I actually think we’re organised, strong willed, clear, deliberate, calculated, realistic, decisive, clever, worldly, bonded, courageous AND crazy!!
How did the three of us go from owning and living in this gorgeous old (recycled) house…
…on this amazing eleven rural acres piece of Valhalla on earth…
…in this incredible forest on the Australian east coast…
…to Taman Negara, the world’s oldest tropical rain forest, in Malaysia?
That’s just the beginning of this latest adventure too!! We’ve also done so much more since the day when we swam in the Tahan River and met with some of the indigenous nomadic people there, the Negrito. I can’t wait to tell you about that experience, but you’ll have to wait for the relevant post sometime soon. As for the current one, even the beginning itself needs some introduction so let’s rewind a mere twenty-five years…I’ll try my best to do this quickly!
For me it all started with my birth, obviously, and absolutely everything that has happened since then is relevant to this story because this story is about my life and family. Nevertheless, I recognise that this blog is categorised G and suitable for an audience of all ages so I can’t write much about the first twenty-two years of my life here. Essentially, I somehow ended up surviving them and with one single army bag of possessions I arrived late one night in London. I had already been living there for some time, but had left my last flat and job before going on a trip and had organised to stay a few days with a guy I had been working with once I returned.
My flight was delayed and by the time I got into central London it was almost one in the morning. My friend was a chef and I knew he’d get up very early in the morning so I decided to let him sleep and caught a night bus to an area where I was sure to find a cheap hostel. Once in Earl’s Court, I walked to the first backpackers place I could find, and found a joint called ‘St Simeon’. Being so late, the reception was long closed but I quickly found out which room the crazy Yugoslavian receptionist slept in and proceeded to knock on his door. Needless to say he was quite upset so I apologised and told him that if he really just wanted to go back to sleep I would just pick a room and sleep in it for free. He groaned down the stairs and gave me a key in exchange for some cash, I took my bag to the room and came back out to a landing where all the international travelling youth were hanging out and met Jenny!
After only two weeks we decided to move in together as it made total financial sense…nothing romantic, Jenny was an accountant. We thought that if this arrangement didn’t work out it would be easy enough to find different accommodation anyway. That was in 1994 and we’re still flatmates in 2019. Married flatmates. With a child flatmate.
How things change…
Then there was the sixteen year bit in the middle when we absolutely didn’t want to have any children. We spent our time working, travelling and living in different countries with me also becoming an Australian citizen, studying Traditional Chinese Medicine after becoming sick, deemed incurable and then being ‘miraculously’ cured by an old Chinese doctor, setting up my own clinics in two countries, going Vegan and gradually realising that I was an entirely different person to the one I had been guided to believe I was my whole life until then. I know, that was a long sentence and I hope it helped you ‘feel’ the essence of that long time span.
At some point in 2008 we unanimously (thank Odin!) revoked all our previously established feelings and agreements on the matter and decided to have a child. We went back to Australia from living in Europe for the third time together, set ourselves up nicely in every way we could think of and at the end of 2009 ‘BOOM!’, we made this…
Hello Miss S!!
As we grow, our ideas do too
Not long after her birth, we already discussed the eventual time when it would make the most sense to have her spend significant time in her other homeland, Italy. We knew that she would predominantly grow up in Australia and decided that sometime between eight and nine years old would be an ideal time to shift our lives there. We figured that she’d be old enough to take it all in and make life long memories, but not close enough to high school to be too disruptive to her Australian education. How sensible are we?!
During the first four years of her life Miss S travelled to Italy three times, with her first trip at only six months of age, in addition to various city, beach and country Australian travels and visits to France, Monaco, Thailand, New Zealand and Bali in between.
The end…and yet another beginning
All our travelling pleasures came to a halt when we finally found the perfect property to start creating our dream lifestyle. It took us an insane three years of very proactive search with innumerable drives, house walks, on-foot boundary/perimeter hikes and all the infrastructure checks necessary. All to finally come up a dead end dirt road to see the first portion of a house as we approached it in the real estate agent’s car and instantly know that this would be home.
The idea was to raise Miss S in a more sensible environment and lifestyle than what the city had to offer. Frankly, we already lived in an amazing place anyway and in a great neighbourhood as Brisbane ought to be one of the most liveable cities in the world. We grew some of our own food in our back yard and our baby had ample room to run around both inside and outside the house, but I have become increasingly keen on experimenting with permaculture, self-sufficiency, learning to grow, do and make as much as possible ourselves. I strive to minimise our dependency on industry and fossil fuels to radically reduce our overall environmental footprint. That was my side of what drove us to seek a new place to live anyway, and this brings us full circle to the first photos in this post and the perfect place to end it.
Until next time, that’s all folks
In the next posts I’d like to share more about our lives in rural south-east Queensland, some things we learned from our lifestyles there, some changes and improvements we made to the property while we owned it and why it completely halted our long-haul travels.
I hope to see you back here then!