Optimism and the travelling book show

8 February 2012

I spent the last couple of days at Maleny working at the Neighbourhood Centre. Yesterday was very busy with a simple living workshop in the morning, craft from 12.30pm and a radio interview straight after that at 2.30. The next two hours were spent talking to various people who came in and taking phone calls. When I headed for home, I was ready for it. Walking towards the house, I could smell our tea cooking - Hanno's favourite, rissoles (big meatballs). Soon, we were sitting at the table eating those rissoles and salad, and with ice clinking in our water glasses, we told each other what had happened during the day.

Hanno told me about a delivery of books and that reminded me that next week we'll be off driving around the country hopefully meeting many of you. I'm in two minds about this trip. I am an introvert by nature, an optimistic introvert, so wandering around the country meeting people I don't know is not something I'd generally look forward to, or even contemplate. But this seems right to me, even though it will involve many nights sleeping in unfamiliar beds and eating food made by others, I think it will be okay. Luckily we have friends staying here to look after the house, cat and chickens, so home will be safe even if we're not as securely tucked away as we usually are.

Today I'll be tidying up and doing a few things to prepare for the trip. I'll also be replying to emails about book orders and making up a book plate to sign for those who want one. We have about 50 or 60 orders for books in Australia, so they have to be signed too. We'll start on that today so Hanno can have them packaged up and ready to post on the given day. 

I think I'll start a list too - a list of what we want to take away with us. That's the beauty of travelling by car and not by plane, you can load up the car with bits and pieces and have a little version of home travelling around with you. I find that very comforting because I am a homebody, I belong here. Out in the wider world, prices are rising, wars are continuing and change is a constant. When I hear about Madonna prancing around on a stage far far away, or a monarch's 60 year reign or drive by shootings or that grey is the new black, it feels like some other world; something unfamiliar. The domestic world of kitchens, ripe tomatoes, fresh eggs and clucking hens is my world. Being out there will be more difficult and more stressful but it also has the potential to be something I'll remember forever. I think it will live up to that potential. 

I wonder if I'm being too optimistic.


  1. I love your optimism, Rhonda! I love to see the world with my "rose-colored glasses"! It's much prettier that way! I love to hear about your life, thank you for sharing it!! Have a FUN trip, and may it be all you are expecting it to be!!

  2. I really believe that you and Hanno willhave a wonderful time, although I'm sure it will be a tiring trip. I am excited for you and excited to purchase my own copy of your book. Congrtulations!

  3. Have fun 'on the road' with your book, Rhonda. I bet you still shake your head that this simple blog and simple living has lead you to this adventure.
    If you are like me when you travel, i am sure the car will be packed with fresh eggs and fresh veges!
    I always find trips away like this reignite the joy of simple living by the time you get back.

  4. I think doing a book tour is a big thing for anyone, homebody or not, but it sounds like you're as prepared as you can possibly be. Plus, Hanno will be by your side!

    I bet you'll love it and will return triumphant. I wish I lived in Australia so I could go along to one of your signings! And I wish it was being published in the UK.

    Good luck xx

  5. Enjoy your road trip Rhonda. I also feel anxious when leaving our house and animals(cats, dogs, hens, ducks, bees) and it is always a relief to drive around the corner near home and see the mountains and our little house. Good luck with the adventure of your first book!!

  6. Have a wonderful time!! I hope you enjoy every minute of it!! :)

  7. You are right to be optimistic Rhonda. Your reality is your own and not what the media makes us think. I will do my best to make it to one of your book launches in Sydney. I presume you will be posting details of where and when soon? Wishing you all the very best with it. Kindest Regards, Miki

  8. Dear Rhonda,
    I never leave home without a teapot and favourite teacup - it's a pleasure from home I can't do without.
    I'm sure you'll meet lots of wonderful people on your way, and appreciate your'nest' even more on your return.


  9. Hi Rhonda,
    Which places will you visit for your book tour? Do you have an itinerary you can post here?
    Cheers, Marijke

  10. Hi Rhonda, My DH and I didi a lot of road trips when our daughter was sick, and can I suggest, as Madeline did, that you take your favourite mugs and glasses and even cooking pan if you are staying self catering- and your pillows. I found many motels have tiny little teacups with impossible handles and the pillows often leave my neck sore the next morning.We pack our "homey" stuff in a laundry basket in the back of the car. A toasted sandwich maker is also very versatile in motels as you can make breakfast lunch or dinner in one. Have fun on the road! Are you coming north???
    Love Julia

  11. Rhonda all the best for your trip - a mix of emotions is understandable. We don't have a bookshop in our area but I have preordered my copy of your book and am looking forward to its arrival.
    I use the internet of course but still like the feel of a book . I make regular use of your soap recipe , your scone recipe, your lemon butter recipe, your coconut cake recipe and lots more so it is nice to be able to support you in your book writing venture.
    Home is always really appreciated when you've been away for a while - have a great time.

  12. Don't forget to pack your pillows Rhonda, t will make sleeping in strange beds much easier.

  13. Have a wonderful time. I`m sure you will enjoy meeting the like-minded people who want to buy your book. Afterwards, coming home again will be a real pleasure!

  14. Safe travels while on the book tour. I wish I lived on the east coast so I could meet you in person.

    So, the book plate, can that be stuck in the book after you've written on it? I'd love that as I have ordered my copy through Fishpond.

    Best wishes,


  15. I do lists when I go away or I forget something small that is essential, like my hairbrush. It also ensures that everything I took away comes back with me!
    Have a safe travelling book tour and I'll have to check to see if you are stopping anywhere that I am able to travel to.

  16. What an exciting time for you both Rhonda! I can certainly understand your concerns, i would be the same but i am sure you will actually be meeting many 'familiar' faces and souls and will find much joy on your journey!
    Nice that you have someone to look after your home while away, i second taking your pillows...bring some home with you!
    Keep that optimism shining through...i think you may be suprised at how this trip exceeds expectations!
    Safe travels...i hope the weather clears a little for you xxx

  17. Hello Rhonda

    Your trip will be marvellous and you will meet lots of lik-minded people!
    Please let us know where you are going for book signings etc in NSW.
    My husband rarely leaves home (as he loves it so much) but has offered to drive me anywhere (I am guessing within reason!!) to meet you. He knows just how much you mean to my life. You are "The Blog Lady" and I constantly refer to you!
    Anywhere near Mudgee, Dubbo, Bathurst?????
    Hope to see you.

  18. Dear Rhonda,

    I've always been an optimist and I like optimistic people. They make a bad thing look brighter and a good thing look even better. I'm sure you will enjoy your road trip, you are getting to know new people and places, this iw going to be an exciting time for you. When you come back home, you will realize how much you love your home and personal way of living and you will cherish it even more then you already do.
    By the way, today I used the first piece of my first batch of homemade soap after your recipe. My skin has never been so soft and silky before. Making your own soap opens you a whole new world of possibilities ... Thank you so much!

    All the best and good luck from Uschi in Austria! :-)

  19. Joolz, yes, that's right. If you want a book plate, click on the D2E book tab at the top of the page, the details are in there.

    Anon, I'll be able to meet you. I'm definitely going to Mudgee because my good friend Susan lives there and I want to visit her but I might also go to Bathurst. Where are you? We'll be staying with my sister in Blackheath and will travel out from there.

  20. Julia, we aren't going north, sorry.


  21. Rhonda, I'll be looking for the dates when you're in Sydney so I can come and meet you. It's a great thing to get out of your comfort zone and do new things - I'm sure you and Hanno will have a wonderful time and make lots of memories.

  22. Hello Rhonda,
    Congratulations on the release of your book,you must so be proud of your achievement.I've been reading your blog for quite some time now (and have commented a couple of times)and I can see that you have touched many peoples lives with your knowledge and your words of wisdom, including mine. I just wanted to say that I wish you and Hanno all the best for your road trip.If you are coming through the Liverpool area to promote your book i'd love to meet up with you and Hanno. Best wishes to the both of you

  23. Hi Rhonda! What a beautiful spirit you are for sharing yourself so openly and honestly through your posts. I treasure every single word and, as a young-ish mum of a toddler with one one the way, I just can't wait to read your post each day as I always learn something and feel a sense of sisterhood/brotherhood with you and your lovely readers. I am smack bang in the centre of Sydney.... Will you be visiting? Where can I find out more please?
    I wish you a journey full of unexpected delights Rhonda :)

  24. I'll wave as you pass through Brisbane on your journey South.
    My daughter is planning on meeting you in Canberra for 2 signed copies (one for me) she loves your blog and with a toddler under tow has learned many things. Best wishes for your journey.

    Susan. @ Watery Fowls.

  25. Hello Rhonda
    I am so excited that you are coming to Mudgee. I live between Mudgee and Rylstone!!
    See you there.
    All the best.
    PS I am only anonymous because I cannot work out how to be otherwise!! It is easier to click the anonymous button. My name is Elizabeth. I think I worked it out!!

  26. So excited for you to be travelling, Rhonda :) What a wonderful way to connect with people in a very high TOUCH way in this age of high TECH. You'll be glad to get home, but you'll be forever changed by meeting people who will share their stories and thank you in person for your hard work and your inspiring message. XO

  27. Oh wow, Rhonda I feel the same, I love being at home raising my children....in the garden, in my home here, and I have no desire to go away from this simple patch that my family have made here...good luck for your book signing tour...and may you be back home in your own bed safe and sound very soon...

  28. Hi Rhonda,

    How very exciting!I can't wait to buy your book.
    Will you be stopping in Newcastle or Maitland area?


  29. I wish you all success with your book, Rhonda. It is certainly a great achievement and testimony to all that you have shared of yourself, and of all the hard work you have put into it.

    For the trip, I would suggest that you take along a small pillow for your (and Hanno's) back. All that gardening has surely left a little mark there :)

    Enjoy the journey - perhaps you may discover something new about that vast country you live in. That in itself would be exciting.

  30. Rhonda, yay for you! I hope you have enormous amounts of fun. So, we meet some cool characters here and on other blogs, even just us commenters. But I've never met a single one in person face-to-face. Won't it be a blast to connect faces and smiles and voices and more with folks you've chatted with and enjoyed through our keyboards.

    brenda from ar

  31. Karen from FloridaFebruary 08, 2012 11:27 pm

    Optimistic introvert... love it! That describes me to a tee. Enjoy your trip!

  32. Chances are a lot of the people you'll bump into will already be known to you. You've probably already 'met' them through your blog and through the forum so this is more of a catch up and putting faces to names, which is not so onerous as meeting strangers ;-)

    Have a great trip and enjoy every moment of it!

    As I'm in the UK and won't be able to come and meet you, I'll wait back here patiently with your cats and chooks for your return ;-)

  33. Rhonda,

    My prayers are with you. That you and Hanno will have safe travels and that you will have a peaceful time. It is hard being away from home. What a blessing though to be able to chat with so many like-minded people. And to be able to share with each other. That is a fabulous opportunity!

    Enjoy your time and may you be blessed by those that you meet along the way.

  34. This is a real gift for you, Rhonda; a chance to meet many of your admirers and spread the word about simple living. Have a great time, and yes; you will be home soon.

  35. It is so very exciting about your new book. I can't wait to get my hands on a copy! Best wishes for a safe and successful trip. I am such a homebody myself and when my husband and kids were having to travel and stay away from home so much while our daughter was getting cancer treatments 4 hours away from home it really cemented that love of just being home for us. It is hard to get us to go out of town anymre unless we have to because we would just rather be home together in peaceful cozyness.

  36. Hello I have just found your blog and read this latest post. I don'y know what you do...yet but am intriegued enough to read more and find out about your book. You say you'll enjoy your rissoles with a glass of water with ice 'clinking' in the glass! Wish I could be there with you, here its -11 and snow outside the door, right now I'm sitting beside the log fire trying to keep warm, the dog by my side. I wish you very good luck with your road trip, challenges are always good for us. I read somewhere we should make sure we challenge ourselves every day...mine each day is to keep keep warm, Best wishes

  37. Have a safe and wonderful trip you two.

  38. What an exciting season for you both! I hope you have a lot of fun, and meet lots of interesting people along the way. Coming home will seem even sweeter, and sinking into your own bed will be heavenly! Enjoy it all, from start to finish! Much love, Tina xx

  39. I'm sure you will both enjoy the experience. And all of your admirers will appreciate the effort you both are going to for them. I am hoping you visit somewhere near the Gold Coast. (have my fingers crossed. lol) I have already ordered your book through fishpond, can't wait to receive it. Safe travels. :-)

  40. Love lists
    We cut up cardboard cereal and tea boxes to write ours on
    Not as easy to loose as a piece of paper and less confusing than an envelope (I keep thinking that is a bill)
    Our Doctor is in the habit of grabbing our "things to do in when in town list" and reading it.
    He says we are very organized but the list just stops us forgetting what we need to get done while we are in town.
    I use them for making
    Shopping lists (usually only for special to stock the pantry)
    What to take on Holidays with us. (We travel by car too)
    Daily/Weekly jobs list
    Reminder lists when we go to Adelaide for Hospital Appts.
    Plus reminder lists for my Husband as he has short term memory lost.

    Have a productive and enjoyable time on your book tour. Its a pity that you will not be coming our way. I would love to meet you.
    Your way of living (and thinking) so much matches my own.

    Knobbie Frugal.

  41. enjoy your trip Rhonda and Hanno,

    if you are coming to Kuala Lumpur..then i'll meet you here...(i am being optimism and hope one day you can visit us here..:)

    All the best and God bless!


  42. I seem to have become a true "homebody" in recent years, so I share your feelings about being most comfortable on your own ground, surrounded by familar critters and plants. (And people.) But when you said "eating food made by others"...well, honestly, that sounds pretty wonderful to me! ;)

    Have a lovely time, both of you!

  43. Hi Rhonda Jean ♥ catching up with you here after a very long while. So excited to read of your book and of you upcoming adventure. May it be a most blessed time for you and Hanno! Hugs to you & love, Q in NC



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