"Today is the first day of the rest of your life" – a tired old cliché, but never before has it been so relevant. A week ago, we were part of the workforce with the comfort of knowing how each day and week would unfold. Now, we are post-employed, starting the third phase of life, retired (no – definitely not retired!). This transition was not sudden – it had been planned fairly meticulously for over two years – yet, there is still a sense of mourning for a passing phase of life, no matter how much you look forward to the next. Nello and I have both felt this in different ways since we stopped work.

The purpose of this walk is to create some distance between our life style as it was and our life style as it will be. It will be a 3-month walk down the south coast of New South Wales, which we feel is one of the most beautiful stretches of coastline in the world; three months to walk 500 km; time to walk, time to reflect and time to rejuvenate.

So today we finally set out on this journey, with a short ferry ride across the waters of Port Hacking to the village of Bundeena on the north side of the Royal National Park. There is no better reminder of the life-style we have left than the waterside mansions lining the Cronulla shorelines; products of long, industrious and successful working lives. Sydney and its reminders of 30 years of working life lies to the north, the heath, forest, cliffs and wild coast, and our future lie to the south.

Time to go!