What Surprises Will 2023 Bring ?

#224; Still trying to settle into Bunbury & the Working lifestyle.

From October 2022 to January 2023, written on the 12/01/2023 by Will.

Feature Photo: 28/12/22, somewhere between the Collie River and Bunbury Golf Course, exploring the area on a 20km ride.

Welcome back crew, time for a long overdue blog update. Apologies for the current irregularity of our wiljen’s Adventure blog, working full time and not doing any sort of fulfilling travel really sucks the creative juices out of you.

Right now it’s 3am and I’m on my first of two, 12.25 hour night shifts. They are harder to cope with than I remember. Prior to commencing this job, the last night shift I worked was in 2011 on the offshore drilling rig Maersk Discoverer. It has been nearly 8 months now and I’ve settled into the role ok. Jenny and I are still dedicated to sticking to “the plan” at this stage. We are saving money and have been working on some additional investment strategies, which will hopefully bring full retirement closer sooner rather than later.

Christmas Eve, 24th of December 2022, A Crew make the most of working Night Shift by cooking up a roast lamb with food provided by everyone. On Christmas Albemarle supplies bbq packs for another cook up. (Photos curtesy of Roldan).

As most people are well aware, working is not always a bad thing, but it isn’t much fun managing your life around a structured roster. After 7 years of testing out retirement, relearning to work for “The Man” is somewhat of a challenge. Expectations, commitments, rules, policies and procedures do take a lot of the joy out of life. Both of us are looking forward to a well earned break next June, with 33 days off, we will hook up the camper and head north to escape winter for a brief time…yeah that will be great !

It’s 5.20am on the 1st of January 2023 and I begin the new year by working a 12.25 hour day shift.

There isn’t much to report, we did ride our motorbikes down to Cowarmup, 1.5 hours south of Bunbury to visit Julie and Allan last Saturday, but I forgot to take any photos. My mate Alan from Sale, Victoria stopped in for a night en route to Albany about a month ago & once again no photos. Even the Byrne family came down for a visit and lunch at the pub on the 29th of December and you guessed it, no photos.

I’m going to have to lift my game and let “Paparazzi Will” out of his cage to start snapping some pictures in 2023. We are still Warmshower Hosts and now that the international Cyclists are starting to arrive in Australia again we are getting the occasional visit. So far we’ve had Alex from Germany (who has since cycled across the Nullarbor). Eileen and Ardo from France have also spent a night at the house we rent down here in Bunbury. Last I heard they had made it to Albany and are currently doing Bar Work.

So what does 2023 have in store for team wiljen ? Our New Years Resolution is to visit every Pub & Craft Brewery establishment with in a 50km range of us. We are also going to double down on our efforts to do some mini short camping trips at least once per month. So far that is proving to be more difficult than we initially envisaged. Our house rent is in our opinion super expensive (@ $570pw, though that is the current market benchmark) and restricting our savings rate. So there is a possibility we might buy a house to live in down here for the duration of this “stop our travels to stack the cash” exercise.

Nothing lasts forever and our time is short so best too stop whinging and get on with it. Once we finally come to the final day of full time work we plan on becoming full time retired nomads. Now that is a goal worth working towards.

See you out there on the road sometime…Will, Jenny & Rodgie Dog.

Here are some more photos from the past 4 months…

Early October also had the 3 of us out exploring in the Landcruiser. Halfway to Collie there is an abandoned rail ballast quarry. Highly recommend a 4WD if you ever stumble across it. We needed low range and crawl control to get out of the loose slippery steep rocky section.

We also take a motor bike ride to Busselton have lunch and check out the sites, like the 1.8km long jetty built in 1864. It is the longest remaining wooden jetty in the Southern Hemisphere. 2nd of November 2022.

As always, we have seen the grandkids numerous times and my brother Steve popped over from Tasmania for a short visit.

We have discovered that Spring and Summer is a great time to live in the Bunbury area. Lots to see and do, the Dardanup Shire even erected a new play ground across the road for us to enjoy. 😀

Team wiljen’s most recent outing was to Minninup Pool, on the Collie River. Just out of Collie township. Rodgie dog loved it !

Thanks for stopping by, Will and Jenny.

2 thoughts on “What Surprises Will 2023 Bring ?

    1. Hi Doug & Jan, yes we remember you well. If I’m correct you even shouted us a coffee somewhere near Victoria on Vancouver Island. I hope you are both doing great.

      Jenny and I fully intended to return to North America in 2020/21 but due to circumstances beyond our control it wasn’t to be. There is some irony in the fact that we are unable to return now because I’m working for an American multinational company, Albemarle.

      Still life goes on and we are both happy. A few years of work and then back into retirement.

      Thank you for the message.

      Will & Jenny.


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