TAWK Featured Family -
'Trip In A Van'

1.  Who are you?

My name is Bec, my husband Justin and our three kids - Jack, (nearly) six, Billy, four and a half years old and three year old daughter Charli have been travelling this great country for nearly three years!

We hit the road in a Jurgens caravan and a Mazda BT50 from Newcastle NSW and went anti clockwise on our first lap. Our second was a clockwise lap and we now continue to travel, seeing as much as we can! It’s pretty awesome because now it's our job and we truly love the lifestyle and getting out as much info as we can on family travel throughout Australia.

2.   Why did you make your decision to TAWK?

Can you believe Justin had to convince me! It was something he has always wanted to do, not long after giving birth to our third child we began to talk about it seriously. It wasn’t really on my radar cause duh! I just had a baby!

Justin was working crazy shift work in mining and began to really miss seeing our tribe. I was at home with three kids, tired and Justin was cranky from night shift - so its wasn’t the best mix! But after some sweet talking we had our house on the market!

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

After our house went on the market it sold in ONE day! So we knew it was meant to be, but unexpected. It was chaos trying to pack up the house, organise a garage sale and sell all our belongings and car as well as Justin resigning from his job. The personal items we had left over, were put into a 3 x 1.3m storage shed with an up front payment of $800 for the year.

To prepare - well honestly we didn’t have a lot of time but we made sure to keep the kids as involved as we could, however being so little they just went with the flow.

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4.  What has been your biggest joy?

Hands down seeing the qualities evolve from our kids while being on the road. They are social little people, confident, adaptable and oh so resilient. Their love for each other is beyond gorgeous and with all of them being under 6, I feel so grateful that I’ve been able to spend so much time with them in their younger years, because you never get those back!

Plus, seeing Justin be around for all their milestones (and nappy changes haha), it's not common that dads are around to watch them walk for the first time or give their first 'thumbs up'.

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

Definitely the first 4 - 6 weeks. We knew that there would be an adjustment period and I think that is why we are still on the road. We didn’t commence our trip thinking it was going to be all rainbows and sunshine. Its a huge adjustment for three kids at their young ages (3, 2 and 6 months). It was made easier with our set up and having the comforts of home within our caravan.

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

Enjoyed - We have spent so much time travelling Australia and have been to so many amazing places and a lot of them are our favourites based on the moments and memories created. We loved El Questro, Cape Range National Park, Agnes Water/1770, Uluru and loads more. Australia is so diverse and all these places are amazing for their own reasons - you’ve just got to get out there and see them all.

Disappointed - No real disappointments on our travels. I guess some places were disappointing due to the weather but that obviously that can't be helped. It does however change your experience of the place and won't make your most ‘enjoyed’ places.

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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?

Schooling is very new to us. Our eldest Jack started this year and so far so good. He doesn’t know any better which I believe helps as he doesn’t miss friends or the routine of school life. We have him homeschooling and we use Reading Eggs, IXL Maths and workbooks we purchased at Target, along with some flashcards and other bit and bobs.

It funny, because school's are going back to instilling qualities in our kids by trying to teach them resilience, risk taking, communication, listener and thinker and we are indirectly teaching these exact qualities to our kids by just being together and travelling.

8.   What surprised you most about the trip?

How much we still love it after so much time in the caravan and being with each other 24/7.

But mostly - how many travelling families are out there doing it now. It's incredible and there has been a real shift in people's minds about quality family time while they’re still young and able. Families are getting out there now and experiencing all that Australia has to offer and MAKING MEMORIES. Taking time out from the daily grind to reconnect and change life’s perspective!

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

Our 3 pieces of advice are:

  1. Make sure your home on wheels suits your family’s needs. It goes a long way to enjoying your trip.
  2. Keeping kids on a routine and some sort of structure to the day is very important. After a few months your trip goes from holiday to lifestyle.
  3. Slow down and enjoy the slow paced life!

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

Well for starters Justin and I are so much more chill and it by far makes it easier when dealing with a toddler tantrum or just kids in general. We are such a tight kit family and honestly, just adore each other.

It has strengthened our marriage and the bond and adventures we’ve had together will make for a very close family for the rest of our lives. It has completely changed our perspective on life and we realise now that it is so amazing living so simplistic and just having each other!

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