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Jaclyn and Heidi
Off to work we don't go!
Dear Jaclyn and Heidi,

My wife and I are in our mid-50s and have been travelling full-time for the past eight months. It’s been everything we dreamed of and more … in fact, it’s probably just too good. Our trip was supposed to be 40% work, and 60% living the good life. It’s turned out to be 5% work and 95% living the good life! We tried fruit-picking but had no idea how hard and relentless it would be and we didn’t last long there. We also helped out at a cattle station for a while but the owners had unreasonable expectations of us. We also got offered a cleaning/maintenance job in a roadhouse but no way … it was in the mid­dle of nowhere and there were flies everywhere! How do other grey nomads manage to get the work/travel balance right and how do they find the easy jobs?

I think it’s a matter of needs must, Tommy. If you and your wife have got a the cash and investments that will enable you to continue with your 5%/95% lifestyle for years to come, and you are happy to spend in order to do so, then good luck to you. However, it sounds like your finances may be less secure, so the bank manager may insist you readjust your life balance. Not everyone can afford full-time grey nomadding, especially if they are not ready to work as they travel, so you might be better suited to heading home and looking forward to trips of a couple of months each year.

Oh Tommy. You really are the sort of wannabe freeloader that gives baby boomers a bad name. If you were some lily-skinned, pampered back­packer bleating about how hard working for a living was I could understand it. Reality check, Tommy. There ain’t no free rides in this life for grey nomads or anyone else. If you want to live the good life, you have to work for it. There are no easy jobs, just lazy people who aren’t ready to do a fair day’s work for a fair day’s pay and try to get away with doing less rather than more. I think you’ll find that when the cash gets tighter, fruit-picking won’t seem quite as arduous and the cattle station owner might not seem quite as unreasonable!


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