TAWK Featured Family -
'The Jolly Junket'

1.   About you

G'day, we are the Jolly family, a family of four and we have named our Aussie adventure "The Jolly Junket".  We are a mechanic/very talented handyman and an agronomists/cake decorator - both of us a 'do anything couple' and we have two girls aged 3 and 1.
 
We left about four months ago (as of September 2016) on our trip across Australia, in search of a new home. We left Perth in an off road forward folding camper trailer that extends at the back to make another queen size bed. After about 8 weeks we got rid of the camper and glamped up to a triple bunk Supreme caravan. Pure bliss.


2.   Why did you make your decision to TAWK?

This was easy. Kirk and I have always wanted to get around Australia, even before our kids came along, but never had the opportunity as we were both tied down with work. Now, as luck would have it, our opportunity came along a lot quicker than expected. Kirk's family business sold and I am a stay at home mum with no more ties to hold us down. We were immediately planning our around Australia Jolly Junket.



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

First we moved from a five bedroom, three bathroom, two study and massive open kitchen and living area work house to our smaller 4 x 1 holiday house and that was hard enough, especially when both places were fully furnished. So, we had a massive garage sale and sold a heap online. Then eventually sold our house and had yet another massive garage sale and sold more stuff online, plus we were lucky enough to have buyers that wanted the house fully furnished. That made life so much easier.
 
As for packing into our camper...I am a very organised person when it comes to cooking and my pantry. Clothes, not so much. Clothes were my undoing. Everything in my kitchen, however, is labelled and in matching containers, it was no different when we packed the camper trailer. It was so easy to swap into the caravan because we didn't start with a heap of stuff in the first place and all of a sudden we had so much room. I bet if we started off with a caravan, we would have filled every nook and cranny and not felt the freedom that space can bring you.
 
We are seasoned off road campers, so we are pretty well set up to get ourselves out of sticky situations. Winch, Maxtrax, kangaroo jack, shovel etc and not afraid of hard work, which helps. My husband is a mad keen fisherman so that's covered. Probably the first thing that was actually properly organised was the boat and fishing gear!

I don't think you can ever feel like you are fully organised, but you could be well organised. Who knows? Until you go. And even after you go, there's still so much to learn along the way. We've chucked stuff out, palmed things off, sold stuff we didn't need, but we've also gained some things along the way.



4.  What has been your biggest joy?

The liberation of getting rid of "stuff". The realisation that next to none of it is necessary anyway and that the kids will play with a stick and a rock in the dirt, makes life so much simpler and more imaginative. I have loved watching the kids learn, particularly our youngest, through experience rather than iPads and books. Though they both love books too.



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

The mountain of clothes that we all had. Sounds materialistic, which they are, but it was very difficult for me to cull and cull again and decide what is important to take. Between that and the first aid kit, I found it hard to get away from my "what if" attitude. Now, over four months in, there's bloody clothes that I still haven't even worn.

Besides that, our biggest mental challenge was finding a groove with the kids and setting up the camper trailer with kids at your foot and sleeping in the heat. After 6 weeks on the road we realised that we were in this 'traveling Australia with kids' game for the long haul, so by the time we got to Darwin, we'd had enough of the constant movement, fighting, setting up, heat, kids not sleeping etc. Something had to be done, so we started shopping for a caravan. It was an expensive mistake to make, but a lesson well learnt. I loved the camper, but soon realised it's only good for short term holidays in the one spot.

If you are thinking of Travelling Australia With Kids, then the TAWK Guide would be a great place to start.

Available for immediate download as an eBook AND now due to popular demand as a hard copy booklet.  Particularly good if you are like me and like to 'red pen' and make notes!

Click here for more information...

(We really appreciate you supporting us supporting you)


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

Enjoyed

Our Cape trip up the Old Telegraph Track, QLD was by far the best leg of our junket. We left our caravan in Cooktown, bought ourselves the easiest tent to set up and took off up north. It rained nearly every night, but thankfully not heavy enough to be intolerable. It was good to ditch the caravan for a while too and just live on the bare minimum. An adventure within our adventure.

Disappointed

We haven't had any bad experiences with places. We've made the most of everything whether it was good, bad or indifferent. If you start getting disappointed with anything, it's time to stop and go home.



7.   How did you get organised with schooling, what did/do you do and how did you come to that decision?

Kids are not schooling age, which I am very happy about!
 


8.   What surprised you most about the trip?

How bad it would be in the camper trailer! And how expensive it is to do your bloody washing.


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

  1. Get a caravan with a washing machine.
  2. Have multi purpose items. For example, we have a foldaway bath that serves as a bucket, bath for the kids, dishwashing, red claw and fish storage in the boat and is occasionally used as a toy box. We have travel mugs that we use for the obvious tea and coffee, but Kirk drinks his rum out of it and the occasional red wine, water and whatever else. We have no extra glasses for ourselves and just a leak proof cup for each of the girls.   If you think you can use something for more than one thing to omit another, take it and leave what you can behind.
  3. Don't have a plan.



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

Only that we have become less materialistic. It is so easy to accumulate stuff when living your day to day life. Which is great and comfortable and normal, but once you compact your life into a caravan, everything else almost becomes obsolete and you start to appreciate all that you have and not worry about what you don't.

Please feel free to follow our adventures further by liking our Facebook Page - The Jolly Junket.

If you would like to become a Featured Family please complete the form at the bottom of the page.


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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If you think you'd like to turn your family travel blog into a little online business then this video will give you food for thought.