Six months on the road and we are not ready to go home yet!
We are the Nankivell family with our two boys aged 9 and 11. We have an Aussie Swag camper trailer being towed by our Discovery 4.
We are cutting a lap (cuttingalap.blogspot.com) of Australia, anti clockwise from Brisbane. We love hiking, kayaking and snorkeling together in the national parks.
Our stars aligned and we had the perfect opportunity between work contracts for both Ben and I. This rarely happens and we seized the opportunity to start travelling, an important factor in this for us, was that this is the final year of primary school for our eldest son, Max. So logistically we thought it would be easier with his schoolwork, and that is true.
We got organised very quickly, in less than two months, we bought a camper trailer, finished up at work and rented the house out while we are away travelling.
Packing up the house to rent it out, was a BIG job, but the steady income has been worth it. Getting the Discovery beefed up with roof racks, bull bar, trailer brake control unit, awning, etc took the most amount of time. Just waiting for the parts to arrive and be fitted was agony, we just wanted to hit the road and get going but we had to wait. In fact the bumper bar was fitted the day we left!
My biggest joy has been watching my husband teach our boys, we say we have “nothing but time” on this trip. He has taught them map reading, compass skills and they love doing small electronic projects together. Soldering and mechanical projects too.
As a mother of boys, I also love that our boys have turned into book worms! They are now both avid readers and hungry for anything they can get their hands on! Mostly I love and get so much joy out of seeing them grow and spending time with them. Seeing them smile, all my boys, big and small.
The biggest challenge for each of us individually is spending so much endless time together without a break. Usually we have forced breaks with school and work respectively, but now we are relaxing, travelling, eating and sleeping all together and even in your individual chill out time, the rest of the family is around. That can be pretty hard.
How do we overcome it? I am not sure if we do, but I try and talk about how I am feeling, happy, glum, excited, what I feel about going home and how great our adventures are as a family.
The National Parks and the facilities, at less than $25 a night in every state our family can camp for a night. We are all self contained in our camper trailer with solar and a hot hand shower when we need it to rinse off the red dust of the desert or the salt of the ocean.
The National Parks are consistently beautiful, well kept, with simple drop toilets, always well stocked with toilet paper and cleaned regularly. The best thing is the large sites are set apart and you retain your privacy. I love showering in the open bush.
Not where but what disappoints me the most. The lack of books! At most caravan parks they have a book swap or second hand book area but it is filled with Mills and Boon. Sigh. I have bean disappointed by the reading material of others! I will usually read anything. So I am always asking people to swap books with me!
I am also disappointed at the “industrial” washing machines on the trip at the caravan parks – a 37 minute wash is not true washing. It just does not get the red dust out of our boy’s clothes even with Napisan. I love when we visit friends and use a real washing machine with a decent wash and then rinse cycle. It is pure joy.
That we don’t actually have much time to relax and sit around, read, play and chill out. We are BUSY every day, being tourists and exploring museums, swimming in freshwater gorges, hiking up mountains, exploring the beach, there is soo much to do!
We set off at quite a fast pace originally and revised that to relax into places a little more. And we now schedule chill out days and especially for Max and Ted, pajama days.
1. Let your husband take those tools. Even though they take up so much room! You never know when you need them, yes Ben has used the grinder, more than once.
2. Take less clothing. It’s surprising what you think you will need and then realize you do not need it. We do have an extreme bag with warmer clothes packed separately.
3. Camelbaks for every member of the family makes carrying water easier.
We have certainly become closer and more tolerant of each other. We are each so unique and different but now I think we all have a respect for each other that perhaps we didn’t have as much of before.
We have such great memories and adventures as a family now and lots of funny stories. We have laughed and cried together and at each other. We have love that is unconditional and know that as a family unit in the future this will bond us together so strongly.
We'd love you to follow our journey further, so please visit our website www.cuttingalap.blogspot.com.au here.
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.