Two-year itch

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Grey nomad wants to park lawnmower and hit the open road
I really don't want to do this any more!.

Dear Jaclyn and Heidi,
I’ve done my sums very care­fully and I reckon I’m still two years off being able to retire. However, my wife Donna and I are both champing at the bit to get into full-time travel. I took three months of my long-service leave at the end of last year so we could do a ‘shakedown trip’ and check if we would like the lifestyle when the time came. The good news is we absolutely loved it. The bad news is I can’t think about anything else now! I’m not joking when I say I have completely lost interest in my job which I actually used to quite enjoy. I resent doing things like mowing the lawn and washing the windows. The bottom line is: I really don’t want to be here any more. It doesn’t help that I keep getting emails from very happy people who we met on the road.

Ahhh, Theo. One you’ve tasted the forbidden fruit it is very difficult for things to go back to the way they were, isn’t it? People who haven’t camped in the Outback, watched the sun rise over Uluru, or sat by a remote campfire as countless stars twinkle overhead don’t truly understand why hitting the open road can be such a life changing experience. But now you know, Theo … it really is! Keep doing your sums. Maybe you can shave a few months off of your waiting time. As the months pass, your restlessness will slowly settle and, before you know it, it will be time to get seriously plan­ning. Comfort yourself with the knowledge that you’ve got years and years ahead of you as a grey nomad, Theo. But don’t put your life on hold. You don’t have to be on the open road to make the most of every single day.

Goodness me, Theo. If I understand you correctly you’ve got a job you enjoy, a wife who shares your dreams, and you’re a couple of years away from living the dream lifestyle in paradise. And you’re complaining because you’ve got to mow the lawn once a fortnight! Suck it up, Princess! I’m sure there are plenty of 30-somethings out there who would like to pack it all in and go on a cruise for the rest of their lives, or children in Year 7 who want to skip all that education ‘nonsense’ and go directly to being Chief Executive of Apple. Sometimes the sober realities of life stop us doing exactly what we want when we want, Theo. To para­phrase Treasurer Joe Hockey, if you’d wanted to retire earlier, or buy a bigger caravan, you should have got a better paying job.


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