We are a family of 4 from New York City. My husband and I have been on the road with our twin 5 year old boys since August 2014 in an off-road camper trailer known as "Siberian Tiger" and our Land Cruiser, "Cave Lion"
My husband and I travelled /camped around Australia in 2007. We dreamed of coming back and seeing more. We got the opportunity to come back last year and we knew we had to jump on it. We wanted our boys to be able to have a lot of time to explore nature rather than just the urban existence they had known until that point.
It was quite a challenge to make the leap from the other side of the world! We couldn't see anything in person so all of our research was online. I spent a lot of time watching YouTube videos, hoping to catch a glimmer of what each camper trailer model might actually be like to live in. We received wonderful help from Vic Widman of Great Divide Tours, who responded to what must have seemed to be a totally random online query from two New Yorkers asking for help selecting a 4WD and camper trailer! After debates and worry, we shed a lot of our things, put the rest in storage and jumped on the plane with much too much luggage.
Ooh such a hard question! I think seeing the growth in my boys, from initially feeling unfamiliar with our surroundings outdoors to watching them learn to explore and enjoy it. Our boys experienced a huge change leaving our daily routines in NYC and it has been wonderful to see them open to new ways of exploring the world during our travels. The other day they had one car towing another in one of their imaginative play games... And I knew they had settled into the trip when the subway system was no longer the star of the game!
Getting a handle on how to pack up easily. Everything we have in Australia is with us in the camper trailer and 4WD. Trial and error has been a great (although sometimes frustrating!) friend to us.
We've loved so many places. Cape York. We had a great time on the 4WD tracks, particularly the Old Telegraph Track. The kids loved the creeks, the camping and the waterfalls!
We were most disappointed that we hit the Flinders Ranges during a hot spell. It was 45 degrees and too hot for us to explore as much as we wanted on foot. Luckily we still saw lots of wildlife from the comfort of the air con in the car! We look forward to returning at some point to explore more.
How quickly the days and weeks fill up! Regardless of how long we stay in an area it always feels like we are leaving with more things we would love to see.
Get out there and do it! It is an amazing experience as a family.
The beginning will be harder than you expected, but it gets easier with each passing week.
Be open to new things. Some of the best experience on our journey have been the result of a sign spotted on the road or a comment made by a fellow traveler.
It's been amazing to have the opportunity to spend so much time together as a family - this is something we will cherish forever. My husband and I both had demanding corporate jobs in New York, and making space for family time with just the four of us was a constant, uphill struggle. Now we have every meal together and have reclaimed our lives!