- I am in my late 40’s. I live in Australia, having arrived here from Holland at a young age. My parents inadvertently landed us in a religious cult.
- I work as a RAN .... a remote area nurse .... mostly in Indigenous (Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander) communities, often at single nurse clinics. This work pays very well and I find it immensely satisfying/engaging.
- My work is set up so I can cherry-pick when/where/how many weeks I work for. This freedom enabled me to spend 6 weeks volunteering in a paediatric hospital in Laos last year - totally on a whim after seeing a post on Facebook.
- Clinic hours are usually M-F 9am to 5.30pm, then on-call for the remainder. Nurses will note there are no rostered night shifts!
- In between nursing contracts I live with my partner in New South Wales. I sometimes pick up a shift at the local hospital, but only if I feel like it. During the summer holidays he travels with me.
- We currently rent a small straw bale home and are setting up a blended native/permaculture/food-producing garden on the property. Think worm farm, chickens, bee-keeping, guild planting etc.
- I have previous experience in suburban permaculture and bartering via a LETS group I set up (many years ago).
- Beyond having a year’s worth of FU money in a savings account, I steadily invest my savings in a little stock portfolio. This is very much a work in progress and I plan to start reading through Jacob’s recommenced curriculum asap.
At present I would consider myself to be approaching semi-ERE. I only need to work 8-10 weeks per year to cover all my expenses as they stand. A little bit of juggling would reduce that to 5-6 weeks. While on contracts I live in free accommodation with free utilities and internet. My COL while in communities is reduced to food only, and the food options are very basic. I use the time away from home to research various future expense-reduction projects (eg. wine and soap making).
Most of the above has been set up in the years post-divorce. It has been a very positive, freeing time for me personally. Reading Jacob’s book is pushing me to a new level yet again. I am excited about the future possibilities and challenges that ERE (obviously not ‘Early’ in my case, but you get the drift) has opened up.
What is missing from the above are the tales of childhood poverty, a lengthy (unhappy) marriage, the raising of two amazing children (one with severe disabilities), and how African drumming led me to Love These may or may not make their way into future journal entries. I look forward to participating in other journal discussions now that I’ve introduced myself.