“As one door closes another opens”

“As one door door closes another opens”. A phrase used by my paternal grandmother from time to time to help one deal with the challenges that life throws in our direction. I am using it in a more literal sense: we have closed the front door of our home for the last time as we get into the Uber, not taxi anymore, and head off on another adventure.

The phrase also sums up well, in my mind, the change that occurs when we depart from home base and take those first steps on our journey. Up until now, we have absorbed vast quantities of information from various sources as we strategised, organised and planned the trip We now move from the planning phase to the execution phase and this is a key step that some find difficult to undertake. Anne read recently of a group that planned for 10 years for a round Europe trip!

While there may be a series of logical reasons for undertaking such lengthy planning, in our experience one needs to understand that it will never be possible to develop the perfect plan. One can always refine and improve, early drafts can benefit from revisions brought about through greater or better knowledge, but at some point, one has to say “let the adventure begin” or it will remain just a theoretical exercise. One just tries to get the balance right.

In our case we have no visas as we depart – all this will take place on the road as our route and timing mean that we were too early to apply for Russian and Mongolian visas in Australia. We need to undertake this task in London. An example of forced post departure planning.

Leaving home for an extended period, one has to consider home security. Before departing I came up with a few planned security enhancements for our home. Firstly, we have installed intelligent lightbulbs. I recently had to get a replacement bulb and found that during our time away, they seem to have invented light emitting diode (LED) bulbs replacing the CFC ones we currently had. I knew nothing about them – shows the sheltered life I have led on the road. I also found you can get the Phillips Hue bulb system which can be programmed to come on a specific times in the evening to give the appearance the home is occupied. The system also has an Apple iOS interface, which means I can now talk to our light bulbs via Siri on the iPhone. This has led to me wandering the home saying “bedroom on 50%” with Siri turning the bulb on accordingly. Sad but true. Internet rumour suggests these LED bulbs could last up to 25 years. Have I brought my last lightbulb?

Second line of defence was to be old iPhones used as camera sensors, connected to the internet via a clever app, but the concern we both had was old phone batteries connected for months on end to the mains power. Seen too many Samsung YouTube videos so that was a non starter. Last line of defence was to be a bucket of scorpions scattered throughout the house, unfortunately I learnt at the last minute they can live without food or water for 12 months, not six months as I thought, which would have been perfect for our seven month planned absence. Anne forcefully opposed that one, so do not touch the lid of that bucket that I left somewhere around the back of our home as I could not get rid of them before departure.

Enough ramblings, you readers want adventure. We are off, an uneventful ride to the airport to start 24 hours of travel ahead on Etihad via Abu Dhabi. I am still amazed by this form of travel which whisks us from one side of the plant to the other, a journey that took us six months overland. Two flights later, we are in Europe, greeted by un-seasonably warm weather.

We had been debating the packing of (town) gloves in the hours before departure, now left behind as we have sunshine and a balmy, by European standards, weather – so unexpected. We are very lucky.

Anne indicated a desire to undertake some off-road riding, which I thought was commendable so early in the trip. I wanted to wait until we had Streak and Storm out of storage but Anne wanted to grab the throttle and get started. However I am not sure she is taking things seriously, this is not what I envisaged …

Anne starts her off road practice

So here we are, visa and bike process to start next week after the jet-lag has worn off, we will keep you posted.

– Anthony

27 comments on ““As one door closes another opens”

  1. I see from the picture that Ann has forgone her crash helmet. I hope this isn’t typical of things to come…….
    Having read the latest, I’m wondering why you didn’t rent your house out through ‘Air-B-and-B’ that way you wouldn’t need the bucket of scorpions. Remember the key to an enjoyable trip is flexibility, be prepared to go with the flow.
    My armchair has been checked and is ready for the journey !
    Keep safe.

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    • Helmets are not required for bikes under 5cc. As we are not sure when we will be home difficult to commit to a plan for the place, plus it needs painting which we avoid by travelling.

      Remember your couch is a couple of years older, like the bikes and riders so be careful.

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  2. Did anyone NOT burst out laughing on seeing the photo and discovering what Anne’s idea of off-road riding actually was? Sort of thing Grandpa would have done. (come to think of it, a bike that size would suit me literally down to the ground) xx

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    • We will probably be on something this size in a few years. Smaller is always easier to more around, not so much fun amongst the big trucks on the highways so we will stick with Streak and Storm.

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  3. Hello Luvies. Glad to hear you arrived safe and sound. That bike suits you Anne. (See….I spelled your name correctly) You may have heard that Cyclone Debbie has struck North Qld with devastating results. We are feeling the tail end of her here in Brisbane with torrential rain and flooding. Schools in SE Qld were all closed today and will be tomorrow. Something that I haven’t seen in my 38 years of teaching. We’re fine here but others have not been so lucky. Will try to respond to more of your posts this trip. Love to you both. Stay safe.x x x

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    • We are basking in Sunshine while you are hiding under the umbrellas. Looks like the weather will improve soon. Not a bad idea to keep people off the roads when it is this wet. Looking forward to your comments are we travel.

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  4. You got out just in time, one months rain in one day! The joy for your couch potato friends we can look forward to more tremendous blogs. Bon voyage.

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    • Hope we can keep up the blog content. Let us know when you have heard it all before. A little surreal to be in sunny and warm Europe while you all huddle on the couches under the tarpaulins.

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  5. Safe travels, looking forward to pics of this latest adventure,.The wife and I can’t wait to get out riding again, having my shoulder replaced last May slowed us down, hoping to make up for it this year.

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  6. Well so much for the scorpions 😂! May the adventures begin. May the wind be in your backs. Looking forward to the interesting and educational reads. Lots of love .😘😍🏍🏍

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  7. Hi Guys….great to hear you made it to the other side of the planet ! Anthony, the bulbs are working just fine.We went past the unit the other night after dinner and I thought you were home again ! You are missing a huge rain event today as we speak……
    200mm plus of rain with almost gale force winds courtesy of cyclone Debbie……no riding motorbikes here for a few days ! Look forward to the next edition….stay upright. Glenn and Cathy

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    • Glad to hear the bulbs are working well, it will probably confuse some who think the trip is over already. The weather means you have an excuse for adding a jet ski to the toy cupboard. Safe riding.

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  8. Loved the humour in this post….scorpions???!!!! Not my idea of responsible house sitters either 😀. It seems you have just escaped the cyclone. We have strapped ourselves into our armchairs and ready to travel with you. Can’t wait 🏍 Safe travels xx

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    • They are excellent house sitters, they get rid of pests large and small, its just trying to recapture them on ones return that could prove a little tricky. Do not forget to service the couch before prolonged use.

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  9. What a fun read Anthony! Just love Anne’s version of off-road riding – it suits her…

    Like many other’s my chair has been tested and I’m ready for action… Save travels and much love to you both xxx

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