On the 31st July 2007 I had the opportunity to take early retirement and a redundancy package from my then employer, which afforded us the opportunity to travel and realise a life long dream of returning to Australia the place of both our youths. Whilst planning that opportunity and packing up our property (we let it through an agency to Polish railway workers, which helped provide additional funding for our adventures) we decided to also cover my cousin in California, New Zealand, Hong Kong and a few of the Pacific islands, namely Fifi, Western Samoa and Tonga (inspired initially by my love of Rugby, esp. the Fijian 7s rugby). Annie took early retirement as well, leaving her employ a couple of months after me during which time I had done most of the plannings, bookings, hirings and packing, both house and travel stuff. So come the 26th October 2007 it was time for the off. What an adventure, what an opportunity to spend so much time together and the added bonus of the boys and Phoenix coming out to join us for Xmas in New Zealand. Use this website to read the diaries, see something of the planning that went into a gap year, study the timeline and most of all feast your eyes on all the supporting pictures, slideshows and videos with commentary. I have kept the original website pages created on return from the gap year but by implication technology-wise they look and feel a bit old and clunky but you can get to them if you wish through the "go to oldschool" buttons where appropriate, many thanks for looking, maybe it will give you inspiration to undertake your own gap year, we reflect upon our fab times often even now!
Venua Levu, Fiji's second island
1995 Trip to Australia
The slider images below are in reverse chronological order, i.e. the end of the GAP YEAR is first working backwards and showing highlights right back to the time we left home, and indeed even further back to our family trip in 1995 when the boys were a whole lot younger