"I couldn't just quit work - I'm needed...."
"We'd have to wait a few years til Jack finishes school..."
"We could only take a few months off for long service leave not enough to do the whole trail.."
"We'd need to wait til we've paid the mortgage off at least..."
"Ok, bugger, we'd be in our early 50's then..."
"Do you reckon your knee would hold out ya old fart..."
"Ok so let's head back then. It'd be great though wouldn't it?"
"Yeah! fucking awesome."
It's funny how things work out. If I look back at the number of times an idea has entered my head, turned into something I really want, dismissed as a pipe dream, but then eventuating, well I won't list them and sound like a wanker, but there have been more than a handful of big things in my life that have materialised like this, and being in a position to tackle the BNT is one of them.
I think I was starting to rust at work, just going through the motions, and the days where I felt "Wow I love my job, I've really made a difference today" were becoming far and few between. In the past, changing jobs and setting new goals worked wonders as the cure for this, but nearing the 10-year mark, the longest I had ever worked for one employer, I had it in the back of my mind that it would be good to stick around and clock over this big milestone. Taking three months off for long service leave was also lurking around in the back of my mind. The company I worked for was also one of Australia's largest corporations which, over the 10 years, also provided opportunity for changing roles whilst staying with the company - this thought was rattling around in my head too, as the cure-all for my lost mojo. I think ultimately what was holding me back was the thought that I needed a real "tree change" in my career but not quite knowing what that would be or being brave enough to just take the plunge. So back to my point about how its funny how things tend to work out. The decision was made for me and I won the corporation's "Redundancy Lotto". I saw it coming but I didn't. I knew there was a restructure happening in my area, in fact I was working on it and thought I'd land on the right side of it and get the recharge with a refreshed role I was looking for. Ultimately it was fortunate for me this wasn't the case.
Let's go back to that earlier reality slap - Wow, some of those hurdles don't look so big now, I could do this.
I decided its now or never. I figured I'm not getting any younger, the redundancy buys some financial peace, and I need to recharge and figure out what I will be happy doing next. After a pile of research, copious hours doing budgets and spreadsheets, to demonstrate this would stack up, I floated the idea with my wife Beth first. I am amazed how supportive Beth and my family have been - initially the idea was for me to take a few months out and do Healesville to Kosciusko; however, the time I could realistically start meant it'd be winter going over the Victorian highlands which I figured would be a little too challenging. Plans began to form doing the full north-to-south attempt as the season timings seemed to align . As they say "go big or go home" and, in November 2016, I shared with family and friends my intention to tackle the BNT and taking a year out to do it. Serious planning started at that point - that's when I got my second reality slap... but that's a story for another day.
At 47 years young, Chris Anthony, who is married with 3 wonderful kids, tried his hand at being an adventurer for the 12 months tackling the BNT.