Mum and Dad have often inspired me but it really hit home what great role models they are after a phone call the other day. Backing up a little, they have spent the last seven years travelling around Australia in their motorhome, being away for up to sixteen months at a time down to shorter trips of three months or so. They have had such an awesome time and, I suppose because travelling is one of my highest values, I have really admired their openness, willingness to explore and their ability to enjoy life and laugh a lot, especially at themselves. Anyone who is a traveller knows that there are often things that are not faced in your ordinary life that need quick answers and a great degree of flexibility and patience and my parents have ample.
They are not made of money, just average retirees but have made some smart decisions. They downsized their family home before travelling to reduce costs and maintenance and create cash to have a great lifestyle rather than "saving it for their kids". They have created a fantastic life with the resources they have and have a wonderful positive attitude and mindset which I think adds to their rich life.
They sold their motorhome last year and are now more settled in their lovely little house. Dad has always had passions and immerses himself in them 110% - at the moment it is orchids - growing, breeding, constantly learning everything there is to know. Mum is doing computer classes and often rings me excitedly with little tips on how to do a shortcut for something.
To get back to the phone call. They have decided to do something special every month this year. Early February they are going on a river cruise on the Hawkesbury River, late February they are off to Tasmania, March they are going to the Mornington Peninsula to do some bushwalking and April they are going hot air ballooning and climbing the bread knife at The Warrumbungles (see pictures here). Dad's had two knee replacements but they bike ride regularly and Mum does yoga as well plus lots of walking. That's all that is organised so far but I have no doubt that the rest of the year will be filled with more exciting adventures. Last year we bought tickets for the three boys to climb the Sydney Harbour Bridge and as T and I had already done it, Mum and Dad were very quick to put up their hand to escort them. They also didn't hesitate to come to Adelaide in September to see M (14) in the National Trampolining Championships and when M was violently ill the day before it started and we were doubtful that he would even compete, Mum and Dad said, "Oh, well, at least we'll have a nice week down there with you."
They are both coming up to 70 and I am proud to say that they inspire me regularly.
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