What better way to spend my long service leave?

by Stephen
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Middle of Nowhere

At the end of this year, I will have been working for my current employer for 10 years. Adding in about another four weeks without pay, my long service leave becomes available in mid-January 2021. I had originally planned to have my long service leave paid out when I leave for my ’round the world bicycle trip at the beginning of 2021. However, due to blowing my budget in October last year, following an attempted ride from Sydney to Melbourne, I deferred my departure until early 2022. In hindsight, due to the Covid-19 pandemic, this ended up being a fortuitous decision! Before the pandemic started, I decided I would take my long service leave when it became due. Delaying the start of my ’round the world bicycle trip gave me a little financial flexibility to do this.

On the 6th of March, 2021, I intend to set off on a bike ride for about 10-11 weeks. As usual, I will be riding for my favourite charity, FightMND. However, there may still be a few complications due to Covid-19. At the moment, some states have their borders closed. I am hoping that these hard borders will be lifted by the end of this year (or very early next year). As a result, I’ve come up with three different route options. They are listed below, in order of preference.

Option 1 – Fremantle to Cronulla.

This is my most recent route idea (which I only come up with a couple of days ago) – my own Indian Pacific journey! During my ’round the world bicycle trip, I am planning to do my final leg on my return to Australia. One of those is to cycle from Fremantle to Melbourne. However, I decided, why not do it now (I will do another route when that time comes – probably Darwin to Melbourne)? This route requires the Western Australian border to be reopened, along with the New South Wales/Victorian border. Also, Victoria (including Melbourne) will need to return to Stage 2 restrictions (or better).

Option 2 – New South Wales and Victoria.

This was the original plan, which I planned about 5 months ago. It has undergone a few changes, but it’s been more or less the same. This option, like the one above, requires Victoria to return to Stage 2 restrictions (or better), and for the New South Wales/Victorian border to be reopened.

Option 3 – New South Wales.

If all else fails, with borders closed and/or lockdown restrictions still in place, I decided to create a route for New South Wales only. This is my least preferred option, but I will be quite content with it nontheless! I will still be riding through places I’ve never been to before.

I most likely won’t be making a decision, as to which route I take, until January, as it all depends on restrictions. However, if restrictions are lifted too late, option 1 will have to be ruled out – as I will have to book a flight to get to Perth first.

Ten to eleven weeks of cycling – what better way to spend my long service leave!

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