TAWK Featured Family -
'Hockings Home away from Home'

1.  About you

We are a family of 5, Dad, Mum and 3 kids (7, 5 & 2) who left from Adelaide a little over 8 months ago. We are travelling in a Isuzu D-max and tow a regent family van.

2.   Why did you make your decision to TAWK?

It's always been on our to do list to travel Australia but always figured it would be when our kids were grown up and we retired. We then started to realise it was a common thing for families to do so decided to put the plans in motion and make it happen. Creating memories with the kids is something that we will all cherish forever.

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

We did a fair bit of research before we left and fell pregnant with number 3 in the early stages so our planning stage lasted longer than intended. But that gave us time to figure out what car we wanted, gave us time to look at all types of setups and we decided to keep our house and rent it out rather than sell. We felt pretty confident with most things before we left by asking a lot of questions on travelling pages.

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4.  What has been your biggest joy?

Seeing new exciting places is a great feeling, especially when it's somewhere you have been waiting to see but the main joy would be watching your kids grow and learn new things every day. In the 8 months we have been gone they have changed so much and even hearing the conversations they have with other people still amazes us.

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

Our biggest challenge would have to be getting through some hard days with the kids.
Long hot days, some late nights, early mornings, swimming and running around every day creates very tired, grumpy kids and with only an hour here and there to have some alone time for a walk it can be hard to keep calm all the time.

We have not overcome this but are trying hard to keep finding ways to all work together.
Most days are great and exciting but like at home, there are hard days.

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

We have spent most of our time so far in WA so still have much more to explore yet but I think Margaret River has been a favourite so far as well as recently exploring Kalbarri and Karijini National Park.  We have the whole top end to do yet so are very excited for what's to come.

No where has really disappointed us so far. There are places you get to that you've been looking forward to that aren't as impressive as you thought but then you find wonderful places that you were never expecting.

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?

It all happened quite easy for us as the kids school and South Australia's department of education system was all very supportive and encouraged us to get out there so we applied for home schooling and got approved with no hassles.

8.   What surprised you most about the trip?

Probably how quickly we all adapt to new environments, temperatures and wildlife.
We had a laugh a while ago at how you see different animals and at first you are so excited and shocked to see them so close then after a while it becomes so normal and having dinner with a kangaroo, cow or lizard within a few meters of you isn't a strange thing to see.

We were also surprised at how manageable living in a small space with minimal stuff is. We love it

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

  1. Expect life to still be life. Yes you are seeing new things and are on the trip of a lifetime but you are still living. You still have things to pay for, dinners to cook, vans to clean and children to care for so don't put too much pressure on yourself when bad days do happen. We are human still
  2. Research as much as you can before you leave so you are comfortable with your setup once you take off and feel confident. If you have a question, get on these travel pages and ask it, there's plenty of helpful travellers who are more than happy to give some much needed advise.
  3. Set your date. You can talk and talk and talk about going but until you actually make the decision to do it, some times it doesn't go any further than just talking. Once we set a rough date everything started to fall into place.

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

We are definately closer and work well together, I feel we are more united. We have our days but overall are doing pretty well considering we are with each other every second of every day.  We have also figured out we love the freedom so want to sell our house when we get back and get some property. We will also keep our van and get away as much as possible.

I can't think of any other advise for the time being but am always happy to help other travelers so any questions, we're happy to answer.

Thanks for reading - Susan, Daniel, Cody, Mason and Summer Hocking
We''d love you to follow our FB travel page- 'Hocking's home away from home'

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