We are The Abbott Family travelling around Australia and have been on the road now for 241 days or 7 months and 27 days - as of 12th February 2017. There's Dad (Reece), Mum (Alicia - ME), our 4 year old son River and our daughter Olive who is almost 2. We travel in our Jayco Flamingo 2001 and tow it with our Ford Territory Titanium 2011 Diesel.
We made the decision to TAWK because we wanted a different life and experience for our family. It was clear a redundancy was awaiting for my husband Reece and rather than dwell on the negatives we packed up, set up, and took off.
To get started we read lots of travel blogs and took our time choosing a van we could afford. While Reece finished up at work I set out to pack up the house and pack the van. My parents helped us with some excellent modifications to our van, especially for the sleeping arrangements for our kids and the water storage capacity. We only packed what we really needed and meticulously arranged the van so that it would function smoothly. Over packing is the worst thing anyone TAWKing can do!
My biggest joy has been watching our children achieve amazing things beyond even our expectations. Hiking, climbing, swimming, discovering, going further than they thought they could.
Our biggest challenge on the trip has been managing our time and learning to slow down. There is SO MUCH to see and do but you can't do it all. Honestly you could spend 5 years exploring Australia and still not see and do everything! Not to mention the cost! We are extremely selective when it comes to tourist tours and other traps.
We have a mind set that we will be forever grateful for all the amazing experiences we have had and that we will not dwell on the things we have unfortunately missed. Another challenge has been the kids! We have had many tears and tantrums and managed a range of emotions. Travelling with your kids isn’t always fairy tales and lollypops, but it IS worth it!
We all loved different places and experiences. For me the best FREE camp (so far) was Archer Point just south of Cooktown. We were also lucky enough to fly to Norfolk Island with Nana and Gran ..(Kelly Abbott and Shirley Wright) An absolute highlight of our trip!! Family visitors have been wonderful including a week long adventure in Caloundra with Nannie and Grandad (Susan and terry Hitchcock), Meeting us with Reece’s Sister and family (Alicia Doouge) in Townsville and a visit from Grandad (with the sheep) – (Dave Abbott) in Ipswich. We’ve visited some family and friends along the way and met some incredible families also living on the road. We think people make places, but sunsets and spectacular views help.
My husband loved the Bungle Bungles and I'm pretty sure our daughter just likes all the free water slides on the east coast.
My most disappointing experience was Movie World. (River would disagree though!)
Our son River has only just started 4 year old Kindy. We are enrolled in eKindy through the Qld Department of Distance Education. Wish us luck!!
What surprised me most about the trip so far is how easily we have adapted to living is such close quarters to each other. It's just normal now. We patiently wait to move past each other - MOST OF THE TIME!
Future TAWKers my 3 tips..
I think this adventure has changed our family somewhat. We are more tolerant of each other and have connected on a deeper level, but we are all still growing and learning.
I'd love you to visit my Blog and follow the rest of our travels.
Thanks for reading.