This is the beginning of our new ‘A Family Adventure’ series, with contributions by Kath McCann. Kath, along with her husband and two children are embarking on a caravan and camping trip around the country. Our new blog series will follow along on their journey!
I am Kath. I am married to Adam and we have two children, Oscar, 11 and Harriet, 8. We are proud Tasmanians who love the outdoors. We are all very active and love holidaying together. We have managed to explore a lot of Tasmania and we are fortunate enough to have a small yacht that we spend a lot of family time on.
In 2017 we had a few big reality shocks. At the age of 35 following some routine tests I had a pretty significant health scare and then my father got extremely unwell as did my mother-in-law at ages 59 and 69 respectively. All three of these experiences reminded us of the finite nature of life.
Ad and I had been talking for some time about heading off on a big trip, but we had not emotionally committed to making that time until last year. We thought about what we wanted to do; the primary driver of getting away was time together as a family. And adventure. We love adventure, exploring new places and trying new things.
So, about three months ago, after much thought and some procrastination we bought a second hand Jayco Eagle Outback 2012. We have an Isuzu MUX that we are towing it with and we are really happy with our set up, it works well for us. We are used to spending a lot of time together on our 33 foot yacht and we are really happy with the comparative configuration and space of the camper
The feeling that I have at the moment is really hard to describe. I am not sure I can find the right words, but it is a combination of excitement, being slightly overwhelmed, unsure if it is real, daunted and anticipation.
Ad has been working hard to get the van and the MUX ready for the road and I turned my head to thinking about provisioning.
I have many lists. So many lists.
Handover is happening at work. The kids have their last week of school. And briefing of the house sitter is locked in. I have spent lots of hours on Wikicamps and reading caravan and campervan hacks; I feel like we have lots of information, but really all I want is for the day to roll around and to get on the road!
I love exercising and run a little gym out of my garage a few mornings a week. It is a really important part of who I am and keeps me sane in our hectic day-to-day.
I have done a fair amount of planning to leave the gym set-up and appropriate programs for the girls that visit; that is all looking good and I know that the girls will do a great job looking after themselves. I have also put a lot of thought into what gear I am going to take with us to exercise on a regular basis – we have bikes, swimming and snorkelling gear and of course I have my running gear packed, but I was not sure what other equipment to take. I have landed on a skipping rope, a kettle bell and some dumbbells – I have a feeling I will reflect on this with a slightly different view in a few months’ time.
We are meeting a heap of friends and family on the Gold Coast for the 40th Anniversary Gold Coast Marathon on our way down the East Coast. I have entered a couple of events for the weekend and will need to make sure I get exercise in whilst I am away, it will be interesting to see how my training progresses as we hit the road – I am pretty excited to run some new destinations and do some on-foot exploring.
We’ve done really well compressing what we take, running with the premise we can collect on the road if need be. I think our boating experience has helped with the packing. For clothing it’s all about layers and active wear and our other essential items we’ve kept pretty basic.
Ad has got the van down tonight thankfully as there is heaps of wind about, we still have a raft of jobs to do tomorrow, but I think we’ve broken the back of it.
We’ve had heaps of visitors which has been lovely, it’s awesome to feel so loved and supported.
Time for an early night and an early start – big day tomorrow!
This morning has been dedicated to an early gym session and all the final preparations of the van, coupled with getting the house sorted for our house sitter to arrive made for a full on morning.
The camper is ready to go and the visitors are streaming in. We are excited, but really just want to get on the road.
Just before 1pm we pull out of our driveway; it’s a really strange feeling, I’m so excited. The hardest part of this morning was the kids farewelling our beloved cat- they are going to miss him like crazy.
I’m going to miss my girlfriends and workmates, and of course my family, but I know this adventure is going to be a defining journey for our little family as individuals and as a family unit and I can’t wait!
May 11, 2018