Now we are back on the Gold Coast I’ve had time to reflect a bit on our trip. Sometimes we have to look back over our photos to realise just how many amazing places we experienced. I do feel like we were away for two months not six. It feels like I never left. I think that is one thing about social media, it distorts our perception of time as we still see what everyone is doing every day.
I did love seeing new places every few days and if I stayed at one place for a week I was keen to move on and explore the next place. I envisioned meeting lots of travelling families on the road and sharing stories around a fire. The truth was we only met one other family in six months. I came to the conclusion that lots of travelling families save money by free camping. I chose not to free camp for a few reasons. Lots of free camps are just a grass patch out of town somewhere. Some might be 15 mins or more drive from town. Which is nice if you’re happy to disconnect and read a book but that’s not us. We enjoyed being in town, having hot showers, clean amenities and little perks like power for the microwave and air con. However, the down fall was it was lonely some days.
I had planned to travel for 12 months before Harley gets to high school. However, now we’re back I’m seeing my nephew transition into grade seven. It’s gone from spelling lists and timetables to study, assignments and essays. It’s a massive jump from grade six to high school. So we have enrolled Harley in the local school for the rest of the year so he can get back into the swing of things before next year. The school have advised us that they will support us with work if we decide to do any short trips which will be excellent. Short trips it is!
It was amazing to see how my 11 year old boy stepped up to a young man. The discussions he had with people, the responsibility he took, the encouragement and support he gave me. I had to remind myself sometimes he is 11 not 16! When he was silly, I had to let him be silly and be a kid. He truly is a little gem, a kind and compassionate boy. Our travels made me look at him in a different light. This is my reflection talking. Don’t get me wrong, 12 months of having him by my side 24 hours a day, annoying me just for his own entertainment in confined spaces did test my patience.
Our trip was shorter than expected but I pushed my own boundaries, conquered fears, made my own choices without getting approval from anyone, watched my boy evolve and seen some beautiful places!
Some people aren’t into camping but if you are over the hustle, the mundane 9-5, get out in nature. Disconnect with the ordinary and reconnect with your loved ones.