The day we made the decision to travel full time around Australia as a family was 2 years before the day we actually drove out of the driveway with our caravan in tow. That same day, we adopted the mantra that has continued to be the basis of our daily activity and forward planning, “You don’t have to see the entire staircase just take the first step”.
Fast forward 18 months of full time living on the road and we have recently made the decision to extend our original 2 year travel timeframe to 5 years, with potentially no end date in sight. We love it and know it was the best decision we could have made as a young family.
Looking back, there was definitely doubt, stress and financial pressures that played on our minds. However, as it is with all big dreams, the prize was far greater than the pain. We stuck to our plan and with each day we took another step on the staircase towards our goal. By establishing our “why”, the “how” became less daunting and absolutely achievable.
Here are the top 5 reasons we decided to pack up and hit the road:
1. We wanted to spend more time together as a family
For us, family is everything. Following an intense, 4 year IVF journey trying to make a family, our working life had increased so much that we weren’t getting to spend quality time together or enjoy the very thing we had worked so hard to create.
Living this lifestyle makes you realise how little stuff you need as an adult, and that the number one thing your child wants is your time and love. Being present to witness your children’s ‘firsts’ as they are growing and learning, is the greatest gift.
2. We needed to find an alternative lifestyle
We knew there had to be a better way… not only for our family, but also for the environment. Being restricted to a 17m2 living environment equals less room for “stuff”, equals a smaller footprint, and by default makes you a conscious consumer. Every purchase is carefully considered… Do I need this? Does it have a dual use? How much does it weigh? Will it add value to our lives?
RVing is the perfect lifestyle to make you more aware of your choices and the impacts those choices have on the precious environment we are so eager to explore. It makes you move toward a greener way of being and living, something we like to call the “Green Nomad”.
One of the best parts of this lifestyle is having the choice to live off-grid and experience some of the greatest campsites and destinations around Australia, all while doing your bit for the environment.
3. We wanted to explore our own backyard
Australia is regarded as one of the most diverse countries in the world. Whether that’s in the form of landscape, wildlife or cultures, we have the best of everything! As lovers of travel, we feel so privileged to have explored many countries around the world. However, we had never spent any time enjoying our own backyard.
Driving around this country with our awesome home on wheels behind us, is by far the best travel experience we have ever had, and with international travel now on hold we have all been forced to explore at home. There is no time like the present to discover just how lucky the lucky country is!
4. We wanted to get out of our comfort zone
The majority of people that we meet on the road fall into 2 camps: retired grey nomads who are travelling full time, or young families who are enjoying school holidays or weekend getaways. The one thing the majority of grey nomads tell us is that they wish they had travelled Australia with their children when they were young. And the families on holiday wish they could find a way to ‘do what we do’ and travel full time.
The greatest lesson here is that there is not one way to travel Australia. We meet people that stop and work for 3 months before travelling again, to people who have saved enough to travel full time for 12 months. Or even people like ourselves that have found or created a blend of the two. The ability to work online, even from remote locations, is one of the reasons we are able to do what we do.
Society has conditioned us to believe that we need to work for 45 years, to retire and enjoy the fruits of our labour, and although there is nothing wrong with this model, taking a break halfway through for a couple of years when you still have your health and your youth, has certainly proven to be the best decision we ever made.
5. We wanted to find more connection
Not only within our family, but with likeminded people who shared our values and positive outlook on life. The RV community has one common thread, “how can I add value to each person I meet?” Our experience to date has consistently delivered this message, not only from random travellers that we meet free camping or at caravan parks, but also from the fellow caravanner who comes to our rescue in times of need.
Whether it’s advice, travel tips, or lending a hand, it all comes back to humans having kindness. Travelling full time as a family has changed us for the better and opened our eyes to a community that is not only open minded and open armed, but one that is open hearted.
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