TAWK Featured Family -
'Hit the Road Jac'

1.  About you

We are Jac and Sam from 'Hit the Road Jac' Blog - Alawyer and a plumber who have packed in city life to travel around Australia for a year with our three kids (8,7 and 4). We are travelling in our Toyota Landcruiser (Bonnie) and a Complete Campsite camper trailer "The Shack".

2.   Why did you make your decision to TAWK?

The long story of our decision to take this trip is in my blog post - which you can read here. The short answer is that we were over city lives and stressful jobs, wanted to spend time with our kids and have a bit of an adventure

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

We had to sell our house, sell our car, out all our things in storage, quit our jobs, buy a land cruiser and a camper trailer (and wait to have the camper trailer made) - it was about a six month lead time before we hit the road

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4.  What has been your biggest joy?

Getting away from schedules and stress and just heading off when we feel like it, and staying as long (or as little) as we want to wherever we go.  And getting off the beaten track has been great.  See our little video here....

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

We are finding distance education a little challenging at the moment especially when we don't have internet reception. But it is still early days so hopefully we will get the hang of it soon.

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

We are only a few weeks into our trip, and so far have loved it all. Mt Kosciusko was amazing, though the nights were a lot colder than we expected in the middle of summer.

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

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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?

The eldest children (Yr 4 and Yr 2) are doing a distance education program through Sydney Distance Education Primary School. We get paper material and there is an iPad program that we submit fortnightly. It usually takes a few hours a day but on the days  we are travelling we can be pretty flexible, and there is lots we can get done as we are driving.

We looked into home schooling but it didn't work, as we don't have a fixed address at the moment and couldn't register in any state without this.

8.   What surprised you most about the trip?

How easy it has been to forget about work! We have gone from crazy scheduled lives to a very cruisy existence and it has been wonderful. We have also been a little thrown by the decisions on where to go next. We had done no advance planning other than heading south-ish from Sydney. But now we are faced with whether to go north from Adelaide to Darwin, or whether to keep going along the coast to WA - and then how do we make sure we're in the right place at the right season? Suddenly it seems that one year won't be enough!

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

  • No matter how ready you think you are,there's really no way to fully prepare, until you're out there living it day to day.
  • The other gem we have found are audio books to keep the kids quiet and entertained while driving. The Magic faraway tree by Enid Blyton has worked a treat.
  • When you're thinking of caravan v camper trailer v tent v other options - have a think about how you want to spend your days and what you want to do when you get to campsites. We went for a camper trailer with an awning because we wanted to have our kitchen outside and generally be outside as much as possible, but not have to spend too much time setting and packing up. We also got something light and low so we could go off-road and get to places we may not have been able to go to in a caravan. We are really happy with our Complete Campsite hard floor trailer. It involves a little extra set up than a caravan (especially if we put up the full awning) but for a camper trailer really easy and quick to set up and pack away (the hard floor is remote controlled), we have plenty of time and the pay off is getting to go to more remote locations

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

I can't say it hasn't been a challenge spending 24 hours a day together - but so far the good moments have outweighed the ratty, cranky, frustrating moments. We are all way more active and even our 4 year old is going on long bush walks. We are also all spending less times on phones and iPads and the kids are using their imagination and coming up with games and activities to keep themselves entertained. We are really enjoying a simpler life with less stuff and hopefully when we get back we will continue to get by with less. At the moment we are all about doing things, rather than having things.

Thanks for reading and don't forget our Blog that you can also follow.

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