Sunday History Photo / 100th

Submitted: Sunday, May 09, 2010 at 01:03
ThreadID: 78315 Views:4052 Replies:7 FollowUps:1
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Most people know that ExplorOz is celebrating its 10th Anniversary this year, which means we started business in 2000. Unless you’ve been following the site from that point, you may not actually know how it came to be as the info I’m about to share with you here is no longer published.
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In 1997 aged 30, David was diagnosed with “pseudo lymphoma” and underwent cancer treatment. It came at a time when he and Michelle felt at the peak of their careers; David as a Senior Technical Manager of a progressive software development company in Sydney, and Michelle as Ad-Production manager of Yellow Pages Pre-Press managing 54 staff. The cancer altered their lives completely as they gave new thought to life, and decided it certainly wasn’t all about the rat-race. In less than 12 months they had left work, families, friends, and sold out of all financial security and instead chose a life of indefinite travel around Australia. The trip was subsidised by Michelle’s portfolio of valuable Telstra shares ($8 each!), a dash of confidence and a splash of determination. In preparation, they sold their two vehicles and purchased a 4WD – choosing a Landcruiser 75 series “troopy” with a pop-top camper conversion as although they chose to take a trailer, this wasn’t a camper trailer but a storage trailer kitted out with scuba diving, windsurfing, and computer gear and quite a lot of “stuff” to enable them to make home whenever,
wherever they chose to stop.
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One of the big planning hurdles was finding other people to talk to who had done something similar and they greatly yearned to hear other people’s stories so they turned to the internet but didn’t find anything of substance. They then joined the Sydney TLCC, did driver training courses and a few club trips. They also bought many 4WD magazines, guide books, maps atlases, attended 4Wd & Camping Shows and did a few small trips of their own. David spent a huge amount of time setting up the vehicle, bought his first GPS, and became intimately acquainted with his 4WD owner’s manual. Michelle focussed on the itinerary planning and food. For them, the trip was not a holiday – it was an adventure into the unknown with a single aim – never to return. So between 1998 – 2000 they extensively travelled throughout Australia, doing the “lap” around the coast and then some desert touring through the centre.
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Throughout the entire trip, Michelle wrote a detailed, daily journal noting full driving notes for every “trek” including GPS waypoints, thoughts, issues, and experiences and published this to a website David created using just a laptop and mobile phone in the days before broadband. The website took the name of their business at the time, “Beach & Beyond” through which they conducted I.T. consulting and training services and developed a scuba diving product both just prior and during the trip. It didn’t take long for the Beach & Beyond website to generate a substantial audience of people saying what they were publishing was more helpful than anything else available so based on this feedback David and Michelle felt compelled to look into making a business out of what they were doing. As they travelled they formulated a business plan and eventually in January 2000 made the decision to stop travelling and setup an office, choosing Perth as the location to start their new business. I.T. Beyond was incorporated as a company and ExplorOz was registered as a business with a new website created under the url www.exploroz.com
About David
David is often called the “computer nerd with a personality”, and “Mr Busy”. During David and Michelle’s 2 year adventure travelling Australia Michelle also added “accident prone” to this list after his many scrapes caused from tackling near impossible feats. Prior to life at ExplorOz, David’s hobbies were scuba diving, rock climbing, and snow skiing. He completed a solo journey to Nepal in 1996 and successfully made an unassisted (no Sherpa or guide) trek to Everest Base Camp. He is driven by challenges and adventure. These days, David’s personal focus is on fitness and outdoor adventure sports. In late 2007, David took up an interest in adventure racing combining MTB cycling, running, river or ocean swimming and kayaking. By 2008 he had also started triathlon racing, involving ocean swimming, cycling, and running and in 2009 was a Half Ironman Triathlon finisher.
About Michelle
Michelle grew up bushwalking, camping and sailing and become very involved in windsurfing in the early 1980s. In the early 1990s when she met David she also took up scuba diving and together they enjoyed many deep, wreck diving adventures and other outdoor pursuits. Michelle continues to enjoy seeking new challenges and adventures alongside David and has also started triathlon racing and has just finished her first team entry into a Half Ironman triathlon.
You can expect a lot more yet to come from this duo who believe live is simply what you make it!
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Reply By: Member - Stuart P (WA) - Sunday, May 09, 2010 at 02:22

Sunday, May 09, 2010 at 02:22
a great story. thanks doug for the information . well done dave and michelle
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Reply By: petengail - Sunday, May 09, 2010 at 06:53

Sunday, May 09, 2010 at 06:53
brilliant again doug - thanks
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Reply By: Rockape - Sunday, May 09, 2010 at 07:48

Sunday, May 09, 2010 at 07:48
Good one Doug,

David got the right boots on for the job. Cheap and self repairing. LOL


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Reply By: Fred G NSW - Sunday, May 09, 2010 at 10:17

Sunday, May 09, 2010 at 10:17
Good read there Doug, thanks for sharing.

Big thanks to David and Michelle for creating and maintaining this beaut meeting place, for us all to share information, experiences and travels from this great country.



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Reply By: Member - George (WA) - Sunday, May 09, 2010 at 18:16

Sunday, May 09, 2010 at 18:16
Well written Doug. Looking forward to the next 10 years. Cheers to all
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Reply By: Member - Howard (ACT) - Sunday, May 09, 2010 at 19:33

Sunday, May 09, 2010 at 19:33
From a personal perspective I have followed David and Michelle and the EO website for over 10 years
I first came across Michellles jottings when researching a CapeYork trip in mid 1999
I goggled up cape york and go t a link to her trip notes.
Have followed the evolution of the website ever since its launch in 2000 although I didnt officially join until June 2002.
have attended a couple of the past gatherings and am definitely looking forward to Wiluna.
regards
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Follow Up By: ExplorOz - David & Michelle - Wednesday, Jun 02, 2010 at 14:34

Wednesday, Jun 02, 2010 at 14:34
Hi Howard,
I never got a chance to see this post, and have just stumbled across it today. Doug had asked for our "story" and unfortunately at the time it was published I had my mind on other things with a rushed trip to Sydney for the funeral of my 97 year old grandmother. So sorry that I did not respond to this note in the post. I'd love to catch up with you in Wiluna - just a few weeks away now. It's quite humbling to know there are still people that think that what we started long ago was worth "following" through for 10years!
MM
David (DM) & Michelle (MM)
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Reply By: Member - David C2 (VIC) - Sunday, May 09, 2010 at 21:13

Sunday, May 09, 2010 at 21:13
Many thanks Doug for the insight into this great site. As a new member it is good to find out some of the history and share in the adventure that started it all. Thanks to David and Michelle for a fantastic resource.
Cheers David
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