CONTRIBUTED TOURISM QUEENSLAND AAP AND KATHY SUNDSTROM

Time to chuck in the ‘dream’ and go bush

I FELT the chains surround me the moment we signed the contract to buy our home.

The chains of suburbia, mortgage repayments, domesticity, nine-to-five and parenthood.

Instead of being elated at achieving the Australian dream, I felt weighed down by the enormous responsibility this entailed.

Never again would I be able to simply quit my job, assured something new would pop up that would work out.

Never again could I decide to move to another country and be gone in a month.

Being able to move 13 times in 11 years would no longer be as simple as packing a van.

From now on, everything had to planned, measured and organised.

I hate organisation, measurement and planning.

And now, after 10 years of living this so-called idealistic, responsible suburban lifestyle, we'd decided to chuck large chunks of it in.

This week, my children finish school for the year.

A few months ago, my husband quit his job and in a little over two weeks, we are going to trade our comfortable home on the Sunshine Coast for an as yet-to-be discovered caravan.

Don't ask me how we are going to do it - that level of detail we don't have yet.

We have some vague vision of heading north to Darwin first, then down the west coast and back home.

I am using up all my holidays and long-service leave to help fund the trip, but the rest we will just add to the dreaded mortgage to spend the rest of our lives working to pay off.

You see, we're not prepared to wait until we're grey and retired and our children have left us to have an awesome adventure.

And there is honestly no more perfect a country to achieve this in than Australia.

I look at how many people I know who work long hours to buy bigger homes, newer cars and shares in businesses they'll never see, because that's what is expected.

Maybe this sounds selfish, but we're putting all our stocks and chips into this little market - our family.

We're going to home school (a terrifying thought) and embrace the school of life.

For three months, I won't care how my hair looks, or if I've achieved my daily dose of steps on the Vivafit (okay, maybe I will still care about that).

I'm going to try to once again take control of my little book of life instead of having the large parts written for me by obligations I have to meet.

And hopefully, for three months, my children will be free from the addiction of reality television and will embrace living real life instead.

I'm nervous. I still don't know how we are going to afford it. And what happens when we get back?

Will my children become stupid from lack of schooling? Will my husband have work? What will be making news in 2016?

But for the first time, in too long a time, I'm going to try not to worry about what tomorrow brings and enjoy the tremendous gift that is today.


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