I’d like to introduce the Smith family, firstly myself Amy, hubby Nik and 4 gorgeous girls aged 7 to 13. We are originally from the Mornington Peninsula in Victoria but are currently travelling Australia in a Jayco Swan Outback, leaving home back in January 2015. We are currently (August 2015) in Alice Springs enjoying the sights of Central Australia and have no finish date to our travels as yet.
Travelling had always been on the cards for us but after my father died suddenly after a very short illness back in 2006, we decided that we had to do it sooner rather than later. We had 4 girls under 8 and they were growing up very quickly, so we sat down and discussed when the best time to travel would be for the girls, not too young but not too old either………..
Once we made the date we discussed and decided on a rough 5 year plan. Most importantly we decided on when to purchase the car and the van, which were the 2 major things. We then decided on a rough route, which was pretty much to turn left when we got to Melbourne and see where it took us.
As for research we trolled the internet and found many blogs which we read and followed intently and we joined Facebook pages dedicated to families travelling and read many, many magazines on places to see.
The final year was the hardest as we had to sell the house and find a place to live for 12 months as well as buy the van and work and live as per usual, very much organisation overload for us.
With the threat of sounding like a cliché, by far the most joy has come from spending time together as a family and really getting to know our girls, as well as getting excited with them as we head to new destinations making us feel like we are big kids too!!!!
As per the previous question, spending so much time together!!!! We have had to learn to become more patient and understanding of each other and know when to back off and give each other space.
We have only travelled less than a quarter of our country so far (as of August 2015) and having spent a lot of time in outback South Australia and Alice Springs, we would have to say Central Australia is a highlight so far.
Not so much a place more a situation, as we were looking forward to going to Kangaroo Island however the $800 price tag for the ferry was far too much for us and unfortunately we didn’t get to visit Kangaroo Island.
How much we settled into a routine and accepted our new lifestyle, especially the kids who were used to routine and knowing what was ahead. These days they are excited about where we may or may not end up, now that’s adaptability.
1. Firstly make and set a date and tell the kids and extended family so that you can’t get cold feet!!!
2. Secondly cut out a picture, laminate it and stick it on your fridge so that everyday you are reminded of your goal. I have had the same picture of the Pentecost River crossing with the Cockburn Ranges in the background on my fridge for the last 5 years and its now on the fridge in the van. Can’t wait for that moment!!!!!
3. Lastly, make sure your car and van are set up for the type of traveling you intend on doing.
With 4 kids heavily involved in sport, a husband that worked over 50 hours a week and myself working part time as a nurse, meant we were always on the go, to-ing and fro-ing from one place to another. Stepping away from this life has allowed us to stop and smell the roses. We eat our meals together, we have fun together, we laugh together, we learn together and we all can now say we really do know each other.
With kids heading into teenage years it feels good to say that this trip has strengthened our family as it has allowed us to learn to communicate with each other as well as have the time to listen.
Having just been in outback Australia for the last 2 months if you decide to travel remotely make sure you are prepared, (check out the Remote Travel Page - TAWK) water, food and fuel and let people know where you are going.
Lastly have a blast!!!!!!!!
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.