And so, the journey begins! – 12 months around Australia! We started the New Year with a bang and set off on New Year’s Day. Leaving behind the comfort blanket of routine, familiar faces and places for the promise of adventure and sights unseen! Farewell to the past few years, you didn’t break me, only made me stronger and more determined to enjoy and appreciate life.

Exactly 15 years ago, I set off backpacking through South East Asia with 2 friends. I still remember the feeling of reaching a new destination, walking around in wonder at the new sights, sounds and smells, with nothing to do and nowhere to be. This is what we want to harness on this trip, we want to heal, relax, reconnect and live. Travelling looks a lot different these days but the exhilaration is the same.

Regardless of my excitement, leaving everything I know and have built around me came with a wave of emotions… Grief for the person I was before, sadness for the people we will miss and that will miss us, but overwhelming excitement for our adventure an everything we will gain from this experience.

First stop Bathurst and soaring temperatures. The Jayco certainly earnt its keep with the air conditioning and it passed with flying colours. Roughly sitting on 39 degrees outside we frequented the pool and sheltered in Clive (The caravans current name). We drove round Mount Panorama Racetrack and visited the Australian Fossil and Mineral Museum. Why go west when you would think the south coast beaches are more appealing to us? To visit towns we normally wouldn’t think of visiting and allow the kids to set eyes upon different environments compared to what they are familiar with. We would normally be the first to head along the south coast and soak up the stunning beaches it provides but with the south coast battling the current bushfires, the decision to head west over the mountains was a better move.

So, what is it like traveling with 2 kids in tow? We may be more relaxed, but the kids are still kids. There are tantrums and tiredness, negotiations and distractions, and its only day 3! Our 3-year-old has turned into a night owl as a result of car day naps, while our 6-year-old is super exhausted from constantly jumping in the pool. However, we can already see the benefits of this trip for them, they are soaking everything up like little sponges. From cries of “Can we drive round the racetrack one more time?” to Mr 6 excitedly videoing and commentating with his “GoPro” (not a GoPro) through the Australian Fossil and Mineral Museum!

Today we’ve driven from Bathurst to Tumut, a short distance from the fires within the Kosciusko National Park. The countryside is shockingly dry, the grass is yellow and brittle with a tinge of red across the hills. Its 36 degrees outside and we see sheep huddled on top of one another under trees to get into the shade, everything needs relief from the heat, but none seems to be coming. Upon arrival at Riverglade Caravan Park we were told the park was a low fire risk today but high-risk tomorrow for ember attack with the wind forecast to change direction in the afternoon. It’s such a beautiful spot upon the river, which was icy cold. Our thoughts will be the local RFS over the next few days, as we see several fire trucks parked up in town, as we continue our adventure.

Trip Summary:

Day 3

– Kilometre’s travelled – 488

Most interesting sites so far:

– A Camel!

– A town called Wombat!

Interesting facts:

– The Australian fossil and mineral museum have one of the only four geckos preserved in amber in the world #jurassicpark

– Cowra had a POW camp and has a giant peace bell!