Today marks 1000 days since we left home on our Legging It adventure. Our original plan seems almost incomparable to what our life looks like now. We planned to get to Europe and then head elsewhere but we seem now to have fallen into seeing all we can while we are here mode…. so what have we learnt?
Don’t Believe The News
When we first started out we would see news stories and think ‘best avoid there for now’ but so often we ended up in places we should not be. Some of our fondest memories are places we should not have been had we listened to the news. For example, Bangkok during the shut down, where we headed to a free concert in the park and found ourselves in what looked like a street festival. People camping, market stall set up, music playing and the people were so friendly and welcoming.
Or Turkey when the government was sending out warning almost daily, not to visit and to avoid Istanbul.I (Michele), was worried for weeks leading up to our time there but Ron was not to be deterred. We had a wonderful time, meeting amazing people and falling in love with Turkey. So much so we are looking forward to returning again this year.
We have had many experiences like this when the reality of what we were expecting was nothing like the perception we had before we arrived…it just enriched our experience.
Experiences Are The Most Important Thing
When we started we had a list of ‘places to see’ but we have now realised it is not about what you see but who you meet. We have met amazing people all through our journey who have both inspired and entertained us. Our trip to the Great Wall of China is remembered more for the concert we got to see than the wall itself, our days in Sapa our memory is the wonderful women who spent their days trying to make a few dollars to survive or the men who we met at a Temple in Vietnam who spoke little English but were full of smiles. The memories of our days in both Croatia and Turkey, where the amazing expats who took us into their lives and made us feel part of the community adding to the fabric of our journey.
One of the most rewarding things we have got involved with has been couchsurfing. For a few years before we left home we hosted many surfers from all over the world. We had many wonderful evenings, sharing meals playing cards and learning about each other’s lives. Some of these people we have managed to catch up with while we have been on the road, enjoying meeting a friend again, learning more about their lives and their cultures.
Since Legging It, we have had the chance to surf with new people, people who willingly share what they have and give us unique experiences. From meeting young man in Casablanca, Morocco, who had learnt English from YouTube and took the time to show us around his city to our friends in Denmark who welcomed us with a ‘gidday mate’ to our dear friend in Germany who welcomes us like family every time we pass, our experiences have been all positive.
There are so many who we owe a huge gratitude to for being part of this community. Those who join and engage only because they see it as a source of free accomodation miss the most important part of what it has to offer, we thank all who have hosted us as they have made our journey so much more memorable.
Housesitting, Live Like A Local
When we started out on this adventure, we saw housesitting as a way to extend our journey and free accomodation. What we now realise is how much it gives us, from being able to spend times in communities for longer periods of time to spending time with animals, it has enriched our lives. Ron especially loves his walks with our temporary dogs, he gets out and explores neighbourhoods, meeting other locals and discovering some real hidden gems. For me, I get to cook again something more than a quick meal and sometimes even get to have people over for a meal.
We have been really blessed to have been able to return to some sits more than once, we have a regular one now near London which gives us a chance to have some down time and catch up with friends and family. We have also been fortunate to sit in some places we would never have been able to afford to stay like a week in Monaco and 10 days in Geneva where we got to explore the area.
The people who trust us with their fur babies and their homes have all been interesting people and made a positive impact on us as well.
It Is Not As Expensive To Travel As you First Think
When we started out we had a budget of $110 Aus a day, this was to cover everything except buying a motorbike and gear. Excluding the initial costs we are sitting on $117 a day so not too bad. We could cut these down as we do live well, coffee out most days and we often eat out as well. Many long term travelers spend a lot less than we do but we decided long ago to enjoy the journey and that includes experiences and eating out.
Where To Now?
So here we are 1000 days into our Legging It adventure in what was supposed to be a 2 year journey. We are loving our life at the moment but we also know this will not be a permanent lifestyle. We miss our children and family, we miss our friends and we miss Australia, At this stage we will be heading home late next year so we have one more year of adventuring left….but the future is not written time will tell how it plays out.