What's stopping you from doing the big trip

Submitted: Sunday, Mar 22, 2009 at 21:43
ThreadID: 67092 Views:3353 Replies:17 FollowUps:14
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Hi All,
We have been travelling for just over two years now and having an amazing time. We have made so many lifelong friends on the road. What I'm wondering is .... As we have travelled we have met lots of old (sorry..older) people travelling, better known as grey nomads. Most of the ones we talk to think it is great we are doing it now while our kids are young and we are youngish. A lot of them say they wish they had done it when they were younger and more able to do things. When we meet people who aren't travelling the most common response we get is "wow, that's amazing, I'd love to do that. Maybe when we are older or the kids have grown up".
My point is, that often never happens. You get stuck in your life style, Someone gets sick, the wife is unsure, can't leave work, the husband is unsure.
My parents wanted to travel when they were young and were talked out of it. They travelled with us for a short time but due to health were unable to continue. They will probably never make it around oz.
On the road I have not yet met a young family or couple who said "gee wish we had waited till we were older" but most older people wish they had done it when they were younger.
So what is stopping you from doing your trip around oz? Is it really that bigger a hurdle you can't get over it.
I'm just stirring the pot cause anyone who wants to do the big trip and doesn't is missing an amazing once in a life time life changing opportunity. As Mr. Nike said "Just do it".
We have been lucky enough to do it. A lot of our friends thought we we were mad when we headed off but now are starting to wonder maybe we aren't the mad ones.
Good luck to all, and whatever you are doing enjoy it cause if you don't enjoy it, it ain't worth doing.

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Reply By: Member - Nick (TAS) - Sunday, Mar 22, 2009 at 21:58

Sunday, Mar 22, 2009 at 21:58
Our house sale goes through on Friday and we are pretty much free after that.We're doing a 3 month trip from June and from then will decide if we hit the road full time.
Like you said, to many people leave it till its to late to live their dream.......
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Follow Up By: Member - Josh (VIC) - Monday, Mar 23, 2009 at 08:47

Monday, Mar 23, 2009 at 08:47
Hi Nick,
Youwill have a ball. Sometimes the first few months aren't easy as you settle into your routine of travelling but it is also the most adventurous part as after a while it becomes your life style rather than a trip. It is still amazing that every corner you turn is something new. Have fun.

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Reply By: Matt(WA) - Sunday, Mar 22, 2009 at 21:59

Sunday, Mar 22, 2009 at 21:59
Hi Josh,

We have been saving for our trip for a while now, and talking about it for years. Doing it before we had kids was a big thing for us. We pan to be on the road for a couple of years. I am 29 and my fiance is 28. We are going overseas in 51 days for a month, then returning to Perth. Picking up the van, 4wd and Dog from my mates house and heading north. No plans, house rented out. Just see how we go.


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Follow Up By: Member - Josh (VIC) - Monday, Mar 23, 2009 at 08:58

Monday, Mar 23, 2009 at 08:58
Leaving it open ende is the best way as this is an incredibly huge country with a lot to see. We were going to do it before we had kids but never got there. We are now glad that we have done it with the kids. It has given them memories they will never forget and given us an excuse to do things we wouldn't normally do. Basically be kids again. Hope you enjoy your time on the road.

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Reply By: LeanneW - Sunday, Mar 22, 2009 at 22:02

Sunday, Mar 22, 2009 at 22:02
Hi Josh,
I totally agree with you. My husband and I travelled around OZ in 2004 - when I was in my late 20's and hubby just over 30. We took 6 months off work, and it was the best thing we have ever done. I had been very sick the previous year, which is what prompted us to do it. You never know when your time is up, so if you can, get out and have some fun. I also agree it is better to do while your mobility is fine. Joints handle long hikes (up wonderful gorges to magic rock-pools, kings canyon etc) when you are younger!
We have just ordered a camper-trailer, with the intention of taking our 3yo daughter (and any other children we may have) around OZ too at some stage.
Happy travels!
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Follow Up By: Member - Josh (VIC) - Monday, Mar 23, 2009 at 09:10

Monday, Mar 23, 2009 at 09:10
Hi Leanne,
Our youngest was three when we left. She can still remember places we went to when we first started out. They learn so much on the road. Don't leave it to long as there is more and more bitumen being laid every day and more and more places being closed. Places that were remote are more accessible but it means anyone can go, even the ones who don't care about the places and leave a mess. We have hiked into some amazing canyons and waterfalls. The girls have handled the hikes incredibly well
(probably better than us). We meet lots of new friends because they meet kids and then we meet the parents. I have found as a family we are so much closer now the before we left as the important things are no longer work and mowing the lawn. If own lawn needs mowing we leave.

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Reply By: TWCAmpbell - Sunday, Mar 22, 2009 at 22:15

Sunday, Mar 22, 2009 at 22:15
We're planning to get started in a couple of years - get enough paid off on the mortgage that renting the house out will cover the cost. Got two young kids (4 and 2.5 yrs old), so are looking into homeschooling them at the moment. What an education it will be for them!

Main thing for us is ensuring we are financially stable for now with the kids and able to provide for them later on.

In the meantime, we're doing resgular trips with our kids in our Rav4 and Allwest alloy camper trailer throughout WA and are planning a Nullabor trip for next year.

BTW, I'm 29 and my wife is 26.

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Follow Up By: Member - Josh (VIC) - Monday, Mar 23, 2009 at 09:24

Monday, Mar 23, 2009 at 09:24
Hi Tristan,
You are right, you do have to look after your future and the future of your children but there has to be a balance. A friend of ours used to drive rally cars, had done for years. He has 4 boys who participate with him. A while back he hurt his back really bad. almost couldn't walk again. I said to him that he must be dissapointed that he can"t race anymore. He said "no, disappointing would have been saving my many all my life to race one day and hurting my back and never getting time to race. Now it is time for my boys to race". His youngest is now coming 3rd in the aust rally championships. When he said that it made me realise that while you do have to have money and provide for your family it is not much use if you don't get to enjoy your family with it. I worked for a guy years ago who when he died was worth millions. At his funeral were the workers from his work who were paid to go, a few customers who received a discount on their next order and his wife and two kids. Money was everything to him. Unfortunately his kids didn't think much of him and are now milking the company for all it's worth. As parents it is our job to provide for our family. I think you will get so much out of your trip, have fun.

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Reply By: Willem - Sunday, Mar 22, 2009 at 22:20

Sunday, Mar 22, 2009 at 22:20
I started doing my travels in 1968. After marriage in 1969 the trips continued

23 4x4's
3 caravans
2 bush trailers
Multiple tents

And we are still going on the wallaby.

2009 will bring up a 3 month trek into the western deserts

Go read about past trips HERE

AnswerID: 355550

Follow Up By: Member - Josh (VIC) - Monday, Mar 23, 2009 at 09:35

Monday, Mar 23, 2009 at 09:35
Hi Willem,
Love reading your posts. One thing mate, you have been travelling for longer than I have been alive. I reckon if I do half of what you have done I will be doing well. Your trip articles are great. Will make good reading over the next few days. You certainly have seen some stuff. I thought I was going well having owned 10 vehicles so far, 92 to go. It would be interesting to sit around a fire with you swapping stories, I think you would have a few. Have a great time in the deserts.

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Reply By: happytravelers - Sunday, Mar 22, 2009 at 22:29

Sunday, Mar 22, 2009 at 22:29
Very much in agreement with you, wife and I spent just under two years travelling around OZ when we were in our late 20s without kids. That was 20 years ago and we still talk about all the places we went and things we did, had the time of our lives. We still do a lot of travelling now with our two boys 6 and 8 but its for weeks at a time instead of months.
All the best to you
AnswerID: 355552

Reply By: PradOz - Sunday, Mar 22, 2009 at 23:17

Sunday, Mar 22, 2009 at 23:17
Hi Josh

Great what you are doing and yes i am envious. just wondering if you have any plans as to length of time to be on the road and did you sell up a house etc to go or were you previously renting etc.

I would go tomorrow if i could but held back by SWMBO and a list of the usual excuses - daughter #1 just started uni, daughter #2 in year 10 needs to finish that first, son in last year primary school, etc etc etc. maybe need a new SWMBO or learn hypnosis to get my way :)))

good on you, hope you continue to enjoy the road ahead...
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Follow Up By: Member - Josh (VIC) - Monday, Mar 23, 2009 at 09:50

Monday, Mar 23, 2009 at 09:50
Hi PradOz,
At this stage we will be in cape york by June, currently in Batesman Bay. We will then work our way back down inland abit and be back in Tassie before Christmas. We plan to stop in Tassie for about 2 yrs. We will be in a house while there then we will see what happens. I am not saying we are stopping at the end of this year just taking a break. Most people go on holidays every few yrs, we might try it the other way around and try stopping in a house every few yrs. We did sell our house which we used to partly fiance the trip, trailer and some travel money. We are looking at buying a house in tassie which we would then rent out if(when) we hit the again. We origanly planned 12 months off but realised how big Oz is and we wanted to see as much as we could. We still haven't seen much though in 2 yrs. There is still a lot out there. I don't know if we will ever stop travelling properly. If you don't mind me asking why does the swmbo not want to travel. It was mine who suggested we should go, maybe I'm luckier than I realise. If you ever get the chance grab, you won't regret it.

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Follow Up By: PradOz - Monday, Mar 23, 2009 at 12:49

Monday, Mar 23, 2009 at 12:49
hi Josh

have you done any work along the way to fund any part of it or is this one of the reasons why you may stop in Tassie for a while? (re-build the bank balance) also where was the place you once called home, was it tassie?

we have done a few trips to the centre with 7 other car loads, great ocean road 8 other cars and other holidays/trips too. we usually planned on one big trip per year but our plans all went out the window when i badly hurt my spine at work, requiring surgery (on the mend now) then being retrenched by the boss because of it. I couldnt do much after hurting myself and until my operation i was in way too much pain. Now i see a light at the end of the tunnel in regard to being much better off physically so may soon be able to resurrect those travel plans again hopefully. also taken a while to fix the finances after losing my job because of the back injury, very hard sometimes looking after family of 5 in the "sometimes so expensive sydney" when reduced back to the wifes part time wage, but its starting to look much better for us (certainly makes me look at life dfferent now)

I think the wife wouldnt travel extensively whilst the kids are in school. she really has had no contact with anyone that has done home schooling so would take a lot to convince her that it can be worthwhile to change the kids study habits. I think she would also like to see the eldest firmly settled in uni life too as she has only just started. she often says how she wants to see the kids settled/finished school before changing our own lifetyle. i know you cant wait for the kids to do everything before doing your own thing so i suppose its a balancing act for us just for now. i do love the idea of selling up and just driving and living on the road. i loved it in our previous long distance travels and would love it more with no time limits to worry about. in meantime i will keep reading about the great times being had by people like yourselves imagining us being somewhere along the way too at sometime in the future.

i am so happy for you and your family. are you keeping/publishing a diary of your travels at all? funny how when we all look back at our kids we all say how they have grown up so quick. bet if you looked back at the beginning of your journey to now (and again later on) you would notice some big changes in your kids (and even yourselves) i bet a lot of people learn so much more about themselves when out on the road than if they had off stayed at home. some probably even have learnt a few new tricks to being self sufficient etc rather than getting or paying someone to help out all the time - keep on having fun and stay safe
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Follow Up By: Member - Josh (VIC) - Monday, Mar 23, 2009 at 21:12

Monday, Mar 23, 2009 at 21:12
Hi PradOz,
I feel sorry for you with your back. Hurt mine few years back( not as bad as you) had 3 months in bed with it. Made me realise lifes to short to waste. Making the decision to leave everything is hard. But once you are on the road it is soooooooooo worth it.
We originally lived in Warragul in Gippsland which is now very black. A few friends lost houses in the fires. We were kinda glad we didn't still have the house. I had never had long service or anything like it so we took quite a few months off just travelling. This was funded by selling our house. We then picked up odd jobs although at times found it hard to do so. I worked at Roxby Downs for 8 months landscaping which I loved doing.
I now have a job with a company as a sales rep. I do in store demonstrations. The company line up work for me ahead of time, I just tell them where I am going and when I will be there. The best part is I claim my fuel, maintenance and accom on tax. Not a bad perk for doing the big trip. This now funds our trip entirely.
As far as home schooling goes we would never have thought of home schooling until doing this trip. It has been amazing to see how much the girls have learnt. It is good cause we have the time to pick up on areas they lack in.
We are stopping in Tassie for a bit for two reasons. We want to give the girls a breather, Let them take some time out from travel to have pets and make friends that they can see for more than a couple of days. We have really good friends all over Oz. Some we only met for a couple of days or one day for Matt and Caz from exploroz. But these are people we will keep in contact with and endeavour to see again. Also the company I work for want someone down there so I said I would go for 2 yrs then see what happens.
I hope your back gets better and you can start to do the things you want to. We will be in Sydney on Sunday 5th April for the day. Maybe we could catch up if you like for a cuppa, see some photos. Let me know.

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Follow Up By: PradOz - Wednesday, Mar 25, 2009 at 22:20

Wednesday, Mar 25, 2009 at 22:20
Hi Josh - sorry for delay responding. Hope the travelling is going to plans for you all.

It sounds like you are all having so much fun. Its great to read about others experiences on their holidays/journeys. It gives so much inspiration and information to help us all either plan our own or maybe just dream a little. We will probably ease our way back into travelling/holidays again this year now that my surgery is over (worst 3 years of my/our life!) Just have to reorganise everything to do get back to it - i need to find work again after retrenchment + not sure what to do after my back op, finances took a hammering so must get on track again, kids educations with uni started and year 10 (maybe her last year??) and last year of primary school for son b4 high school next year, also legal stuff to sort out. At this stage I think we will look at doing a good trip to maybe Cairns, or Tassie - not sure yet. We wanted to do both b4 my back injury happened.

Would love to catch up and will let you know soon if its possible after checking the diary of all here. Hopefully will work out ok.

Keep living the dream - cheers Mick
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Reply By: Ozhumvee - Monday, Mar 23, 2009 at 06:10

Monday, Mar 23, 2009 at 06:10
We never did the big trip in one go but were able to travel for an average of 3 months per year for about 15 years from the mid 80's until 2000 until the eldest kid started year 10. We would take them out of school for a term and hit the road.
Talked to the teachers and got some schoolwork for what they would cover while away, most of the time the teachers would respond with " don't worry about school, they will learn much more while travelling".
By the time the eldest was 15 he had only had one birthday (1st July) at home but had celebrated them all over Oz.
Most of the time we towed a Cub Supamatic hardfloor camper but on some very remote trips (CSR etc) tented it with three kids for up to 3 months.
Wore out 6 Toyota's over the years ;-))
1996 Oka Motorhome

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Follow Up By: Member - Josh (VIC) - Monday, Mar 23, 2009 at 09:58

Monday, Mar 23, 2009 at 09:58
We are trying to have a birthday in every state. We have had Christmas in S.A. and Tassie. The girls look forward to where they will be for their next birthday. Sounds like your kids didn't miss much while out of school. Ours are learning so much. My eldest (7yrs old) can identify Gummy/elephant sharks, salmon, bream, mullet, marlin, sail fish, barra, spanish mackerel, whiting, Jew fish, tommies, pink snapper and emperor. She is getting a good education. Problem is she usually catches more than me as well.

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Reply By: Member - Mark E (VIC) - Monday, Mar 23, 2009 at 10:15

Monday, Mar 23, 2009 at 10:15
In 4 or 5 years time, I have long service leave available and can take 6 months at full pay or 12 months at half pay.

At this stage, I'm thinking down the lines of the 12 month trip around oz. The plan would be to buy a really good off road van, perhaps upgrade the cruiser to something with a little more power and heading off. I'm led to believe that the top off road vans have a great resale value and would consider selling it at the end of the trip. With a good resale, it would become a fairly cheap trip....pretty much just fuel and living costs as we would minimize the caravan park stays where possible.

We would rent out the house, rather than selling, as I would want something to be able to use to come back to and for obvious financial reasons.....money isn't everything, but unfortunately you need it to feed and educate kids, of which I now have 2 - one 2 1/2 and on 2 weeks old. In addition I want something left for retirement (never thought I would hear myself saying that!! :-( ) I may even buy another van and go traveling.!

In relation to the rich guy who died..... there is a saying that "...there is little point being the richest man in the cemetery" and I agree with this philosophy.

I figure that in 5 or 6 years, the kids will be old enough to be of some help around camps and would really benefit from the trip at that age rather than taking them too young.

Enjoy both the planning and the trip.


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Reply By: Member - Greg O (NSW) - Monday, Mar 23, 2009 at 10:20

Monday, Mar 23, 2009 at 10:20
Hi Josh,

Head off in two weeks for a five month trip with our three kids (8,5,3). Can't wait.
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Reply By: DIO - Monday, Mar 23, 2009 at 10:35

Monday, Mar 23, 2009 at 10:35
Money !!
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Follow Up By: Member - Josh (VIC) - Monday, Mar 23, 2009 at 21:30

Monday, Mar 23, 2009 at 21:30
Money is over rated. lol
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Reply By: bigyellowbeemer - Monday, Mar 23, 2009 at 11:28

Monday, Mar 23, 2009 at 11:28
I know I know I don't have the big Fourbie and all the other stuff. But my wife and I (both retired age56) head off in 9 days with a cub Kamparoo sprint behind the big beemer 1150GS for an open ended engagement with road and the good citizens of OZ. Looking forward to meeting many folk around the traps. And Oh yes we do intend to do the full lap.
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Reply By: Dunco (NSW) - Monday, Mar 23, 2009 at 11:57

Monday, Mar 23, 2009 at 11:57
I am 53...and went around AUS last year, via Adelaide and up the centre.

I live in Sydney and I am currently sitting in Wagga Wagga...will head home and in about a month I am heading off to Darwin/Broome again for about 8 months I hope...maybe longer.

And I do all this on my own.

On my 3rd van...and this one is a full van with a few creature comforts :-)

AnswerID: 355634

Reply By: Trace & Paul - Monday, Mar 23, 2009 at 14:46

Monday, Mar 23, 2009 at 14:46
Hi Josh,
You could not have posted this thread at a better time than now for us!!!
We are in the process of painting and tidying up our house to have it on the market in about two weeks!! This is a painful process for us as we have been"renovating" for many years and are now over it!!!
We plan to rent for approx 8 months while we get everything in order and 'practice' on little trips within that time.
We have three kids aged 11,8 & 3. They are very excited also.
I am a little worried about home schooling and how their educations will come along but i figure many people have done it before me and their kids have survived!!!
After reading all of the replies i am ready to get stuck back into the painting! I might even give the real estate agent a ring!
Thankyou for renewing our passion to live our dream!
Maybe one day our paths might cross!!! Hope to see you out there soon......
Trace .
AnswerID: 355670

Follow Up By: Member - Josh (VIC) - Monday, Mar 23, 2009 at 21:29

Monday, Mar 23, 2009 at 21:29
Hi Trace and Paul,
Glad to hear we could help inspire you. You will have a ball. Yes there are problems along the way and you have bad days but the rest make up for it ten fold. My wife often said she was not capable of home schooling and now she wants to be a teacher.The kids learn so much on the road. Because they are actually out there doing stuff they learnt it better. Our girls know different fish species, all the rules in caravan park play groundsetc. This is nature studies and English. Maths can be working out the change from getting an. English is also writing home to friends. Yes there is in what they do at times but alot of learning is done without the book. Because it is more one on one teaching it does not take as long as it does in a class room.
Renovation tip for you:
We installed the dishwasher the day before we handed over the keys. It sat in the kitchen for 2 yrs before that. I would not recommend doing that as I still have not heard the end of it.
Hope you enjoy your travels and don't rush, it is a big country.

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Reply By: Member - AJB (VIC) - Monday, Mar 23, 2009 at 15:08

Monday, Mar 23, 2009 at 15:08
People get sucked in by the stay home buy a house set yourself up for the future jargon crap. They feel daunted by leaving a secure existance but then are trapped in a mundane lifestyle but they dont realise that until they do what you (and a few others ) are doing now.
Enjoy it. You will (or may) come home one day and you will be a different and better person from your experiences. Your family will be galvanised from the adventures and time spent together.
We did it for 5 years and our friends thought we were mad, actually they still do, but as you said, perceptions of madness is irrelevant because it is dependant on where you are and where you are looking if that makes any sense.
We came home but really use home as a base for yearly trips now. The best thing is from our travels we have friends all over Australia and we are not daunted about travelling 5,6 7 or 10 thousand kms to visit them and enjoy the time on the road. We all only live on an island so we cant go too far away!
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Reply By: Markymark - Monday, Mar 23, 2009 at 22:50

Monday, Mar 23, 2009 at 22:50
I had a health scare in 2007, thought it was the heart which was the biggest surprise because I was quite fit...I'm married, 2 kids and we were thinking all sorts of things, especially the big trip with the kids we had alway talked about. Basically my boss didn't care about his workers and he wanted to push me harder. Well by the time I was given the all-clear (said it was stress!) we had already decided the boss could stick it where it fits and we planned our trip, taking off last year. We took 6 months and it was the best thing we have ever done as a family. We tossed and turned about extending to 12 months but for various reasons we pulled up stumps. With our kids being 7 and 10, we wanted to settle for the eldest before high school.

Our how outlook on life has changed and our kids always talk about things on the trip. We have 2 small trips planned this year and that's our plan from now on - travel as much as we can with the kids, while we can. Once they have settled in high school we hope to go for another 'biggish' trip, 3 months this time. There's no looking back.

Good on you Josh, what a great thing you guys are doing for your kids.


AnswerID: 355786

Follow Up By: Member - Josh (VIC) - Tuesday, Mar 24, 2009 at 07:53

Tuesday, Mar 24, 2009 at 07:53
Hi Mark,
It gives you a new outlook in life doesn't it. What used to be important is no longer. Time together on the road is great foe the family as well. We are now a very close family. Shortly after we started my daughter said to me "I'm glad we are doing this trip". I asked "why". She said that I now had time to play with them and wasn't tired all the time. Made me realise what I was doing to my family by working so hard trying to be a good father/provider. I don't think we will ever stop travelling properly. Like you we will always do trips.

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Reply By: Member - Rob - Saturday, Mar 28, 2009 at 10:40

Saturday, Mar 28, 2009 at 10:40
Hi Josh

House goes to Auction today. So with a bit of luck we will be out there with very soon!

Safe Traveling
AnswerID: 356708

Follow Up By: Member - Rob - Sunday, Mar 29, 2009 at 09:15

Sunday, Mar 29, 2009 at 09:15
House sold. Now it is time to plan!
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