Saturday, July 13, 2013

Solo Gypsy: 10 Nomadic Years

 This is my personal narrative and photo album about a sea change from USA to AUS, and 10 years of being a solo gypsy. Looking back over the decade of trysts and trips, I am enveloped by a great sense of peace and contentment. I found my paradise, and I can't help but think how extraordinarily fortunate I am.

My journey has just turned 10. During those wanderlust years, I lived in 6 capital cities around the Australian states. And I had long stay visits in several more island-nations in the South Pacific and in SE Asia. I think of each location as a chapter in my travel book, but life in Australia could be a complete volume separate and distinct. Maybe I'll call it “Lost in Oz.”

Travel Feats... Slow travel and living in TAS, NSW, VIC, QLD, SA, WA in that order.

Epiphanies...1. Solo travel sucks. 2. After a decade, still restless but rooted.
The reason it has taken so long to compile my memoirs is that I was simply too busy and constantly moving. I have been without the luxury of time to record the process - until now, on the 10th anniversary of arriving as a naive Yank in search of a place to call home. Let the journey continue.

Elsewheres... I enjoyed long stays and multiple visits to New Zealand, New Caledonia, Indonesia, Canada and the USA during my Solo Gypsy wanderlust years.

A Place to Belong...America is my homeland. Australia is my heaven. 

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Deetouring Dee's Living on Island Time Slideshow

Where did the downunder discovery begin? 

Where did I detour in a decade?

Where has the journey ended after a decade on the road?

For clues, see the Deetouring With Dee slideshow.  Images from Living on Island Time: 10 Nomadic Years. 

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Dee Farrell’s DeeTours DownUnder

I left the United States for a sea change to Australia after amassing a lot of cool street signs and vehicle license plates that said "G'day" and other Aussie sayings. 

After exploring 48 states in U-S-A (living in PA, NY, FL, CO, and OR), I headed downunder for the 6 states in A-U-S.  It took me 10 years to visit, live in and revisit the capital cities of TAS, NSW, VIC, QLD, SA and WA - in that order. 

Along the way, I acquired many nicknames, from "Ms Adventure" to "Galavanting Goddess", while working towards the literal "Gray Nomad."  But the ones I use as my business name and byline are "DeeTours DownUnder" and "Deetouring Dee."

Here are the introductory comments and foreward from my book, "Living on Island Time.  10 Nomadic Years." 

A Note to Readers

These pages reflect my personal dee-tour down-under while living in Oz, first as “an independent business executive” and later as a “overseas visitor” by grace of the Australian Department of Immigration and Citizenship.

I call this a book of musings because the writings are casual stories about my journey and about my company called DeeTours DownUnder. Deetours allowed me to spend several years in the tourism industry and to meet some incredible people who also wanted to escape and live the dream in an iconic place called Australia.

I started this work with a series of emails sent to family & friends. They went back home on a regular basis for my first year downunder, but then went by the wayside as I got busy and bored with writing and digital photography. Regretfully, many of those early epistles and photos are gone, lost in cyberspace after a series of computer crashes and not learning to back up!

All of them – the early memories of what OZ looked like through the eyes of a new migrant and the recent ones of re-entry after life in Bali - have one thing in common. My reliance on wine for the artful arrangement of words:>) LMAO.

In gathering my stories for the book, I had a chance to filter through the cast of characters who have made up this experience, some provided by strangers and others by loved ones. And to think about fate, choice, chance, luck, faith, forgiveness, and the free range freedom that I enjoyed in the pursuit of my variegated vagabonding. Its main purpose is to help the readers while away an idle hour.

Happy Trails,
Deetouring Dee

This is the intercontinental tale of an ex-pat itinerant passing through Australia, the South Pacific and Southeast Asia for 10 nomadic years

I was an “escape artist” from 2003 until 2013 when I converted from restless to rooted. Chasing the dream and blurring the line between travel and life, I can say in retrospect that my wanderlust years of slow travel were anything but ordinary.

I did not just circumnavigate a continent, I circumambulated a few countries. What a ride!

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Living on Island Time: 10 Nomadic Years

Deetouring Dee t-shirts for sale.

DeeTouring DownUnder, my memory book, is finally done.  Whew.

Here's the dedication page.

Thanks to

  • Barbara Stern, coach and friend who helped me visualize the move, and gave me the courage to chase my dream. 
  • Diane Byington, friend and writing mentor who got me started thinking that I could indeed turn my magazine articles and blogs into this book.
  • Cheryl Naylor, soulmate of  40 years who has a better memory than mine, and who is the only close friend to visit me during my deetouring days.
  • Family and friends who said “Just Do It.”
  • To all of you who encouraged me to tell my vagabonding story so others could learn how to pursue a dream job or to be self-motivated to follow their journey.

The accompanying photo album for grins: 

Deetours: The First Decade of Vagabonding

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

What's new with DeeTouring Dee?

Dee Farrell currently lives and works in Australia, Asia and America, as the weather suits and the immigration bureaus dictate. Since 2013, she blogs from home in Perth.

As a grey nomad and sage on escapes, adventures and sea changes, she has penned a few travel destination articles for international publications like EscapeArtist, A Place in the Sun, Get Up and Go, and the International Real Estate Investment newsletter (in which she regretfully disclosed the hidden gems of Tasmania).

On the 10th anniversary of the day she arrived in Sydney wearing rose-colored glasses, she writes of her 3000 days in Oz as a “resident alien” and her many deetours that have brought her “home.”

Who knew the end of the road would be the westernmost shore of the continent island she has adopted.

Until the next chapter,

Dee Farrell, Perth, Western Australia
    American by birth. Australian by choice.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Around the World in 80 Bags

In 8 years of criss-crossing the oceans between the United States and the South Pacific region, I have gone through 8 suitcases.

If only those suitcases could talk...they'd tell you about exotic tropical destinations like New Caledonia (Coral Sea), the northern tip of New Zealand (Wahihoihoi), the southern tip of Australia (Tasmania), the beaches of South Florida, the dunes of Oregon, and a trip or two to my all-time favorite destination, Vancouver, BC.

The two green suitcases I first took to Australia in 2003 are long gone. The two black bags I brought back from Tasmania were donated recently to the Goodwill store in Wilton Manors, Florida, where I picked up a cloth suit bag and a Sharper Image carry on bag for under $25.

I have bought a new suitcase every know and again, and buying a brand name does not always mean better than the no-name hand-me-downs from the Salvation Army stores that I frequent at every destination.

For instance, I bought a Kenneth Cole designer suit bag in bright orange in Manhattan for a pretty penny, swayed by the warranty (which was not honored a month after purchase for workmanship). It never made but one or two trips and I "donated" the unsuitable bag to the Muslim Charity Container in Sydney. Actually, the bag was too big to put into the bin, and I had a feeling it would be scarfed up overnight. Good riddance!

My hot pink-wheelie and designer pattern bag from New Zealand remains my all-time favorite. I almost didn't buy it in Rotorua, but glad now that I did. Worth every penny, it has traversed the Pacific Ocean 5 times so far. I have to watch carefully at baggage claim carrousels that someone doesn't grab it and run. It's so distinctive, I've never seen another like this Quicksilver-brand bag.

My latest additions are not long for the world tour. Maybe a dee-tour or two. But the $25 WalMart special is only designed for a few plane changes before it is replaced with one of those fancy new roller bags, and the tiny orange cosmetic bag - well that was an impulse buy for carry-on cosmetics.

I consider it a credit to claim my entire worldly possessions can be contained in about 8 suitcases (3 I leave in Australia, 3 I travel with, and 2 are in storage in Florida). I can't even count the number of golf bags and computer bags I have owned over the years and schlepped across continents. Many R.I.P., and many are living new lives ex Salvos, Goodwill, and the Charity Shops I have encountered across the miles.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

What's your footwear?

Which pair of shoes best describes your summer travel plans?

Flip Flops | Hiking Boots | Spa Slippers | Tennis Shoes | Go Barefoot

I have been trolling Florida beaches on the Gulf of Mexico coast in advance of the oil spill spoiling the white sands, translucent water and wildlife. Walking lightly and enjoying the water and waves while still pristine.

Travel writer Dee Farrell currently lives and works in Australia and Florida.