We are The Oliver family. Shane, Marisa & kids - Chloe 9,Tom 7 & Sofia 3. We live in Perth WA & left home 7th March 2016, so 10 months into a 12-13 month trip around Australia in our Nissan Navara & Jayco Expanda Outback.
What set the seed for us to travel was a 5 week trip up the WA coast to Broome a few years back when Shane had long service leave. We had already started camping a while back but this was our biggest so far & we just loved it! Shane started taking about taking leave from work & travelling for a year....
What we also wanted was some quality time together, Shane worked a lot & was missing out on the kids growing up.
Firstly Shane applied to take 12 months unpaid leave from work as he didn't want to quit is job (he's a fire fighter). For us we decided to upgrade our smaller camper/ caravan to a bigger one plus some modifications to it & our car to suit what we wanted out of our trip. We also sold our house (this was huge)! We had already considered selling & moving so this seemed the best move for us to make at the time.
We set a general direction of what way we would travel but with no set dates & places just see where it took us.
Our biggest joy would have to be seeing our children actually enjoy
travelling Australia, learning our culture & history along the way.
Seeing the excitement on their faces when we arrive at a new
destination or seeing an animal in the wild they hadn't yet seen.
Learning to live altogether in a small space. I'm not sure we have overcome this but we have gotten to be closer as a family, learned new things about each other (good & bad - lol) & the kids call the caravan our home.
We have a few favourite places & each for different reasons, Uluru-Kata Tjuta NP just amazing, beautiful , spectacular!!! The cultural experience Was so special. The kids learned so much & so did we as adults.
We haven't had any disappointments except when it comes to how much some caravan parks charge for families. (We are trying to do something about this, please visit this page to find out more and caravan parks that are offering cheaper camping to families: http://www.travellingaustraliawithkids.com/tawker-supporters-caravan-parks.html - TAWK Team)
We were very lucky to have our school on board & very excited for the kids to see Australia. I set a plan with what I wanted to do with our eldest two (yrs 3 & 1). The school provided curriculum based worksheets for them to complete & we keep a scrap book/ diary of all the exciting & informative things we do along the way. Reading is a favourite & Mathletics on their tablets.
We also visit libraries & discuss history about each state we visit. The kids are like sponges even our 3 year old is learning along the way.
How much money we have spent! Lol
I think once we are home we will see we have grown closer & stronger as a family unit. Hopefully taught the kids some skills & Independence along the way.
We are just about to hit Tasmania (Jan 2017), so if you'd like to know more, please request us on Instagram - we are: o.adventure Please clink the link and we'll see you there.