Turtle Time in Oceania (Article from Aalborgnu.dk)

It’s almost been 2 years now, we’ve lived and traveled the world in our rolling home Turtle. The last three months we’ve been on the other side of the globe.
But how is that possible and did we really transport our van all the way to Australia?

Reading time: approx. 5 min.

We wake up to the sound of waves and birdsong. In this way, it’s not really that different from the many times we’ve parked by the North Sea in Denmark and have woken up to similar sounds. But … something is still different here.
The temperature is already really warm now, at 8’o’clock in the morning and when we’re looking out of our windows the first thing we see, is the blue sky and the green palm leaves.
Well, if we did forget it, at least the palm trees and the mild climate here in April will remind us that we’re actually almost 15,000 km away from our hometown Aalborg here in Queensland in the north-eastern part of Australia.

We’ve traveled all the way to the other side of the globe.

The reason why we’re now sitting here in Queensland, Australia, enjoying our morning coffee on the shore next to the Pacific Ocean, is because back in the autumn we were recruited at a Danish travelcompany as a groupleader and teacher at their 3 month grouptravel in Oceania January-April 2019.
Therefore we parked Turtle in Mette’s parents barn and had to go on our own adventures without him for once.
In the end of January we met the group of 19 young people who all joined the grouptravel, at Kastrup Airport and traveled to the other side of the globe on new adventures together.

And now we’re soon at the end of the journey – only one week’s left of our adventure in Oceania before we return back to Denmark, but then with our backpacks filled with even more amazing experiences. And very diverse experiences.
We have been on canal tours, visited beautiful temples and roamed the characteristic tuk-tuk’s in Bangkok’s streets. We have drunk cava, danced tribal dance and greeted people with the local greeting “BULA!” on the tropical island of Taveuni in Fiji. We have been flying in a helicopter, walking on a glacier, river rafting and have been on a 3-day hiking and kayaking trip in New Zealand. We’ve held a snake, hugged a koala, fed parrots and sat on the beach under the starry sky and drank wine and philosophized over our lives in Australia.
Just to name a few things.

It was a great experience for us to explore the Glacier Fox Glacier.

Grouptravels abroad.
But one thing is all the travel experiences. Something else is all the things we’ve experienced through our new roles as ‘mr. and miss. grouptravel’.
These are new roles for both of us, so here we have really thrown ourselves into deep water by saying yes to traveling on our own all the way to Oceania with 19 young people and then being in charge of all the practical stuff during the trip and to teach them the three subjects they must have in the three months. Many things can go wrong in that process.
Fortunately, we’re both very inspired by Pippi Longstocking, who says “I haven’t tried that before, so I can probably do that well” and then throw herself into it. And so we did.

Sand Castle competition on Magnetic Island in Australia.

Looking back on the three months, it’s much more than “just” the above-mentioned great travel experiences we bring home in our backpacks.
A large part of the experiences we come home with are actually created in the community with the 19 young people we travel with.
To mention some of them: costumeparties, competitions, group evenings with movies or fun games, eating together, hikes and excursions, frustrations, crying and collective laughing flips, deep conversations, personal stories, joy of anticipation and enthusiasm.
All in one wonderful mixup of emotions and experiences.

And after all, it’s probably these experiences that will stay in our memory the longest and one of the reasons why we applied for a job at a grouptravel company and not with any travel job: here we get to know each other very well, both on the good and the bad days. And that’s really valuable to us.
We’ve been able to take part in these young people’s great travel adventures and in the personal development that they (and ourselves) have undergone in this regard.

What may the future bring?

Another benefit we also bring home from this wonderful adventure is a strengthened self-confidence. We have embarked on something that none of us have tried before, and we did it – even pretty well if we were to say so ourselves.
So right now we both have a great sense of being able to do whatever we want to. The question is just what we actually want to do now.

Home in Denmark Turtle is waiting for us – what will happen in the future?

For once again we are standing in front of an undescribed page in our lives. We come to Denmark in a week’s time, where Turtle is waiting for us in Mette’s parents barn – and it’ll be so nice to see him again – but several questions have also comed to our minds lately.
Will we stay in the car full time when we get home? Do we want to find a small summerhouse or another permanent base as a supplement to the car, which we can move into during periods when we want to immerse ourselves in other projects? What other projects are we dreaming about today?

We’ve lived in Turtle and traveled around Denmark, Europe and now also Oceania for the last two years, so it feels very natural for us to start considering whether it’ll still make sense for us with this lifestyle in the future or whether something else draws more in us at the moment.
So what the future brings is still unknown to us, but one thing is for sure: we’re NOT considering selling Turtle!

The best greetings and see you soon home in Denmark,
Morten and Mette (and a greeting from Turtle at home in the barn in North Jutland).

This blog post was originally written as a travel letter to the newspaper and online media Aalborg:nu.

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