2018 Road Trip
I’m about to do two things I never thought I’d do:
- Live in a caravan
- Homeschool the kids
Six weeks ago we watched Che’s school performance that was largely inspired by Alison Lester’s picture book Are We There Yet? That night Daniel commented on how great that journey would be; a big lap around Australia and a whole lot of time to slow down, connect and see this wondrous country of ours.
And much to his surprise I, aka Miss Homebody, said: “Yes, let’s do it.”
So we’re doing it. Just like that.
I’m usually one to fret about big decisions and life change but this time, I’m strangely content with the opportunity that lies before us. Content and excited by everything that we’ll experience – the challenge and the confrontation, the slowing down and the new discoveries.
Now feels like the very best time. And I know, on an intuitive level, that if we don’t do it now we’ll never do it. Why? Because we have primary-school aged kids who are excited about the journey and keen to learn on the road. We don’t have a mortgage and, therefore, can literally pack up and head off. And interestingly, now that Marigold is here and all the seats at our table are full, it feels like I can leave my nest and start exploring; I’ve had my babies, it’s time to show them this great land.
Apparently, the hardest thing about travelling Australia is making the decision to go. Now that we’ve got that out of the way, there is a to-do list as long as the house that needs to be researched, considered and ticked off.
We need to find a 7-seater vehicle that can tow a caravan and we need to find a caravan that’s practical for a year-long journey with four kids. The concept of a vintage caravan is a lovely one but they’re generally quite heavy and usually without the amenities required for free-camping in isolated areas. And so we’re shoulder deep in research about light-weight caravans with a toilet and shower and a decent-sized fridge. We need a practical home-on-the-road that will allow us to live comfortably albeit simply.
As we explore our options I stand in the middle of my lounge-room and consider just how much stuff we need to purge, sell, give away and store. And this, my friends, is surprisingly confronting. Because I think we live simply and yet we’re about to take simple living to a whole new level.
We’ll essentially be living in a tiny house where the weight of everything is crucial. And so everything – every single thing – that we take with us needs to be considered and, ideally, needs to have multiple uses. My head is spinning.
Over the next few months I’ll be chatting about our research and our plans. And then we’ll be off.
All we know is that from here we’ll head north.
Photo: Tim Coulson