The advantages for us leading this nomadic lifestyle are many and varied, not least the opportunities to house sit, caring for gorgeous pets whilst living in lovely homes around the world.
But what happens when a curve ball is thrown, unexpectedly having to go “home” when in fact we no longer actually have a physical place to call home?
Did we have a Plan B in our homeless lifestyle travel plans if we were suddenly to return home? Had we considered the possibility of being in Brisbane for an extended time? Well no, not really, because some things just can’t be anticipated.
We’ve always believed that if something unforeseen came up we’d be able to deal with whatever life threw at us; we’re pretty adaptable. Of course having our family and friends in Australia and UK means that we need to be mindful of a crisis at any time.
It’s just that we never expected anything would happen to one of us, forcing us to stay around Brisbane for a long time.
When the unimaginable did happen, and we had to return early to Australia from South America, our challenge was not knowing how long we’d have to stay in Brisbane. Waiting for doctor appointments, having the procedure date set and feeling anxious about the outcome, it was tough to settle and think about finding a permanent/temporary home.
House sitting would be problematic because we couldn’t really commit to homeowners until dates were known. In fact, we received several offers from people very keen to secure us. Such a shame really, because some were fantastic sits that we’d otherwise jump at if we were to voluntarily stay in Brisbane for a while.
We did get to enjoy time at the beach on our beloved Sunshine Coast. Our rental flat was welcoming of overnight visitors, which meant we spent some brilliant times wining & dining and playing with our nearest and dearest. Not having a car meant we walked everywhere, and going further afield we managed to negotiate the bus network.
In Brisbane, daughter Sarah works mostly away from home and she graciously invited us to stay at her place from time to time while she was away. This created a comfortable hub for us, being close to the hospital and the city, with the added bonus of using her car. And we stayed at Airbnbs and hotels from time to time as well.
Apart from the obvious anxiety of Dave walking around with a time bomb in his brain, things that challenged us were how to fill our Brisbane days in a town we know so well, and finding a way to settle in to a rhythm while not being in our own home.
What we really appreciate about slow travel and house sitting is the ability to “live like a local” but as we are already locals, we decided to “live like a tourist” around Brisbane. That motto helped us become a bit creative in finding ways to stay interested and interesting.
It meant we followed some local Facebook and Instagram groups to learn about events and new eateries. We headed out on a 4WD beach driving trip, caught new release movies, went out fishing with friends on their new boat, learned about Brisbane’s vast parks and gardens, spent lovely time with some of our kids & grandkids and hung out with our friends.
The best story out of all this is that Dave’s procedure went ahead in early June, with the greatest outcome possible. The brain aneurysm is fixed! As soon as we got the go-ahead from Dave’s surgeon we took off to visit the Outback and the Red Centre in Dave’s brother’s 4WD truck. That was indeed the trip of a lifetime!
There will be follow up tests and appointments in early September, and once that is all over with we’ll be heading off. We don’t know where that will be yet but we’re confident everything will work out just fine and we can be gone for several months.
Throughout this trying time we’ve been surrounded, supported and loved by our family and dear friends, either in real life or electronically, and we feel incredibly blessed.
When I was a teenager an older relative said to me “you should always look after your health because then you can do anything you want”. I remember thinking (and probably saying to her), oh rubbish, I’ll always be young and healthy.
*** Thanks for following along. I’ve found it difficult to maintain motivation to keep writing on this blog and yet there is so much to write about. Hopefully I can shake out the cobwebs and do a bit of catching up. ***