Random Thoughts · Reader Interaction · Writing & Reading

waiting

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We have done our fair share of waiting these past few weeks and it is clear that I lack any form of patience what-so-ever.

Even when a wait ‘deadline’ has been provided it still fills me with a mixed feeling of anxiousness, dread, negativity and worse-case scenario’s playing over and over in my teeny tiny head.

No matter how hard I try to occupy my mind and keep myself busy, my mind is on constant replay and makes up the most ridiculous scenarios.

Waiting can be tortuous and let’s be honest, it totally sucks!

I can’t provide any advice such as go for a run or read a good book because let’s face it I wouldn’t do that myself. I do try to write, like I am now but this only allows me to fixate further.

All you can do is go about your business, prepare yourself as best you can for either result and enjoy the now. No matter the outcome, we all have right now.

 

 

 

 

Attractions · Australian Travel · Health & Wellness · New South Wales · Random Thoughts · Reader Interaction

our top 5 Tweed coastal eats

Oh my how we LOVE the Tweed. It has everything. The coast, the river, the hinterland and oh my the food, the glorious food.

The Tweed region is a foodie hub. It is a natural food bowl with a fresh and diverse of locally-grown produce. It is famous for its paddock to plate style dining.

We have tried a wide range of places on the coast so this post is about our coastal eats. In the future as we eat our way through the Tweed Valley we will add a Tweed Valley specific post.

Here is our top 5 Tweed coastal eats.DSC_0950 

  1. Choux Box, Kingscliff: breakfast and brunch are to die for and the coffee is one of the best we have ever had…..anywhere. Oh and the staff are fabulous and friendly. IMG_7177
  2. Chinderah Tavern: fantastic pub fare, affordable prices and great view over the Tweed River and out to Mt. Warning. Excellent lunch specials, nice for dinner or a few afternoon drinks. 
  3. Tango Gelato, Kingscliff: for a sweet treat after dinner or a after a a big swim at the beach. Delicious gelato with so many flavours. You cannot go past a scoop of coffee or my favourite a lemon sorbet. Or for those health nuts like us try a Acai Bowl in the am. 
  4. Tweed River Seafoods, Chinderah: fresh seafood and good old fish and chips. Quite reasonable. Plus location, location, location. The shop is right across the road from a park right on the Tweed River with views out to Mt. Warning. Perfection.  
  5. Kingscliff Meat Gallery: This is for the caravanners like us. Or even the holiday-makers visiting the area that have the facilities to cook for ourselves. A wide range of fresh and delicious cuts of meat at good butchery prices. We enjoyed various cuts of tender steak and enjoyed a few varieties of rissoles and cracked pepper and Worcestershire sausages yum. 

Have you been somewhere in the Tweed you think we should try? Let us know by e-mailing us or commenting below. 

Australian Travel · Home on the Road · Motivation · Random Thoughts · Reader Interaction · Words of Wisdom · Writing & Reading

Life isn’t always greener

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but this should NOT hold you back.

A lady recently asked me if I had ever heard the saying; “the grass isn’t always greener on the other side.”

Of course I had!

Hasn’t everybody?

Her comment was made in the context of my lifestyle choices and our nomadic existence. She went on to say; “you may never find what you are looking for.”

It caught me off guard. I have never thought of it that way.

We live this life by choice. We are not looking for something in particular. We are not escaping something, not trying to improve on what has been or to run away from something horrible. We choose to live a life, full of change and exploration and there is nothing wrong with that. But it scares people because it is different.

My conversation with this lady really got me thinking. People have this life mentality hammered into them from very early in life. But what is wrong with dreaming of a different path or working towards a big life change or a completely new life? We all have the power to design our own life. We can change the aspects we don’t like or build upon the parts we do. You may go down several paths before you find the right one. But don’t let the unknown scare you from pursuing them. The grass may or may not always be greener but sometimes you need to spend some time amongst brown grass to move forward, to evolve, to change. You can always turn the sprinkler on, throw on some fertiliser and grow new green grass wherever you are. At the same time of wanting more you can appreciate what you currently have. Life is a journey. Our journey is constantly growing and evolving. We often get asked; “Why don’t you stay put?” We could ask in return; “Why do you stay?” But we don’t. Everyone is entitled to build and live their life their way. You need to be HAPPY within yourself. You need to build confidence in your choices. We are all capable of AMAZING things and whether that is building your dream home and raising your family or whether that is travelling across the countryside, it is completely your choice. There is nothing wrong with staying in one spot but this is not the way we live our life.

Why do people need to judge others to justify their choices? Is it human nature or is it purely to reassure themselves? Don’t be afraid of what is unknown to you. Next time a friend or family member tells you their plans or life dream don’t scoff at it or try to hold them back because you don’t agree, support them. It is their dream, not yours.

Random Thoughts · Reader Interaction · Words of Wisdom · Working on the Road · Writing & Reading

how decluttering at home can help you travel easier

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If you live simpler at home it is easier to travel.

Bold statement I know!

But it is true.

How can you live simply at home?

declutter, declutter, declutter

Get rid of any excess stuff or white noise from your home! Do you have 50 frypans but only use one or two? OR do have a favourite outfit that you haven’t worn for 15 years but will wear it again “one day”? We don’t need all this STUFF to live fulfilled lives. When we travel we strip our life back, why not live this life at home?

The more we live simpler at home the easier it is to experience the best travel can offer. Travel is about collecting moments not things.

To live we need minimal “things” like shelter, food, water etc

At home it goes a bit further than this we need/want a bed, cooking appliances, clothing, some luxuries and so forth!

Here is how we have been de-cluttering at our placw these past few weeks:

  • Culling our clothes. (Vinnies now have 6 BIG bags of our clothes!)
  • Cleaning out our kitchen of excess items and double ups.
  • Culling out our pantry!!! Do we really need that can of whatever from 1999?
  • Removing our DVD collection from DVD cases and placing them in DVD wallets. Same with the CD collection.
  • Giving away our myriad of books.
  • Selling items which haven’t been used….. do we need 3 DVD players? NO! A second TV?
  • Setting our bills to e-mail to cut back on how much paperwork we have lying around.

What do you need to de-clutter at your place?

Next job for us is our linen closet and office/study !!

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Australian Travel · Destinations · Finance · Queensland · Random Thoughts · Reader Interaction · Travel Photography · Words of Wisdom · Working on the Road · Writing & Reading

to Longreach with love

To Longreach with love, 

We all love a sunburnt country, but we really need our rain. 

As we drove by drought-stricken paddocks, we saw your heartache and your pain. 

With each mile of endless dryness, and each dusty patch of dirt. 

We pray you get the rain you need, and pray it heals your hurt. 

You are strong and resilient, though this drought has pushed you far. 

Your strength and perseverance, shows us what Australians really are. 





Australian Travel · Budgeting · Camping · Finance · Preparation · Random Thoughts · Reader Interaction · Working on the Road · Writing & Reading

plans unravel but plan anyway

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We often get asked about our travel plans. More commonly we get asked do we plan?

The answer is yes and no.

Throughout our travels we have had itineraries planned down to the letter and other times we have had no plans at all.

Now for the honest truth. Neither of these two options suited us.

Itineraries that were too planned suffocated & stifled us while when we had no plans at all we felt we had lost our purpose. How? We are meant to be super nomadic, gypsy-like people who head where free love is and fly with the wind. We tried but in reality it wasn’t us. Free Love is great, free anything really! But it wasn’t going to keep us on track.

This line of thinking confused us. To think we couldn’t hop in our vehicle and head for the sunset no thoughts at all. We wanted to be carefree but we couldn’t! Why! For those of you who know us well. Sarah is a Planner (with a capital P) and LOVES lists but spontaneous! (yes, crazy right?) and Shaun is careful and thinks about consequences but leaves planning to Sarah (Yes, scary right?)

So what was the solution for us. We PLAN, PLAN, PLAN!!! It’s so fun who wouldn’t? There are lists and more lists. Maps are checked, doodled on and re-checked. To counteract this we have become flexible. We have learnt to follow the ebb and flow of travel which is wonderful to embrace. If we change our plans we are okay with it. We even plan for the unexpected. We have all the time in the world for planning, so why not!

A perfect example is our recent trip across the Simpson Desert. We were joined by several other couples raising money for the RFDS. This trip had to be planned, well planned and it was. However, even this trip had hiccups due to weather and so forth but we kept on going, changed itinerary, made adjustments and you know what the world didn’t stop turning.

Our advice

When planning your trip of a lifetime, go your hardest! Check maps, write lists, fill spreadsheets, research and more! Why? 1. because it is fun. 2. a well researched traveller is a good traveller and 3. what better way to count down to your BIG trip then by living it through countless hours of planning. As you set off out your driveway you will have purpose, you will have direction and it will feel GREAT! Remember though even the most carefully made plans can unravel and as long you’re aware of this, WHO CARES? Plan anyway!

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Attractions · Australian Travel · Camping · Caravan Parks · Destinations · Four Wheel Driving · Free Camping · National Parks · New South Wales · Preparation · Reader Interaction · Working on the Road

we haven’t been everywhere, but it’s on our list

It has been a long while since we updated our travel map of big old Australia. So here it is…. this is our travel paths since the commencement of our blog & indefinite travels back in 2011. As you can see we have barely scratched the surface! This country is well and truly AMAZING!

Where are you up to in your travels? Share your maps with us on our Facebook page. https://www.facebook.com/norrisaroundaustralia

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Australian Travel · National Parks · Northern Territory · Reader Interaction · South Australia

our top 5 Aussie national parks

These are 5 of our top national parks from our travels so far. There are so many beautiful places to visit in Australia and most of these can be found in our national parks. We have so many favourites however here are 5 of our top spots. We love these places so much we have visited multiple times and will return again for sure.

  1. Flinders Ranges National Park, SA

What’s not to love? Stunning mountain ranges, rich Australian history, four-wheel driving and beautifully rewarding bushwalks with breath-taking visitas. Check out some of our posts on the Flinders HERE & HERE.

Our favs from the Flinders:

  • Bush camping at Rawnsley Station and dining at their Woolshed Restaurant.
  • Wilpena Pound; our favourite walks were Hills Homestead, Wangara Lookout and Mount Ohlssen Bagge. The Hills Homestead is quite a leisurely stroll while Wangara Lookout and Mount Ohlssen Bagge are more strenuous the views are well worth the effort.
  • The historical Nuccaleena Mine. The drive out is spectacular and the ruins are in fantastic condition.

2. Kakadu National Park, NT

Kakadu is amazing. It has a diverse and natural beauty which is hard to beat.  The national park is situated in close proximity to Darwin making it easily accessible for every traveler. Check out our post from Kakadu HERE.

Our favs from Kakadu:

  • cruise Yellow Water wetlands – both at sunrise and sunset
  • visit Twin Falls by four-wheel drive and boat
  • swim in the pools on top of Maguk (Barramundi) Gorge
  • view the rock art at Ubirr Rock and climb to the top for spectacular views from the lookout
  • camping at Cooinda Lodge is excellent with wonderful facilities and central location

3. Simpson Desert National Park, SA

Oh my! The Simpson is spectacular. The parallel sand-dunes go on forever and we never got sick of the beautiful red sand. Every time the Colorado would crest a sand-dune it took our breath away. It is a natural Australian wonder. Check out our post on the Simmo HERE.

What to experience in the Simmo:

  • remote travel at it’s finest
  • wildflowers, glorious wildflowers
  • slimbing to the top of Big Red
  • the wonders of Eyre Creek
  • bush camping at its absolute best
  • star gazing – the most spectacular skies we have ever seen
  • take in the view from Knoll’s Lookout
  • cross wide, stunning claypans
  • stand where QLD, SA and NT meet at Poeppel Corner
  • while technically not the Simpson National park make sure you stop in at both Purnie Bore and Dalhousie Springs both oasis’ in the desert, brimming with birdlife.

4. Tjoritja/West MacDonnell National Park

The region surround Alice Springs in one of favourites in the country. It’s smack bang in the Red Centre and capital of the Australia Outback. The West Macs as they are affectionately known lay to the West of Alice Springs (funny that). The stunning mountain range has numerous gorges that have been carved over millions of years. The red of the rock, the blue of the sky and the green of the vegetation is nothing short of beautiful.

Our favs from the West Macs:

  • our favourite place to camp was at Redbank Gorge
  • a refreshing dip in Ellery Creek Big Hole
  • the stunning landscape at Ormiston Gorge
  • the aboriginal culture of the Orche Pits
  • Simpsons Gap is closest to Alice with stunning gorge walls and lots of rock wallabies.
  • for history buffs like us the West Macs also home to the memorial grave of Rev John Flynn of flying doctors fame


5. Uluru Kata-Tjuta National Park, NT

What says Australia better than our red heart? Uluru is iconic and recognised internationally as an Australian icon. It is truly a spiritual experience to visit and explore this region. While the town Yulara has become quite touristy due to the amount of tourists that flock to the rock each year, the National Park itself is relatively untouched. Check out our past posts HERE & HERE.

Our favs from Uluru & Kata-Tjuta:

  • sunrise and sunset at Uluru and the Olgas – the colours are ever changing
  • the Valley of the Winds walk through the Olga- OMG! One of the best walks in Australia – Amazing.
  • walking the base of Ulura – 13 km of ever changing beauty
  • the shorter guided base walk is also not to be missed. Its free and so informative. We’ve done it twice now.
  • the Cultural Centre is a great place to start you Uluru Adventure
Attractions · Australian Travel · Destinations · Queensland · Reader Interaction · Victoria

dreaming of water

385405_10150355416394538_1247540912_nWhen one lives in the middle of nowhere during  a drought they cannot be scalded for dreaming of water. I’ve been constantly thinking about rain, rivers and oceans, oh my. Apparently it can also cause people to book two water based getaways within the space of a fortnight. Well that’s our excuse and where sticking to it.

Our first getaway coincides with the October long weekend and will see us head to Noosa in Queensland. We are looking forward to exploring the Noosa area including:

  • boating on the Noosa River
  • beach fishing at Noosa North Shore
  • enjoying a wine &/or coffee along Hastings Street
  • walking through Noosa National Park

Please share with us things we must see and do while visiting the Noosa Region. We’d love to hear some insider secrets.

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Our second water based holiday is one we have dreamt about for years. You cannot get anymore water-based than holidaying ON the river. So we’ve booked a houseboat on the Murray River has been booked for our Christmas-New Year break. Our boat departs from Echuca which is a lovely town that we have visited multiple times in Victoria.

Have you house-boated on the Murray River? We’d love to know how you enjoyed your experience? Please share any places to stop and explore?

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Australian Travel · Budgeting · Finance · Preparation · Random Thoughts · Reader Interaction

Reduce the Roadblocks

Let’s get you out there travelling and seeing Australia.

What’s holding you back? What’s blocking your road to travel?

House/Mortgage:

Is your mortgage the only thing that stands in your way of full-time travelling? If you want to travel short-term why not get a house-sitter? Or a short-term rental tenant. If you find your tenant through family or friends you may be happy to leave your furniture in place to reduce storage costs. If you are travelling full-time rent your property out for an amount around the cost of mortgage repayment. if the market allows. This will ease up the financial burden of paying your mortgage while allowing you some financial freedom to travel.

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Children:

We cannot speak from experience here as we are yet to have a family. However, we have met many families along the roads travelling with their children. There is children of all years on the road from very young to school-age. If your school-aged children are making you question whether you should wait until they finish school, home-schooling is a definite option. Your children will learn fulfilling lessons from a trip around Australia. Imagine the life experience they will gain. There are many distance education options available for travellers.

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Insecurity:

Let’s focus on why you feel insecure? Are you worried about leaving family? Money? The biggest fix for insecurity is knowing you can always return to your everyday life. While it might take you a while to get back your ideal apartment/house and get your fantastic job back, you can always go back. No one will judge you for deciding to go home, after all at least you took the plunge in the first place. As they say; “You never, never know, if you never, never go”. You will learn so much about yourself, your partner and your family. You will love it but you may hate it. This is okay, at least you tried. Trying is the most important thing. Don’t always sit there wondering, what if?

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Savings:

We were by no means savers when we decided we wanted to go travelling. It was less than 12 months from when we decided to travel to when we hit the road. This is not a long time to get yourself sorted. We were in debt and didn’t have much in the way of savings. However, when we made the decision it was like a switch was flicked. We went into over-drive, we set our departure date and then made a plan. We downsized and moved in with family. (This may not be an option but why not move into your caravan before departure or move into a one bedroom flat instead of a 3 bedroom house with high rent?) We cut all our costs that weren’t necessary, no more Foxtel, no more fancy dinners out and so forth. We still lived in that 12 months with numerous adventures and camping trips. Everything went into paying off our debts and building up our savings. We saved a substantial amount over that 10 month period and hit the road. It proved to us if you set your mind to it, you can achieve it.

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Debt:

Debt is a hard one to overcome. When we refer to debt we are not referring to mortgages. We are referring to  bad debt such as personal loans, store cards, car loans and credit cards. We recommend travelling this form of debt free. Why? Well because the repayments on these types of loans can eat into your savings very quickly and can make you more reliant on finding jobs along the way. From personal experience you want to work when you find a place you like not because you’ve run out of cash or need to make your next repayment. Our advice: create a budget which focuses on paying off your higher interest loans first for example start with credit card and then follow with your car loan. Set yourself a deadline to have each paid off by and you can make it happen. Keep a little nest egg to the side but put everything into paying off your debts. Cut back your house-hold costs to ease up cash flow. Look at all your money going out and question where it is going and why? You can probably go without Foxtel if it means your loan is paid off in 6 months instead of 12 and lets you leave on your journey sooner.

Day Twenty Two: Mapping it Out

If it all seems too impossible start with little trips a weekend here, a week there, a month here. Dipping your toes in will allow you some security while still exploring this beautiful country.

What is holding you back from travelling? We’d love to help you out and reduce the size of your road blocks…….If something is holding you back, you can and you will overcome it.