A Tree Change

My name is Christian Phoenix, and I used to be a graphic designer living modestly in the western suburbs of Brisbane.

My wife and I decided we'd had enough of traffic, queues, tolls, and huge living costs. We decided to take a chance, pack it all up, and make a simpler life for ourselves and our family.

We decided to make a tree change.
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Heading North
Our trip began by traveling north to Townsville, where we’d made plans to spend the summer of 2010. As many will remember, that summer was the wettest summer we’d had in Queensland (and indeed all of Australia) for decades.
It rained.
It poured.
It poured some more.
And then, just for a switch, it kept on pouring.
By the time we’d left Brisbane, the Wivenhoe Dam was already at 110% capacity (how exactly does that work, anyway?) and the rain was only getting more and more frequent.
By the time we reached Rockhampton, the flood waters were already causing evacuations, and had blocked all roads behind us.  It was a mad dash for the finish line or we were likely to be stranded halfway to Townsville in who-knows-where.
We abandoned the idea of a leasurely trip north and put our foot to the floor, stopping outside Mackay to pick up a cheap pop-up caravan Jaclyn’s dad had seen advertised on his way through recently. It was a bargain, but very old and needed a lot of work to make it liveable.
Our dash continued, with a brief trip down memory lane in the Whitsundays, where my wife and I had lived some years before and where we very nearly broke up over incompatible directions in life… I can’t express enough how glad I am those cards fell the way they did, instead of the way they almost did.
After a week of traveling we made it to Townsville, rocked up to Jaclyn’s dad’s place, and unpacked our bags.
It was raining harder than ever, and the news was showing pictures of Rockhampton going under water, and Brisbane’s Wivenhoe dam talking about releasing flood waters because they didn’t have any more space to absorb it.  If we’d sold just one or two weeks later than we did, the sale may well have fallen through and we’d still be there right now, picking up the flood-damaged pieces of our lives.
Craziest road trip. Ever.

Heading North

Our trip began by traveling north to Townsville, where we’d made plans to spend the summer of 2010. As many will remember, that summer was the wettest summer we’d had in Queensland (and indeed all of Australia) for decades.

It rained.

It poured.

It poured some more.

And then, just for a switch, it kept on pouring.

By the time we’d left Brisbane, the Wivenhoe Dam was already at 110% capacity (how exactly does that work, anyway?) and the rain was only getting more and more frequent.

By the time we reached Rockhampton, the flood waters were already causing evacuations, and had blocked all roads behind us.  It was a mad dash for the finish line or we were likely to be stranded halfway to Townsville in who-knows-where.

We abandoned the idea of a leasurely trip north and put our foot to the floor, stopping outside Mackay to pick up a cheap pop-up caravan Jaclyn’s dad had seen advertised on his way through recently. It was a bargain, but very old and needed a lot of work to make it liveable.

Our dash continued, with a brief trip down memory lane in the Whitsundays, where my wife and I had lived some years before and where we very nearly broke up over incompatible directions in life… I can’t express enough how glad I am those cards fell the way they did, instead of the way they almost did.

After a week of traveling we made it to Townsville, rocked up to Jaclyn’s dad’s place, and unpacked our bags.

It was raining harder than ever, and the news was showing pictures of Rockhampton going under water, and Brisbane’s Wivenhoe dam talking about releasing flood waters because they didn’t have any more space to absorb it.  If we’d sold just one or two weeks later than we did, the sale may well have fallen through and we’d still be there right now, picking up the flood-damaged pieces of our lives.

Craziest road trip. Ever.

  1. treechange posted this