It’s been a ridiculously long time since I’ve posted anything here. Truthfully, I’ve thought about closing this travel blog down many times, but the wanderer in me hates the thought of it disappearing altogether.
Every time I go to delete it from the internet, I remember the reason we started this travel site in the first place – to inspire ourselves and other families to get out and travel Australia with kids and pets in tow. Once we’d set our sights on the idea of full-time travel, we knew that if we could make it happen, then anyone could.
With hard work and dedication and a lot of stubborn determination, we achieved our goal of selling everything to travel Australia, and we had the most wonderful of family experiences along the way. Living on the road changed us from the depths of who we believed ourselves to be, right through to who we’ve since become. It was difficult to admit that full-time travel for us wasn’t going to be able to continue long term.
When life stands in your way, as we’ve learned over and over again, it’s best to pivot. We’d always had a dream of owning small acres, and we’d looked at so many options for re-settling including shared farming and even tiny homes. We realised that looking back wasn’t going to serve us in any positive way, and it was time to look forward, to focus on our family and our next big goal.
Why We Stopped Travelling Australia.
After we’d been on the road for around six months, Matt’s dad called, as he needed some respite. Matt’s grandmother developed severe dementia, it progressed quite rapidly, and so, instead of continuing on our way, we needed to stay put and help care for her.
What was supposed to be a 2 week stop turned into almost 2 years. We sold our Jayco Swan and bought an old caravan to renovate – a project we’re still yet to finish.
It was during this time that the kids reconnected with their homeschool group, and as they catapulted toward teen years, it became very evident that developing friendships, bonds and connections was more important for them than travelling.
The decision was made to apply for a rental and re-settle. It took a long time for it to feel right, but the benefit of having left everything behind, and having shed my old self, was that I returned as a slightly braver person, keen to make connections.
In hindsight, after losing my dad suddenly about a year and a half ago, I’m so grateful we were home, and closer to him.
Goals To Have For A Life After Travel
Just like everyone’s travel style is different, everyone’s life goals are different. Before we left to travel Australia, we knew what our goal would be when we’d decided to stop – to buy a home on some acreage.
This goal seemed huge, even more out of our reach than travel ever felt, and yet we knew that somehow there was a rural property just waiting to become ours.
But stopping travel wouldn’t be easy, and life after travel would turn out to be even heavier than the emptiness that staying in one place inflicted on us.
It turned out that the next couple of years would be filled with Dementia, terminal illness, losing loved ones, caring for loved ones, losing friends and having to face our own mortality and that of everyone around us. It was a rough ride.
Losing loved ones was one of our motivations to travel originally. We knew that life was too short and we wanted to explore and spend quality time with our kids. Ironically it was losing my dad, Matt’s nan and one of my closest friends that drove our decision to settle down. All of a sudden life felt fragile, our children were craving connection and peers and they were growing out of early childhood and towards their teen years.. fast.
So we did what we could. Matt found a great paying job – this turned out to be a dance with the devil – it almost destroyed him, however the increased finances helped buy our dream home so it’s worth keeping that in perspective. We found a cheap but nice rental, and we went about re-establishing our lives, reconnecting with old friends and saving towards our dream home. Just over a year ago we achieved our dream, and now we’re creating new memories with friends, family and the kid’s friends on 7 acres that we truly adore.
Things A Travel Lifestyle Taught Me
I’m going to keep this site online and might even add things to it. I might bring on some guest posters, because as the grief of losing so many loved ones settles, and the memories of travelling get more dim, the passion to inspire others to do the same is still as strong as ever.