It is very exciting to be musing about returning to a more transient lifestyle. In the days BC (before children), and even through the children’s early years, we moved around a lot. Exploring different cities and countries in both hemispheres, finding the perfect brand of tea and the ideal sausage – two things that in my opinion are impossible to live without.
One day we woke up and decided that we needed stability to do a proper job of the next phase of child rearing so we looked around for a suitable base. We picked Waiheke Island in New Zealand as the perfect spot – and it was. This choice was slightly odd as we were living in Melbourne in Australia at the time. Also, I had only been to Waiheke once for about 3 hours and the Husband had never been at all.
During our ‘settled’ period, we toyed with returning to Europe several times but somehow the idea always found its way into the ‘too hard’ basket. There were a couple of family visits but these centred around relatives and roast dinners rather than fixing the vitamin H and C deficiency (Heritage and Culture) that we have felt most keenly since leaving the Northern hemisphere. So Europe was an absolute ‘no brainier’ when it came to deciding on a location for the OE.
The next ‘no brainer’ was the bike – both in terms of whether there should be one (or two) and also the make of bike. I simply cannot imagine getting around without a bicycle. The hassle and time involved in having to figure something else out, potentially organising and babysitting a car, is just too troublesome. I imagine this is how many car owners feel when it’s suggested that they might do without a car … it’s a slight panicky feeling with a sudden rush of reasons why it simply can’t be done, following closely behind. So that’s a YES to the bike then.
The second point is the make of bike. We are not slavish ‘bike tourer’ types, preferring to cycle for shorter ‘getting around’ trips and using other forms of transport for longer journeys. A ‘folder’ is a must under these circumstances. Full sized bicycles are viewed by much public transport officialdom as inconvenient and irritating. There are special rules and allowances known only to a few select people with the right sort of badge and intelligence clearance level. Therefore, being able to fold your bicycle and put it in a bag saves a huge amount of grief because your average ‘more than my jobs worth’ public transport official understands a ‘bag’. It also solves the problem of where to store it overnight and on non-bicycle days as it can be smuggled into accommodation and luggage storage areas when in its ‘bag’ disguise. Make? A Brompton of course. I have always fancied a Brompton and I love the fact that you can pick the features you like from a smorgasbord of bicycle loveliness BUT that’s a whole other post! It’s also made in England, like me, nuff said.
Location – tick
Bicycle – tick