three months on the road
We left our old home and moved into the caravan on August 21 and today, exactly three months later, we returned to the Central Coast for a short visit as we make our way south.
We didn’t plan it this way so this afternoon, when I looked at the date, I smiled at the serendipity of it all. But then again, there was safety in travelling this way; if we headed north for a few months and then turned around to head to Tassie, we created an escape route for ourselves. And at the beginning this made complete sense. Back then we had no idea what caravan life would be like; we’d never done it before – not for a weekend or a holiday. And in the months leading up to our departure there were many, many times when we wondered if we’d actually like it.
“But what if we don’t like it?” we’d say, comforted by the fact that if it wasn’t for us, we’d just come home.
Even I find this hard to believe but the truth is this: the first time we were all in the car and towing the caravan was when we left home and headed to the first caravan park. There was absolutely no trial run; we hit the road with no experience whatsoever.
I’m not sure I’d recommend it but we made it through. Although it wasn’t without epic arguments, countless stressful moments and the overwhelm of learning a lot of new things at once. There have been many, many times when frustration, exhaustion and general fed-up-ness has well and truly smothered the happy road trip vibes.
And honestly, when you live in a caravan, hopping from one town to the next, you don’t leave the challenge of family life behind. It comes with you and rears itself in the small space you call home. There’s no privacy or personal space; you can’t run from your disagreements or have a break from each other during school hours. You just have to muddle your way through the challenges (best done outside in the fresh air, we’ve discovered).
That said, spending the first few months on the East Coast was just the soft landing we needed to ease slowly and carefully into this new way of living. Sure we lost something off the van on our first few freeway drives (car mirror, van side panel) and we’ve made a lot of mistakes on each leg of the journey but if I consider the trip as one big experience, I’m instantly reminded of the good.
And the good times have been wonderful. The very best. I wouldn’t change anything about what we’ve done.
The months leading up to our trip were some of the most challenging of my life. But I’d do it all again now that I know what’s on the other side.