Parent Reboot Camp

Reporter: David Richardson

Tim and Sharon, high school sweethearts at 15, married at 20, 3 doting daughters, 30 years later their girls have left home.Now it's just them. "24 years old I've been looking after these girls and they've flown the nest." says Sharon."All of a sudden you're alone in life and it's a difficult concept" says Tim. He still leaves the front light on in case they come home.

Karen and Stuart married 24 years, 2 loving sons. Fresh empty nesters lost, retrenched, the pain - still raw."The silence sometimes can be deafening. One day - you do know your children are going to move out - it's just another phase, another stage in life and you have to deal with it" the couple conveys.

"It's probably time for us to rekindle the life for us instead of for them" states Tim. Sharon agrees, "We still like each other so we just need to like each other a bit more. Just to get back in touch with each other, a closeness with each other, to be able to look at each other in the eye and see some warmth and some glamour and some excitement"To do that they will be transported here; A 4 day Parent RE-Boot camp on Norfolk Island. 2 hours away from anything they've known before. No TV, no kids, just each other.

Welcome to Norfolk Island. If there's a common goal it's to get back to basics, back to each other to revive, rediscover and reboot. Their journey begins here. Rekindling that energy learning to laugh and listen. Reconnect and support each other. Norfolk Island is the most beautiful place to rekindle yourself within nature and bring the nature within you.

Their Spiritual Guide, Candida Langman explains "Along the way with bringing up children we've lost that friendship within each other - it's a matter of turning towards each other and rebuilding the friendship and most importantly the communication."Tim and Sharon have always loved the wide open spaces. But Tim's having a better conversation with his horse this morning."Keep an eye out for picnic tables there's plenty on the island. So long as you've got the wine I'll be happy with that. I've got the wine" says Sharon.

Stuart and Karen are opting to have their empty nest stress rubbed out. "How fantastic is this? I feel like one of those contented cows. I just want to moo" the couples reports.

The next morning Tim and Sharon attack the kayaks. Meanwhile our other couple Stuart and Karen have opted for a bush walk as nature intended. "Beautiful coloured parrots - Norfolk Island parrots. Look at our footsteps - totally in step with each other. It's a bit like we're on our honeymoon"

It's the next morning Tim and Sharon can't remember the last time they rode a bike together. "The last bike I saw you ride was a penny farthing. So you don't want to smooch in the back seat? Listen to Bat out of Hell?" says Tim. Sharon responds "We could have some blackberry nip, we're moving forward that's it, not going back."

Something is happening to our couples .After the twists and turns of raising children, they've emerged, they've found themselves again. There's a sense of calmness in this place, maybe because it's an island surrounded by the largest ocean in the world.Wayne Emery, a recent empty nester himself is the General Manager of Tourism for Norfolk Island. He's aiming to make Norfolk an Empty Nester haven.

"You come in and there is a sense of unburdening yourself. Particularly for the empty nesters, and couples you tend to rediscover the youthful passions of the past, the emotions of being connected and its putting them into a different place from the mum and dad role model" Emery explains. "You actually see couples walking together holding hands and you don't see that a lot anymore, especially as parents you forget to do a simple thing as hold each others hands and walk alongside each other" Emery continues.

"Well cheers baby, here's to creating more memories but we've created some beautiful ones" says Stuart. A dinner date by the fire place Stuart and Karen are feeling like two teenagers on their first date."I was just so laid back, the views were amazing. I'm not a massage person but I really enjoyed the one we had today. There's so many things to see and do on this island so were going to hang onto that feeling! I don't know how to relax. I'm going to pack it in my suitcase and take it home. I REALLY didn't enjoy the yoga, I went because I know you do it every Tuesday night at home." tells Stuart.

"Next phase of our life, here's to us! He's my best friend. I want to spend memories with Stuart and keep making memories together" says Karen.Stuart believes "Just doing some silly little things you think you've outgrown - to go home - walk down the street and holding hands and not feeling at our age that that's abnormal."As the sun sets over Norfolk Tim and Sharon toast to a new life together kid free and happy. "Where do we go from here honey, our holiday is over. We have to save for those weddings, will we? Not going to worry about them just yet" says Tim. "I really enjoyed the push bike riding. I think the last time we were on a pushbike together was in Dubbo when I was pregnant with Shayla 1993" says Sharon. "Cheers to us - to that sunset. It's just beautiful" says the happy couple.

FOR MORE INFORMATION ON HOW TO BOOK A REBOOT EXPERIENCE ON NORFOLK ISLAND VISIT:

www.theworldofnorfolk.com.au