The Privilege of being able to travel Australia is not lost on us

Privilege of being able to travel

The Privilege of being able to travel Australia is not lost on us.

Getting to this point hasn’t been easy. We certainly aren’t wealthy, we don’t have any other assets other than our home. My business is a poor cashflow business, I can go for months with no income. I could make more if I wanted to sell real estate again but it doesn’t provide any flexibility with time. That no longer works for us.

Let me tell you a little bit about our personal story.

Kevin and Adele

Natures Window in Kalbarri National Park, October 2016

For those that don’t know us well and don’t know our history, I was 31yo in 1995 when we lost everything. Not a single dollar to our name. We had a furniture business, the market turned and I was naive. The bank sent us a letter of demand on my birthday or they were going to repossess our home. They gave us until the end of the month and we sold our beautiful home at Boondall Qld for less than we had paid for it, the day before it was due to be repossessed.

Matt

Our two sons, Matthew and Cameron when they were little at our Boondall home

We were left with nothing, no money, no home, the van had to go as it was only 3 seats and there were now 4 of us and besides, it was rusted out and it was worthless. Family and friends were delivering groceries to us or we sold off furniture and what we had in garage sales to raise funds for our meals for the week. No exaggeration, that’s exactly how it was, just the 4 of us and desperate times.

Matt third birthday

Matthew’s 3rd birthday at Boondall just before we moved out, Nov 1995

We ended up with a beat up Mitsubishi Magna which if it got us from A to B there was a real risk it wouldn’t get us back to A again. Adele’s parents gave us the money to buy a car to allow Kevin to start a career in real estate. We were so close to bankruptcy but I was determined not to have that on my resume.

Kevin Hockey Real Estate

Kevin’s real estate agency in Nundah Qld, 2005

I worked my arse off again in Real Estate and it was very good to us and allowed me to make enough money to get back on track. It took a few years but then we got lucky with being given AMP shares and it was enough for me to open my own agency on a tight budget. I built that up over more than 5 years before selling it but eventually my next investment lost a lot again. With that venture we lost $750,000 in cash plus loans plus share value equal to approx $2.25m.

When my father died in 2008 the desire to grow a big business was lost and I set about chasing what I really wanted in life. I started asking myself some questions.

Who did I really want to be? What did I want my legacy to be? What was really most important to me?

My answers were really easy. There were 3 things that were non negotiables.
1. Family
2. Real Friends
3. No stress

Kevin Fishing

Relaxing on a Houseboat on Gold Coast Broadwater in 2014

We lost Adele’s Dad to cancer not all that long after my Dad passed and with that Adele, Matthew, Cameron and our Mums became total priorities. Rather than needing lots of friends we focused on our very best friends and tried to keep regular contact. Anything that created stress wasn’t healthy and didn’t make me happy so I just eliminated it.

I didn’t allow stress to come in to my world wherever I could control it.

Burleigh

We love the Gold Coast

Travel became a great stress relief. We took very regular long weekends away, mostly to the Gold Coast but we went to Sydney or Melbourne when we could and on the odd occasion to the Sunshine Coast. We went to New Zealand a few times and 2 trips to Thailand. Then we found Houseboating and enjoyed 5 trips in 11 months around the Gold Coast Broadwater.

Houseboats are so much fun.

House Boating

Kev’s 50th birthday was celebrated aboard Houseboat ” The Prestige”

All of this led us to where we are today, a commitment to 2.5 years driving around Australia under our logo, Indefinite Leave.

We had earnt this opportunity. For almost 25 years we worked long and hard, mostly 7 days a week and the sacrifices we made were enormous. Adele had long careers with a bank and Westfield and was ready to rest.

We love to travel and the ability to spend such an extended time frame enjoying this adventure on the road is not lost on us. Travel has become such an integral part of us and this just made sense.

Motorhome Travel

Auski Roadhouse at Karijini National Park, Sept 2016

In fact, travel quite possibly played a bigger part in keeping us together early in our relationship than we realize. Just 9 weeks after we met Adele left for 3 months to travel Europe. Of course back in 1987 there were no mobile phones, no Facebook and no texting. All we had were postcards and snail mail. Waiting every day to check the mailbox was filled with excitement and then despair.

When in Paris

Paris 2015. We love to travel overseas too.

We wrote to each other numerous times over those 3 months, sharing lots of our inner thoughts and feelings. We were engaged just 9 weeks after Adele returned and married 8 months later. That was 29 years ago in August 1988.

Wedding Day

Our wedding, August 1988

We have endured, like most families, some fantastic highs and some very big lows. It’s those lows though that you learn from the most. As we have searched for happiness we now know what matters to us and makes us happy.

Travel is our drug and we have the bug.

We certainly respect that a lot of others are not in the position to just pack up and leave everything behind as we have done. Many, many would love to. If we had one dollar for every time someone has said to us “I’m so jealous, we would love to do what you’re doing” we could fund our entire trip.

Whilst it was an enormous decision for us, for others it’s just not possible for a variety of reasons.

Travel with Motorhome

Entering Karijini National Park, Sept 2016

We were so confident about this adventure that when people said to us, “Don’t buy a Motorhome without renting one and trying it first, what if you don’t like it” we found it just gave us more clarity that we knew this was right for us. Our research had opened our eyes to what an amazing Country we have right here in our own backyard and it was time to explore it.

Kalada National Park

Entering Kakadu National Park, July 2016

We were ready to become closer to nature, learn much more about our history as a country and discover everything our incredible nation has to offer. Next time we were to meet some backpackers we were going to be able to say we’ve been there too rather than listen to them talk about our own country they seemed to have seen and knew more about than we did.

13-IMG_5376

Meeting some Possums at Barracrab Caravan Park Clairview, Easter 2016

As you read our blogs and see our photos on social media and think to yourself, those lucky Bastards, it’s ok, we know we are privileged, we know we are achieving an amazing dream that so many others would like to share.

We hope however that one day you will be able to do it too. If it’s something you plan to do, keep working towards it. You too can enjoy this amazing adventure.

14-GOPR0956

Snorkelling at Quobba, WA, September 2016

In the meantime I hope our journey inspires you and gives you the motivation to one day say Stuff it, we’re packing up and leaving.

Tell us about your plans to travel around Oz?

Safe travels,

Kev, Adele and Matt

Facebook: www.facebook.com/indefiniteleave

Instagram: Indefinite_leave

Twitter: IndefiniteLeav3

Website: www.indefiniteleave.com.au

Email: hockeys@indefiniteleave.com.au

You Tube: https://www.youtube.com/c/indefiniteleave

12 replies
  1. Cath
    Cath says:

    Wow that’s quite a story! We’re travelling in the opposite direction to you – we actually camped on the site where you had been in Jabiru and met your cousin! I’ve been reading your Qld blogs as we’re now in Mission Beach heading south.

    We have a story too – our caravan burnt down while we were doing our big lap. We pressed on and spent eight weeks touring in a tent before getting a replacement van. We’re in our 11th month of 14 – we need to be back in Melb in mid-Jan. We will be so sad to go back but hopefully our travels will just be on hold for a little while .

    Reply
    • Indefinite Leave
      Indefinite Leave says:

      Hi Cath, that must have been daunting. Can’t imagine how awful that must have been, hope you didn’t lose anything of too much sentiment or value. I wonder which cousin you met, I’m guessing Rod and Dot? We met my Mum’s cousin Phyllis and her husband in Jabiru lol. Thank you for reading our blog and glad you enjoyed it :)

      Reply
  2. Kathy de Groot
    Kathy de Groot says:

    Sorry to hear of all your problems but totally agree family and health come first. Glad you are enjoying your trip. We all have to make decisions to suit us and like you we bought a motorhome and are slowly preparing our house for sale sadly in a slow market. In saying that we are ready to move on and have no idea where we will live. That is part of the adventure. ? I could work for another 18 months but want to spend time together with Harry. Money is an issue so that is why we will downsize. As we live on acreage it is a pain to come home to a messy yard. All the very best. It takes a lot of guts to do what you have done but I’m sure you will benefit in the long term. ?

    Reply
  3. Vicki Burnett
    Vicki Burnett says:

    Glad you guys are enjoying this beautiful country we are privileged to call ours & I love it when I read stories like yours, of rising from the ashes & just getting out there & doing it…..that’s the Aussie way
    Thanx for sharing your story guys….keep on enjoying, as I know you’s will ?

    Reply
  4. Marg HALLIDAY
    Marg HALLIDAY says:

    We decided to sell up everything and hit the road almost 6 years ago. The 1st year away, Hubby had several mini strokes, so after 11 months in Tassie, I took him back to Ballarat Dr’s and yes confirmed my thoughts, also was diagnosed with Parkinsonism, so again we headed off, this time around Australia. 3 years later in W.A we were told he DID NOT have Parkinsonism and that the drugs had done massive damage, I am His carer, and he an aged pensioner. No diagnosis, but deteriorating rapidly, now after a further 2 years diagnosed with P.S.P (Progressive Supre Nuclear Palsy) 1 in 100.000 world wide, still travelling, but do lots of house/pet sits to offset both the time and pension, don’t ever want a house again, our Winnebago Esperance is our HOME, brilliant medical facilities everywhere we go.

    Reply
    • Indefinite Leave
      Indefinite Leave says:

      Ohhh Marg, we are sorry to hear of all your hubby’s health issues. Must have been a tough few years. My father was misdiagnosed 3 times, first told it was just a cyst, then told it was benign, another time they said they had got it all. He passed 9 months later from melanoma cancer.

      Keep travelling and enjoying our country. We wish you both the very best. We love our Esperance too :)

      Reply
  5. Mick
    Mick says:

    Hi guys, thanks for being so honest in describing how you got to where we want to be. After losing $2.5M it is encouraging that you can now afford an envious lifestyle that costs around $1600/week. Can I ask whether you still have a mortgage and whether you have rented your home out whilst you travel? Safe travels and look forward to continuing to live vicariously through your travels.

    Reply
    • Indefinite Leave
      Indefinite Leave says:

      Hello Mick,

      Yes being in Real Estate I understand the value of property. If you sell out of your home it’s now so hard to get back in. We have our home tenanted and so far all is going well.
      I think our cost to travel per week will be a lot less in the next budget report but time will tell. It’s probably important to note that the loss of $2.25m which we incurred was in value rather than cash. It included shares and company loans too.
      Thanks for following us and reading our blogs and feel free to ask any questions anytime :)
      Cheers Kev

      Reply
  6. Mick
    Mick says:

    Nice, I like the cathartic nature of your story. We are on a parallel path. My “ah hah” moment was cancer. Told it was 10% or 80% chance dependent on the outcome of the next op, 3 months after the first one! Lots of time to think and my list was similar to your first two!
    Trace and I feel similar about the lucky bit! We say “we worked damn hard for that luck!”

    Finally to share our little trick tokeep perspective on our “luck” we say each evening…”well what did you do today” and say something like …” walked along cable beach at sunset” or “sat outside with a wine and some Wallabies”. This helps us remember our privilege.
    Travel well, keep healthy
    Mick and Trace

    Reply

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