TAWK Featured Family -
'Why Not Us'

1.  Who are you?

We are the Finns, an average aussie family of 5. Dani (Dad 32) Aimee (Mum 31) Farren (9) Lucas (5) Addison (3). We've left our home, jobs, family and friends to follow our dreams and travel. We decided to call our little adventure - Why Not Us? Our one and only plan is to give people the inspiration they need to do the same.

For 9 years we owned the Local hotel in Pinnaroo (Golden Grain Hotel) before selling up and following our dream.

We've taken to this journey with our 100 series Land cruiser and an Island Star Hotham Luxury caravan from Noels Caravans personally named "Betsy"

2.   Why did you make your decision to TAWK?

We've always talked of buying a van and travelling Australia, but we always seemed to come up with an excuse as to why we couldn't. Until one day it just clicked that when is ever the right time? When our children are too old and don't want to hang out with us anymore?

We didn't want this, we wanted to enjoy our time with our children while they are young and build relationships with them that can never be broken.  We want to share this beautiful country with them and show them that anyone can follow their dreams and no one has to be unhappy. 

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

For us, this happened really quickly, within a month we had bought our van, packed up our house that we had been living in for the last 13 years, had a huge garage sale and rented out our house. We are lucky enough that we have a big shed that we could leave all our belongings in, however I should have taken out shares in plastic containers before we started packing. Lol.

Preparing emotionally didn't really happen as it was just go go go, and having 3 children there was always something they needed or something we had to do to get us on the road. 

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4.  What has been your biggest joy?

Our biggest joy would be having all 5 of us together 24/7. Coming from owning our own Hotel and either Dani or myself always having to be at work, to be able to spend the time together now as a family of 5, it's amazing and it's the little things for us now, like eating dinner as a family, being able to go for a bike ride as 5, getting up in the morning together and simply just enjoying each other's company as a family. We just now love having time together.

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

Our biggest challenge is what we faced at 3 weeks into our journey, we started the Nullarbor leaving from Ceduna and got 50 kms out and lost all power to our vehicle. We were told it'd done a timing belt which caused the engine to destroy itself beyond repair!  Not great...............BUT moving on from this we are now up and running and back on the road. We have now been on the road for 10 weeks our car was still our biggest challenge but we overcome this expensive little exercise and things are great.   

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

For us September beach in the Port Lincoln National Park was beautiful, crystal clear waters, white sand, dolphins, rock pools, tuna boats, crabs, fishing, kangaroos, emus and some great little walks through the scrub land.  Lucky Bay definitely didn't disappoint either, but was very busy. As we are now in WA and moving north there's so many beautiful places. Just when you think things couldn't get any prettier you turn another corner and it's even more beautiful.  

Shelly Beach in Ceduna was possibly our biggest disappointment, I think with its big hype up on TV, the bad weather (which I know can't be helped) the whole beach was just disappointing. However the staff at the caravan park were very friendly and the sites were nice and big, but it just wasn't for us.

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

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Finally all the information you need in one place! Easy to read format with handy links to help you get started on your trip.

Grab a copy right now and save yourself hours of sifting through the internet trying to find the information you need.  To help you get organised, and to turn your dream into a plan!

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

Our eldest Farren is in year 4 this year and Lucas was starting school, so for us it was a no brainer to go before their school work got to full on, especially for Farren. We teamed up with their school and worked out a plan/criteria that would work for both of us, and so far it's worked really well especially being on the road. Every week they have a different class room or a different backyard to play in and they are loving it. 

8.   What surprised you most about the trip?

How fast the days go by, I know there's so much to see and do out there, but I obviously can't say I've been bored yet and with that the days just seem to fly by. 

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

Our 3 pieces of advice would be:

  1. Take push bikes around Australia with you, NO EXCEPTION and NO EXCUSES, we nearly didn't take any of our bikes because it was too hard or they wouldn't fit but only once you're on the road, you see just how good it is. They are the best way to explore, keep you fit, save you heaps in fuel and make the kids sleep like babies. We put a tarp down on our bed and stack all 5 bikes on top of each other then strap them down....sounds crazy and too hard we know, but the positives that come out of having the bikes outweighs it hands down.... Don't leave home with out your bikes people...
  2. Budget and become a tight ass; all those cents add up so only buy what you actually need.. no more eating out, no more fast food, no more takeaway coffee and shop to the specials wherever you shop, the trick is to make a game out of it and work out your weekly or daily budget then see if you can beat it.
  3. Don't treat TAWK as a holiday it's a lifestyle; you need to have some kind of routine otherwise everybody will be burnt out and nobody will enjoy the trip. For us it's set bedtimes, strict parenting and same food as you would eat at home, and everybody is happier and healthier for it, just the way we like it.

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

Already it's given our children more confidence especially our eldest, to never be afraid, step out of their comfort zone and never think they can't do something. Also the bond between Dani and our children has grown hugely having him around all the time, as he is the 'fun' one apparently!

If you have a dream, and it doesn't necessarily have to be to travel, follow that dream, it won't happen overnight but start making plans, not excuses, our Motto is Why Not us? & why can't it be you?

We want to inspire people and help them along their own journey no matter how un-reachable they think it might be, we want people to start challenging themselves to believe and ask the question, Why Not Us? Why Not Them? Why Can't It Be You?

Follow more or our journey on our Facebook page and Instagram - see you there!

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