Old Chook Travelling

I find life seems to be made up of chapters.

Childhood, my first chapter, was spent on Bribie Island – a rather idyllic and laid back upbringing with the only rule from my parents being that we were home by dark. I went around with bare feet or rubber thongs until I went to High School in Caboolture at around 12yrs when I had to wear real shoes.

By 18 I found island life constricting and left for New Zealand on a trip paid for by the Miss Australia Quest for which I had won a fund raising prize of a free trip as an entrant. I had a reckless intention not to return to Bribie and sold up everything I owned of value before I left, including my old car ($100) and some electric hair curlers. I had never ridden on public transport let alone a plane. I had never lived anywhere but with my immediate family. It was all pretty scary but I felt the need to expand my boundaries.

At 19 I married a 30yr old English emigrant to NZ. It seemed like a good idea at the time. Three kids and close to 30yrs later I found I had a kind of freedom back – with two daughters, one sin-in-law, four cats and three dogs in a small house half owned by myself and another family member.

15yrs later, after turning the yard of the small house into an organic haven of fruit trees and vegetable beds with honey and native bee hives, I find myself alone with one old dog on his last legs and four old Cockatiels. The agreement with the co-owner was to sell the house once the last of the old dogs, Hugo, had passed on (I couldn’t afford to buy them out – having had a run of unemployment and now in an enjoyable but low paid job).

Initially I was very resistant to give up my home (my husband used to move us every 2yrs so 15yrs in one spot felt blissfully like forever with my established garden) but eventually I had come to a place of acceptance and looked forward to the next chapter.

At the moment Hugo is being treated for pneumonia, at great expense I might add, but is quite happy. He turns 14 this December. A good age for a small dog but the end looms.

Once the house is sold I will come out with a moderate amount of money after paying off my bit of mortgage but not enough to buy another house or even a unit.

At 61 I don’t want another mortgage…considering I could even get one. So, faced with the choice of moving into some nasty cheap rental with no ground for growing anything (and I must garden), no rainwater tank for drinking or watering, no space for a pet I eventually came to a bit of a radical conclusion for a home lover like me. I realised that for the very first time in my entire life I would have complete freedom. No kids, no pets, no husband. I would travel.

How would I travel?

I could use my bit of capital and buy a campervan. Looked into that – very expensive to buy anything remotely comfortable and I would not have anything to drive around in apart from that vehicle. I would have to pay for camping spots. And I would have no capital left to handle emergencies etc.

I started checking out house sitting and realised that this could be a way of travelling with little expense. I could hang on to my economical diesel car and travel up the Queensland coast by increments. On my bucket list is a visit to the Cape Tribulation Exotic Fruit Farm and this was one way of (eventually) getting there.

So, the immediate plan is to sell up everything – no point in storing easily replaced furniture at great expense. I will buy a laptop computer and blog my way up the coast – hunting out community and private gardens and organic farmers markets as I go. Hopefully. And staying in other peoples homes, looking after their gardens and animals.

This style of life can’t go on forever I realise. I am a homebody and will need a place of my own at some point – but in the meantime I will be checking out new places, meeting new people and looking for my perfect spot to live. My Mum at Bribie may also need my assistance as Carer at some point.

It will sort itself out in the end.

I have a plan 🙂




4 thoughts on “Old Chook Travelling”

  1. Good LORD girl you are 61?! It’s no WONDER they gave you a prize in Miss Australia! I had you pegged at about 45. You have lived such an amazing life. Is Bribie Island the same Bribie Island that they used in Sea Change? I adored that show. I reckon you are one of the bravest people I know Lissa. I also reckon that if you are going to do that Cape Trib thang, you had best let me know the dates so that I can start saving. That’s one of my bucket list items and I can’t think of a better person to get serious diarrhoea with as I eat my way through ALL of the tropical fruits on offer with. I wonder how many of my orifices I could pack with seeds?! 😉 Seriously, I know it’s scary to contemplate what you are doing now but you have been so very brave with most of your life. People like me, little timid churchmouse narf7 who tends to rant from the comfort of her armchair at the telly are in awe of you. You are the brave soul, forging on, that I always read about as a kid and wanted to be…”was” in my head. You are the heroine of those Enid Blyton novels, the “5 go bonkers in Essex” jobbies. The ones that say “stuff it, I am OFF!” I am SO in awe of you Lissa and wherever you go, please keep blogging or at least keep in touch. To say that I admire you, is a wee beige jobbie of an understatement. Here’s to life extraordinary and to being brave enough to take yourself where you will. You have a plan? I can’t wait to see it pan out. Sending HUGE hugs and cheers from Tassie. I hope you can hear them metaphorically and in solidarity 🙂


    1. Ah, the bravery was forced on to me but I have come to be quite excited by the prospect.

      Lots to do yet – initiation of the plan requires the loss of my one remaining companion which is going to be heart rending but inevitable.

      The house could take a while to sell etc etc. I need to start emptying out cupboards and tossing or giving away all the stuff I have. So much of it is unnecessary. A friend with more experience in these things will help me sell the furniture when the time comes.

      If you know of any other good places to visit up the Qld coast. Any good private gardens or community gardens – I would love to hear about them. I have a book that I’m writing everything down in.

      You’re on for the Cape Trib Fruit Farm – getting diarrhea together eating the fruit sounds like something we would both appreciate 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. One of the df has take off. The others appear to be laying low like brer rabbit. Hopefully they come to the party but I would be happy with one. I know what you mean about your remaining companion. Bezial is getting older now and having trouble getting around. He has some big fatty lypomas on him and Steve thought it was cancer. After checking with the vet she said “Nothing to worry about” and we have been feeding him fish oil tablets (which he loves) and he seems to be happier now. I don’t even want to think of the day that we may have to make a decision to let him go. I dare say Earl will go chasing a Tasmanian tiger in a battle to the death. I doubt he will ever slow down. He is one of those dogs that just gets rangy when they get older. Channel that excitement and use it to keep you going when you have to move. I know it has kept me sane on many a move (we moved a LOT) when I was younger, just looking ahead at what is to come and the adventure that is afoot.


  2. We just want our beloved pets to go peacefully :/ Hugo is showing signs of breathing difficulties which may or may not have led to the current pneumonia that he is being treated for. I will not subject him to major surgery at his age just to extend his life by months or perhaps a year. That would be selfish of me and cruel to him. He’s going back for more tests later this week. He also has the fatty lypomas (as do I – hmmmm) but they are the least of our worries.

    Loverly, gorgeous, incredible rain here this morning 🙂 The weather bureau has been giving out dire forecasts of a nasty flooding severe weather episode this weekend. Let’s hope it’s doesn’t pan out that way but just brings this much needed moisture.

    Good to hear about the DF 🙂 The other one will start to grow eventually. Hardiest thing out. I can leave them sitting out for months on a table in the yard and they are still quite content to grow.


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