Andy Friend is a long way from home. The Australian rugby coach has just finished a five year stint as head coach with Connacht rugby. It’s now time for him and his wife Kerri to go home and spend some time with their family.
But they aren’t going straight home. Last year they bought a campervan and when the lease on their house elapsed on 31 May, they got into their van and set off around Ireland, getting the ferry to Cherbourg on 6 June. From there they are travelling around Europe in their campervan which will include the Rugby World Cup in France in September. The only promise that that Kerri will be sleeping in her own bed in Canberra by 1 December.
Andy and Kerri could have quiet easily gone straight back home to Australia when his Connacht contract finished and started to look for a new role. But while they have the time, they are going on an adventure that they will remember for the rest of their lives. And by travelling around in a campervan, they will certainly get to see a lot of Europe that you wouldn’t see if you were flying everywhere and only getting into the cities.
This is what life should be like. There is an opportunity now to have this adventure and so they are taking it. They are not waiting until they retire to do everything then. We might not get that far. Something the Friends are all to aware about after Kerri suffered a brain injury after a biking accident.
We should make these memories when we can. Something that is of great interest to you now may not be that attractive to you when you are older (I know travelling around in a campervan wouldn’t appeal to most. But take it from someone who’s travelled around New Zealand and Germany in one and they are great fun). There is no point in accumulating a bucket list, (I hate that phrase!) that is so long that you have no chance of ticking them all off when you retire.
It is the same for all of us. We are working harder and longer now than before. If you get a break between jobs, make something out of it. Having kids will certainly curtail your ability to do some things but it is not an excuse. My kids were 3 and 6 months old when we went around Germany in a campervan.
We only get one life, live it.
10 July 2023