Imagine you’re in west of Renmark on the Murray River in South Australia. You have to pick up a parcel from Port Augusta post office in a few days, about 370km away. In the meantime, you’re looking for somewhere to explore. Who in their right mind would look at the map and say, “Let’s go via Pooncarie and Broken Hill”? After all, that’s a round trip of around 950km, and in the opposite direction. Well, that’s what we just did!
Why? Because we could I suppose.
So how did we get to this point? Let’s wind the clock back a few years to discover the roots of this crazy nomadic lifestyle we’re living.
In 2005, my (Andrew’s) father died. He had worked hard since he was a small boy, and he continued to work hard into his 70s. When Mum and Dad finally sold their property and retired, Dad had only a couple of years of good health before he could travel no more. So when dad died aged 83, I was determined not to make the same mistake. What’s the point in working hard all your life then not being able to reap the benefits of your hard work?
Fast-forward four years. In 2009-10 we travelled around Australia for 12 months with our two kids, Charlie and Ben. That trip changed our lives.
It changed how we looked at the world, gave us a new perspective. We realised there was a whole other world out there, away from the east coast. While we east coasters were moaning about our first world problems (“My little Johnny missed out on getting into the top soccer team. I’m sure the coach doesn’t like him”. Who cares?!), the rest of the country were quietly getting on with their lives.
We really didn’t belong in a big city anymore. Peta and I were yearning to get back on the road again. So, we made a plan to be on the road full-time and that’s what’s happened!
In the interim, we planned and madly saved to set ourselves up. Two questions kept coming up. How were we going to eat? And where would our money come from?
That’s when I discovered copywriting.
Learning A New Trade
I immersed myself in web content writing (writing for websites) and learnt all I could about the profession. Of course we had to survive and save in the meantime, so we continued running our small business.Jumping ahead to 2018 and here we are! Right now I’m writing this on the banks of the Darling River, near the small town of Pooncarie in NSW.
2017 was a massive year of transition. I launched my web content writing business Top Wire Copy, and an Outback Travel website Top Wire Traveller. We’re steadily building a following on Top Wire Traveller. We provide “expert advice for outback and regional travellers”. The best places to visit, product reviews and articles of interest to outback and regional travellers.
Long-term, Top Wire Traveller will provide us with a steady income. Right now though, we’re just concentrating on building our brand into the go-to resource for outback and regional travellers.
A Strange Life
Seven months into our new life, and we love every moment. On those days when we’re feeling sorry for ourselves (yes, they still happen!), we only have to look around and think, “How good is this. We’re actually living the dream!”
We’re still getting used to it though. Not a week goes by without one of us saying, “This is pretty weird”. We have total freedom. We can go where we want, when we want. If we like a place, we’ll stay and explore it further. The best places are where we’re on our own, hundreds of kilometres from the nearest settlement. We might find a brilliant campsite in the middle of nowhere. As the sun sets, the stars form a thick blanket, stretching from horizon to horizon.
There’s no doubt, Australia is a massive place. Some of the distances are huge, especially through the desert country. And it’s in the vast expanses of the desert where you realise just how insignificant you are. These are the times when we pinch ourselves and think, “Yes, this is really happening”.