Background to Our Mid-Life OE

This blog will be about the year or so that Leanne and I (Brian) plan to spend in Europe. We had been contemplating doing this for some time but always deferred it not wanting to leave good jobs, etc. So when Brian’s job suddenly left him in October 2011 it looked like a good time to move from dreaming to planning, followed by implementing.

The concept of a mid-life OE (Overseas Experience for those not initiated into Kiwi parlance) was revealed to us by friends about five years ago and the idea had instant appeal and compelling logic. The logic was based on three parameters as follows:

  1. At some point you reach an age when your children are no longer dependent upon you;
  2. There is also a time when parents can become dependent due to failing health and other reasons;
  3. The third parameter is your own good health, fitness and financial security being in order.

When these three things coincide there should hopefully be a period of between 5 and 10 years when embarking upon an adventure like ours is optimal. This is called the gap decade and it is the adventure upon which Leanne and I have embarked.

Our adventure starts with a short stopover in Portland Oregon before heading to a housesitting assignment in the South of France. We expect to be away initially until January 2013, beyond which we don’t really have a plan. Steven and Darryn are continuing to live at home while we are away but this will probably change come January 2013. Assuming that we want to return to Europe for 2013 we will probably rent out the house while Steven and Darryn will go out flatting. By that time Steven will be in his last year of his degree and Darryn will be in year 3 of 4.

There will be a couple of differences in this blog compared to last year’s blog. Firstly, I will be trying to use DragonDictate instead of typing for most of the content. I am still learning how to use this dictation tool so I’m sure you will find errors where similar sounding words have been mistaken or other issues as I learn the finer points. Some of them will probably look quite ridiculous so please let me know if you spot any anything like that. Secondly, I will probably only post one update each week rather than the one per day I managed for our holiday last year.

I hope you enjoy it. Send me some comments.



P.S.  Update 20th June 2012

Because of difficulties with place names and foreign words, I have stopped using Dragon Dictate.  It was creating more work than it was saving, even with my keyboard pecking style of typing!


4 Responses to “Background to Our Mid-Life OE”

  1. Peter West April 10, 2012 at 03:48 #

    Brian, we wondered what had happened and where you were! Darryn mentioned you were distracted. Now we know why. Quite an adventure, and one day we intend to do something similar. Good luck and post lots of photos.

  2. Ashley April 9, 2012 at 20:58 #

    Just got your message this morning Brian I do envy your decision to do the OE good luck and look after yourselves. Its’ a lovely sunny day in Taupo great for a bike ride.

    Best regards Ashley & Lora

  3. Joseph Lansi April 9, 2012 at 19:25 #

    I’m happy for you Brian! Keep safe my friend! All the best!

  4. Louise Karl April 5, 2012 at 02:01 #

    I do envy you, in fact I was busy wishing I could do the same when I realised that of course I did exactly that with my years in England and Canada. Have fun! I will watch with interest.

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