Jumping off

Welcome to our mid-life adventure blog! After working for many years in relatively stressful jobs (IT and law) we decided it was time to live some of those dreams that we had talked about doing ‘someday’. So, we took a break from the rat race and headed out on an open-ended bicycle tour. The initial plan was to ride around Australia (in celebration of recently becoming Australian citizens), then head up into Asia and across to Europe. The route was relatively undefined, as part of the goal was to have an unstructured life for a change. We didn’t quite make it all the way around Australia (several weeks in the Outback seemed sufficient) but that just leaves us more places to explore on future trips.  We eventually covered 26 countries and 22,000 kilometers over a 20-month period.

Cycling has been part of our life for many years – Dave started riding in 1987 as therapy after blowing out his knee pretending to be a basketball star; I (Nancy) started riding soon thereafter. We spent many happy hours riding our Lippy tandem (including our honeymoon across the US) but have also done multiple loaded bike tours on our single touring bikes (we have posted some of our journals under the ‘Previous Trips’ link). A long-term bicycle tour, with no scheduled end date, had been a goal for several years and after almost 10 years of talking and planning it was time to do it.

As bushwalking is also one of our favorite activities we had intended to kick off this change of pace by hiking the Bibbulmun Track end to end. The track runs from Perth to Albany in Western Australia, and is just under 1000k. We intended to carry our gear and hike for approximately 7 weeks and thought it would be a good way to transition to our new unstructured life. Unfortunately a freak accident the day before our departure date resulted in a broken collar-bone, which meant a re-jigging of plans – read about it here. Despite that unexpected turn of events we finally set out on the road in April 2011 to start the long-awaited trip. The Bibbulmun Track remains on our to-do list.

We started this blog as a way to document our journey, mostly for ourselves and our family and friends. We tried to post every day, in the same way we used to write daily journals of our trips – it is amazing how much you can forget if you don’t write it down. The benefit of doing it on the computer meant that at least we were able to read it later – unlike those older handwritten journals which were often illegible as they were often written while I was falling asleep in our tent! But, while it was often difficult to sit down and write each evening – there were many days where we had conversations of ‘you write the blog today / no, you write it’ – having all of this now is a treasure as it captures how we were feeling and what we experienced each day.

If you’d like to read about our journey you can do it in several ways:

-start at the beginning by going here and moving through each entry by clicking the link at the top of each page;

-start with any particular calendar month or topic by clicking on the relevant month or topic in the listings along the right side of the page;

-see all the entries for a particular country by clicking on the ‘Trips’ link at the top of the page, then ‘Big Trip’  from the list of trips (note you can roll your cursor over the ‘Big Trip’ link and select the relevant country from the drop down menu that appears); or

-click here for the most recent blog entry and work your way back.

While the first ‘big trip’ is over, as any cycle tourist knows, once a cycle tourist, always a cycle tourist. A trip like this just makes you realize how many places there are in the world to discover – and how a bicycle is one of the best ways to travel to discover the true nature of a place and its people. So, while we are happy to be settled in Sydney for the foreseeable future, the dreaming stage for the next big trip has already begun…

21 responses to “Jumping off

  1. Great to meet you, after just three days into your Adventure, hope the rain clears soon!

    Wishing you a safe trip and enjoy chasing your dreams!

    Cheers Alex

  2. David and Nancy pam (aka) miss ertel read us all of your blog today!! i love it!!! rock on and keep on pedleing and watch out for spiders yikes!!!!!

  3. Hi. I am in Mrs Ertels 4th and 5th
    grade class!Thanks for coming to
    our class. Nancy I LOVE your
    name so much!


  4. i ment to say website not blog ooooppps!

  5. Have a great trip!!!!
    Many Blessings

  6. Hi guys, great intro to your website.
    You sound like you’re at the same stage of life as us
    We have been referred to you by travellingtwo.com and look forward to following your adventures (PS: we have just started from England & are heading south from europe back to Oz)

  7. Anthony Tesvic

    Hi Nancy – Tim and I just wanted to say hello and let you know that we are enjoying following your travels (from the comfort of our office chairs)! Your adventures sound amazing. I have recently returned from holidays in Europe and am excited to be commencing a secondment at a company you know all too well! May you both keep having many more wonderful experiences!

    • Hi Anthony – glad you and Tim are enjoying the blog and glad we can provide some entertainment for you guys when you can take a quick break from the work! Hope you enjoy your secondment – I am sure it will be interesting to see the business from the other side. Good luck with it!

  8. Hi There !
    Great to meet you in Kanchanaburi Thailand!

  9. I hope the floods have not adversely influenced you, and that all is well!

  10. HI Dave and Nancy–I’m one of Nancy’s mom’s friends from church here in Portland, OR. My husband, Mark rides his bike most every where he goes around this area. I’m one to be a fair weather rider not liking biking in the rain. Your mom has talked about your trip. We hope to follow your adventures via the web! Linda

  11. Nancy, hope the travels are going well! Just came across this site via linked in! Love the concept. Interested to know where you are… Still in oz or now in Asia/Europe!

    Look fwd to hearing more!


  12. Nice going you tow.. very proud you still have the drive not to DRIVE and bike around.

  13. Had to make the mistake on your blog.. it should be two.. not tow…

  14. Hey you two! Just read your blog over here at SteriPEN. I was feeling badly about your battery load, 4 in 1992 vs 32 now I believe. We’ve got a new model called the Freedom SteriPEN that weighs only 2.6oz, has internal batteries and recharges via a USB cable- so you can plug it into your computer, or an A/C wall outlet to charge it. We’d be happy to send you one if logistics work out. Let us know! We’ll be posting your trip on our community blog tomorrow.

  15. Hi Dave and Nancy,
    A great chance encounter today in Plymouth, love the ethos of your trip and wish you all the best on your trip, may it always be sunny and the wind at your back.
    Here is a link to my blog of my UK coastal ride
    Love the cow print cycle top.
    I’m about to start reading your blog and look forward to the updates.
    Hopefully get to see you in Sydney when I make it out there on my trip.
    All the best
    Steve and Redge

  16. Hey Dave and Nancy!! Welcome from Geoff and Karen in Oz.
    Hope all’s well and Christmas is wheely fun🙂

  17. Hi Dave and Nancy,

    Looks like you two are on the move again. Looking forward to reading about your new adventure. Have fun doing, and writing about it 👍 bill & linda

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