Goodbye 2013 – you were amazing!

Five minutes to go and it's getting busy

It’s going to be hard to say goodbye to 2013, it was a fabulous year for us. We saw the year arrive in Syracuse, on Sicily, and found out how much the Italians liked to party! Since then we visited eight more countries before coming back to the UK in September.

New Years Eve 2012. Jay with supplies from the petrol station in Evora, Portugal -  there wasn't much happening!
New Years Eve 2012. Jay with supplies from the petrol station in Evora, Portugal – there wasn’t much happening!
New Years Eve 2013. Party time in Syracuse, Sicily and we're in the middle of it!
New Years Eve 2013. Party time in Syracuse, Sicily and we’re in the middle of it!

How on earth will 2014 top that?

We’ve decided to give ourselves a head start by writing down some goals for the year. We’ve got our good friend Chris Williams to thank for that. We met Chris and Tina while a month into our tour in a car park in San Sebastian, Spain. Chris helps successful business people be even more successful by setting and getting goals. Thinking up your goals is one thing, but writing them down makes them even more important – mine are below, that’s how important they are to me, not just written down, but published for the world to see (the ones with an * are joint ones with Jay!)

  • Live on a narrowboat
  • Buy, renovate and let two more properties*
  • Promote our book of the entire trip (when Jay has written it) and sell 200 copies
  • Get a permanent position within current company
  • Visit Norway*
  • Get weight down to 70kg
  • Read 10 self-improvement books and two investment books
  • Grow our Network Marketing business to over 50 customers/distributors

It doesn’t sound a lot when you write it down, but I think they’ll keep me busy.

Jay has just finished his last bath of 2013 (there are some advantages to living in a house) and my nail varnish is dry enough for me to get going on our tea. So with a little under six hours of this year left for me (I know some of our friends around the world are already in 2014), I’d love to wish you all a healthy and happy 2014!

Keep Truckin’

Ju x



  1. Hy guys, sell 200 copies????? Who are you trying to kid?? It’ll be straight into the best seller lists

    Good luck with the rest of the goals

    Mark and Judi

  2. Hello both,
    We have followed your wonderful tour with envy and wish you both a happy new year in whatever you do in the future. I have a question with regard to Charlie. During your travels, was Charlie secured or tethered while you were driving?. I’m asking because in six months or so we hope to buy a motor home and travel with our pooch. Best wishes, Alan and Anne

    • Hi Alan

      Great question.

      Nope, Charlie had the run of the van, he wasn’t restrained in any way. We had considered it for his safety, and we had read it being a legal requirement somewhere (Spain?). We decided against it as (a) he is a calm traveller, sleeping most of the time (b) he liked to choose his sleeping spot to get comfortable, choosing cooler spots when hot and vice versa. It also meant he had easy access to his water.

      When our tyre blew out in Northern Spain he found himself in the driver’s footwell as I braked, but was completely unharmed. I drove carefully and slowly most of the time and, after buying decent tyres, we didn’t get into a similar situation again. Sometimes he would want to come up front into the cab with us, and Ju would have to use her foot to block the way in. He would then lay his head on her foot and sleep, giving her dreadful cramp!

      My feeling is we’d only restrain Charlie if he legged it around the van for some reason, otherwise it worked out just fine with him free.

      Cheers, have a fab journey! Jay

  3. Be careful you don’t overcook it!

    I have been thoroughly enjoying your blog ‘posthumously’ over the past week or so, (currently you have escaped the awful floods in Italy, a year back). I’ve read many inspiring travel blogs but your passion for the way you did things shines through.

    Your ‘list’ seems quite random! 3 properties, a canal boat and a network marketing business?! Wow, but surely you would lose some of the spontaneity and simpleness that made your 2 year journey so unique?

    I loved all the Lidl shopping and free camping stuff, would you have had it any other way?

    Your writing and photography are the best thing about the blog, real creative zeal there, and has kept random internet armchair hobos like me turning the virtual page…

    We’d all like a villa in Tuscany but is a property empire and an exploitative business the way to do it?

    Just food for thought.

    I wish you all the best for 2014.

    My own little overlanding trip is shaping up…

    • Hi Patrick! Good to hear from you.

      A journey like that is as much about revelations in yourself, your view of the world, as it is about the rest of it, the architecture, beaches, mountains, food et al. From a 3 bed detached house, both of us doing 50 hour weeks, with jolly safe incomes, pensions, a hot tub, shiny car, pooch web cam and massive TV to carrying our own crap (literally), sleeping in car parks, peering at a laptop screen and hunting for the World’s Cheapest Wine. I imagine most people would see this as a disaster. It saved me. There was no other way, and I could easily live that life for ever, or at least until I became too ill or frail to do so.

      The trip is over now though, we cannot and would not want to do it again. That would be going back, and we don’t like going back.

      Forwards for us is a path to financial freedom. Earning and investing so we can live a future life in the way we want. Oh, and more importantly, squeezing our expenditure with the zeal of a mad man.

      Neither of us would want a villa in Tuscany. Staying in one place feels a waste, plus unless we lived there or rented it out, it would just help deaden another bit of paradise. We’re not after an empire either. We won’t need one. By knowing where our money goes, being careful with each penny and doing some reasonable self-education in finance, we will buy our independence in maybe 3 to 5 years, if we’re lucky. From that point on, we can do whatever work we want, travel to some degree, do house sits, motorhome to the North Cape, study, walk, give time or skills to charity, write, brew beer, go spear fishing, whatever the hell we please.

      Spontaneous we are not, for the time being. But we have just had 2 years off, so we are not complaining!

      By ‘exploitative business’ I wonder what kind of employee-driven profit-making business wouldn’t fit that definition? The network marketing model seems to me about as democratic as it gets in our little bit of the world. Everyone has the same tools, opportunities, pay grade, regardless of age, gender or creed. Just my two pence worth.

      Take it easy and have a crackin trip! Cheers, Jay

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.