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'ello 'ello 'ello, what's all this then?

Nervous Preface Rant 😰

So… first post, how do I even begin? I mean I had blogs before; around 2010 when I was doing my PhD in Zurich and felt all deep and quasi-philosophical I made this blog where I was primarily trying to show off my vocabulary (what a douche! πŸ€¦β€β™‚). Then while writing my dissertation, an arduous and boring process, I was procrastinating through my Python blog which still maintains a decent readership even though I haven’t written any new posts in 5 years.

However, this is a personal/travel/lifestyle/TBD blog! I’m literate, not literary! So 🐻 with me (heh, get it? bear? cause it’s a bear-themed blog? more on that later) while I get used to writing in a non-academic manner.

So what is this blog about?

The disclaimer

Now, mind you, this is my view on what this blog is about, Nancy may have a different view though after 7 years of living in each other’s pockets we’ve merged into this opinionated blob that has the same opinion on most things. Kinda like Turla (the combination of Turk and Carla from the My Princess episode of Scrubs - if you don’t know what I’m talking about then I don’t wanna talk to you anymore):

Turla: the combination of Turk and Carla from Scrubs

Turla: the combination of Turk and Carla from Scrubs

The move to Oz

Now we’ll write down our full story at some later point - it’s a long story - but I’ll give enough context to help this nomadic thing make sense. In early 2014 we were both living in Zurich, Switzerland and I was nearing the end of my PhD. As such, Nancy decided to come back to Oz and finish her studies after a long-long hiatus πŸ€“. Shortly after, and without having completed my PhD, I moved as well and we started our lives in Melbourne, Australia.

During the first 7 months of our lives in Melbz, yeah don’t have a second to spare and need to abbreviate, I was completing my PhD from afar and I was working nights due to the time-difference. Having completely changed sceneries was nonetheless liberating; everyone spoke a language I spoke unlike Zurich where I only spoke enough German to order a beer and ask ‘do you speak English’, the weather was not constantly grey and dreary, and I was convinced that the Aussie sky was bigger - whatever that means.

Needless to say, though I’ll say it, the PhD was a massive PITA. Endless hours of work and stress, long nights, and working weekends. Nevertheless I was convinced that once I finish my degree and enter the luxurious 8h workday I’d be immensely happy 😁.

The whiskey-tango-foxtrot realisation

After I finished my PhD in Dec 2015 I got my first job-job in March 2015. Now there was nothing wrong with the job, I learned heaps and it opened tons of opportunities for me. Nancy had just gotten her first job too and we were both healthy, employed, and had no reason to be unhappy. And yet we were. Depression started settling in. Surely there must be more to life, right? Surely there’s more to this than just going to work, coming back home, watching TV, stuffing your face, falling asleep, rinse-and-repeat until you die? And sure, we went or cycling trips, snowboarding trips, trip-trips, all within our ability and 4-weeks of leave a year but it wasn’t enough. The majority of our lives were working on things we didn’t believe in, realising someone else’s dream but not our own.

That being said, billions of people do the above and it works for them, right? If nothing else, us bears are great at rationalising. After dozens upon dozens of hours of discussion and psycho-analysing one another, Nancy trained in Psychology and loves telling you what’s wrong with you 😜, we arrived to the conclusion that it is what it is and that’s that. You work, you eat, you rest, you work, you have kids, you work, you buy a house, you work to pay for the house and kids you had you idiot, you grow old, you start complaining that they don’t make music like they used to, you work, you die and your kids pick up where you left off. We convinced each other that “we don’t have to be happy, we just have to be content”. We patted ourselves on the back over our groundbreaking conclusion and set off to do exactly that.

The slap in the face & the kick in the teeth

Just as we sorta-maybe-kinda-but-not-really started accepting our new reality the universe started throwing curve-balls cause, as everyone knows, much like the moon the universe is a harsh mistress. I won’t go into detail here, but I got sick. Not cancer-sick but not flu-sick either. The you-can-live-with-it-but-you-have-this-to-deal-with-and-possibly-forever kind of sick. Then one of Nancy’s closest and oldest friends got cancer. A battle she eventually lost while still in her 20s leaving behind two amazing young daughters and a partner with the facial hair of a hairy Viking - kidding, love you James!.

At this point contentment seemed to be eluding us. Just when we had made our damn peace with the freaking rat-race 😫 dammit! Suddenly while facing our own mortality, which may come calling well-before we are 90, all that armchair philosophy went out the window and the same questions came back gnawing and clawing. What’s the point of all this? Why are we wasting our most creative years in some boring office? Why are we allowing ourselves to get stressed over the most mundane of problems when in the scheme of things it doesn’t matter in the slightest 😑?!

The fuck-it moment.

And this is the point where I take credit for everything cause I’m an ass 😝. I should mention that Nancy has been my optimistic happy-go-lucky-everything-will-work-out rock. Annoyingly so. Never loses heart. Always keeps going like a freight-train and attacks every problem head on.

  • Missed out flight? We’ll get another flight!
  • Stuck in the Swiss Alps? Lets get a beer (that’s her solution to most problems really).
  • Out of money? Make more money!

Her inability to admit defeat both infuriates and amazes me to this day. Just be normal, stress out, and freak out ffs! But nope, not Nancy. I could probably dump out my purse here and write pages about how amazing she is but I don’t wanna. Her head is big enough as it is 😬.

Given all that, seeing her lose hope and steam in the face of losing someone so close to her, walling herself up, becoming a little more like the cynical douche she married was t-e-r-r-i-f-y-i-n-g.

As such one evening, while we were shoving voucher-procured simple-carbohydrates down our gullets, I knew what to do. That was my fuck-it moment!

Don’t you love it when the title of something, in this case the paragraph, appears in the body? The name of the song in the lyrics, the name of the movie in the movie?

I was never the spontaneous one and still aren’t but enough is enough. I’d fix my bear if I had to beat happiness into her. Yeah that’s right, fuck contentment I want happiness now! I was born in 1987, technically a millennial, and I’m an entitled little twat! I want it all! The fulfilling job, the life experiences, the six-pack! I want it all and I’m willing to bust my ass to get it.

So the idea was incepted. We used to pay around 90$, a.k.a, dollarydoos, a day to live in la-di-da apartment in the la-di-da-di-est suburb of Melbourne and we weren’t any better for it. So fuck it. We would become nomads. We would leave our jobs, sell the 27 cubic metres of crap we had accumulated, and travel moving from place to place every few weeks as digital nomads without a home until we had seen everything, got kidnapped and murdered by pirates, or simply gotten sick of it and were ready for the work-home-kids-death routine.

Uttering the idea was enough to spark Nancy once again 😍. We started planning our nomadic endeavours immediately!

That’s all this then

So this is what this blog is about. We have a 9-mile long bucket list, a basic plan that only spans the getting-there part, no idea how we’ll earn money while traveling, and a song in our heart.

We’re doing this πŸŽ‰ and I’m hoping that, whoever you are dear reader, you’ll join us and spur us on in this (mis-)adventure.

Heaps of love 😍!




The bear that is called Ruddy