Returning To Australia And Departing Again

airport
©Exploramum and Explorason – leaving Adelaide in 2012

Leaving Adelaide

It all began when on 11th August 2012, Explorason and I waved goodbye to our family in Adelaide Australia, as we set off on an amazing travel adventure with Sydney as our first stop. We had no idea how long this adventure would last, or where it was going to take us at that time.

Three years on and we found ourselves living a completely different life as we explored the world, and were addicted to a life of travel. A simple life, with myself writing a blog that was designed to help inspire other single parents and future travellers to follow their dreams, and to live life to the full. And with Explorason focusing on using the technique of ‘world-schooling‘ as a completely new way of learning.

celebrate
©Exploramum and Explorason – my father’s 90th birthday celebration

Missing major events

Travelling is full of highs and lows, but one low can often be watching your family and friends achieve milestones – but only watching via Facebook, and not being there to share the moment with them. These can be harder moments to bear than anyone knows.

A family milestone was approaching for us.  It is not every day my father (and Explorason’s Grand-dad)  turns 90 years old. But it was my ‘dear old Dad’s’ celebration, this past November (2015) and we were not going to miss it for the world!

We were so excited – we planned a surprise return to Australia for over six months, and decided to take a break from our world travels and ‘join the party’. This was our reason to return to Australia.  It was Number one on the list of priorities for both of us.

And oh how we have missed family Christmases with my sisters, nieces, and nephews and of course my Dad.  We’d had the last three Christmases overseas in USA, Cuba, and Romania, and it was time to relive some of my memories and Australian traditions celebrated at this time of year.

We’d had the last three Christmases overseas in USA, Cuba, and Romania, and it was time to relive some of my memories and Australian traditions celebrated at this time of year.

family
©Exploramum and Explorason – my father’s 90th birthday celebration – sisters together from all over the world

Arriving back in Adelaide

We organised to stay with a friend, and arrived early to the 90th Birthday party. I certainly had no desire to give my Dad a heart attack – which really WOULD ruin the party, so we came early in order not to upstage the event.  Our surprise return was just THE BEST, and we loved catching up with relatives and friends on the day! Months of planning, and I had to pinch myself that it was really us standing there with them all once again.

Back to school

On our return to Adelaide, Explorason also went back to school. His school principal has always been very supportive of our travels, and the school community welcomed us back immediately, whilst he enjoyed time in with his class again. He also had a terrific teacher for the final weeks of Year 5, which made the transition easier. Note; he had been to school in Uganda and Fiji whilst we travelled so we are quite pro-school.

Bali
©Exploramum and Explorason – ‘world schooling’ in Indonesia

I love to write and motivate others

I am passionate about motivating others, and I love to write. Whilst Explorason was at school I then used the time back in Adelaide to try to catch up on writing about our travels (I like to inspire single parents), and looking for paid writing work and opportunities.

Sadly the Australian employment situation is known to be pretty ‘dead’ over New Year and right through until Easter – this is the hottest time of the year, and many companies wind down and take a rather long break.

I seek paid writing opportunities and can be contacted via email at exploramum@gmail.com

Oh, poop! – It was such a deflated feeling for me personally to be ‘back to the grindstone’ after our vibrant adventures.  Snide comments were damaging and hurtful from a few who judged me. Little did they see of hours and hours I spent researching opportunities and sending hundreds of emails.

Money was also burning a hole in my pocket.  Australia also is a very expensive country, and after Africa and S.E. Asia, it was quite a shock. I think the prices of most items had increased in price by a third or more in four years which I took a while to get used to.  My budget was not coping compared to developing countries where we had spent a greater part of our time in for much of the last three years. We realised we could live for considerably less elsewhere.

birthday
©Exploramum and Explorason – my 54th birthday celebration in Bali

Birthday in Bali

Oh! how we instantly missed our travel life.  As we had no ‘home’ base set up, and our belongings remained in storage, we promptly took a vacation to Bali during the school holiday period for my birthday, and just loved it!

school
©Exploramum and Explorason – Explorason attends local school in Fiji

Education

February rolled around all too quickly, and Explorason then ‘knuckled down’ into Year 6 at school – back having fun with his classmates – and he did extremely well. He caught up on his subjects and achieved several A’s in his report. His overall his grades and attitude to learning were excellent. He even managed reasonable grades in German and considering he had 4 nights in Germany, this was amazing.  I think his self-taught Spanish proved to be far more enjoyable for him but had assisted him with language learning. I was surprised that he actually did a good job catching up as I knew some subjects we just couldn’t cover as well world-schooling but he did OK and his teachers can be thanked for their support.

His school results helped me to realise that our method of educating ‘on the road’ using fewer books really was adequate (we do travel with Mathematics, Art, and English books). Plus  ‘world-schooling’ as we travel with a focus on ‘education through travel’ really is brilliant, as Explorason gains a very balanced level of education for his age. I think worldschooling is very different for each child and it might not work for some, but at this time, combined with the short times he had spent in the classroom overseas, he was doing OK.

Explorason also enjoys school, and he also loves his travel life.

We have already talked about High School for him, so we know we have limited time to keep travelling, and do have plans. We are very conscious of what lies ahead, and that he will be ‘University ready’ when the time comes.

Right now I find it interesting that his desire is to be a professional photographer, and no formal degree is required for that. I’m also aware that with his passion for technology, that the jobs that are around right now, won’t be the jobs in ten years time. Times are rapidly changing.

sickness
©Exploramum and Explorason – I get very sick in Bali

Itchy feet and sickness

Over his next school holiday break found us with itchy travel feet. So at the end of the First Term, we were back to Bali again.

I realised it is less expensive to buy return airline tickets and travel expenses for two to Indonesia than it was for any accommodation, car expenses, food and general living for a two week period in Australia.

But a little over a week into the trip I became extremely ill, with many of my internal organs being diagnosed with rapid and severe bacterial infections that racked my body with pain and fever.

I found myself on an I.V. drip twice in three days and strong antibiotics, which was no fun at all. We had to extend our stay in Bali, as I was just too weak and unfit to travel, and later returned to Adelaide to slowly recover whilst housesitting.

Realisation came to me at this point that I really was rather run down, that I didn’t enjoy living in a country that was one of the most expensive in the world, and I did not thrive in the cold Australian winter – in fact, it was so cold it snowed in the Adelaide Hills when we were there. Brrrr.

With no home base, we felt we were not ready to give up our travel life, and we still felt very nomadic and not ready to settle down.  

random acts of kindness
©Exploramum and Explorason – helping the poor on the streets

Sydney, here we come

We then decided it was time to leave Adelaide again after our ‘visit’ for the past months, and to travel to Sydney to attend a Travel Expo; along with several interviews.

When in Sydney this past month we met some incredibly inspiring folk at the Travel Expo.  We both knew it was our personal desire to continue to see the world and to make a difference as we go.

‘Revelation’ came to us both.  It was time to ‘take flight’ again whilst we still had the opportunity to do so, and to leave Australia behind once more. I remember the day Explorason saying how much he missed his travel life. It was a pivotal point for both of us.

Ukraine
©Exploramum and Explorason – the Ukraine border

Explorason has a goal

We still have a yearning to continue to see the world and Explorason has a personal goal to visit 100 countries.  Now his achievement so far is 65 countries over 4 years – which is pretty amazing for an 11-year-old!

helping the poor
©Exploramum and Explorason – Explorason hands out clothing in Fiji purchased from friends sending money (we purchased the clothing)

We miss helping the poor

We also both have a longing to continue helping the poor that we meet along the way and to pay it forward with our random acts of kindness as we go. In particular, we enjoy doing this in remote areas and developing countries.

Oh! how we especially loved parts of Africa, Central America and Fiji, where on the road less travelled we experienced first hand just how simply people lived, and how we could make a difference in their lives.

Whilst we do not volunteer on farms (as someone recently wrote about us), we have helped on a few mission bases in our world travels and loved sharing our love with them.

We found little opportunity in Australia to achieve this goal. Explorason and a school friend did bake cookies and made Christmas cards for the homeless and also for the elderly at a nursing home.  The children took to the streets at night and blessed many of the homeless with good cheer, and encouraged the elderly with their love at Christmas.

But it wasn’t the same. We have a yearning to do this in the uttermost parts of the world.  It is where both of our hearts desire to make a difference.

Sydney
©Exploramum and Explorason – celebrating our 4h travel anniversary in Sydney

Leaving Sydney

So here we sit once again in a foreign land.

Only one week ago we found ourselves sitting in the transition Express Airport lounge in Sydney staring out at the runway.

We were so excited that Saturday as we were waiting for our flight to jet us off into the wild blue yonder.

Sydney airport
©Exploramum and Explorason – American Express lounge – Sydney Airport

The next chapter

Our second chapter of our travel adventures -and the start of our fifth year of our travel lives has begun.

We hope you join us for this next exciting part of our journey.  We hope you share our good times, bad times, fun times, and sad times.

We will show you great places to visit and explore; interesting and unusual places to stay; some of the people that we meet; and the road less travelled along the way.

Fly Scoot
©Exploramum and Explorason – Scoot Airlines plane from Australia

Each person has their own journey

Whilst a life of travel is not for everyone, this is what we enjoy, and works for us right now.

Some folks have no desire to travel or to leave the safety of their home for destinations unknown and a life of adventure. That is fine and their choice, and hopefully they can read and enjoy our website articles and social media instead.

We try not to judge others in their life choices and their unique path of life, and ask others don’t judge ours – we are all unique. Each person can choose to spend their money as they wish, whether it be bricks and mortar, a wardrobe full of clothes, a new car, or possibly being drawn to the never-ending call of advertising that tells the need for latest ‘electronic gadget’, or modern home furnishing or to possess another item you don’t have. To me, it is an endless cycle of consumerism that never satisfies, and that rarely has any long-term effect on this world.

To me, it is an endless cycle of consumerism that never satisfies, and that rarely has any long-term effect on this world. It is short-term satisfaction, that is then replaced with another desire for another item once you have spent your month on the last purchase.  I watch other folks fill voids in their lives as credit card debt spirals out of control. Meanwhile, children living without so much as a bed to sleep on as they curl up on dirt insect-infested floors of remote Uganda spring to mind.

How many possessions do people really need, I wonder to myself?  Where is the balance between the extremely rich and the poor?

We instead have chosen to invest in memories made together as mother and son for this part of our lives, and to help those who can never repay us for what we do along the way.

Bolivia
©Exploramum and Explorason – a blind and happy beggar in Bolivia we helped

Sharing about what we do

We try to share some of the needs we find along the way. Especially in the more remote and poorer destinations.

However, some of our random acts of kindness are not shared.  These remain our little ‘hidden’ treasures. We do delight in giving, and touching lives, and when we do share it is to encourage others to ‘catch the fire that burns within us’ and encourage them to do the same.

Any donations we are given are used directly in blessing others, and we will show you with photos of how you can make a difference. However, we are not a charitable organisation, and are not set up to be one, so bear this in mind. We can, however, guide you to give to trusted missions we assist along the way like ITFM, should you desire to give to their work.

Most of all, we hope to encourage you to follow your dreams, and to never give up on them, and to live the life you desire.

As a wise neighbour used to say to me “Life is not a test run, this is the real deal“.

where
©Exploramum and Explorason – Where are we now?

Where are we now?

Stay tuned …. and we will let you know soon.

Sign up for our email alert on our website – this will notify you weekly about our latest adventures, show you great places to visit and stay, and you can live vicariously through our travel blogs.

 

 

 

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