#escapting the rate race

Scott’s turn

Hi … Darleen and I are “jumping” into this adventure together, so here is my first blog to give you another perspective. Hope you enjoy the read, and laugh with us as we confront the ups and downs to achieve our ultimate goal – a DIVERGENT LIFE.

Family and friends who know me well are terrified for Darleen. We have been together for nearly 10 years, married 5 February 2011.

I do not think of myself as a practical person, that is Darleen’s area of expertise. I have worked behind a desk most of my life. I do not fix things, I replace them. If it is broken … throw it out and buy another one!  This approach may not be as “financially responsible” in Vanuatu as it has been in Australia. Time will be the judge.

Starting our adventure from scratch would test most, but undertaking the challenge in “laid back” Vanuatu … let’s just say family and friends are giving cautious support!

I gained my business degree with an accounting major in 1985. My first career job was with Coopers & Lybrand in Melbourne for a few years, before joining Mum and Dad in the family business in Western Victoria.

That all changed in 1992 when I moved to the Gold Coast with my first wife and son Blake. My daughter Elise arrived a few years later. I worked in accounting/admin roles until I started an accounting practice from my garage in Nerang in 1996, with one person – ME.

Over many years I was lucky to surround myself with an awesome team, who made me look really good. The accounting business evolved way beyond me into DIAGNO Accountants & Business Strategists – www.diagno.com.au.

As an accountant I developed a skill set that assisted clients, whether that involved staff, suppliers, landlords, bankers or the Australian Tax Office. I was able to be part of many negotiations, and developed a skill for facilitating clients to achieve desired outcomes, as well as reading and interpreting the fine print in many agreements and contracts.

Lucky for us … these areas are a pet hate for Darleen.

Couple my knowledge with Darleen’s practical skills, and awesome cooking talents – why not open a Bar – Tapas – B&B in Vanuatu!

Scott swimming divis at Mangagliliu

Swimming – divis at Mangaliliu Vanuatu

Not my best look, but the snorkeling at Mangaliliu Vanuatu is amazing.

So here we are … forging ahead with our aspirations in Vanuatu.

From a desk job as an accountant to running a bar in Vanuatu!

I look forward to April 2017, when Darleen and I open “divi’s” Bar – Tapas – B&B and I can prepare your favourite cocktail as we gaze across the calm blue ocean waters soaking in a view of world heritage listed HAT Island (Artok).



November Visit

We have been back from our November trip for a couple of weeks now. While we were there we spent a lot of time at the block. We spent time getting to know our 2 sets of neighbours and went snorkelling every day. The front block has a fantastic natural seascape through the trees and out to the aqua water, there is a natural ocean pool just a few metres in and it is deep enough for a dip even at low tide. The back block is very dense with tall trees and jungle climbers over everything.
The coral and fish are so pretty to look at, the water is warm and there are no currents. We were told by our neighbours that there are lion fish and sea snakes around, but they will swim off quicker than you can. The colour of the water is incredible, so blue and crystal clear. I love the little blue fish, they dart around everywhere, hard to catch with my camera though. We found one gully that was just teaming with fish, there must have been 200 fish in there, at least 20 different kinds. I’ll try and get some photos and video up for you to see what I am babbling about. I love the place… can you tell?

Block 1 Block 2
As you can see, our block is fairly densely covered in trees and undergrowth. We spent a couple of hours cutting down saplings and piling them up as well as old bits of trees and branches that had possibly come down during TC Pam in March.

There are tons of coconuts hidden under the long grass in various states of decay and growth. Once we could see the pegs marking out the block we got the industrial sized tape measure out and worked out where our bungalow and the tapas bar will go. It is like the block was meant for us… the 2 primary buildings fit in the places we had drawn up. There are some sizable rocks on the block and both the buildings fit neatly around them!
There is a group of big old trees right in between our bungalow and the tapas bar, they will be staying… we really don’t want to cut down any more trees than we have to. There are quite a few coconut trees on the front block, they will have to come down unfortunately… they are a big hazard in the islands, clocking unsuspecting walkers on the head with their ripening fruit. We wandered around the block many times envisioning our dream once built. We are so excited, and cannot wait to share it all with family and friends and eventually those who wish to join us for a few hours or a few days in paradise.
Our next trip is in early February 2016, lots to do before then as we start to firm up our costs and talk to a couple of architects, very overwhelming for this little chick right now… but I’m excited about learning about a lot of new things.
Darleen & Scott
Creating a divergent life.