As we approach the half way mark of the trip I thought I would write a post on how we are all going so far!
|On the road, between Mareeba and Chillagoe|
The first couple of weeks of our holiday flew by with us visiting places we had already been to on the WA coast for family holidays. It wasn’t until we got up to Broome that we were somewhere new. Broome was our relaxing week and we were really in holiday mode there. We blew the budget but had lunches out and relaxed by the pool and drank far too much alcohol.
I have to say about week 5 was the hardest for us all, when we got to Katherine. It was like the ‘holiday’ should be over and I should have been heading home to recover! Only it wasn’t over and we still had five months ahead of us!! We had just come off the Gibb River Road. We had been eating pretty bad because fruit and veg was non-existent out there and our supply of it only lasted a week in. Also we had been looking forward to Gibb River road and sort of hadn’t thought much past it! So once it was done we were like hmmm… what now. I hadn’t slept well and the kids were sick of being in the car. Craig was frustrated with us all and had no patience left for the kids. So basically it was a tough couple of days while we sorted ourselves out! We had a big discussion and realized we were on a holiday of a lifetime so we needed to get out of the funk and get on with it! I’m happy to say it was a turning point and it was after this that the kids stopped asking to go ‘home’ and stopped asking for ‘this teddy or that toy at home’.
I have met lots of fellow travellers and they have all said the same thing, week 5 or 6 is a tough one. Once you are past it you’re fine! One mum I met at the gym in Cairns told me in week 5 she screamed to her husband to ‘stop the effing car’ and she got out and started walking! She said she couldn’t physically be in the car with the kids anymore!! Another lady told me she started looking at flights to go home in week 4. Her husband was still in work mode and was stressing her out with his constant pacing and lack of patience to their two kids. So if you are planning a trip like this beware of the dreaded month in!!
Although we are really just on an ‘extended holiday’ this life is a big thing to adjust to, especially with three small kids. Added to that, the few months before we left Perth were rather stressful. We sold our family home and moved into our second property, our investment unit that was small with no yard. I went from being at home and having a regular routine with Craig working 7-5 and me being at home with the kids, doing school drop offs and having Abigail at kindy part time. Now we are all together, all the time and living in a small space. We are setting up and packing up the camper on a regular basis and we are spending a fair bit of time in the car together.
|on one of our many bush walks|
Having said that we have all adjusted to this life and now, three months in we love it! Craig and I can set up the camper in about 20 minutes, we can talk or laugh as we do it and there’s no stress. The kids all have little things they do to help. Matilda sweeps out the camper when we are packingup and she gets the pegs ready on set up. Charlotte does any odd jobs ‘hold this pole charlotte or grab that’ and Abi. Well she moves the pegs and steals the hammer! But we are used to it by now!
|Bush camping in the Kimberley|
Its an easy lifestyle. People are friendly and our days are filled with swimming, water playgrounds, seeing touristy sites, driving through new places. The kids are so worn out from their days they are showered and in bed asleep by 7pm. Craig and I spend the evening having a wine and a beer, or a coffee and tea. We may sit around a campfire with new
friends and chat, or we might sit under our awning and chat together. Or we may read a book or magazine. We are more relaxed than we have been in years. The kids are thriving with meeting new people, seeing new places and experiencing new things. Their schoolwork is going well. We are doing less than I had originally planned but I am happy with their progress. Craig and I are enjoying spending our time together. We also love being with the kids as they experience everything this trip has to offer.
So as I hit this half way mark I am feeling like I want time to slow down! I don’t want it to be half over! But then there is another part of me that is excited for the next three months of our holiday and whatever is going to happen after that!
Things I miss about home
First are the obvious, family…. And my dog.
Having a drink (and cake!) with my friends
My washing machine
Our fridge (the 40 litre Engel is hard work for a family of 5!)
Having my own bathroom!
Things I don’t miss about home
Making school lunches every day
Washing Craig’s work uniform
Fake friends (lucky there is only a couple of people that fit into this category but distance makes you realize who is a real friend and whois a pain in the arse)
Bills (I pre paid everything before our trip. Insurances, HBF, etc.Oour only bill these days is my mobile bill as Craig’s phone is paid for by his work, and I pre paid my personal mobile so far in advance that I’m still in credit three months in!)
Microwave (I thought I would be lost without it but I haven’t missed it at all!)
TV. (I LOVE not having the blare of ABC kids in the morning and the constant distraction of TV noise at night).
Our favourite spots so far
Craig: Wangi Falls, in Northern Territory
Shantelle: Going on the Chopper over the tip of Cape York , Far North Queensland
Matilda: Skyrail in Cairns, Queensland
Charlotte: Going on the camel ride in Broome, Western Australia
Abigail: A waterpark (ask her tomorrow it will be different!)
|Another day another sunset|