Thursday, July 28, 2011

I am so grateful for...

...rain weather

... as they all give me a much greater appreciation for, and joy in...


Thank you life, for your highs and lows, for all of the experiences that allow me to shift and stretch and become more of Who I Really Am.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Life on the road...

We get a lot of different reactions when talking to people about what we are doing.  We don't offer the information, it is just the nature of camping life to chat and ask others about how and where they are travelling to.  People ask us "where do you live?".  We point to our tents and say "today, we live over there".  Some people are shocked, some are concerned, some are excited, some are baffled.  Most people have a home base, even if they are on the road for a year or so.
Sometimes we leave it at that, sometimes we go on to explain briefly what led us to be there, how we were travelling several years ago, for a year.  When we got to the Gold Coast, we liked it so we stayed there and it was cheaper to rent a house for what we thought would be a little while, which became almost 3 years.  When they sold the house, we decided to keep travelling.  Right now, we are just waiting for our new camper coming over from the USA.  We decided to do our waiting in an area that is warm so that's why we're here.

The people that are shocked think that it's an awfully long time to be living in tents with 3 children.  Really?  Compared to what?  Two months in two tents.  We are enjoying it.  Well, most of the time...I may be a free spirit, but I need a little bit of organisation in order to function smoothly.  I like knowing where things are and our system is pretty simple, but it can get messed up sometimes when things get put back in the wrong place.  There is so much to do around here, mostly fun stuff, but also a lot of practical stuff that sometimes I forget that I'm supposed to be relaxing as well.  Then it catches up to me and I wonder why I'm tired.  Mostly, it's fun and exciting and busy and we all feel healthier and happier and more connected.  I am not going to romanticize it though.  It can be bloody frustrating when it's dark and we have no power and I can't see where things are.  Although that can mean a really easy dinner and an early night.  We have been really lucky with good weather...up until last night when it rained most of the night.  Our tent held up well for a second-hand $20 tent with just some very minor leakage in the front.  The other tent had a bit more leakage, mainly due to wear on the outer fly allowing the rain to seep through.  That tent was free so it's pretty good for the price.  We will just put a tarp over the top of it from now on to prevent anymore wet walls in there.  So some minor frustration with that but overall, our cheapy tents have served us well.  I know that we will greatly appreciate moving in to a caravan after this experience though! 

Keeping up with meals and buying food is another consideration.  We do not have the storage space to do a full weeks shopping so we have to shop every couple of days.  We have a large cooler with us to keep food cool.  This means buying ice every day or two.  When the ice melts, the water can go through all of the food, often ruining it in the process.  We don't mind a little cool water in there to help keep the food cool, but it can't be too much and the food has to be packed just right in order to keep the water out of it.  That's another minor annoyance - when I think I'm going to snack on some hummus and then I find it's just a tub of water.  We have to keep food stored away so sometimes it's a bit of a shuffle to find everything I need to make a meal.  I bought an extra washing basket so that we can put everything we need for a meal in it, and take it to the camp kitchen without having to trek back to our site because I forgot the pepper or something.

Other than those things, I can't think of any other little challenges.  I actually like the walk to the laundry and bathroom and camp kitchen and chatting to a variety of people along the way.  I like moving and being active.  I love looking out of my tent into the rainforest and watching the little creek below.  I love sitting under the stars at night.  I love exploring new places and hiking and waterfalls and beautiful beaches.  I would rather explore a place of natural beauty than go to a place like "The Butterfly House" which claimed to have 4000 different kinds of butterflies.  I would rather marvel at the butterflies in their natural environment when I do see them.

Our kids are enjoying playing cards with new friends in the evenings rather than watching hours of tv.  They run and play and explore, choosing to climb one of the many beautiful trees over playing at a playground structure. 

I love being warm in the winter time, wearing singlet tops and shorts or a sarong and feeling the sun on my bare skin.  I love having the freedom to be here, to move when we have had enough of a place, to take from a place just what we want, not trying to do all of the "touristy" things, just seeing the places that speak to us, even if it means staying at the campground most of the day for a week.  I love meeting people from all over the world.  I love living close to the earth and the elements.  I love watching the shadow of a bug as it crawls over the outside of my tent as I'm typing this.  I love having this moment, this time, right here, right now.  So blessed!

Monday, July 25, 2011


Airlie Beach

A chilly night in Airlie

                                           Cedar Creek falls, just trickling a little at the moment

We are travelling with our tents etc in the little trailer so that there is a lot more room for the kids in the car.  We have the third seat in the wagon so Summer gets that all to herself while the boys sit in the middle.  Cary has done a great job of driving the entire way here.  He is not at all impressed with the Australian roads, comparing the main highways to back country roads in the US.  Gotta say, he has a valid point.

                                                        Gypsy is a happy traveller!

                                         Turtles on the log in the creek next to our campsite.

Hanging out with new friends.  This little creek winds around the campground. 

AJ wanted to cook dinner - kangaroo sausages and a big salad.  The rest of the family likes the roo meat.  I'm still veg and won't touch it.

Camp kitchen, the kids waiting for the sausages

Monday, July 18, 2011

where to start?

I have no idea of what day or date it is.  And I love that!

We stopped a few times on our way up to Cairns, but mainly we just wanted to have warm nights so we didn't do too much sight-seeing along the way.  AJ had asked if we could stop at "every single museum in Australia".  (How many kids would ask that?!)  We stopped at a couple, but then kept pushing on.

We would like to do this trip again, when we are set up for full time traveling with the caravan and not just in tent-and-holiday mode.  We can take our time then and stop often.

So now we are in Cairns.  The long trip and the hours of seeing only sugar cane and scrub and a few cows and a rare little town were so worth it!  Oh my golly I love it here.  Our campsite is so beautiful - lush rainforest with a little creek running alongside where our tent is.  We are just steps away from turtles and fish.  I love watching the turtles...they crawl onto some of the branches that are hanging over the water and sun themselves for hours before plopping back into the water.  The creek runs over some rocks about 20 meters away and the babbling sound it makes is so soothing to fall asleep to!  A few minutes walk along the other way of the creek is a little beach area with rope swings.  The kids are making lots of new friends and having a great time.  We are having such a lovely time in the campground that we haven't seen much of Cairns yet.  We did go to Rusty's markets yesterday - great fruit and veg and other cooked foods for sale.   Then we went to the sea side lagoon to meet up with some friends from Brisbane who have been traveling for a couple of months.  I already felt quite at home here, but seeing familiar faces made it feel even more so! 

I will get some photos downloaded sometime.  We have not always had power to charge and download our devices, and that hasn't bothered us.  We will get around to it all whenever we do.  It is just so nice to be warm, and in nature and living so simply.  ..

...just got a couple of pics that I took on my phone.  Here is one of Shute Harbour in the Whitsundays, south of here...beautiful!

Friday, July 01, 2011

A new chapter...

We are officially house-free!  The final week at the house was extremely busy with packing, moving things into storage, and cleaning the house.  I would wake up around 3am, thinking of all of the things we still needed to do, then try to get a little more sleep, eventually give up, get up around 5am and get going.  How the heck does one 3 bedroom / 1 bathroom house take so much work to empty and clean?!  We have just about everything in a storage unit the size of a single car garage.  That includes all of our bikes, large fridge, mattresses, washer, dryer, kayak and loads of boxes.  The tents, sleeping bags and some of our clothes are with us, ready for our trip north.  

Thank you little house!  Thanks for keeping us dry and warm and for the memories we shared with you.  Thank you garden for your fragrant flowers and yummy fruits.

I kind of expected to feel a little sad about leaving the old house.  I really don't though.  I think I'd already detached myself.  Yesterday, as I was still cleaning and packing, I just felt excitement about the new chapter about to start.  Today when I woke up, I felt lightness and joy and relief.  We are spending a couple of days with our close friends, Lucy Briggs and Kevin Briggs.  So grateful to have this time to just stop and take a breath and tie up loose ends and get the car efficiently organised for our trip.  I feel so much gratitude right now.  I feel so mellow and peaceful.

(not a great photo, but there was a large circle with the same letters repeated several times.  Does it say 'nowhere'  or 'now here' or 'here now'? ) 

I like to see this as 'now here'.  And that's where I am.  No plan, no need to have to do or go anywhere.  I feel so much lightness now.  Our rough plan, for now, is just to head north, where the nights are warmer, for about 4 weeks, camping and living simply and deeply.