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I have recently returned from a six week caravan trip and although it certainly hasn’t been my longest one, it’s still a fair amount of time to be traipsing around in a tiny little home on wheels. For those of you that have never travelled in a caravan, campervan or been on a camping trip here are the truths about travelling in a caravan long term.
I guess this is the biggest challenge for some, because when you’re living in such close proximity to your travelling companion 24/7 in a 16 foot caravan, there is absolutely no such thing as personal space. So if your’e adverse to togetherness and being cooped up in a small space for weeks or months on end, then caravanning is not for you.
My tip is to try to have time out from one another by going for long walks or by sightseeing alone from time to time. Fortunate for us, my husband took his bicycle so he took off on many long rides for some alone time. We also normally take our dog along with us on most caravan trips that gives us a reason to go on long walks alone (or even someone to talk to when things get testy!)
Caravanning, no matter how big and flash your van may be, is not 5 star luxury accommodation! Generally lack of space and weight issues means that you have to pack lightly. Believe me you won’t need a vanity cupboard full of beauty products and makeup. Nor will you need your high heels and good frocks. There is also no room for your coffee machine, food processor or wine collection, so leave them at home.
And I don’t mean the TV show “The Great Outdoors”! I’m talking about the purpose of taking a caravan trip. To me that means getting out into nature and seeing all the wondrous sights that this country has to offer. So be prepared to hike, swim, sit by a campfire, trek to mountain tops for the view, interact with native animals and climb up remarkable rocks. Don’t expect to be sitting around in your caravan all day watching TV or reading a book because that is simply not camping!
Don’t expect every place you visit, or the drive between to be scenic or spectacular. Australia is a vast country and there’s lots of open spaces and distances between towns. Some of the countryside is dry and barren, but what makes up for it is the final destination, whether it be a river, a beach or natural attraction.
I think what I like about caravanning throughout Australia are the people you meet along the way. Because we’ve travelled extensively we have formed some great friendships with fellow caravanners and as a consequence on consecutive trips we have dropped in to visit them along the way. There just seems to be this instant bond between Aussie nomads and it’s so easy to strike up a conversation. Australians are in general, extremely friendly and accommodating.
Yes you certainly will! Gallivanting around Australia in a caravan gives you such a sense of freedom. Everyday that you wake up you feel excited, because you don’t know what the day will bring and where you’ll be that night. This is the best part of travel. There is no set itinerary, no timetable and you can go wherever you please – within reason! You can pull up on a river bank, a beach or in a National Park and just camp here for the night.
Caravans have come a long way since we first started about 15 years ago. They now have almost every mod con you need to make you very comfortable. A lot of the newer caravans have ensuites with toilets, showers and a vanity basin/cabinet. Some also have large fridges, microwaves, ovens, built-in BBQs, washing machines, TVs, radios and air conditioning. Even the beds are more comfortable with inner-spring mattresses. So although they’re not quiet as comfy as being at home or in a hotel, they are a lot better than they used to be.
In summing up, of course I acknowledge that caravanning or camping is not for everyone, but I think unless you’ve tried it at least once, you don’t know what you’re missing. To be able to escape the rat race and really get out into some of the countryside and wide open spaces of Australia is the ultimate experience. To me it’s liberating to be in the middle of nowhere away from the crowds, breathing in clean air and being in awe of breathtaking scenery that our country is renowned for.
This post is part of the Lovin’ Life Linky with a Lovin’ Life Team of the “ageing positively” kind who are as keen as I am to promote the Lovin’ Life mindset.
The Lovin’ Life Team includes:
Kathy was a 50 something year old when she started up this blog 6 years ago, but has since turned over another decade and is now in her early 60s. She is married with two adult children and lives on the Tweed Coast of New South Wales, Australia. Kathy enjoys living life to the fullest and loves to keep fit and active by maintaining a healthy diet and exercising regularly. Some of her interests include reading, photography, travelling, cooking and blogging! Kathy works part-time as a freelance writer but her real passion is travelling and photographing brilliant destinations both within Australia and overseas and writing about it.
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