There are seven of us travelling Australia in a big, white bus we’ve named Kenny. Bruce (50) & Tracey (40) and five of their seven children: Grace (13), Joshua (12), Molly (10), Sophie (7) and Emily (5).
A near death experience combined with the realisation we didn’t need to sit in our home town of Gympie to run our businesses. Bruce is a successful Australian daddy blogger and Tracey a professional photographer.
We immediately started hanging out on sites like eBay and Gumtree and Googling ‘bus + motorhome + for sale’. It took a month with a couple of false starts but the moment we pulled up in front of what would become our bus, Kenny, we knew we’d found him. Fortunately for us, most of what we needed was there already. In fact, it was set up for a family of nine, so we were able to pull out a couple of bunks and add an ‘office’.
Long car trips used to be a chore, but now the whole family loves them. We listen to music or an audio book or we collect waves from passing cars (lots of cars pass us because we’re big and slow). It’s an adventure moving house all the time and we’re loving that aspect of it.
Our kids’ initial reaction wasn’t what we were expecting. They screamed their rejection of the idea. They didn’t want to leave their schools and friends and our extended family. Naturally we ignored them, thinking they’d come onboard once we started. A couple did, but one in particular (no names) (Grace) was still complaining daily she’d rather be at school. So when we went back to Gympie for a couple of weeks we enrolled her back in high school. Two weeks later we took off again. She hasn’t complained since.
(Did you take off without her?)
It really is hard to whittle down because we’ve had some fantastic experiences. Canberra, and the New England area. A farm stay. Sapphire fossicking. But I think maybe seeing a turtle laying eggs on the beach at Mon Repos, but that’s probably because it was our first stop on this trip and was such a departure from our past life and a promise of what lay ahead. We haven’t really struck anywhere we’ve said we wouldn’t go back to, but some places we’d do a bit differently. As in look for somewhere different to camp the night, or try different activities. Everywhere we’ve been so far has had something to recommend it.
We home school. We consider ourselves shite at it, but we’re trying hard. I Google a lot of stuff. We have several programs to help the kids (us) like ABC Reading Eggs, Studyladder and Mathspace. We also bought every workbook the kids would have had in their respective classes this year. But the thing is, it’s like the kids are on the equivalent of a school excursion every second day.They've....
How much fun it can be living in really close quarters with each other. We were apprehensive about having seven people inside a bus – especially as the kids seem to have inherited their mother’s stinky bowel syndrome. But dutch oven aside, it’s been fine. Our youngest scoots across the tops of seats and tables to get past anyone in her way and the rest of us say ‘scuse me more than we did back at home. Thing is, we’re not in the bus all the time. We’re living outside more.
We’re a closer unit. The kids still argue and work each other up on occasion, but they’re also laughing together a lot more. We’re loving this time with each of them and have no doubt we’ll think back to these days as the best years of our lives, not for what we’ve seen but for who we’ve seen it with.