Well it has been a long time between blogs. The world finally caught up with us and forced us to be adults again. Doing all of those things that you must do to fund the things that you want and need to do. This has seriously curtailed our travels, a fact that I am seriously unhappy about.
Life should not be about the job that you do or the items that you own…it is about the experiences that you have and the people that you share them with. On this front both Jill and I have been blessed.
We returned to Australia after our last big overseas jaunt in debt and jobless…this necessitated a consolidation and some pulling in of our ears. Alas along the way we both found jobs (in completely new industries) that we liked and that it seemed that we were both pretty good at. Add to this the fact that we fell in love with the lifestyle that Perth has to offer and we kind of landed and stayed put.
But things change, as they always do, and we found that life was pulling us in different directions. The beauty of this is that other things were going on in the world that were also fuelling the urgency for us to get back into the travel sooner rather than later. Not least of these was the opening of the borders between the US and Cuba. The thought of Cuba being ruined by hoards of US tourists homogenising the place to oblivion was the trigger to act.
Cuba is a place that has long interested us but the 35+ hour flights/transit to get there has meant that we had continually delayed that trip. Our timeline was extended thanks to the election of Donald Trump who proceeded to wind back all of the border opening moves that Obama tried to bring in. Combine that with my impending turning of 50 and it was time to act.
Enter into the equation two new players…Jeremy and Claudia. New for you, but long term friends of ours. Jeremy and I first met in our late teens when we played rugby against, and later with, each other. Decades of interactions has seen us both simultaneously and interchangeably embrace the title of “Jimmy Lau Lau”. This title started as some rubbish spoken in a bar has endured for over 30 years. So with our respective birthdays only a month apart…so began the notion of “Jimmy and Jimmy’s Caribbean vacation”.
The domestic legs
So the first leg of this journey began with me flying to the other side of the nation to join my wife. This is one of those understated “things that change”. Work opportunities and changes has seen us living on opposite sides of the country for the preceding 8 months. Still happily married with no intention of anything different, just separated by around 3718 kilometres.
Princess took up a position as the CEO of an aged care company reporting directly to the board of directors. This was a move that she needed to make. Frustrated by being a middle manager and unable to make the improvement changes that she wanted. So if those above you are resistant to change…then be the boss…and she now is.
For my sins I landed a job (primarily) as a writer. It is a government style gig that focuses on the Emergency Management Sector. Specifically…if the world went completely wrong tomorrow (cyclone, flood, fire, storm etc.)…how well would we (as a state) cope…would all of the pieces come together as they should or would we flounder…
And this became my job…and it was awesome…while my main task was to produce a summary document of how prepared we were…the real work was in developing what we actually needed to be able to consider ourselves capable in the face of an emergency. The complexity of this is mind blowingly interesting, and has contributed greatly to us delaying our travels.
Anyway, enough catchup…I flew to meet up with Jill and spent the next 3 days helping her get squared away and ready to travel. Did I mention that she was a CEO…I guess they actually have a lot of things that they are responsible for. So skipping out for a month took some scrambling and organisation.
Once that was done, it was off to Sydney for a few wind-down days with Jeremy and Claudia before things started in earnest.
The usual routine kicked in the moment the 4 of us got together…a trip to the Sydney Seafood Markets. This necessitated loading up on tiger prawns, bugs, oysters, and sashimi quality fish. A quick trip to the bakery added fresh baked crusty sourdough. And the fruit shop gave us some avocado and seafood sauce. Jeremy added some homemade chilli sauce to the mix… and we were set.
Another couple of relaxing days in Sydney and we were out of the work mindset and ready to travel.