Scenic Rim weekend day 2: Boonah

We made a tactical error last night and didn’t bring enough blankets. While I was warm enough with a jumper and sheet, poor Paul froze because he forgot to bring a jumper. We even put the picnic blanket from the entrance door over him but it didn’t help. So while Paul slept in after the sun warmed the morning, I went out for a walk.
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Mt Maroon looks out over Flanagan’s Reserve camp ground like a guard. The twin peaks can look majestical or sinister, depending on the weather. Today rain clouds hung around the twin summit but parted just long enough for this photo.
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After a walk along the road I went down to the Logan River, which runs past the camp. I have lost some of my zen since working full-time and I found it difficult to just immerse myself into the moment. I can’t explain the difference I feel from when I was living the gypsy life. But I also know it will come back.
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I had moments of my former self, such as when I noticed this small red flower a log by the river.
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And when I saw this path and couldn’t help but ponder what it would be like to just follow a random path along a river. My mind started to ponder bigger picture things … like longer term travel and adventure. The path and river called me.
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By the time I returned to camp Paul was awake. The wind was swirling through camp so we packed without eating and drove a little way down the road to Maroon Dam. The dam is on the opposite side of Mt Maroon as the camp. Here we cooked up an omelette on the free electric barbecue and talked about our idea of buying a campervan and hitting the road for a year or two to explore this vast continent. We have a few things we need to do to make it a reality (like buy a campervan and save some money). But we both now work in disability support and hope to both be studying to be primary school teachers (me majoring in health & physical education and Paul majoring in special education) so there is scope for us to work anywhere in future.
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It must be the fresh air and natural surroundings that create possibilities in my mind.
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Our next stop was Boonah. I’ve driven past signs to the town many times but never had cause to stop there. But Paul is with me and together we often stop in tiny towns and find something of interest. Boonah was no exception with it’s lovely art gallery. Janine Gibson, an artist who works with tea bags, recycled fabrics, doilies and tea staining, was hosting an exhibition. She was actually on site because an art tour group was visiting. I liked her work, which is slightly abstract, and we actually bought a piece. Unfortunately, it is part of the exhibition so we will have to wait until we return from Cambodia in late November to pick it up. Not that this is a hardship because it’s a good excuse to head back out. We took a photo of the artist with the piece too🙂
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After a naughty sweet treat at the Sugarloaf Baking Co bakery we started the drive home only to get side tracked by a sign pointing to a motorcycle museum. As a keen rider myself, I had to check it out. The Panorama Motorcycles and Memorabilia Museum is a great little find. There are lots of cool old bikes, a couple of classic cars and some other items on display. It’s the bikes that really captured my attention though. Apparently most are rideable too, having been lovingly restored.
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For example, there are apparently only ten of these bikes in the world and this one actually runs.
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And this was one of the first Harley Davidsons that wasn’t painted olive green (which was apparently the only colour they originally came in).
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This Wippet Truck was used by the butcher to deliver meat almost 90 years ago in 1927.
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And these pianola rolls hark back to an era before racial equality and discrimination were part of the common tongue. I doubt the person who boxed them up even considered the historic message of the black face images.
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But let’s get back to the main event: the motorbikes. This one is by far my favourite. As a child I watched a movie that I think was called Scrambler or Scramble back in the 1980s or 1990s about a group of kids who rode dirt bikes. All I wanted was a scrambler bike. I did buy a Honda XR250 road-trail bike when I was 18 years old, followed by a Kawasaki KLR250 road-trail bike a few years later but I never quite managed to find a cool old scrambler like this one that was at the museum (I now ride a Suzuki GS500 road bike). So this is my favourite bike in the whole museum.

I loved being away for the weekend with Paul. It was like being where I am meant to be – out exploring the world slowly. I can’t wait to explore more. Watch this space …

Scenic Rim weekend day 1: Rathdowney

It’s been months since Paul and I went camping. Oh how I have missed the freedom of packing the car and hitting the road. With only one week left in my job as a lawyer, I am finally starting to feel like myself again so when I saw that the Rathdowney Rodeo was on this weekend I suggested we head down.

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We set off fairly late in the day because I had to do some work. So we arrived at camp at Flanagan’s Reserve just south of Rathdowney around 3pm. It was fairly good timing though because it meant we were able to enjoy the cool air conditioning during the heat of the day (the temperature was about 33’C – summer is going to be long and hot).
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I love Flanagan’s Reserve. It’s one of my favourite camping grounds because it’s so relaxed. It’s a bush camping reserve with toilets and showers. The cost is $10/adult/night. It’s rarely crowded and you can select your own spot under the gum trees to call home for your stay. We set up camp then laid out a picnic blanket that we lay on for a few hours enjoying the serenity.
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We drove down the road to the Rathy Rodeo around 5:30pm. Fortunately, we had left the camping chairs in the car because the small renta-grandstand seating was full. The best seats in the house on the good side of the ring were taken but there was still space on the pen side of the ring. So we settled in. What we didn’t realise was that it would get very cold later in the night.
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So cold that I ended up wearing the bag from the chair as a hat. I didn’t just wear it for the photo. I wore it all night. Haha.
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The rodeo was a good show. It had all the usual events: saddle bronc, bareback bronc, barrel racing, roping, team roping, steer wrestling and bull riding.
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The cowboys and cowgirls battled it out valiantly. At the end of the night, though, the livestock definitely had more wins on the board than the competitors. And the star of the show was definitely the comedy rodeo clown who had us laughing more and more as the night went on. I haven’t been to a rodeo in about five years. We used to go regularly as children so it was a nice walk down memory lane.

Pumicestone Passage Paddle (Queensland, Australia)

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It’s amazing what knowing I am finishing up at my stressful job has done to my head space. Suddenly I am not spending my weekends stressing about family law matters and client needs. I am not feeling pressure to work because I need to make billables and I’m not feeling like there’s a lifetime of the limited four weeks annual leave that would otherwise await me. And this freedom made it easy for me to throw the kayaks on the roof of the car, message a friend and hit the water for a day of paddling.
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The Pumicestone Passage at Bribie Island is an amazing place of clear water, white sandy beaches, mangroves, sea creatures and a backdrop of the Glasshouse Mountains. F and I set off around 8am from a beach just north of the Bribie Island Bridge. The incoming tide created a perfect opportunity to drift and paddle northwards up the passage (you don’t want to paddle here against the tide).
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The water was incredibly clear today. Winter and spring are the best time of year to paddle here in South East Queensland because the summer storms are long gone and blue sky days allow the water to reflect blue. We did a lot of chatting as we drifted and paddled gently up and down the passage. I know I’m feeling content again because I didn’t feel an urge to push myself. I felt content to relax and feel the sun on my body, dip my hands in the cool water, share stories with F and admire the Glasshouse Mountains in the distance.
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We stopped on a beach just north of Gallagher Point. A child from a nearby boat played in the water. A stingray swam along the sandy sea bottom. Water lapped gently against the shore every time a boat or jet ski passed by. Donnybrook perched on the shoreline across the passage; the houses glistening white in the bright sunshine. I must come back and camp up here overnight to have more time to take in the atmosphere.
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On our way back down the passage we passed a dugong eating sea grass close to shore. It was majestic and right next to our boats. Suddenly it was just there and we had to move out of its way. Quite a spectacular moment. We also saw turtles and stingrays.

On returning to the cars we loaded the kayaks then F left for home. I hung out in the shade of some trees eating a late lunch then went for a little swim in the passage. I can’t wait for the next adventure …

Day 1 of the next chapter

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I feel like today I started a new chapter of my story. I had my first shifts in my new job. I did a two hour morning shift and a four hour afternoon shift. I had 1.5 hours in between so I drove down to the beach and took a walk on the sand in bare feet. After work I went to my beach and lay on the sand enjoying the afternoon. I had the urge to read a good book but didn’t have one so that’s something I might need to fix. And then tonight I am cooking dinner. Paul is working late so I might walk to his work to bring him dinner before we go for a walk together along the waterfront taking in the stars and feeling the sea breeze.

I have to work out four weeks at my old job but that will be interspersed with work in my new job. I’m so proud of myself for finding a way forward to do something that is meaningful for me and to find a way to regain what I thought I had lost: flexibility and freedom.

Today is the first day of the next chapter and I just had to write a blog post.

And life changes again

Who was I kidding? Working 9-5 in a suit and tie sitting behind a computer dealing as a lawyer is so not me. I have tried valiantly for the past four months but will be finishing up soon to return to a more flexible lifestyle at a slower pace suited to my carefree nature.

I have felt trapped in the pin striped prison and have been simply trying to make the most of what I thought I was supposed to do. But life is too short to lose what I had found. The freedom and joy of living a life where pleasure and presence were the focus. And I found myself changing into someone I don’t want to be. Someone who worried about the clothes they wear and the muscles that might be reflected back in the mirror at the gym. I found myself going out to eat dinner because I didn’t have time to cook. I started working at night and weekends because I had a duty to my clients – the powers that be do not look kindly upon lawyers who fail to be prepared for court or who cause delay in filing documents regardless of the pressure said lawyer is under.

So on Saturday I took a bold step and applied for some casual disability support worker jobs. Jobs I would have liked to apply for four months ago but for which I then lacked self-belief. On Wednesday I had an interview and was immediately offered a job. Yesterday I resigned from my job as a lawyer. I have to give four weeks notice but my boss and I are negotiating so that I can have flexibility in the second half of that period (because there is no law saying I have to work out my notice and I am not entitled to any substantial termination payment).

What do I hope this move will mean?

  1. Work I actually enjoy where I help people achieve their personal goals, feel comfortable and enjoy quality of life.
  2. Flexibility to work part-time, rather than being chained to a desk from 9-5 for 48 weeks of the year.
  3. Time to have adventures and micro adventures on sunny days between shifts rather than being cooped in the office.

Who knows, I might even start blogging again now that I won’t be tied to my computer at work all day exhausting my word limit. This might be especially true when I have some adventures like long days on foot, the bike or in the kayak.

These past four months have seen me miss being involved with disability support work, longing for fresh air and the weather on my skin, and frustrated at the lack of energy I have for Paul after a long commute and long day at work.

And so the journey to find the elusive 42 continues …

2 months goes so quickly 

I never did start that new blog. The past two months have gone by so quickly. Life has taken on a new rhythm. A natural flow of physical training, work and home. I like it for now in a way I didn’t expect. Priorities have shifted from me to family and from absence to presence. Here’s some photos of the joys of the past two months:

A massive change and a new blog

It’s been a crazy five days that has culminated in my accepting a position as a family lawyer with a new men’s legal service back in my home city. As quickly as I started what I guess can be best described as a sabbatical, I am hanging up my traveling clothes in favour of a suit and tie. Where for the past two years I’ve spent hours in airports, the next adventure in my life journey will see me spending hours in court rooms and client conferences. Instead of travel guides my nose will be tucked into legal precedents and legislation. It’s an exciting opportunity to do something incredibly meaningful, challenging and fulfilling. 

I’m so ready for it too. 9-5 doesn’t scare me. 4 weeks recreation leave will take some getting used to again but I’ll be so busy with the job, my Masters of Applied Law (Family Law) and enjoying a balanced home life with Paul that time will fly.

I will still adventure because I need to. The adventures will be micro adventures rather than macro journeys. If you want to join me on them, come check out my new blog: Mister Microadventure