Would you Lap Australia with your young kids on your own?
When I met Faith, I instantly liked her…a lot! As I listened to her tell her story about her lap of oz, as a single mum with two young kids in a Motorhome, I was intrigued. Faith could not wipe the smile off her face and you could tell that this adventure changed her life, and her kids lives, FOREVER. This is the story of the Motorhome Mama.… Real Stories | Real Families xx
Dreams come true!
A few years ago I dreamt of travelling Australia, I wanted to teach my kids what’s really important in life, to have an entire year of family time, growing closer together as I felt us drifting apart. The idea was to leave Melbourne on my 40th birthday Dec 2016 and return on my husband’s 40th birthday December 2017. We hired a caravan for Christmas of 2015 to give it a try and see if it really was something we wanted to do; for me 2 weeks simply wasn’t enough, I was hooked.
2016 was a life changing year for me; my best friend received the news his cancer had returned, this time it was terminal. Around the same time my marriage had come to a point where we made the decision to separate, it was devastating for all of us but we promised each other to remain friends.
After the separation I took the big trip off the table; I felt it would be to tough to caravan around Australia with the kids (4 and 7) by myself, the setting up and packing up alone would send me crazy, let alone the cooking, care, school work, navigating, driving oh and yeah it was supposed to be a trip where we have loads of fun with little stress.
I carried on with life and did my best to figure out how to be a single Mum, it wasn’t easy but it was certainly easier than cancer. My bestie was doing it tough, he was such a fighter; in November 2016 he passed away; he so desperately wanted to live, the only thing I could do was to make sure I made the most of my life.
2017 I sold the house and I found a motorhome that suited the kids and I perfectly, my little boy is a climber, I had visions of him making a cup of Milo or getting games out as I was driving and being the only parent I would have to pull over to deal with it, so when I found “Maggie” my motorhome it was love at first sight. The duel Cab was a game changer, when we drive it’s the same as being in a car, albeit a huge one, when we stop we get out and into the living area and we’re home, it was perfect.
April 7th 2017 and we are on the road!!! What a feeling, so free, so strange, I remember once I was driving to Buchan caves and thought I forgot the kids helmets, then realised everything we have is in the back. We spent the next month travelling around Victoria, it was familiar to me and I gained confidence over the month, we all adjusted well to our new life and popped back every other weekend so the kids could see their Dad.
Much to the family’s horror I didn’t really have a plan, I had ideas but felt like when I got to certain places I would find my way to the next. Maybe some might think it’s irresponsible but for me that’s what the trip was about, no alarms, no deadline and I didn’t want the pressure of “I have to be here at this time or date”. So my plan was to head West across the Nullarbor and get to Perth and see my sister. I had no idea once I left Ceduna I would have no contact with anyone until I came out the other side of the Nullarbor, almost 3 days and you should have seen how many calls and texts I had when I finally got service. Lesson learnt when I got to Perth I purchased a Telstra sim (which I never used).
Over our 9 months on the road we travelled 26,000kms, some roads where flat and lifeless which is not a bad thing; others took all the concentration I had like the snowy, but the smells and sights and sounds in there were beautiful. Then you have the coast – the drive between Cairns and Port Douglas is so picturesque you have to see it to believe it. The best advice I was given was to travel between 9am and be off the road by 4pm at the latest to avoid any run ins with wildlife, there were still a few encounters, Kangaroos are a big worry, sheep around Exmouth area, cattle across the top and buffalo near to Kakadu. We saw a few snakes only from the motorhome thank goodness and had a few close encounters with crocs starting at Cable beach in Broome. I travelled at 5-10kms under the limit for best fuel economy but the Northern Territory is 130kms, I was well under that.
There were so many amazing adventures, the greatest was swimming in the Great Barrier Reef with big Wally, we also loved Zebra Rock Mine NT, one of our few unpowered stops (I need my coffee) a little family run business with rock that’s found nowhere else in the world but the Kimberley! The place I felt I could live was Coffs Harbour, I loved it there, we stayed at Emerald beach just north of Coffs and the coastal walks are incredible, I’ll paint you the picture; rolling hills that show the magnificent cliff tops and around each corner is a new more spectacular beach below, all the while walking past loads of kangaroos just minding their business relaxing soaking in the amazing views. You could travel this beautiful country of ours for years and years and still not see it all, I felt most connected when we were disconnected, National parks with no service or anywhere from The Tropic of Capricorn up, it’s all stunning (not to say below that is bad, it’s just another world across the top).
I can’t wait to get out there again and explore more wonderful amazing places; I see the impact the trip has had on the kids, now they are little explorers who love to spend time outdoors. They had a bedroom each in our old house and would argue about the other one coming into their space, now they share a bedroom and hardly argue, they appreciate things more than before. I love that change in them, I also love they don’t ask me for things anymore they ask to go places, their outlook has changed as has mine.
The thought of resuming life as it was horrified me so I decided to keep the dream alive and do things differently when we returned. Instead of recommencing my previous business; I opted to start a new one, I listed my motorhome on Camplify and within the first 24 hours I had four booking requests. My motorhome continued to be hugely popular throughout my first 12 months and now I look forward to beating my first year’s benchmarks. The knowledge I’ve gained has been fantastic, but the best thing is I love having the ability to share our experience with so many families and couples. Camplify has helped me continue “living the dream” and hold onto the togetherness I created while we travelled. I’m so very grateful for that.
My advice to anyone thinking about travelling is GO FOR IT!!
The caravan/motorhome/camping community is amazing, I never felt alone, there was lots of love and support the entire way, it’s like having family alongside you, always someone willing to lend a hand or stop in for a chat. When it came to the kids, there were loads of resources and more than you might expect out there exploring too. After travelling I see life differently and for the better; I’m no longer stressed, I feel more connected to life and my kids and I know anything is possible. For me life is about adventures, I’m proud of myself for giving my kids and myself a new outlook on life. Travel – Explore – Discover!
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