The Final Chapter


DSC01849We’ve been asked a few times, so we thought we should post one final update on the blog to let everyone know where we are now…

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After a year and a half of continuous travelling we decided to hang up our boots, empty the backpacks and attempt some sort of normal life again.  Then we sat down as a family to make the hard decisions, including where to live?  Ben and I experienced some serious post-travel blues, homesickness and the boys have see-sawed between wanting to stay in Australia or go back home to the UK on a daily basis!  But, finally we decided to stay here in Brisbane and give it our best shot.  It’s a beautiful place, with fantastic weather, friendly people and an outdoor lifestyle that is hard to resist.

Some weekend fun!

Some weekend fun with friends!

This is not to say that we have fallen out of love with the UK, a glimpse of a lush green country field, or a picture of kids making snowballs in winter, and we experience waves of homesickness, never-mind how it feels to leave your loved ones and friends behind!  We will miss seeing so many wonderful people in our lives on a regular basis.  However, as my brother Andrew recently commented, “regrets are harder to live with than mistakes” which could have been our motto for the last eighteen months…so here we are!

Time with my family.

More time with my Aussie family.

Home from home? We’ve rented a house in Brisbane, as we thought being near this lovely small city would give us more opportunities.  We also enrolled the boys into a local school which they love, they have great teachers, are making friends and are thriving in the informal attitude in the classroom after no school for so long.  It is also easier to not be their teacher, this was one of the most challenging aspects of family travel.  We decided early on that formal education while travelling was impossible, so museums, science exhibitions, ranger talks and just talking to the locals about culture, religion and politics wherever possible gave the boys a really interesting, varied education.  They are certainly smashing their geography lessons!  Both Cameron & Ollie are delighted to have their own bedrooms again after so long sharing hotel rooms, cabins or tents. I’m just happy to have somewhere to hang up my clothes!

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Jobs?  It’s proving much harder than we thought to find jobs similar to the UK here, especially for Ben, as Brisbane is a very small market in comparison to London.  I would like to teach in the future, but settling in here with the kids is a big priority for me right now.

Friends and Family? This is the one we are struggling with the most.  We have gained a lot, especially being close to my family again after so long and its lovely for the boys to get to know their Aussie family better.  It’s also been made easier having dear friends here who have helped us settle in so many ways (thank you Schnitzerlings!!), but this also means you have to leave people you love behind, and the impact of this is not to be underestimated. It’s hard.

More travel?  We will, of course, still be travelling at every opportunity we get!   We’ve just been camping for a long weekend near the beach, and there are also a lot of places we haven’t been to on this side of the world. We just won’t be doing the long term travel again; at least until the boys have finished their education. We do hope to see some of you here in sunny Brisbane at some stage ?!

New school.

New school.

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What’s next?   We have no idea where or what we are going to be doing in the future, we are seeing what life brings us.

 

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Ben is working on a round up of our travel statistics and tips on the Stats & Travel Tips page, this is aimed at those who might thinking about doing the same thing as us, as well as those who like numbers!  It’s good to share the knowledge and we benefitted from reading other people’s travel blogs before we made our own travel plans. Especially when it comes to budgets!

 

But for now it’s  goodbye from Walker Family Travels. Our gap year (and a half) is officially at an end.  This blog has been a labour of love and, we hope, a reminder of all the amazing, life changing experiences we’ve had, and shared. We appreciate you taking the time to read it.

Thanks again for travelling with us!

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24 Responses to The Final Chapter

  1. Joe Walsh says:

    I hope you have an amazing time while living in Australia
    Good luck

    From Joe

    • Cameron Walker says:

      Hi Joe

      Thanks, I am having a great time living in Australia and I can’t wait to see you in July!!!!

      From Cameron

  2. Monique says:

    Adele/Ben, this post brought tears to my eyes. What a journey! Wishing you guys all the best in Brisbane and sending lots of love to all of you. Joël and Brooklyn also say hi to the boys. On a side note – Ben, it’s mad that too often we don’t appreciate people until they’re out of sight, so i’d like to say a huge thank to you for being a genuine and all-round great person during the time we worked together.
    P.S. Ben – I apologise in advance for any punctuation errors!

    • Ben Walker says:

      Hi Monique, thanks for the lovely message, I really appreciate your comments and I share the sentiments! It has, indeed, been quite a journey, challenging at times, but we know that we’re incredibly lucky to have had the opportunity to see so many amazing places, meet some incredible people and spend so much time together as a family. You really can’t put a price on it (well, I can actually, but I try not to think about that!!). The boys also say hi to Joël and Brooklyn, they still remember playing in the garden and Joël’s unfortunate collision with the patio window!! I hope that your new job is going well, I think that there was a GE alumni drinks recently, did you go along? Anyhow, if you ever fancy a holiday on the other side of the world with the kids, then you’d always be welcome. Keep in touch. Ben & Adele (PS had a good scan but couldn’t see any spellies:))

  3. Neil Wild says:

    Been wondering about you – sounds like a great family made decision. An opportunity worth taking. Enjoy. Keep blogging as its a great story to tell. Hope Ben finds work that suits him.

    • Ben Walker says:

      Hi Neil, thanks for the message, yes, we thought that we needed to give it a go over here so we’ll see what happens. I don’t think the blog writer (obviously Adele, not me!) is intending to continue to keep the blog going, but I may see if I can persuade her to come out of retirement to provide a few updates! I hope Carol and the kids are all well? Are you doing 10 Tors with the other guys in July, if so, I will see you then? Take care and keep in touch. Best, Ben

  4. Alex says:

    Suspected as much!! Great decision for you all, hope you’ll be very happy and have no doubts it’ll all work out you lucky people!!
    Will continue to miss you, especially at school functions Hope you keep up the blog in some form, have so enjoyed reading it and looking at your stunning photos.
    All the best with the job search xx

    • Adele says:

      Thanks Alex, we loved hearing from you when we were travelling; you were so encouraging with the blog that it made me want to write it better! We won’t be continuing with it anymore as it feels like this ‘journey’ is over, but I am still writing! We really do miss everyone from home and deciding to stay was such a difficult decision, one we questioned every time we got homesickness (which is a strange phenomenon in itself) but we are here and making a new life for ourselves. Please give our love to Rich and the girls. Hope to see you all again! Ax

  5. Chantal Baker says:

    So glad to have been able to follow you throughout your travels. I am sure the boys will love Brisbane as you all will. Wishing you all the luck in Australia and may be coming over to visit next year! Enjoy settling in and love from William too

    • Adele says:

      Hi Chantal, I know Cameron has been keeping in contact with William and it’s been lovely to see how they are all growing and changing on Facebook etc. We’d love to see you if you do make it to Brisbane! Thanks for taking the time to comment too, it’s been great for us all to have contact with friends from home when you are far away. Ax

  6. Nicki eason says:

    We wondered if you would come back, amazing place to bring up the kids. Owen and Ryan always thought Oliver would come back to school. They have been following the blog. And would like to say hello to oliver. Wish you all the best in the next chapter of your life.

    The easons xx

    • Adele says:

      Nikki, so lovely to hear from you, and a big thanks for following us. The boys always assumed they would be coming home, and so did we! But you never know how things are going to change and for us now this is a great place to be. Ollie said to say ‘hello’ to Owen & Ryan too, he talks about his friends from home quite a bit, we hope they are good and enjoying their time at the Hawthorns still. We do miss it. Say hi to everyone there for us! Ax

  7. Meli family says:

    Quelle surprise de vous lire ce matin !! et je comprends aisément votre décision, nous adorons l’Australie !!
    Beaucoup de changement de notre côté également car Françoise a obtenu une mutation à La Martinique ! donc nous ne rentrons pas sur le vieux continent…
    Nous vous souhaitons plein de bonheur dans votre nouvelle vie ! et de beaux voyages car les voyages sont un beau virus , si enrichissant.
    J’espère que vous continuerez votre blog pour faire nous découvrir un peu plus l’Australie.

  8. Andrew, Caroline and the kids says:

    Omg! What a journey. Destination Oz, and we all know you will be safe and happy, and that is what matters. The world is getting smaller, and with technology, friends and family are always close really.

    We celebrate our 25th this year. We are heading to Italy, Venice, Siena and Rome. So a tiny bit of travel compared to your epic Journey, which we admired following.

    • Ben Walker says:

      Great to hear from you mate, hope you are all well. Crikey, it seems like only 5 minutes ago that we partied at the Riviera! What great memories! We’re really chuffed that you followed our journey, as you say, the world is definitely getting smaller and Brisbane is only 24 hours away so you have a place to stay if you decide to holiday down under! Your trip sounds amazing, I’m ashamed to say that I’ve never been to Italy but I will one day! Stay in touch, love to all, Ben

  9. You’ll be missed in Outwood (Adele) and I can’t begin to describe the impact the absence of The Childhood Prodigy will have on the effectiveness of the Millermen Cricket Team. Enjoy yourselves down there and as its our intention to come to Oz for a holiday once Rebecca finishes schooling I’ll come and fix your garden for you – actually I seem to recall one of Ben’s relatives gave me some good gardening advice once.
    Richard
    ps – can’t help noticing that you offer the opportunity to enter a website address above, so I’ve taken the liberty of mentioning mine – its a little something I’ve been working on now that I don’t need to toil at Toptrees anymore.

  10. Linda Walsh says:

    Adele, what a lovely final post – and like others, brought a tear to my eye! We have so much enjoyed your travel blog, it’s given my boys an insight into what wonderful things there are to see in the world and hopefully a yearning to travel themselves. It’s been lovely to see Ollie and Cameron grow up and thrive with their experiences too. thank you for taking the time and effort to write it from such far-flung places. We are all very sad you won’t be coming back to the UK but I’m hoping via Facebook and FaceTime we will keep in touch and maybe one day come and see you in Brisbane. With love to all of you from all of us. Linda xx

    • Adele says:

      Yes we will make sure we stay in touch. The boys loved taking to Joe and Tom on FaceTime this week. They really do miss their friends, as do we. You’ll have to come here some day, so much to show you and the boys, and the camping is truly excellent!!! Ax

  11. Judy Heywood says:

    What a wonderful time you’ve had. I wish you all the best for the future . You never know I might even catch up when I’m on my way to the family in NZ. I shall really miss your bl0g.

    • Adele says:

      Thank you Judy, we really appreciate you taking the time to read it. It is certainly helpful to us now when we are trying to remember the name of somewhere we visited, strange how certain things simply slip your mind so quickly. Sue will know where we are if you do manage to make it our way!

  12. I have so enjoyed following you on your journey. Best to you and your family on this new chapter

  13. Paul Humphries says:

    You do not know me but I am a friend of Philip Ient back here in the UK. I travel a bit on a motorcycle and Phil and I have a friend who is sailing around the world. So quite interested in these travel stories. Phil told me about your blog which I have been following for some time now.

    Thank you so much for your blog – wonderfully written and truly inspirational. Its amazing to learn what can be achieved and a lesson to us all. Brilliant.

    Paul

    • Ben Walker says:

      Hi Paul, thanks so much for your kind message, I also have a motorbike and Phil and I have enjoyed at least one ride through the Surrey and Sussex countryside (I am sure he remembers it!). Its great to hear that you have been following the blog, I can’t take any of the credit for writing it since Adele took the lead on that front, but we’re glad that you enjoyed it. I think sailing around the world is another step again, what a fantastic adventure for your friend, how long is their trip planned for? Feel free to look us up if you ever make it to this side of the world. Cheers, Ben

  14. Ryan Kim says:

    Thanks so much for sharing your story. It is inspirational as we are considering a family year abroad (we have an 11 year old girl and 7 year old boy). Instead of travelling around the entire year, we are trying to pick 1 or 2 home base locations where we can live for the year. Ideally a small city or town that is a) less developed/somewhat off the beaten path, b) very different culturally from our hometown (Boston, MA), c) safe enough d) with a decent International school or other academic option and a good launching ground for regional excursions. Is there a place that you’ve been that you would recommend for us? In Asia we are considering Chiang Mai, Sapa, Hoi An, Yangon/other cities Myanmar, or Bali but are open to suggestions. We are also considering Zanzibar, Windhoek or Cape Town. Any advice would be much appreciated!!!
    Ryan

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