TAWK Featured Family -
'The Fealy Family - Are we there Yet?'

April 2016

1.   About you

We are the Fealy Family - Mum (Jess), Dad (Matt), Jack (10), Toby (8), Lexi (6) and Kipp (1) who blog at ‘Are We There Yet?’.  We headed off to travel around Australia in 2013 and ended up as mango, avocado, lime and passionfruit farmers in Far North QLD, which is where we are today!  We still love to get out on the road and make sure we head away camping at least a couple of times every year!


2.   Why did you make your decision to TAWK?

We’ve written a pretty long winded post about why we decided to pack up our lives of 12ish years in Brisbane and hit the road - you can read it here on our Blog. The short story however is that we wanted some time out to rethink our lives, connect as a family, celebrate some of the hard work we had done to this point and just slow down, simplify things and enjoy life for a while!

3.   How did you get organised and how did you prepare?

Jess is a Chartered Accountant, a virgo and an eldest child = obsessive planner and list maker!  We started planning our trip about 18months out and slowly plodded along getting prepared.  This meant lots of research into what car to buy, what camper we wanted to be our ‘home’, what ‘extras (toys)’ we needed, what we needed to do to rent our house out, how we were going to school the kids etc.  It was a huge job but also so much fun talking and deciding about things together. 

We also set ourselves a goal of going away camping at least once a month in the twelve months leading up to the trip.  This gave us a chance to get used to all of our gear and see what we still needed - iron out our kinks - before hitting the road.  We had some terrific times with friends and family on these ‘practice’ trips and definitely include these as some of our best ‘trip’ memories.


4.  What has been your biggest joy?

Our biggest joy of travelling on the road together was definitely the time we got to spend just ‘being’ together.  We also loved achieving things as a family.  Some of the walks we did with the kids (Uluru base walk, King’s Canyon Rim walk) were pretty challenging but the sense of accomplishment we got from doing them was fantastic and something we still talk about today and remind the kids of when things get hard!  We say ‘remember when you did that Kings Canyon walk - how tough it was but how good you felt at the end??”  Those memories have been terrific tools for us!


5. What has been your biggest challenge and how did you overcome it?

Our biggest challenge was our car breaking down in Tennant Creek!  We were sooooooo cranky and upset, but thankfully we had RACQ Roadside assistance which covered the cost of our week long stay in a cabin in the caravan park and we realised that we just had to be patient while we tried to sort the problem out.  It was frustrating, but it was a good lesson to just go with the flow!

Grab your TAWK sticker today!

A great way to recognise other families also Travelling Australia With Kids


6.   Where have you enjoyed the most and Where disappointed you the most?

Enjoyed

We enjoyed Middle Lagoon and El Questro Station the most. 

Disappointed

We were probably most disappointed by Katherine Gorge, but that’s not to say we didn’t enjoy it - it was just not as ‘large’ as we had imagined it!


7.   How did you get organised with schooling, what did/do you do and how did you come to that decision? (new question from Mar 2106)

We opted to home school our kids because we wanted the flexibility and we were fortunate to have some terrific support from the kids teacher’s prior to heading off.  As we ended up only having three months on the road - we didn’t get a chance to really sink our teeth into the schooling side of things, but the bits we did do - we really enjoyed! 

There are some many ‘hands on’ opportunities for the kids (and us!) to learn on the road - it is awesome and really engaging for the kids.  Our kids teacher’s still often comment to us now about how much just ‘general’ world knowledge our kids have.  Oh and definitely get the kids involved with the planning too - helps them connect with the trip!  Here are some of our ideas.



8.   What surprised you most about the trip?

That it took us nearly 3 months just to settle in to travelling!  There were a few very cranky times in the beginning, I think a lot to do with the exhaustion, and emotional upheaval of packing up our lives and leaving our friends and family, as well as the fact that we were all settling into new roles.  It certainly wasn’t all fun and roses in the beginning, but we did get there!



9.   What would be three pieces of advice to give to a future TAWKer?

1.   Just do it!  Don’t overthink it - just make the decision and go.  You will not regret it!  Still the absolute best thing we have ever done!

2.   Try not to plan anything once you hit the road - just roll with it - this one was a hard one for us - but the best parts of our trip were the unplanned moments.

3.   Travel slowly.  Enjoy the small things - they are the best things!  Our are detailed here.



10.   How do you think that this adventure has changed your family?

Our adventure changed our family in so many ways!  We prioritise getting away together at least once a year, for at least two weeks at a time.  It is very hard to come back to normal life though.  Always at the back of our minds is how terrific it was on the road and in the end - how easy it was to just pack up and go!  We definitely cemented our family connections and created some beautiful family traditions and memories as a result of our trip, that I hope will stay with us for the rest of our lives.


More Random Advice -

  • Snap lock bags are useful for so many things! 
  • As are zip ties! 
  • Step out of your comfort zones and talk to other people.  You will be amazed by the friends you make, the tips and advice you can pick up and the fun that you can have with other people! 
  • Oh - and do a trip time capsule like we did!  Lots of fun and a reason to hit the road again in the future!

We have so many more ideas here, they might help you too!

Our kids still talk about some of the other kids they met and we have had families we met on the road.  We also invite you to come and see us at Blue Sky Produce, please get in touch and let us know you are coming so that we can be there to welcome you and maybe 'TAWK' about our travels too.

We'd love you to read more about our journey, so please follow our Facebook Page and I'm sure you've visited some of the links on this blog post, but if not - pop over to http://www.fealyfamily.com/.

THANKS FOR READING!

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If you would like to be a part of the TAWK Featured Family page and share your Australian Road Trip with everyone, then please complete the form below and I will send you the details.  The more of us that share our journeys, hopefully we will inspire other families to get out there and travel our wonderful country.

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