Learnings from a week on the road

Learnings from a week on the road

It’s been just over a week since we left Adelaide behind in our newly set up car and rooftop tent. Sitting here now in Melbourne, sipping my soy chai latte and living the coffee shop life, I feel content, relaxed and a hell of a lot wiser than I was last week. Road tripping so far has presented itself in many ways and brought up many emotions. I’m not going to tell you that the dreamy, pinterest perfect portrait of a road trip with fairy lights, bedside views and long, winding roads is a lie. It isn’t, but of course it is only one side of the coin! First though, let’s go back to Adelaide…

We did a practise set up of the rooftop tent in the garden before leaving and I felt giddy looking up at what was to be our new home. It looked oddly like a childrens’ playground, a den to hide away in and ladders to scramble up. Somewhere to run away from something in a made up game. But this wasn’t a game, it was real. I felt strangely adult in that moment, and realised that our long held dream to road trip around Australia had materialised into a tangible thing. This was the start of a new adventure.

And sure thing, just a few days later we had packed up the car and off we set. Keen and excited with big bright eyes and bushy tails!

People tell you how big Australia is. That you’ll drive for hours without seeing a single soul. I realise now that these words have no real meaning or understanding until being there in the flesh. The distance is completely abstract and unimaginable until it becomes the road beneath your wheels, devouring the milage tracker on the dashboard. So far I haven’t found the long drives monotonous, nor have they been boring. Though I guess podcasts, music and audio books are my creature comforts so I am very happy whiling away a few hours to a brilliant soundtrack or narration.

Camping life is a very simple one. Worries are limited to all that can be contained within the vehicle you arrive in and material things are naturally reduced. Though whilst things are reduced, so is space – and quite dramatically! It became apparent that clutter is something that quickly breeds a sense of agitation within me. Organisation is vital. It took a few days to get our storage sorted in a way that makes sense and works for the day to day, but I think now we found the sweet spot. The constant packing and unpacking is, I guess, a little relentless but with a clearly defined system of where things go and when, I can already feel it becoming second nature. We’ve each naturally taken to little jobs and tasks, owning them and defining them, working together to keep our little home ticking and alive.

It was a pleasant change to arrive into our campsite in Melbourne with the knowledge we could stop for a few days and not have to pack up every morning and unpack each night.

I have quickly fallen in love with the simplicity of camp life. There’s often something to be done: cooking, preparing, washing up, tidying away, cleaning, making up our rooftop tent etc. Compared to life in South East Asia where we had next to no chores to do, I have found it a little exhausting! Yet, of course with anything a little challenging comes that amazing sense of satisfaction when all is done and I can enjoy our home for the night. These moments are actual bliss. Sitting in a little camp chair with the yellow glow of the setting sun wrapped around me is a moment so pure and so real. A moment when I feel truly present.

Life on the road can often be romanticised but it does seem to carry with it a softness and ease different to anything I have ever done before. Yes is can be tiring, yes it can a little messy and unorganised at times, but at the very core it is a life simplified from the chaos of life. The freedom creates a space to be filled with beautiful nature; deep, captivating conversations; and a real feeling of hope.

Kennett River, The Great Ocean Road

So one week in, maybe I am a little optimistic but I am so very excited to be living this way for the foreseeable future. The domestic homemaker within me has revelled at having something that belongs to us, that I can keep clean, create meals in and a place to feel cosy. I love having our own space in which to travel around and it is very thrilling to know that really, we have only just scratched the surface of Australia.

Granite Island, South Australia

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