What does "living the simple dream" mean to me?
I always hear people from our generation saying "Ahh, living the dream" when they are doing somthing our of the ordinary - for example: sipping cocktails in a spa of a fancy resort or perhaps they post "living the dream" as the caption beneath a photo of them moving into their new $500,000+ mansion-esque home they have just mortgaged their life away for. At first I was confused by how simple my ambitions were. All I wanted was to live in a caravan and be able to spend as much time enjoying the outdoors with my husband and son, without my husband having to be at work all the time. So for me, this became my simple dream. I find myself having those "Ahh living the dream" moments when I am sitting in a natural hot spring with my husband and son, drinking a beer, ten feet away from a crocodile infested river. Now mine, my husbands and my sons life is all about chasing our simple dream.
Monday, December 19, 2011
Getting an early start on New Years Resolutions.
So as I prepare to say goodbye to 2011 and welcome 2012 Ihave began to think about New Years Resolutions, we all make them, but do we all keep them? New Years resolutions. New years eve, the dawn of a fresh, new year, its the perfect time to set a few goals you would like to achieve for the year. I make resolutions ever year but I dont always stick to them because they arent always goals that my "heart" is in on. They are generally fickle resolutions or vanity related (come on I'm a woman, we like those sorts of notions). So this year I've decided to focus my goals on out travel lifestyle, because lets face it - weight loss just doesnt seem to be happening for me and they say that when you "give up" and stop focussing on it, somtimes it happens in a natural progression.
So I want this years NY reso's to focus on internal growth, prolonging and refining our lifestyle and just general travel and family time. I also dont want to have too many because ultimately - it's too much to focus on. I have decided to make five new years resolutions. So here goes:
1) Find an inner peace with our lifestyle.
This may confuse some people because I am so open about my love of this life, but I feel like I must explain: The way we live is so different to our peers and when you take on such a different lifestyle (despite how much you love and advocate it) you can somtimes find yourself questioning yourself. I have found that alot of our peers have recently purchased their second homes (or their first) have setlled their children into day care, school etc and have very structured day to day lives. So when I see this, naturally I wonder if (despite how happy this life makes us) we could be making the wrong decisions and potentially "f**king up" our future.
Deep down I know this isnt the case but its hard not to question yourself when 'everyone else' seems to be doing the one thing and your life is so completely different. So this year I want to focus on the fact that 'yes, my life is different', but we love this life and it works for us and the lives of others work for them. I want to stop comparing my sons childhood and upbringing to those of our peers children and accept that the different experiences dont have to be detremental to his growth and development of things like social skills, strong relationships and feelings of security. I know how happy this lifestyle makes myself and my family so it's silly to question myself just because I am not part of a majority group for once in my life.
2) Sort out our financial situation.
I know that my husband (Brent) and I dont aim to be rich (and most likely never will) but I would like to develop a system or plan. At the moment our plans involve working for 6 - 9 months then having 6-9 months off travelling however nothing is ever regular. I would like for us to focus even more on penny pinching while we are staying in a town working - to optimise our savings success. I would like to leave each town knowing that we have saved as much as we possibly could have (NOT so we feel 'rich') so we can then live as frugal as possible, for as long as possible and prolong the time before my husband has to go back to work.
This was our initial focus when beginning this trip: the idea that we werent out to get rich, just to have fun. Which has been a good focus for us. But once again in regard to comparing ourselves to others in our peer group we have deiscovered that we dont maintain as much financial security as them and in our constant search for gratification and happiness we somtimes omit financial security from our priorities and be quite frivilous with our money. I'd like is to focus on being frugal and stretching our money further and not spending on things that dont matter. We are still solid consumerists but I can feel us getting better so I would like to focus on that over the next year and really refine our financial needs down to what we really do need to spend on.
3) Spend more time helping others and being charitable.
The lat few weeks in the lead up to Christmas we have absolutely torn the inside of our van apart in regard to getting rid of extra items and giving to the less fortunate. We even had our son go through his books and toys and donate a massive box of books he no longer needs to children whom may not be receiving anything for Christmas. We have donated moer stuff than we even realised could have fit into our van in the frist place and we have all felt really great about it. We are a family that love to help others and we would love to incorperate some volunteer work into our travels this year. I am hoping we can perhaps stay at an outback Aboriginal camp and help out with fixing their diesel machinery (Brent can) and I can perhaps do activities with the women or children. I have applied for a few different volunteer programs but we will just have to see what we can find and where we will be.
It does concern me alot that as an only child, Zac could grow up feeling privlidged, perhaps even 'spoilt' (I hate to use that word). So I would love to focus on teaching him compassion and how to be charitable. I hate the idea of living with a tonne of stuff and sitting ona gold mine of money while people are out there struggling, so even though we dont have either of those, I want to help. I want my son to learn how to help and I think this adventure can really facilitate that for us and for him.
4) Continue to enjoy the simple pleasure in life and share them with others.
I love that our lifestyle allows us to enjoy the simple pleasure of life. I love being outside with my family exploring new places and experiencing nature. I love the way nature can foster healing and positivity and I love to promote and share that concept with others. I want to focus on that once again this year - I want to focus less on man made touristy attractions and more on the natural, amazing wonders that this country has to offer. I want to explore the outback, experience more sunrises and sunsets and the rest of the beauty this country has to offer. I
I also want to try and share that with others. When we go back to suburban areas to visit friends and family I would like to encourage them to take outdoor adventures with us, even just day trips or weekends camping, rather than going to theme parks or shopping centres. I want to encourage them to get outside and enjoy the fresh air and experience the beauty of nature with their children and friends. I want to have bbqs outside rather than eating at restaraunts and I want to do weekend activities like bushwalks with them. This lifestyle and being outdoors means everything to me and it would be unfair of me not to try and share that with the people I love.
5) Continue to push my comfort zones.
So far our trip around Australia has pushed ALOT of my boundaries and comfort zones. When we began this journey I only wanted to stick to the coast and actually drive right around the coast roads of Australia. When my mother heard this she was devistated as she has an intense love of the outback and cant say a single bad word about her adventures through the deserts of central Australia. Eventually I became convinced to go straight up the centre from Port Augusta, to Darwin with stops at Ayers rock and Alice Springs and I will forever be grateful that my mum and my husband took the time to 'convince' me to do this. I have turned a massive 'fear of the unknown' I had about these areas into a HUGE interest and now somthing I look forward to the absolute most.
I have pushed many of my comfort zones on this trip because before I leaving I was an extremely nervous person with a lot of little anxieties and fears. I have an intense fear of lizards but at the reptile centre at alice springs I was surrounded by them and did my best to stay near them. I am intensly afraid of going undergrouns but at Cutta Cutta Caves I want underground (not for as long as I should have, but it was progress, none the less). I have been close to snakes and crocodiles in the wild and have let go of alot of the boundaries that heavily inhibited my life. I now crave adventure and simplicity and am not afraid to forgo homely comforts in order to chase them. I want to focus this year on pushing even more of my boundaries by taking opportunities that are offered to me and searchinf for some of my own.
So these are my travel/lifestyle related New Years Resolutions and after reading them back I can see that all I have to gain from achieving them is even more fun and happiness and adventure. I hope that this year I can focus on them and achieve them and really 'live it up'.
What are your resolutions?