Road tripping has long been a passion of our’s. That incredible feeling of freedom & exhilaration that comes with the open road and exploring lands unknown. Cruising off into the yonder, map in hand, gazing out the window,eagerly awaiting the next horizon, the next landscape, the next encounter and discovery! Nothing beats that sensation!
We are the Cherry’s, a family of 4 living full-time in our Retreat Daydream caravan for the past 2 & a half years, travelling and working our way around this amazing country with Trev (the Dad, husband, chief driver & chief breadwinner), Megs (the Mum, wife, chief navigator & chief Homeschool teacher), 8 year old Shilah & 6 year old Cooper!
Our journey began on 29th March 2015 from the Sunshine Coast, QLD, where we departed with our 24 footer, towed by our 2006 100s Landcruiser. Road trip adventure had captivated us pre-kids, 3 years after we married when in 2006-2008 we completed the ‘Big Lap’, becoming addicted to life on the road, thus making our decision to TAWK a relatively easy one. We were prompted to create a permanent life on the road when we kept returning ‘home’ after our travels only to start planning the next journey, thus we thought, “Why keep going back?”
For this particular adventure (life on the road with the kids), we prepared by selling an investment property to lessen the financial strain, we researched caravans, having our favourite custom built to our specifications, we sold our camper trailer which had previously taken us around the country plus we sold many other items namely nursery furniture, toys and items that held no sentimental value, wouldn’t fit in the van or that we saw ourselves not wanting to return to.
Trev worked his butt off and we saved every other penny while Megs wrote lists upon lists of purchases required before departure, job sites, rough itinerary’s, bucket list places to visit and experiences not to miss. Then once it seemed like everything was coming together, we set a date for departure and aimed for it!
With delays on the sale of our house as well as delays in the building & receiving of our caravan, our original plans had to be altered and instead of departing in the early Summer of Dec 2014 to head South, we ended up leaving late March 2015, choosing to head North for the Winter! (thus why flexibility is a huge advantage!)
Our biggest joy would differ for each family member - Trev’s biggest joy would be being able to spend so much quality time with the kids & Megs during our travels in-between stopping to work. Megs biggest joy has simply been making the dream of life on the road a reality, escaping routine of suburban life, the continual feeling of freedom, being together as a family experiencing new adventures, having such quality time away from the hustle and bustle of ordinary life and having Trev around so much more!
The kids love - meeting new kids, the array of pools or beaches, the multitude of playgrounds we frequent and the animals we come across, whether that be in a zoo, on a farm or in the wild!
Our biggest challenges have included ongoing one’s as well as one off’s. The ongoing challenge is always where & when the next dollar will come from. This remains the missing link of our otherwise dream life that we live! To find a location-free income would be our ultimate dream come true. In the meantime, we will continue to stop for work in one location whenever the bank account dips too low.
One off challenges have included car/caravan issues (minor) and THE COLD weather down South! At the end of the day though, these are first world problems and we remain focused on the most important factor of our travels - that we are all healthy and safe, including our family and friends.
It is impossible to name just one place we have enjoyed the most! With so much incredible diversity in this amazing country, there are a myriad of places which have captured our hearts! And for many different reasons. Our highlights have included but are not limited to:
Overall though, the place we truly enjoy the most is on the open road! Rather than specific destinations, it’s the journey that we hunger for. The journey truly is the destination!Unfortunately, the place that disappointed us the most has been
Tasmania and I know MANY will disagree! We had high expectations from all that we’d heard as we headed across to the Apple Isle on the Spirit of Tasmania. This was the one State that we had yet to explore! Our 6 weeks in Tassie was certainly an adventure, however, it was marred by cold, windy weather and a climate that just did not suit the lifestyle we love.
We chose to Homeschool our daughter Shilah, registering with Home Education QLD when she approached the compulsory age. Our decision to Home Educate over Distance Education was due to reading many travelers comments & viewpoints between the two. With a bit of self-encouragement we concluded that we would be able to implement our own curriculum & educational experiences for Shilah throughout our travels and that it would provide us with the most flexibility. Focusing predominantly on English & Mathematics, many of the other subjects fall into place and are touched on throughout her experiences.
What has surprised us most about our journey is that it took us 20 months to depart the State of QLD! Aside from this, there haven’t been too many surprises for us as we’d embarked on our previous adventures, including traveling the Top End when Shilah was a baby and again when she was a toddler, both times in our camper trailer. Plus our 3 month road trip of the United States of America back in 2013 gave us plenty of insight into what it is like traveling with kids! 90 days trekking across a country in an RV with a 4 & 2 old was eye-opening to say the least!
To be honest, we don’t feel this adventure has changed our family much. We’re living the lifestyle we’d always longed for and because the kids have been born into an already road tripping family, they almost know no different. This adventure has become life and we have almost forgotten what life was like prior.
Further tips for future TAWKer’s:-