Thursday, January 13, 2011

The launch of the good ship Utopia

Utopia - an imaginary place considered to be perfect or ideal.

Amid the continual barrage of questions from well wishing friends trying to guage how excited we were by our impending voyage, there was really just exhaustion. Days and nights spent packing and cleaning to try and make our house somewhat habitable for the tenants who are renting our house for 12 months. Then doing it all again the next day. And trying somehow to also get all required work type work done. There wasn't really any room for excitement. Or even for setting up the van. But we did it and finally moved out of the house on Monday while young Sam moved in. So now rather than being full of dirt and junk, the garage is full of parts for building skateboards - Sam's business - and a couple of surfboards. And who knew that the garage roller door actually worked and could close all the way down. He's already made our house better and he's only been in there for two days. We were going to do a condition report of the property, but figured that the house was likely to be in better shape when we got back so we might end up owing Sam money. He and his friend Lisa are renting the house fully furnished and have the responsibility of feeding and looking after Pusskana for a year.

So now we're in the van. Our third night camped out the front of Dean and Melissa's in North Warrandyte, a little under 2 km from our house. It's been great staying here. It's given us an opportunity to set the van up and finish doing all of the other things that didn't get done before we vacated the house. And it is truly a beautiful place - surrounded by tall gums, kookaburras, king parrots, Warrandyte bushland. And we've got to hang out with Dean and Melissa for a few days which has been fantastic. People's reactions to our first choice of destination have been very amusing.

"So you're having a trial run in the van before you head off are you"?

No, we've already "headed off" but the drive to the first camping destination was only two kilometres.

"Yes, but when are you really going? You know... off on the real trip"?

We live in a van. This is not a drill. We don't have a house. We are already on our way.

I think some people have a difficulty grasping that apart from living in a half built house in Broome for a few months around July/August when the baby is due, that we don't actually have any destination planned at all. Just some general feeling of heading west. We can go anywhere. We don't need to rush to relax. It's time to slow down the pace. This last year has been too busy, too crazy, and hopefully this trip will help me regather some perspective about what truly is important in my life. For me the journey is as much as anything about living in the confines of a van with my family for 12 months with all that that will entail. Sort of like being in a tiny Big Brother house with a few less cameras and no annoying voice over. Finn is nine years old today. Jasmine is exactly ten and a half. Tori is sixteen weeks pregnant with a little boy inside of her. Apart from being on holiday for the next two and a half weeks, I'll be working, albeit by taking telecommuting to a new level, with a continually changing panoramic view out of my office window. We'll all learn a lot about each other and a lot about ourselves. And a lot about Australia, as we sail around this vast land in the good ship Utopia. Where everything is for the best, in the best of all possible worlds.


Lisa Gibbs said...

Hi Greg,

Of course your van's called Utopia!
Not only will it take you there, it will also allow you to escape from it!

I'm looking forward to following your journey via your posts over the next 12 months.

Love to T, J, F & U.

Lisa X

Greg Swedosh said...

Thanks Lisa. We've had a few non-Utopian moments but the ship seems to have settled on to a more mild course of late.

Hoping that you'll keep me updated with what you're up to and what great gigs you're seeing. xx