A different life. My alternate life.

My life is very conventional. I do have some stories of growing up that people think are pretty out there. (Mum, don’t ring up and ask me which ones.) But my adult life is mainstream with a capital M. 

While I’m quite happy with the choices I’ve made and where I’m at now, I often think about what other lives I could have led. 

The last week or two, I’ve been binge reading a blog that has given me itchy feet. 

Lauren is a home schooler and travels around in a bus with her kids. Now, I’d have probably gone insane doing that. And I do like to retreat to my own quiet space, preferably in a recumbent position on my bed or a lounge. And dreadlocks make me itch. 

Still the freedom to go, travelling for months, no set bills. Not weighed down by possessions, commitments, the alarm clock, the bundy clock. Freedom from The Man, man. (OK, I was a toddler in the 60s but I can wheel out hippie sayings.)

If you do head on over to Lauren’s blog, start from the beginning. Following her journey and the changes in her life is compulsive reading. Especially if you are drawn to an alternative life. But be warned, there is a horrific incident. I was forewarned about the actual events and googled the news story. Her resilience is amazing. 

Anyway, besides having the freedom to travel (which I could do if I wasn’t tied to a massive Sydney mortgage – don’t you love how the word mortgage comes from the old French meaning death pledge? A slow mort. A slow death.), the other me would be living in a village in England. I’d still be a teacher but not here. 

So what’s the path the alternate you might have liked to travel down?

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15 thoughts on “A different life. My alternate life.

  1. I would never have been brave enough to up and leave but my alternate life would probably be in Ireland. Or possibly England or New Zealand. Somewhere cooler where you’re not expected to love sitting on a beach in the middle of the day.
    I would be an actress in clever British sitcoms and possibly play Judi Dench’s daughter or something like that. Or, I might be a writer living in Cornwall. I would cycle to the village shops, have a colourful garden and be married to the village vet.

    • Lovely choices but are these the fantasy you. Rather than just the different choices you may have made?

      I had planned to live and work in England (I can get a British passport) but I met Mr S before I went so turned the move into a trip. And before kids Mr S and I camped out in national parks and we nearly stayed in Murwillumbah after living there for a year. If we did, I’d have had a wardrobe full of tie die clothes.

  2. Yes fantasy choices but at one point I did consider a communications degree – I think it included courses on film, writing, radio – so possibly a journalist? Except I don’t like deadlines or writing on demand so it wasn’t a good option.
    I can’t see you in Murwillumbah with flat (or no) shoes.

    • Dangly earrings, flowing skirts, flat sandals. Yep, I had the look. But I was 20 years young and 10 kilos lighter and a different body shape. And led a different life. Beach, baby and toddler, bush walks, picnics, home baking, play group, library visits.

  3. Omg – Lucinda. I’ve been reading Sparkling Adventures since before the horrific incident. I absolutely admire Lauren’s courage and independence but it’s about as ‘out there’ a blog and lifestyle as you can get. The incident is shocking but so is the representation on the blog.

    I think there’s a difference between the reality of that lifestyle and the blog version. I do feel inextricably drawn to the alternate life of the never-ending road trip. Just in my personal case, minus: drugs, surrogacy, losing children overnight with young men and homebirthing in dangerous circumstances (with Elijah’s birth.) And with homeschooling, not unschooling. I’m just a heck of a lot more conservative than Lauren but I love her freedom and I do love reading that blog.

    • I can’t imagine the emotional baggage from parents abandoning you to boarding school so they can be missionaries. A lost sense of place and identity – an Aussie but not an Aussie. And then father coming out. Layer upon layer of things to process.

      • I think there are some scary, big issues at play on that blog and it makes me pull back a little from reading it (while admitting that I, too, binge-read it when I first discovered it.) The whole ‘3 culture kid’ thing is hard to read (in that it’s imbued in every line of the blog) but essential to understanding it. Lauren has transcended so much, but she’s had a really difficult life – both as a child and adult.

  4. NB should clarify that the drug reference is in relation to published media reports of the trial – not trying to cast aspersions on the lifestyle or anyone associated with it.

    • Ah. I was wondering about that. Though I can’t see how anyone could stand doof doof music without drugs. Thought maybe I’d missed a post or one had been deleted with reference to drugs. Only reference I found was one to two bottles of wine. And who can begrudge a woman that?

  5. Yes, I should be careful in my writing. And I think it wasn’t a trial, to be more exacting. I don’t know what the legal term is – a hearing of some kind? – but it’s on record that drugs were in the father’s system on the night the bridge incident occurred.

  6. A free-spirited traveller…nope, not me 🙂 There were a few different paths I might have taken, that are not in the fantasy realm. I always wanted to be a writer (novelist) but decided to take a practical degree. I debated journalism or public relations before deciding on library science. My secret desire was to attend Iowa Writers Workshop (I didn’t even know it was a graduate degree!) but it was unthinkable to me to even apply. To me it seemed alien, like applying to Harvard or becoming a Rhodes scholar. I suppose my big decision point in life was between staying close to home, where I was raised, or moving away, and I left – but returned after 15 years. In the interim, so many huge decisions around relationships and cross-country moves and jobs. I am glad things turned out as they did – and I am in such a good place now.

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