Life on the Road at any Age

He was the first person to say “gidday” and the last person to leave camp. For this ‘ole timer’ life on the road is not about how far you go, where you park or what style of van you pull but about who you meet and what your willing to stand up for.

I met, lets call him Jack ….. just west of Jackadgery (Grafton), a couple of weeks before the Christmas rush. His warmth overshadowed the harshness of his appearance, worn by the elements of our extreme weather and a tough existence travelling the back roads around Texas (Australia) as a young man.

It was early morning and our introduction to each other covered a broad array or topics from social standards, sexual harassment, employment benefits, raising children to eating bush tucker, escaping the ‘law’ and solo travel. We did all this in about 10 mins.

His latest home is small, basic and wirery, a little like himself but under the exterior lies many a story and an open heart or for the van an open floor in sections. He renovates on the go, resourcing from whatever he finds and tries to buy as little as possible, except for the tobacco he rolls every few minutes.

The chair I sat on while we talked was made from an old milk crate, his kitchen scavenged from commercial dump sites and his bed the remnants of what looks like should be at the garbage tip. I was too scared to ask.

I call him Jack because his story was so interesting that I forgot to write it down. It also seemed insignificant at the time. Our exchange was of mutual admiration as we waffled on through the haze of late afternoon sun and smoke.

He left home when he was 16, a swag he made in one hand and a bag of groceries his grandmother gave him in the other. Its all he had. He walked for the first 3 years, picking up work in cattle, gas and railway stations. He believes even now if people want to leave the cities to escape the madness of working just to own a home (that is stuck in one sterile place) then there are opportunities galore.

Jack believes you learn to let go of things you once held important on the road.

“She takes it from you but gives back a freedom you wont find elsewhere.”

He finds it hard to communicate the experiences of his life but knows his happiness can be shared by anyone, willing to give up takeout food, designer clothes and luxurious beds. Waving his scrawny arms and exhaling a puff of smoke, I let him off the hook with answering anymore questions to get a tour of his home.

Inside everything has a purpose, gas burner, small fridge, cupboard for clothes, some archaic music stereo and some pictures. I couldn’t see any food with exception to a bag of dirty half sprouted spuds in the corner and some noodles in an opened packet on the table.

The only time Jack became elated was when he told me about the photos on his wall. I had found his weakness. Memories.

He talked about his past love of cars and an old friend whom he no longer talks too, pointing to each car and old friend as he shares.

Freedom for Jack is about not being a slave to the system that pushes you to work all your life to own things. Things the planet cannot keep making. Things that slow you down.

Travel safe my friend and see ya at Texas some time.

 

 

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Transparency within the Dream

To live a dream, you first need to know what it is you desire.

How to do it depends entirely on what you dream for.

I only know the path we chose and it was one that lead us to let go of everything we owned and had once worked for……I think this path is easier than trying to acquire more. If you dream of driving a Ferrari and being waited on hand and foot for your retirement then this story is probably not for you.

But if you dare to find happiness in the peace of each days sun rise then read on.

Recently I saw a post by someone who has in the past inspired me to give more openly. He was asked by someone how he survives if he earns no money…….was he on the dole? They wanted transparency in his actions so that they too could live as he does. They were inspired but doubtful they could live in a similar way.

He replied with some offence that his monetary affairs was no-ones business and that he lived with little money or exchanged work for goods. I too am often asked what do we do for money and most times try to avoid it but how can I be promoting a life of freedom and happiness if I don’t tell you how we came to be.

 

 

 

It starts like any other “normal life” school, work, some more schooling and some more work. Family was gifted to me and while I raised our girls, my husband continued to work. A lot. What we earnt, we spent. The holidays were never long enough and our spirits never content. We decided to change our perspectives and our location.

We sold our renovated Sunshine Coast house and bought a farm, hand-built a home and carved out a magical existence relying heavily on the food we grew or animals we butchered. We connected to land and ourselves but the mortgage was still there. Several people who had come to stay with us on the farm as helpers mentioned a meditation course. Vipassana. Both my husband and I sat the course and our lives were changed forever.

We sold without hesitation, everything we had worked for, became vegetarians and left Australia with nothing more than a backpack each. Two adults, two preteen girls.

The money we acquired from the sale of our farm set us on a global journey to help others and in the process help ourselves but it doesn’t take travel to change a person, nor money, but the freedom of enslavement to a system that kills the spirit.

Removing yourself from the habitual working every day, week in, week out to obtain more things is what set us free. While having a new plasma, car or home might give a quick fix….no material object can fill the soul.

Yes…. we still need money. We have not found a community or new world that nurtures or provides a platform of free-living so we work (occasionally) or volunteer at spiritual centres or get the dole (occasionally). At the moment we are finishing a mobile bus café that will hopefully provide a little income to support out gypsy way of life and keep us completely out of the government system. with the ability to still help others. The more I learn and teach our children about the fundamnetal requirements for life the more I hope to remove ourselves from dependancy of any monetary system……food, shelter, land and peoples are our focus.

The world cannot support our increasing population if we continue to live as we do now. I often wonder are people too ignorant to see that our children will suffer if we continue to impart such materialistic beliefs upon them? Or are we just selfish, stubborn and greedy without forsight to imagine a planet and our minds in the next 50, 20, even 10 years if we continue down the current path.

I believe we are born free but have been too wiling to accept the voices of others instead of listening to our own, instead of listening to the voices of our great indigenous ancestors. We have forgotten how to care for ouselves and our families as they age. We have forgotten how to heal and how to connect with the energies of the land.

Lets start changing ourselves so that we can change the world for the lives of those to come.

 

Much metta to you all.

 

 

 

Are we really ‘Livin the Dream’ or are you just not living yours?

 

As the bus shakes and rumbles down a coastal road towards the beach we watch afternoon workers crane their necks to glimpse in wonder (or horror) at our antics. I presume they are thinking, who is inside and what are they doing. How is it possible that this barefoot earthern garbed family is ‘livin the dream’ when I am just finishing a 50 hour week.

It comes down to choice and your belief system. Money helps when setting up but its not essential for the journey.

If you are prepared to live without expectation and without a pension – youll make it happen ……..but it’s not all beach and green smoothies. Sometimes we hide in the back of industrial estates, under the cover of scrub next to 3 other intrepid campers or just right in the thick of street life and street lights. I post all the good pics because that’s what I want to remember – that’s what I focus on – that’s what I hope to inspire you to look for. An alternative to the cycle of work and ownership. Search for the calm, search for YOUR dream and love every other day in between as much as possible.

Life is so much more interesting if you get involved with it.

Our last little adventure was through the stunning northern rivers. Humid forest, coastal beaches and plenty of vibe but plenty of people too. After being disappointed with the lack of free coastal camps we headed inland towards Nimbin, Mullumbimby and Kyogle. Although the amount of free camps didn’t improve the acceptance to us being parked did.

Luckily or for some maybe unlucky people we landed in Nimbin the day of the nude bike ride which calls for a “cleaner, safer, body-positive world” with a particular emphasis on cyclists’ rights. The girls and I sat in the main park eating our green vegan spinach pie, playing Yahtzee, watching hairy balls and pink nipples jiggle in the breeze while my husband managed a jam with Lewis Walker and a couple of his side stars. Our clothes stayed this time but feeling the draw next time round.

Some of the highlights of our trip was a brief stay at Bochow Park – although it states no camping we had a fabulous time for a few days near the river. Great toilets and gas cookers (even has a little power point near the cookers for a quick phone charge) and council garbage pick up. The kids loved looking for little amber coloured crystals by the water.

Bochow Park – Goldcoast hinterland

We visited the Hare Krishna Consciousness centre outside of Murwillumbah again for their Sunday food and kirtan and we are also considering a short volunteer stay here in the near future – thanks to some delicate nudging by one of our friends, Jasmine.

The next site was the highlight of my trip (except for my time on community in Kyogle with Tamar – story to come). A brief stay at Mount Wollumbin

A local lady directed us here for the kids to explore the rock pools and slides and soak up the serenity but be warned, I think 50 hikers in their cars drove past predawn to climb the summit. There is a no camping sign here but we didn’t see it until the next morning.

We headed back towards Brisbane yesterday after a few weeks away on the most scenic drive – highway 13 –  amazing rock formations, forest and contrasts so that we can spend the next couple of weeks finishing off our bus transformation.

Solar installation, bar fridge, shelving and top-deck for night sleep outs under the stars. For now I am in love with how the bus is coming on.

Happy travels and much metta to all.