We peered out of the window as the cool breeze gushed into the car; our expressions were similar to those of kids - filled with excitement and wonder.
Our skin was still tender and radiated in an uncomfortable shade of red - a result of surfing on one of the many beaches along the Great Ocean Road.
We spent the rest of the afternoon driving through miles of scenic coastal roads.
The Twelve Apostles were the highlight of this little road trip and we caught a glimpse of it while it was still being illuminated by the setting sun before the darkness of the night stole its glory.
If we had decided to take the highway instead of the coastal roads, we would have reached our destination much earlier. But we would have missed having breakfast in a small town called Werribee; we would not have known how it's like to be washed away in icy-cold waters...there wouldn't also be any wild Cockatoos in sight.
I'm typing this on a flight back and I've been thinking hard about the kind of freedom that I want at the end of this trip - the trip out of the rat cage.
If you have been following this blog since the start, you would know that I was living life from paycheck-to-paycheck, had a neat sum of debt and couldn't see any light at the end of the tunnel.
It's been more than two years now since I had 'the epiphany', - the whole early retirement, financial freedom bug.
It made sense.
It got me to move. To put my shit together and get my finances in order. It gave me clarity, a sense of direction...something feasible that I can work towards.
It's true what they say about ideas - once it gets into your head, it's hard to get it out.
Dangerous, but in a good way.
As a result, I save quite a chunk of my paycheck every month now and have about 2 years worth of freedom (the amount of time I can survive without a paycheck) in my bucket. I have a small portfolio of dividend growth funds that is churning out some nice pocket money from time to time.
But most importantly, it's the mindset that's invaluable.
You see, the easy part is understanding the mechanics of FI - make more, spend less, grow the rest. I guess even idiots get that and I don't understand why a lot of blogs make it sound like rocket science.
Now, the hard part is really believing that you'll get there in the end. Some call it faith, some call it determination but to me it's all about getting that conviction.
It's a kind of certainty that cannot be explained and I hope to pass this deep conviction on to you through my writing.
Once I saw how beautiful the journey towards FI is, a new path opened in the woods.
And the rest was easy.