It’s been a little while now since my family and I made one of our biggest decisions so far. Leaving a corporate life, a monthly pay check and a house with all the mods cons for living a life on the road.
This new life……..travelling around our amazing country doing what’s described as “the big lap” in a 22ft caravan.
The nomadic life sounds amazing for the solo or couple travellers however, when you have 3 kids in tow, this could sound terrifying for some. For me, this was the biggest dream I’d ever wanted to achieve. Now that we have set out and are experiencing it, I could not be happier!
My life prior to what it is now was like many 30-40 year old males. I sacrificed a lot to ensure I provided a good life for my family. This type of sacrifice does not really make the headlines in the media and is somewhat left untouched. The sacrifice I’m referring to is the countless hours devoted to a career which kept me away from many of my kids’ life moments. Moments which i can never get back. Whether it was missing them taking their first steps or as little as eating their first solids. It’s certainly not the same when you hear about it from your wife when you get home or from a text or video message during the day.
Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely love the fast paced, high pressure environment that came with my career choice. This however got to a stage where we needed to get our life balance back.
So, my wife and I had the choice… to keep going on as we were and accept that I would not be present as we would like in my families life,
or … We could make the decision to risk it all for a fraction of time and focus solely on our kids and our family. As it turns out we made the choice for the latter.
My employer has been extremely supportive of our decision, they have said they would like me back after the trip. However, there are still no guarantees I will have a job when we get back. Up until recently, not having a job scared the hell out of me. Fast forward a few months into our once in a lifetime adventure; I’m more than happy to take that risk to enjoy life with the people that matter the most. My family!
Since we left Sydney I’ve learnt ALOT and experienced some amazing places but I’ve also had to adjust to a new way of life. The main things I’ve had to adjust since being a travelling nomad rather than a corporate executive.
Watching where every little cent is being spent. For us to be able to embark on such an adventure like this without any income for majority of the trip, we need to be as disciplined as we can with the budget. Well more than what we ever were at home. This means no splurges at the shops, very minimal takeaways and even trying to find the most cost effective beer choice. I’ve even found a fuel app which shows me the cheapest fuel in the area. In my prior life I would just rock into the most convenient petrol station without even looking at the price.
2️⃣ Living everyday in shorts, t-shirt and thongs.
This is certainly my most comfortable way of getting around however when you’re in this day in day out you do feel like your standards have dropped. Then you have the dirt to contend with which every night I’m scrubbing the bottom of feet like I’m scrubbing oil off a driveway.
3️⃣ Living in a confined space.
This was always going to be a challenge even before we set out and so far is something we are getting use to. There are times where one of us are having their breakfast and someone else is in the bathroom an arms distance away. It’s not for everyone and it’s certainly challenging my comfort zone that’s for sure.
4️⃣ Watching water and power usage.
When we lived in our house we would switch on a light or turn on a tap without even thinking. Since living in a caravan that has 200ltrs of water and relying on solar for our electricity, you have to make choices and manage these resources. Once they’ve run out it could be a whole new world with no light and no water.
5️⃣ Lack of free time.
This is going to sound wrong but we have very little free time each day. When we were planning this trip I imagined I would have heaps of free time. Time to devote to doing something new or just tinker around the van. However, every single day has been non stop go go go! The fact we haven’t had all that many rainy days could be contributing to this. Being somewhere new every couple of days we are making the most of it by doing and seeing everything we can in the short time we have. Learning a new language or improving my guitar skills might just have to be put on the back burner for the time being.
With such an epic life changing adventure comes with its amazing benefits and so far these are what I’m thankful for each and every day.
✔️New places we’re seeing.
Every stop we have made, I am blown away by how amazing Australia is. Places like Jervis Bay, Mt Kosciuszko, The Grampians National park and most recently Lucky Bay in WA just to name a few. Doing this has really cemented to me that we live in the best country on earth hands down!
✔️Being present with the kids.
Being here every day for when my kids wake and when they fall asleep at night means the world to me. It’s something that drove me to do this and the benefits so far are so rewarding. I’ve found my relationships and bond with my kids have reached a new level.
✔️Meaningful conversations with my wife. Back when we were grinding the working week our conversations we had as a married couple would mainly be functional and based around what needed to be done . But now we’re together much more. We get time to have conversations at a much deeper level which I believe has helped our marriage.
✔️Not knowing what day it is.
This didn’t take long to kick in at all and I’m constantly asking my wife or Siri what day is it. Although the longer the trip goes on the less I’m asking and feel now that it doesn’t really matter what day it is. I just need to make the most of each every day.
✔️Sunrises, sunsets and stars.
Wow have we seen some epic ones of these. It’s amazing how good the sun & stars shine when your out in the middle of no where. I’m making a real effort to get up early and see as many sunrises as possible and also to stop and appreciate the epic sunsets.
As it has only been close to a few months in, it still feels like a long holiday. However, driving further and further away from home, our new life is certainly setting in more and more each day. We do have a long time to go and a lot of kilometres to travel but I can safely say this has been the BEST decision I have made. Spending this time with my family will always be a time I will never forget.
Life is too short and is not a dress rehearsal. If you are considering embarking on something similar I would say just do it and never look back!