The best laid travel plans – Part 2

Our travel plans were finally coming together, until we hit the spanner in the works.

In part one of our story, travel plans are being finalised and starting to take shape. Having gained the required qualifications to teach English in Vietnam, we almost had everything ready. But even the best laid travel plans don’t always go as expected.


Medical specialists are in demand and not easy or fast to get into. After what seemed like forever, the appointment was booked and tests were performed. We just had to wait for the results. One issue was looming large though. We wouldn’t get the test results until a month before our deadline date.

Stuck in limbo, unable to continue the travel plans for the move to Asia further without knowing what kind of medical care Mieka was going to require without the test results. but knowing we didn’t want to stay in Adelaide either.

We settle in to wait for the results. The stress of waiting was felt by all. Would the diagnosis be bad? Would we be able to plan and implement the move with only one month’s notice? Everything was up in the air.

The date had arrived. The test results had finally been examined. The diagnosis didn’t look promising.
Mieka was experiencing a lot of pain and with more consultation with the specialist. The travel idea was sadly put on the back burner.
We received the advice that Mieka would need more ongoing treatment and that staying with the same specialist was probably the wisest idea.
Bouncing around Asia trying to get blood tests every 4 weeks and scans every 3 months was a bit too much stress to deal with on top of a complete life change.

Tasmania Bound

Back to plan two, with only 1 month to organise the move.

Setting our sights firmly on moving to Tasmania became the focus. I think secretly, Mieka was excited to move to Tasmania. Her father had told her when we first mentioned the idea of moving to Tasmania, that as a child, she would often say she would move there one day.
She was about to get her wish.

Finding work turned out to be rather easy but a little stressful. Mieka had an old coworker who had made the move to Tasmania a few years earlier. Getting into contact with this friend, he advised that his current employer would be hiring staff soon. The resume was sent off and we settled in to wait for the reply.

We didn’t have long to wait. Mieka was contacted shortly after and advised they would like to interview her. This posed one little issue though. Interviews had to be in person, face to face.

We didn’t have long to buy the plane tickets, so we sadly paid top dollar. $800 to fly in and fly out for an interview was a decent chunk of our savings gone. Especially for a job we weren’t sure if she would get or not? It was a gamble indeed.

We bit the bullet, and luck was on our side. The interview went well and the job was offered. That at least was the financial side of things sorted.

Image of the boat house at cradle mountain
Looking forward to spending more time in stunning Tasmania


By this stage we had around 3 weeks before we drove to Melbourne to catch the ferry to Tasmania.

Finding a removalist was the next task. This was a little annoying to say the least.

We had minimised our possessions so much that we only had a bed, fridge, washing machine and couch to move, and a few boxes of clothing and toys.

We investigated 3 moving ideas.

Rent a car and trailer and drive our possessions over ourselves. This sounds great in theory, but no car hire companies will allow their vehicles on the ferry due to insurance reasons.

Hire a removal company to drop a shipping container at our Adelaide home. Fill it ourselves and they freight it to Melbourne, then ship it to Tasmania.
The issue with this method, we didn’t have enough to fill an entire container. It would be a mixed container with ours and other people’s possessions. It would sit in Melbourne until someone else needed to ship something to Tasmania. Estimated time until we got our possessions was 4-5 weeks. The lowest price we were quoted was $3400.

The last idea was to find a Tasmanian based removal company who was doing a delivery in Adelaide, and get a cheaper backfill removal. Instead of driving back to Tasmania with an empty truck, they would take our possessions at a cheaper rate.


We got lucky with moving idea 3. Managing to find a removal company that was doing an Adelaide run the same week we left. It was also the fastest and cheapest option. We found a removal company who would pack and unload our possessions, transport them and deliver them for $1800. And the best part was we only had 7 days without our possessions.

Image of the ocean featuring a lighthouse
Leaving Port Melbourne on The Spirit of Tasmania ferry


The rental market in Tasmania surprised us with a few curve balls. In South Australia we had never been required to supply a credit history check when renting a house. In Tasmania the credit history check turned out to be a mandatory requirement for all the houses we inquired about. We scrambled to get credit history documents organised as we knew this document would take a few weeks to processed and be received.

The credit history check took a painful 2 weeks to be processed, leaving a worrying 1 week to find, apply and secure a house.

We got to work applying for houses. Tense and stressed out and with just 3 days until our departure date, we thankfully secured a lovely new house on a quiet cul-de-sac overlooking the beautiful ocean and harbour.

Everything was finally organised and we were ready to depart.


We packed up what we needed and hit the road in the early afternoon. Preferring an overnight road trip when it’s cooler and more gentle on the eyes.
We allowed ourselves plenty of time to reach Melbourne. Lots of chances to stop and rest, and to take plenty of photos.

Image of the night sky featuring stars
Plenty of space photography opportunities on the drive to Melbourne

The drive went smoothly and we reached Melbourne with plenty of time to spare. The ferry ride on the Spirit of Tasmania wasn’t so smooth though. We hit some terrible weather and the waves were intense. We overheard some of the ferry staff mention that this ferry ride was the roughest they had ever encountered.

I had been awake for around 30 hours by this stage. I was more tired than I had ever been, and even I couldn’t sleep with such rough weather rocking the ferry about.
Ronin took it in his stride though. He made the most of the ferry ride. Spending his day looking out the porthole window and asking when we would see whales.

We never did see any of those elusive whales.

Image of a boy looking out a boat window onto the ocean
Ronin enjoying the ocean voyage and whale hunting


With the ferry safely docked in Devonport, we left the ferry behind us and headed towards our new home. The sun was shining. The views of the ocean road were beautiful. We felt like we had made the right decision.

A few months have passed now. It still doesn’t feel real. It still doesn’t feel like home yet, more like an extended holiday still. I’m not sure if this will ever change, but here we are.

We certainly are looking forward to exploring and sharing this beautiful island with you.

Image of an alpine stream flowing through bushland
Looking forward to sharing more of the stunning Tasmanian scenery with you all
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