Not in any particular order, but these are the 3 ‘P’s’ that we are currently living by.
To prepare for a change of lifestyle to this extent takes an enormous amount of preparation, more than we could have ever imagined. We often start researching one simple topic and end up down some other random, completely unrelated garden path. Every little addition to the vehicle, for instance, has taken time to research, read online reviews and then attain quotes. So far we are up to around 18 different additions including things like a GVM upgrade, lighting, solar, roof rack, bull bar, interior storage systems, fridges, extra fuel and water tanks. This list goes on…. and that’s just the vehicle, not the van!
Here’s an idea of what our ute will look like once we’re done with it (minus the boat). We have opted for many of the same extras that can be seen on All 4 Adventure’s 79 Series. (Click the above link for a tour!)
We’re also trying to prepare the kids for this shift in pace. Limiting screen time a little more, encouraging them to be outside and on their pushbikes as much as possible, getting them involved in the cooking and a few more household chores, and encouraging them to study the map and pick out a few places of interest.
Our eldest daughter, Grace, is currently studying persuasive text at school so as her debate topic she has chosen to discuss the plight of the Darling River. Whilst Nathen and I know many people that this has directly affected, it has opened Grace’s eyes to environmental and political issues that dramatically affect regional areas. We really look forward to tailoring the kid’s learning, and providing greater understanding of topics that currently aren’t touched on at school, but are so very important! Roadschooling here we come.
We made the decision early on to sell all of our belongings. As we have no end date to our travels, and have now sold our farm, we are not locked into returning to the Fleurieu Coast. Therefore, everything must go! We are keeping only a couple of sentimental pieces of furniture, any archived business papers that need to be stored for a while longer, select childhood keepsakes and photos. My sister has conveniently just purchased a property so we will be giving her some furnishings in exchange for storage space in their shed – a pretty sweet deal if you ask me!
Packing has been particularly challenging for the kids. Saying goodbye to all those crappy Maccas toys was apparently really tough for them. Their meltdowns over this plastic junk certainly reassured us that we were making the right decision in downsizing and living the slow life! We gave each of the kids 1 medium sized plastic tub for storage, and 1 very small plastic tub to take on the trip. My Mum has also brought the kids each a Mini Play Pouch for their Lego – but these are being kept for Christmas… Shhh! Check out The Original Play Pouch Australia when you get the chance, they’re awesome.
We have also signed up for the Great Aussie Garage Sale Trail on October 20 & 21. The kids are each setting up a sale table to sell off the remainder of their belongings, which is softening the blow. We too, will be able to off load much of the smaller items that seem to somehow take up the most space, which will be really nice. So at least we have a set date to declutter the bulk of our crap and any remaining farm machinery and tools.
The burn out is real. Most of the time we feel completely mentally drained. We are still working full time, parenting 3 little people and then spending our nights researching, decluttering and packing. We are in need of this trip (or perhaps just a long holiday!) more than ever. When the burn out kicks in, it can take us a week or two to get back on track and pick up where we left off. Most weeks are absolutely manic with planning the trip that the poor kids never seem to have any clean school clothes. And once we actually find the time to stop and breathe for 3 seconds, any remaining energy to clean the house seems to float off into the distance. The thought of having only around 17 square meters to clean REALLY excites me.
Its still bloody cold down south at the moment too. Which is not making it easy for me to declutter our clothes! Mentally configuring storage space is really not working for me either. Despite taking a bucket load of photos of cupboard layouts on our last visit out to Noels’ Caravans, until the van arrives back at the farm we wont have a true indication of exactly how much storage we have. I may have to take a class in Japanese origami-style clothes folding before we leave.
We still have a business yet to sell which is what’s holding us back a little too. We’ve chosen to hold onto the freehold as investment income throughout our travels, but need to sell the business and secure a long term tenant in order to officially set a departure date. The farm itself settles in January and come hell or high water we WILL be driving out that driveway for the last time!!!