Travel & Adventure

Edinburgh & London

This was the beginning of it all: our search for a place to call home.

We’d been living together happily for a year or so and had even opened a joint bank-account. Together, we saved more than I ever could alone: around $20,000, a huge amount for a young “professional” couple who’d never tried saving before and didn’t really know what to do with the money once they had it.

We ummed and ahhhed, awkward at first as we hadn’t fully mapped out each other’s life dreams — “should we get a mortgage? Buy a house? Get a dog, live in the suburbs, have kids?”

Should we get a mortgage? Buy a house? Get a dog, live in the suburbs, have kids?

We weren’t ready for that, so hoofed it down to HSBC and opened a UK account, applied for passports, bought the tickets and gave away everything we couldn’t carry in our packs.

Together we left our Island and headed for another on the other side of the world: a rainy little collection of kingdoms off the coast of western Europe. We found work, despite our convict ancestry, in the beautiful town of Edinburgh (and the less beautiful but arguably more vivacious city of Glasgow) — the rain, if not more frequent, is at least more vigorous.

A couple of years later we moved south to London with a plan — to travel Europe, stay in exotic locations, and soak up the ancient history in cities and lands we’d only ever read about.

And mostly it has worked out. We’ve had a few trips to a few places: fallen in love with Paris, drank eine mass bier in Augustiner, Munchen; decided to  take another “package holiday” to Greece; and realised that trains are a much better way to travel (see more, better for Earth’s fragile ecosystem, actually meet people). But when my father passed away in 2010 we realised three key things: we miss home; working is for chumps; and you have to take opportunity when you can.

The Long Way Home

After 5 years in the UK, we decided it was time to head back to Australia — to “settle down” and raise a family. But we couldn’t just fly home; we decided to go overland, complete with little ride on a container ship from Singapore to Melbourne.

So we came back to Melbourne — trains through Europe, the Trans-Siberian to Beijing, and then anything from buses to tuk-tuks to get to Kuala Lumpur. And a business-class flight at the end of it all, when our container ship was delayed for one week too many.

Back in Australia, but now seeing things through the eyes of wizened travellers.

We tried to settle down, buying a house in Melbourne’s outskirts, getting a dog, renovating, having a beautiful baby boy

Typical “nesting” behaviour, but we were already talking about our next move — 5 or 10 years, then back to Europe, Paris maybe.

Canberra & Sydney

But life doesn’t work that way, and when my contract with Monitise wasn’t renewed I was back looking for work. “It’s okay,” we told ourselves, “We can make this work. Get a motorbike, commute to the city. It’ll be fun.” Then I got offered a job with Palantir — in Canberra.

Too good an opportunity to pass up, so we packed our stuff and moved north. We spent 9 months in Canberra, but seeing as I’m working in Sydney at the moment we decided to relocate to Sydney.

So we’re back to the city, back to life. We’ve found a cute little cottage in Annandale, close to the city, and although I’d like to say we’re going to “settle” in one place for a few years — and I really feel like I want to do that now — looking at our personal history I just can’t say for sure what will happen. So keep reading, and we’ll find out together!

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