Paradise: You don’t have to travel too far from home to find it

Nov 09, 2019
This writer didn't have to venture too far from home to discover Paradise. Source: Getty Images

I originally titled this ‘We suddenly found paradise’, then my wife suggested: “We can find paradise anywhere!” How right she is (thank you Darling)!

This story is not just about travel, even though we’ve recently embarked on a ‘journey of a lifetime’ — basically full-time caravanning around Australia. Not that we’ve gone very far yet, having landed in Cairns from Sydney about eight weeks ago and thinking “Gee this is nice, let’s stay awhile!”

Our journey is not to do ‘The Big Lap’ faster than anyone else or to share every single day of our travels on social media. It’s simply to move beyond our day-to-day existence in one place. That one place being 26 years in the same house in Sydney — bought simply because it was close to work at the time.

Sure, we’ve been fortunate to have had our fair share of holidays to ‘exotic’ locations over the years — mostly out of Australia. Yet life was the ‘same ol, same ol’ and while we weren’t particularly unhappy with life, we just felt there must be more to it than this. And what we’ve discovered is yes, there is!

After playing around with a very old caravan and some long weekend trips away, which we thoroughly enjoyed, we recently bought a ‘new to us’ fully self-contained 20-foot caravan and thought we’d throw caution to the wind and check out some of the amazing country of ours that we call home.

If caravanning is not your thing, that’s fine. There are so many other opportunities for you — things like house or pet sitting, farm stays, local community work and more. The idea, as far as we’re concerned, is to get out of the house and do something, anything, regardless of when and where it might be!

That doesn’t mean you have to leave your home either. My mum spent 60-plus years of her life as a volunteer with Eurobodalla Homes for the elderly in Newcastle, New South Wales. She loved not only meeting new people but helping those in need. It gave her a sense of purpose.

Maybe you’ve got an extra talent of some kind — sewing, painting, gardening or even simply helping groups or individuals in your local community.

What I’m trying to say is that ‘Paradise’ is whatever makes you happy!

Personally we love the nomadic lifestyle meeting new people and learning all about people’s lives and discovering new locations. But for whatever reason, you might not be able to do that or may not even be interested in that and your own Paradise can be found simply by asking yourself what truly makes you happy.

Don’t retire … I’d encourage you to morph from whatever it was you were doing for all those years (work, maybe?) before you started your search of Paradise.

As my wife, Kaye, said: “We can find paradise anywhere!” and she’s right. It’s entirely up to you!

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Where have you found Paradise in your travels? Is there a destination on your bucket list that you think would be idyllic?

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