We love hearing from our amazing community – filled with families who love the great outdoors, caravanning, camping – weekends away & long haul adventures. When Todd messaged us with his story, we were moved by his honesty – a rare insight into Dad’s side of the story.
I’m not one to normally talk about this sort of stuff but I feel I have to as this trip has changed our lives. I was never very good at English so please excuse the mistakes.
We are the Halsey family and we have always put off travelling Australia, the reason being we always made excuses why we can’t , what are we going to do with the house, what about work, we can’t afford it, and most importantly our dog. Kirryn has always been on my back to go and one day I came home from work and said stuff it let’s go we can make this happen, and from that day on everything seem to fall into place.
So on the 14th of April 2018 we headed north leaving our house and dog Jed in the capable hands of my sister. At home our life consisted of doing house Reno’s, long work hours and doing the same thing day in day out, always thinking how we can improve the house, and always on my mind where am I going to get my next bacon and egg roll or kebab from, for those who don’t know me personally these were a huge part of my life. This always caused tension between me and Kirryn by how much money was wasted on food.
We left on our adventure on a pretty tight budget but knowing if I stopped my bad habits we would be fine. As the trip went on I could feel as a family we were a lot closer, we sat at the table as family with no TV reception. We were forced to talk to each other about life and how we were feeling. The kids soon learnt iPads were useless with no internet signal and swapped their iPad for their footy, cricket set and their only bucket of toys they bought away with them. Never once on our whole trip from the 3 week mark did they ask again for their iPad. Things were starting to get back to basics, we were getting remote, with no 240v power, just living of a battery and a solar panel, but honestly – this was living. We had very limited water and showers went for 30 seconds max. The kids were realising not to turn every light on and no wasting water, we did have to explain to them though it was ok to have a drink of water. It was around now i was realising that the only bread within driving distance was frozen and I had no chance of getting a kebab, but ahh well I was feeling better already.
We would all sit around a campfire and talk, all agreeing that this is what life is about, making new friends on the road and living with the basics, the two boys were learning so much more than what was on their iPad or a massive room full of toys would teach them. Me and Kirryn wouldn’t argue about the money I was spending or how we were going to do the next Reno.
Of a day we would all play footy, ride bikes, play cricket, go for a walk, and just enjoy each other’s company. There was no TV, no phone signal and most places no radio. Although Kirryn did find one AM station.
The kids had changed dramatically wanting to learn new things and everything Kirryn or I did they asked questions , who, what, when and why. It wasn’t until one day when we came across a bogged Mitsubishi in the scrub that I realised that Taj actually listens when I explain things to him. We pulled up behind this 4wd and before I knew Taj was out of the car and asks the foreigner “what ya got ya tyres at” the bloke says “what do ya mean” Taj says “have ya let ya tyres down” the bloke says “ no “ Before I even said g’day to the bloke Taj yells out “dad we are going to need the maxx tracks and tyre deflater this guys got no idea”. So I threw him the deflater and said “I’ll help ya in a sec mate I will get the maxx tracks off” I then turned around and there is a 5 year old demonstrating to a man how to let down his tyres. This blew me away and I realised that he does actually listen, he has learnt about moon phases, always talking about tides, and can start a campfire like a champion.
On the other hand his brother Jai just chases sheep with sticks and just causing carnage wherever he goes.
When I think about it we are family of 4 living in a box without any dramas in our life, who cares how fancy your house is, who cares how much money you have, you don’t need a room full of toys and 300 games on ya iPad.
We are out here living life to the fullest with not a lot of money behind us you don’t need to travel Australia with a shit load of cash you can do it on any budget, sure we have a bloody awesome caravan but it doesn’t have to be like that, we have seen people in tents that were doing what we did and enjoying every second of it.
As a family on this trip we have conquered more than I have ever imagined by not making excuses! We completed some extremely challenging climbs through Karijini National Park that some people don’t even attempt at all – because we didn’t make excuses.
All in all I just needed to write this because I want people to get out there leave that comfort zone and experience what life is actually about with your family. It’s not a matter of what you have got in life it’s a matter of who, and that’s my wife and my two best mates.
As we drove through Sydney yesterday the family cried from there to home not wanting our adventure to end and I’m not normally the soppy one but I admit I was a shot duck with tears streaming down my face. To the day I have lost 15 kgs and feel so much more happier with life and I now know the most important things in my life. I can’t wait to get back out there and keep the dream alive.
JUST GET OUT THERE AND DO IT, ITS BLOODY AMAZING.
THANK YOU Todd! We wish you and your family all the very best – you can check in on their adventures on their Facebook page – Halsey’s Do Australia