Hi, I am a single mum of 5 children / young adults ranging from 6 to 22 years old. We would love to full time travel but, like a lot of single parent families, shared custody arrangements won't allow this, so we take every opportunity whether its a weekend or couple of weeks to travel, sometimes with all of us and sometimes a combination of us.
We camp in tents the majority of the time road tripping from place to place, exploring the natural beauty of this country. We have also been lucky to have gone on a few overseas trips, but travel within Australia is our main priority, we are so grateful for living in a country that has so much to explore!
When I became a single mum of five, six years ago, I decided that I wasn't going to let life get me down or let my predicament stop me from doing what I love. I became obsessed with travel bloggers and following families that full time travel and so desperately wanted to do that to, that I decided if I couldn't be like them I would forge my own path and travel whenever I could with the kids and not sit at home feeling sorry for myself. Our first big camping trip was to Tasmania for three weeks when my youngest was 18 months old.
I have been a camper from when I was born, every holidays my dad would pack up the car and we would road trip camping in our tents along the way. So in a way it was my father who prepared me for travel! When I made the decision to travel with the kids I didn't have any gear apart from a two man tent (and that wasn't fitting us all in!).
Slowly I accumulated gear, mostly form op shops and other second hand sources, and sometimes people would hand me down stuff, the most I have ever paid for a camping item is a recent purchase of a Kathmandu hiking tent and even that was on special! I have found that I don't need all the bells and whistles, its just more for me to pack up. I have all the gear ready to go at any time, if you asked me to leave in half hour, I could, sometimes it is still in the car from the last camping trip!
My biggest joy is becoming closer to my children through travel. It gives me time to connect with them, to discover who they are and to form strong bonds. Travel has made my children more outgoing, resilient, confident, centred and content in life.
My biggest challenge is finances, with only one income its is sometimes hard to find that extra money to travel. I have overcome it by tough budgeting, not going or eating out!, bpaying across money each week to my bills (that way i don't have any of the bill to pay when it comes in), living simply, buying nearly everything secondhand, meal planning ... there alot of ways that I try to save every dollar for travel! I also try to travel cheap, free camping, camping without power and looking out for special deals, that way travel becomes more affordable for us.
We absolutely love Tasmania, the people, wilderness and lifestyle. We will return in a couple of years as we have a big family goal of hiking the overland trek together....just got to wait till the little one gets a bit older.
Unfortunately Byron Bay was very disappointing. I had been really looking forward to traveling there, but planning it in the Christmas break was a big mistake! Too many people too touristy.
Even though we don't full time travel, my kids (younger ones) take a fair bit of time off school. I have a very good rapport with the school and document their learning in the key learning areas and attach any work for them to take back to class. If I could home school I would, I'm quiet passionate about kids learning outside of the classroom!
Every time I travel it surprises me how many great people there are out there travelling. There are plenty of nice people out there that are willing to help if you need it, give you some advise and look out for the safety of you and your kids.
As a single parent traveller or anyone who wants to travel with their kids;
Every adventure we take draws us closer together, we have a deep understanding of each other and I am grateful to have each of them in my lives. I hope that the adventures continue for a long time and you never know one day it might include grand kids!
My motto is "Take every opportunity to travel with your kids". Full time travel might not be part of your life right now but don't let that stop your from exploring this great country of ours! Get out there and enjoy it with your kids!
THANKS FOR READING!
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