bedroom (luxuary)

Our budget was about $1000 so we hit the skip bins and industrial estates.

 

Crates (after removing nails and sanding) became bed bases and shelving.

We used the old seats, stickers and paneling to make new seating and splurged on a kitchen bench top that wasn’t made of lasts this time so that I might have better chance of cleaning the spills.

 

The traveling conditions in Australia are so varied depending on the area that you wish to go. We don’t have plans to circumnavigate the coastal length in one year (maybe 5) or test the mechanical capabilities of the green machine on the Gibb River Road. For now we will concentrate on farm stays, festivals and friends who need a hand, lapping up the warm ocean waves and our amazing inland fresh water retreats so our bus doesn’t need to be a 4WD example of brilliance.

We did however agree that the old colours didn’t suit us – say anything about my ego?

 

Pain spraying 12 meters of bus in 45 degrees and rain did prove the most difficult and annoying task. The spray gun shit itself every hour or so with the heat and the first coat peeled after rain – we started again and prepared the entire bus a second time. Job done.

As usual the more we think about things the more we start to feel we are not ready – so 3 more days and in whatever state the bus is in – we are off.

Furnishings will come. Fridges may never come and a bucket with ‘elements’ written on it will do for our toilet right now.

The simpler the life I create and the less I surround myself with, the more happiness I seem to attract. The things that make me happy. (Family love, life and earth)

Less clutter – more room – its simple. The more space I leave, the more my life is open to change and accepting life’s flow.

I am happiest when life is simple and connected to earths natural rhythms.

If you want us involved with your project or land this year just let us know. We prefer to volunteer than work for money and want simply to connect, assist, love and evolve. Send us a little bit of info and dates so that we can plan (just a bit) our year ahead. Together we can make a difference in the lives of others and our earth. 

You might want to to even join us for a while????

Onwards and upwards towards no place like home. HERE and NOW.

 

 

Renovation of our Lives (and bus)

Its feels like I am sitting inside a zoo. Hundreds of waking birds call to their mates as the creatures of the night return to dens, nests and grassy lays. It is predawn in Australia and I have not heard such a commotion for over a year. Throughout most of Europe, Balkans and North Africa, animals are either wiped out for farming, eaten or too afraid or sick to appear. Not here. I can understand why so many of the people we met on our travels want to come and experience the beauty of this southern land – its friggin amazing.

Tuning into the sensation of warm ocean breeze against my eye lashes I believe with every cell that this is the perfect time to meditate, stretch the body and awaken senses. The energy of waking nature surrounds me and fills me with a sense of gratitude and comfort. No wonder the aborigines of Australia are so connected to the land – you cant escape it and who would want too?

I remind myself that this is why we have returned home. I breathe in the freshness, follow the flight of a territorial raven and feel the instinct of knowing this land expand in my chest. Closing eyes again I realise this week is a big one, as we prepare to drop a deposit on our new home on wheels. The next “Gentle Revolution”. The decision to live aboard a bus comes from our desire to remain unattached (to land and property) and out of the system (mortgage, debt and government handouts).

My family, as like many, have been there before, stuck in the day to day grind of meeting expectations and repayments, school appointments and social standards, to the point of tearing us apart. We know we just dont fit the mould – for some it just works.

the-simpson-family-2

Thinking over the last year of travels, the people, different cultures, religions and countries, I realise each of us hold our own key to the way we want to live but how and when we unlock that door of potential, of life, is influenced by many things. For me, the primary influencer is what I surround myself with. What comes into contact with our minds, bodies and spirits the most.

As several kookaburras mark their boundaries with deafening laughs I know this is why we have come home. We want to surround ourselves with loving people, healthy clean food and water and be FREE to move and work amongst the flow of energies that I once felt prior to leaving.

Australian ancestors speak to me and I have missed their conversations.

While I was traveling I always felt my spirit was playing catch ups. I am not sure it ever really found me. I don’t dispute the benefits that travel had upon our growth as a family and as an indivual but I do doubt the money spent on the vastness of our efforts. Lesson learnt – we are now ready to journey into the land of unknown again, pushing our limits of love and exploring new territories – spiritually, mentally and physically.

First things first – BUS next week and beyond that – who knows. Open roads mean open hearts for us.

Grateful to be home. Let the renovation of our lives and our new home begin.

Love to all.

bus-4

 

 

 

Beds of War and Porridge

When I lay my head down to sleep tonight, I am not thinking about the usual travel adventures but of war and the long lingering effects it has amongst its people and upon the land.

Its been about 20 years since the war in Croatia raged. The ruins here tell a similar story to that of the locals. Run for your life or be destroyed. Thousands of homes, businesses and farming land lay ruined or scarred across Croatia but in this village, at least for the duration of the war they lost everything. Tourists, families and what military lived, ran for their lives or took to the sea. Most have never returned.

Stumbling across these abandoned buildings while trying to find a free camp was intriguing for a naïve Australian from the forest. With the personal protection of my husband I walked through many of the rooms and lobbies of these once prestigious hotels imagining a shocking and scary past. Now they are home to few and a novelty for many.

Trashed and littered with rubbish they stand testimony not only to the brutal past but to the disorganised governmental controls of today and a youth with no amusement.

We discovered that when the Bosnians invaded the coastline they took many of the hotels and houses in this area for themselves, using them to house their own. The entire tourist strip was captured by the military and used as a centre point for their warfare.

Today I saw the past and felt the energy of pain and loss. For some they reside here, amongst the burnt remains, with no other options but mostly it just falls apart. Rumble and graffiti joining hands in the current fight against tourism and international property ownership and development.

For me, for my family, it was a reminder how fortunate we are.

I left the ruins this morning, allowing nature and the locals to reclaim their stake but not before meeting Marco who slept in his car right beside our bus. A local guy who felt the pain of this land just as much, if not more than ourselves. We talked, shared porridge, sling shots, pheasant feathers and dried mushrooms. It was camp site to be remembered.

Love to you Marco and all the people of these lands. So much healing to be done. So much learning from these walls and their scars.

 

 

Bus Transformation -Almost Done

House sit over its time to board the bus. There is a little more to do until its complete but for now – he’s home.

We only had a couple of weeks to convert our minbus and mini he is with the four of us inside. We have beds and some new clothes boxes. Just need to clean and move everything in.

There is small kitchen with a seated area and rear doors.

We have lots of things not finished or waiting to be fixed, screwed or installed but we DO have privacy, somewhere comfortable to sit, a food prep area and the freedom to travel at will.

It has been a process of working out what we NEED rather than what we WANT and using found materials to do the build. If we didnt have to buy the tools we spent about $200 on the fit out so far using throw outs and recycled materials.

IMG_3125

He keeps us relatively warm, dry and connected to the natural world as much as possible and best of all – on the road. Freedom, experience, saving money and adventure are our motivating forces behind buying the bus and hes proving to be the vessel that delivers all this.

A new front dashboard complete with air vents has been put in so the roving recording studio can be set up.

The curtains are up – just bed box drop curtains to yet complete.

Now its time to find a camp. First few days aboard the ‘Gentle Revolution’and look where we ended up.

 

Looking forward to sharing our adventures along the way.