About 6 years ago… when I was still living my old life…

  • When I was still working long hours in a job that exhausted and drained me…
  • When I was still rooted in suburbia, surrounded by all my *stuff*…
  • When I was still drowning in debt…
  • When I was still dropping my kids off at pre-school at 7am (and fetching them at 5pm)…
  • When I was still 30 kilograms heavier, dressed in drab-baggies… and filled with self-loathing…

Back then, I used to have a little daily ritual.

Every day, at lunch time, I would leave my phone with my secretary and I would ask her to take messages… and I would visit the Wimpy restaurant down the road from my office.  (For international readers, Wimpy is like a slightly more upmarket Mac Donalds).

And every day, I would visit that Wimpy… and I would sit in the same place – a corner booth – and I would order the same thing:  a Wimpy double cheeseburger with chips and a coke (and later, a coffee).

And I would sit there… alone… in my corner booth.

With my cheeseburger.

And with a pen… and a notepad.

And I would allow myself to DREAM.

I would allow myself to… IMAGINE… what a different life might look like.

  • What would I want from a different kind of life?
  • What would I LOVE to be doing with my time?
  • What would my daily routine look like?
  • Where would I live?
  • What would I do?
  • What would make me happy?
  • What would make my family happy?
  • How could we live differently?

And I would write these dreams down in my notebook.  And I would draw some pictures.  And I would allow my mind the complete freedom to just… imagine the possibilities.

The dreams for my life materialised there… in that Wimpy corner-booth.  In that space of depression and frustration… the first seeds were planted.

And every day, I watered those seeds.  

And my “What if’s…”  slowly became…  “Maybe we actually could…”  which slowly became… “Maybe we actually should…”  which became  “What the heck is stopping us?  Let’s DO this thing!”.

Which then led to the mini-holiday in the Southern Drakensberg of Easter 2012 – when Nick and I solidified our decision and decided to make our dreams a reality.

Today – I type this to you, as I sit at Blue Water Cafe… a charming restaurant which overlooks the valleys and mountains of the Southern Peninsula of  Cape Town.  The restaurant itself is situated in an old, renovated farmhouse.  The walls are thick… the ceilings are high… there are beautiful proteas (my favourite flower) in glass jars on every table.

I’m sitting at a large, wooden table.  There’s more than enough room for my artwork, my laptop, our food… and there’s a lovely cup of coffee next to me.

No more Wimpy.  No more lousy, processed, plasticky cheeseburgers washed down with a coke and gulp of self-loathing.

I’m here now.

bluewater cafe

As I’m typing this post on my laptop, I’m watching my kids.  There’s a lovely organic playground outside… and the kids have made friends and are climbing trees, feeding horses and running free.  Every now and then, they’ll drop in for a bite of food or a sip of water… then off they go again.  Full-tilt.

We’ve been in Cape Town for 3 months.  Before that, we were road-tripping around the United States for 2 months.  Before that, we were road-tripping and road-schooling in the Karoo, the Eastern Cape and Hoedspruit.

Next month, we’ll move on to Durban… for the Film Festival… and then later in the year, another international trip (but I’ll tell you about those plans when we have the plane tickets).

We’re nomadic now.

We travel slowly… and we rent furnished apartments or homes as we journey along.  We own very little stuff.  Our own house in suburbia is rented out – and we live very comfortably on a combined income generated from the rental of our home, Nick’s work as a filmmaker… and my work as an illustrator (which is now morphing in to something else).

Nick and I are able to generate an income anywhere… as long as we have our computers and access to the internet.  Right now, as I type this, he is finishing off the post-production of his latest film project… while he enjoys an uninterrupted sea view from our rented apartment on Beach Road, Noordhoek.

We road-school and world-school our kids.  We are happy… and very, very content.

So… today, I am grateful.

So very, very, very grateful – for everything that has changed and everything that has happened in our lives.

Every now and then, I think back to that corner booth… in that Wimpy (which has since closed down)… and, I’m grateful even for those experiences.  Miserable though I was at the time.

Because that’s where the dream-seeds were planted.  And that’s where change was birthed.  In the corner booth of a crowded, franchised restaurant.

I’m dreaming a new dream now.  A big, crazy (scary!!) dream.   And I’m watering it daily.  It’s not ready yet… not ripe enough for plucking and enjoying…  but every day, I water it.  Every day I invest into it.

Every day, I dream.