Couple sell up lifestyle block, follow dream
It was a health scare that got Janine and Stephen Cooksley thinking about what they really wanted to be doing for the rest of their lives.
And that turned out to be spending a lot more time on the road.
‘‘We both had health issues last year and somehow got through Christmas, which wasn’t a lot of fun,’’ says Janine Cooksley. ‘‘We already had a motorhome so we went to Lake Karapiro for a break. While we were there we saw a luxurious new Traillite motorhome and went and visited the owners.
‘‘We came back to our old motorhome and I said, ‘That’s it. We’re going home, and we’re going to put the house on the market, and we’re going to retire and follow our dream’.’’
And they did. They sold their Waiuku lifestyle property, bought a lock-up-and-leave house in Vogeltown, Taranaki – close to family – and bought a larger, brand new luxury Traillite motorhome.
‘‘So many people have missed out on their dreams because they’ve waited too long,’’ Cooksley says. ‘‘I didn’t want that to be us.’’
Janine had been a senior manager at Westpac, and Stephen was semi-retired from his job as a maintenance engineer at the Glenbrook steel mill. They had owned their property for 23 years and admit it was ‘‘a very big change’’.
But as soon as they picked up their new motorhome, they put Labradoodle Mulligan on board and were off. ’’Mulligan just loves it. He loves meeting all the people and getting out and about,’’ said Janine Cooksley.
The couple say they hitting the road in a motorhome has opened their eyes. ‘‘We discovered you don’t know New Zealand until you get into a motorhome. I thought we knew this country quite well from camping. But we have discovered the most amazing and special places we didn’t even know existed.’’ The Cooksleys have a custom interior for their motorhome, choosing to have an extra-large, light-filled living area, and smaller sleeping space. And they have an awning for outdoor living.
The motorhome is fully selfcontained, with its own kitchen, toilet and shower, and there are solar panels generating power.
‘‘We can go on the road indefinitely,’’ Janine Cooksley says. ‘‘Sometimes we stay in camping grounds and other times we love freedom camping.
‘‘The people you meet along the way are just amazing, and we’ll sit around with a glass of wine and share our favourite places.’’
Stephen and Janine Cooksley of Waiuku have discovered many special places since hitting the road in a motorhome.
The Cooksleys have swapped their lifestyle property for a home one the road.