Having spent more years than we can care to remember working long hours and commuting long distances (albeit for a decent reward), we came to the conclusion in 2012 that we just couldn’t put it off anymore.
The time had come to sell up, buy a couple of backpacks and realise our joint burning desire to travel around the world. Slowly.
I have to admit that the inspiration came from Nicky, who in a rare moment of clarity (and after more than one glass of Sauvignon Blanc) piped up with the visionary “Tell you what, why don’t we just sack the rat race and galavant around the world for a few years”. And so, in March 2015, off we went on the first leg of our Big Trip around Asia, Australia and New Zealand, eyes wide open like a couple of eager kids straight out of school. Only we’re a couple of mid-forties and fifty-somethings who should probably know better.
But, having taken the leap of faith, quit our jobs and headed off into the unknown, our outlook on life has changed considerably. We no longer intend to be constrained by the daily routine of commute-work-recover-sleep-commute. In fact, we yearn for a much simpler life, where the only restraints are those that we put upon ourselves. And, in the meantime, there’s a whole world to discover.
What you can expect from Above Us Only Skies
When we announced our decision to sell everything, quit our jobs and head off into a life of travel, the reactions we received were a curious mixture of shock, amazement, bewilderment and – yes – envy.
People were happy for us. They felt we were brave. That it was something they’d love to do themselves if they could.
Other people thought we were mad. They couldn’t get their heads around how we could just live for today and not worry about the future. That it was something completely alien to them and their way of life.
We actually agree with all of them. It’s a life that’s not for everyone. And that’s fine. People are perfectly entitled to make their own choices.
We’ve made ours and, as “mature” travellers, we believe we can inspire people in their thirties, forties, fifties, sixties and beyond to take that big step and live the life they’ve perhaps not even dreamed about before.
So, on this blog, we’re writing about and photographing our experiences as we travel around the world. That means the good, the bad, the funny and the downright bizarre.
We’re telling it as we see it. And we’re telling it in a way that will hopefully entertain, inform and, of course, inspire.
And we’d love to have you along for the ride, too. So, if you like what you’ve read so far you can keep in touch in a number of ways.
You can head over to our social media channels. Or, if you wish, you can have all our blog posts sent to your email by subscribing to Above Us Only Skies (see below).
Having spent most of her working life managing teams, Nicky’s desire to travel extensively has now become strong enough for her to leave her corporate background behind her forever.
And, having backpacked around India for 5 months after graduating from university in the early 90’s she’s fought back the urges of wanderlust for far too long.
Her interests include scuba diving, for which she qualified at the age of 14 with the British Sub Aqua Club (BSAC). She still can’t get her head around how it took her six months of intensive training to qualify in the freezing waters of the UK when it’s now being achieved over the course of one long weekend at Thai beach resorts.
Bizarrely she has a morbid fear of bananas – so much so that a short stroll along the fruit aisle at her local supermarket is a trial in itself. Avoiding those yellow packages of gorgeousness has proved difficult in the tropics, where a full-on confrontation with her fears is a daily occurrence.
A prolific consumer of books, she’s now made a major technology investment and bought herself a Kindle. Proudly claims she’s read each Harry Potter book in one sitting. A tendency to exaggerate should be taken into account, however.
And at just under five feet tall she remains in search of that magical growth serum. Has a theory that stretching out on a tropical beach for hours on end might just do the trick.
After spending nearly 30 years in management and specialising in internal communications, Ian has come to the conclusion that life really is frighteningly short. That is, far too short to be spending relentless hours in yet another motorway traffic jam just for the pleasure of getting to and from one more day at the office.
So instead, he’s decided to reinvent himself as a kind of latter-day explorer. Sort of a cross between Michael Palin and Neil Armstrong. Only without the book deals and the fancy moon-walks.
He’s a writer of blog posts, too. And an aspiring photographer. Probably useless at both but he’s a born trier.
Has a fear of spiders, but at least he’s stopped squealing at the sight of them since he came face-to-face with an army of arachnids in a Thai cave. Seriously, they were the size of dinner plates.
And, as a lover of spicy food, he likes to think his version of Lamb & Spinach Curry is right up there with some of the Great Dishes of the World. Doesn’t even need to follow a recipe either.