July 23, 2012

The plan

Last week was a very interesting week for this particular cyclopolitan.

I have had an idea nagging at me and rattling around in my head for some time in various forms and last week it crystalised into an actual plan. So here it is:

At the end of 2013, the husband and I will embark on a grownup European OE. Twelve months overseas travel using bicycles and trains.

This marks the spot when hitherto aspiring empty nesters will achieve their goal. Luckily, we have very little in the way of other commitments (cars, pets, gardens), and seeing as our ‘worker bee’ days of hauling money and food back to the hive are thus ending, the date is set.

Weirdly enough the first thing I did once this idea had germinated was to resign from my job. This was probably not the best idea, but somehow it was a line in the sand … a commitment to adventure. I’m not really sure what happens next, but that’s what adventures are all about.

The vague unformed plan for the OE (overseas experience) is to travel ‘some’ and then work ‘a bit’ and then travel ‘some more’ – see, I told you it was vague! In the short term, between now and ‘the off’, the general idea is to see how difficult it is to get short-term jobs/contracts whilst in the relatively safe environment of NZ and an earning partner. However, as yet my only research has been an hour glancing through available jobs on Seek. I have yet to become a fully-fledged ‘Seek whore’ – apparently, this is the correct terminology for someone who constantly checks available jobs on Seek (even while happily employed).

SO …

I am going to start discussing my OE on this website for two reasons. Firstly, so that I can work some things out and record it in a way that I can look over later; secondly, as a resource to others; thirdly, so that others can help me with some of the planning and contribute their expertise; fourthly, so that it will become more and more difficult for us to chicken out; fifthly, because I think better ‘out loud’; sixthly, because even if I do chicken out eventually, the brain allocation I have given the project will not have been wasted. OK, so that’s more than two reasons.

I have taken the first essential step for anyone contemplating a grown up adventure … I have bought a couple of cycling travel books and it is therefore now officially ‘locked in’. Albeit a small action, this signifies that the idea has made the hyperspace leap from brain musing to action.

Today is a rainy miserable winter day and I have placed myself in front of a two bar electric heater with my newly acquired research books and a cup of tea – the game is on!

Join the conversation! 4 Comments

  1. Brave move! But one that will undoubtedly be the most marvelous adventure!

    I bumped into a lovely gentleman doing the Motu Trails Dune section who positively raved about his trip cycling down the Danube. He said that it had cycleways the length of it, from source to sea, and that he had a great time cycling it.

    At any rate, looking forward to seeing your blog posts on this marvelous adventure!

  2. @ Christopher – the Danube sounds good … I will add it to the plan!

    I must admit that I dont really think of it as ‘brave’ – I travelled quite a lot BC (before children) and continued for a while AC – although, in a more ‘grown-up’ kind of way. So looking forward to being foot (wheel) loose and fancy free again 🙂

  3. …if you make it to the UK, I’d be happy to show you the nicer parts of the North Hampshire Downs – 1hr from Waterloo on the train, quintessential English country lanage.


  4. @Mike – thanks so much, what a lovely offer. We will be spending the very beginning of our trip in the UK to get over jet lag and do the rounds of relatives etc. and it would be good to test drive the equipment before heading off to the ‘wilds’ of Europe proper!


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