Sunday 22nd May 2022

Women Of Courage Series.#37 Kathy. 35/2020.

Women Of Courage Series.#37 Kathy. 35/2020.


A series of blog posts on Denyse Whelan Blogs to be found here from mid-May 2019: Wednesdays: each week until the series concludes in 2020.

Here is the introduction to the series.

Courage is strength in the face of pain or grief. It’s doing something that frightens you. We face situations that demand courage every day. These situations provide us with choices, and the way we respond to those choices determines our future. Dayne Shuda.

As bloggers Kathy and I have connected on-line but  have not met, and I do know the part of the world in New South Wales where Kathy and her husband have made home in retirement. As a child I remember one lovely family  vacation in that very town. Kathy, who is 62,  recounts some of her day via great photos taken on her walks. Thank goodness, even in COVID-19 restrictions,  walking for exercise is allowed! I hope you enjoy learning more about  Kathy as I did when she shares her story now as a Woman of Courage.



What have you faced in your life where you have had to be courageous?

6 years ago my husband came home from work one day and asked me the question “would I be prepared to toss in my job and travel around Australia in a caravan for a year?” At that time in my life I had only commenced my blog, was working as a part-time bookkeeper and had recently become an empty nester. I must admit I was in a big rut and I wasn’t happy with my life.

Particularly since I lost friendships because of my blog (which is another story entirely).

Although I immediately said yes, I started having doubts about this lifestyle change as it meant giving up so much. I did have to be courageous and take it head on. Spending a year away from my family and friends was going to be challenging. I also wasn’t certain of whether I’d get a job when I returned after 12 months. There were many issues to consider.


How did this change you in any way? Please outline further if this has been the case.

Being away from home changed me dramatically. I learnt to enjoy my own company and reconnected with my husband.

Plus I discovered the new hobby of photography as I captured the beauty of Australia as we travelled around. It impacted on what I wrote on my blog that slowly transformed into a journal of our travels.

I became a much more content person and no longer sought approval from friends or the need to compete.

Being removed from the life I once had made me realise that I wasn’t being true to myself. I rediscovered my true self as she had been lost a long time ago.


Is there something you learned from this that you could recommend to help others who need courage?

I learnt that the simple things in life are definitely better.

Being out amongst nature I was surrounded by quietness and stillness and I found it to be very therapeutic.

Prior to taking this trip I was seeing a Counsellor who was helping me through a difficult period of my life, but escaping like this was the best therapy ever.

I would recommend that changing your life situation can help alleviate many of your problems.

Even small changes can make a difference, like changing jobs, moving house, finding a new hobby or interest, or removing yourself from toxic friendships.


Do you think you are able to be more courageous now if the life situation calls for it? Why is that?

I’m a hell of a lot more courageous and strong as a consequence.

I don’t feel that I need the approval of other people and that I can be my own person.

I actually enjoy my own company and now see the shallowness in constantly trying to keep up with other peoples’ expectations.



Is there any message you would give to others facing a situation where courage could be needed?

Just be yourself.

You’re the only one that knows yourself best.

Go with your gut instinct and remain focused on making changes that will improve your life and wellbeing.

Don’t listen to the naysayers! If you really want something go out there and get it!


Do add anything else that you think would help others who read your post.

I while ago I wrote this blog about “Making The Most Of Your Life in Your 50s”. It’s very relevant to this interview.


Thank you so much Kathy for sharing that very important and life-changing story in response to the questions here. Your social media pages below are added for readers and bloggers who would like to know more and follow you too.


Social Media:



Facebook Page:



Joining each Wednesday with Sue and Leanne here for Mid Life Share the Love Linky.

On Thursdays I link here for Lovin Life with Leanne and friends.

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  1. I love this story, Kathy. There would have been so many reasons to say no, and yet you said yes. Love it.

  2. Thank you Jo. It did take a lot of courage to make such a huge change in my life and now as you know we’ve also moved across the border into Northern NSW. These changes have definitely made me a lot more content and less stressed.

    • That is so good to read Kathy.

      Thank you for sharing.

      I reckon there are many who will identify with much you have shared.


  3. Hi Kathy – lovely to see you here on Denyse’s blog and sharing your story. I often wonder how people manage to leave their family and friends behind for long stretches of time to travel, but what you said about drilling down and finding yourself makes a lot of sense. We can be too reliant on trying to maintain a persona that doesn’t fit anymore – taking a break and getting away from all that’s familiar is obviously a great place to get down to tin tacks and decide what really matters.
    Denyse -thanks for linking this up with us at MLSTL and I’ve shared on my SM

    • Hi Leanne, it was a difficult decision to make at that particular time. If you asked me now I would be off like a shot! It’s amazing how we get so caught up in our tiny little worlds and think we need to compete with everyone around us. Stripping myself back and getting into nature was the best thing I’ve ever done. Since then I haven’t really looked back.

  4. Great to see Kathy here as part of your series Denyse. It certainly would take courage to leave the security of everything you know and take a chance but wow – how I’d love to do that. I can completely understand how travelling around Australia for 12 months would help to rediscover yourself and also to realise how the simple things in life are really the good things and nature truly is the best healer. Thanks for sharing Kathy! xo

  5. Good on you Kathy! I enjoyed reading your story and the advice you’ve given, it’s not an easy thing to pick up and just go! I agree with you saying you rediscovered yourself during your year away, it’s such an important thing to be able to do. Simple is definitely best 🙂 Thanks Denyse for sharing Kathy’s story with us. #mlstl

    • Hi Debbie, when you’re stuck in a big rut you do start to wonder why you’re living your life a certain way. I was so grateful to be given the opportunity to make some changes in my life. It really did change me as a person.

    • My privilege and pleasure to do so. We always seem to learn something that is a takeaway for us when the posts are read. Thanks to Kathy again.


  6. I can hardly remember the Kathy BC (before caravanning around Australia) but I’m sure we had met up online prior to your big decision. I agree that jumping off a cliff is often such a great reliever of pressure, and as long as we don’t put up too many obstacles to prevent the jump, generally things work out well. It’s not called a leap of faith for nothing I guess 😉 And it certainly turned you into the traveller we know and love you for today on your blog!

    • I don’t think you would have liked the Kathy BC! She was high maintenance and didn’t appreciate what she had in her life. Seriously though taking off in our caravan and travelling around Australia was the best thing I’ve ever done. It did change me and since then I’ve been a more content person.

  7. My very favourite holiday was 3 weeks in a campervan traveling around NZ, totally unplanned and off the grid for most of it. I would love a year to travel around Australia, in fact I’d love to escape permanently! Thank you for sharing your story

    • Hi Christina, I think most people like the idea of escaping life and travelling, but it’s not always practical. We did it at the right time because we were both struggling. I always say to my husband that I’m so glad we made the decision just to take off. The feeling of freedom is unbeatable.

    • Sounds like you too have identified with Kathy’s choice and adventures.


  8. Hi Kathy what a wonderful adventure and although it would have been a challenge in the beginning to pack up and go, I’m sure it is a time in your life that you will treasure. Thanks Denyse for sharing at #MLSTL and I always enjoy Kathy’s photos and travel posts as a way to travel to some places I have never been.

    • Hi Sue, yes I do have treasured memories of that time. It was a challenge packing up our life as we knew it and heading off into the unknown We took our time exploring Australia and it was the best time of my life. We’re currently wanting to get away in our caravan and head up to North Queensland. Hopefully we will be able to do this soon.

    • It’s a great post and we can see how one decision to say ‘yes’ changes your life for the better.

      Very good lesson for me too!

      Thanks Sue and Kathy.


  9. Such a great experience Kathy and I love hearing about things that could / might have not worked but did. Or even sometimes if they didn’t, they we learned something from them.