We are a family of 4 with mum, dad & 2 children (8 & 4). I (Jaz) am a registered nurse and we support our travel through my agency nursing work. We have an Isuzu D-max and live in our Paramount Duet Utility van. We were originally from central Victoria but moved to the NT in 2015 then back to Bendigo in 2017. We then decided settling down wasn't what we wanted so we packed up and hit the road mid 2017 for an indefinite exploration of our Aussie backyard.
As a family we have always loved camping and exploring. The kids thrive outdoors getting filthy and having fun. During our time living in the NT, we tented through the Kimberly and loved it. This is when we decided to make our dream a reality. We hunted for 6 months to find a van and car we liked and decided to step out and just do it knowing no time will ever be 'right'.
We had a bit of insight to travelling after our NT and WA adventures, so we knew what we wanted to look for in a van and car. We decided to keep our house and borrow a bit more money for the van. We spent a couple of months doing upgrades to the car and van such as dual battery, brakes, bullbar, snorkel, solar, inverter, fitting a washing machine, and getting new tyres. We were not 'ready' but we left anyway knowing that we can keep doing things to the car and van as we travel.
We sold our garden/landscaping business and most of our belongings apart from the sentimental things and the expensive furniture/appliances. We built a secure room in our shed and packed our belongings. We rented the house out and sold the cars. This all took about 4 months.
Our greatest joy with travelling is having a chilled out lifestyle. It's flexible, fun, and low key. It's wonderful to watch the children grow and learn in a fun environment full of adventure and exploring.
Our biggest challenge is yet to happen. We thought we would never find a van we liked but we did. We didn't have money for the car we wanted, so we compromised and got something within our budget. We are happy to live a minimalistic lifestyle because it would not be financially possible to live any other way!
The kids can be at each other's necks from time to time, but that would happen wherever we are!
Challenges are how you view them, we see life as a blessing and that we can learn from our experiences and environment, we try to always view a situation as a cup half full -not half empty.
We have always loved national parks, jumping at a chance for adventure. We spent 5 nights at Canarvon Gorge, QLD - it was divine. There are not places that we haven't enjoyed.
When we moved to the NT we did distance ed through a QLD school. But it really didn't suit our son. He needed topics that interested him because he didn't have the peer support at home.
For the first 6 month of our trip we home schooled. It gave us the flexibility to focus the learning needs around what we are experiencing and the kids interests. We used workbooks for key areas - such as Maths Plus. For reading we use a program on the IPad called Raz Kids that has levelled readers from preschool to high school.
This year we have enrolled our eldest in North East Public School of Distance Education to have a bit more accountability with what we are facilitating. It's been amazing so far and is very different to the other distance ed school we were with. This program is very flexible and focused on what travelling kids get up to.
How much food our kids eat! We keep track of what supplies we have, and if we are in remote places we stock up on what we need. These kids just eat and eat and eat. 4 adults would eat far less. Our grocery bill is by far our greatest expense. We blog about our living expenses on our Facebook page
We are changing every day. We no longer care for the luxuries, brands or things we don't need. The kids have grown so much and are little socialites! I swear they have a secret business called 'adopt a grandparent'! Life is much slower and relaxed, just the way we like it.
Follow our travels more on our Facebook Page, thanks for reading and see you there!