Budgeting · Destinations · Finance · Motivation · Preparation

5 ways travelling Australia has changed our life

Our lives have changed, we have grown and our relationship has shifted.

What’s to blame? Our travel filled gypsy lifestyle.

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Here are 5 powerful and positive changes that have come our way

Our finances are better!

Say What! Yes, it’s true?!?!?! It is hard to believe that our finances are better while travelling!! BUT our finances are in better order than ever before. Why? Because we set a goal and we achieve what needs to be done. We have a purpose. It’s the difference between thinking about what we want to do and doing it. So if we have two months to save X before we head off again, we do everything we can to make it happen. If you want to upgrade the tent, camper-trailer or caravan along the way you can! As you know we do work on the road and this also assists our finances but it also allows us to travel slower. To stop in certain areas for longer and enjoy what each place has to offer. We were never “savers” but we are now. But we don’t hoard our money, we exchange it for experiences. Life is short and you cannot take it with you when you go!

We genuinely enjoy the simple things.

Before it took bells and whistles to impress us. We would go on holidays and stay in fancy hotels which would constantly disappoint us. Now if a hotel has running water and air-conditioning we feel spoilt by good fortune. The simple things are appreciated ten-fold; sunsets, weather, good people, each other, the list goes on. Whether we are sitting around a campfire with friends we have just met, exchanging stories or if we are standing at the top of a mountain we have just climbed. These moments are special…….magical. We have learned to enjoy them and be present. Living in that exact moment. Not in the past, not in the future. In this precious life altering moment.

Travel has pushed us out of our comfort zone. 

I have suffered from anxiety as many residents of the modern world currently do. It can be debilitating and even worse it can hold you back from your full potential and living a life you love. Travelling has pushed me out of my comfort zone and while I may not ever bungee jump or eat a pickled peacock heart. I have tried so many new things, tasted many new things, experienced once in a life time experiences – multiple times. I can tell you, living out of your comfort zone is A-MAZING!

Our relationship is that much stronger.

It is something we didn’t think of very much before we headed off into the sunset. The reality of being stuck in a car or working in each others pockets. Or the reality of being the only people you interact with for days or weeks on end. We have spent so much time together during our time on the road; travelling together, working together and playing together. Our lives are more intertwined then ever. We thought we were bests friends before we left on our trip of a lifetime and travelling together has only strengthened that bond.

Travel has provided us with so many new and diverse opportunities. 

When you are ready to embrace opportunities, they find you. They come knocking. We have stumbled upon multiple opportunities along the road and have been in the perfect frame of mind to grab them with both hands. It is win-win. We have worked for one of Australia’s richest men, we have built an online following, we have been published in various publications. The biggest thing for us is we now embrace these opportunities. Instead of fretting about the opportunities thrown our way, we embrace them. We take them head on.

And you should too. Embrace life! Live the life you love. We only get one!

Sarah

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Australian Travel · Budgeting · Four Wheel Driving · Preparation · Random Thoughts

a clean slate

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We finally SOLD our beloved camper-trailer. Talk about mixed emotions. We have been to so many places and experienced so many good times since purchasing it back in 2012. The trailer has been our home on wheels and has treated us very well indeed. However, although there may be a few nostalgic tears it is still VERY EXCITING!!!!! Why? Because it means we now have a clean slate. It means we can start to seriously look forward to the next chapter, WHAT NEXT?…………

Watch this space…….. there is change in the air…..

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
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.

Australian Travel · Caravan Parks · Four Wheel Driving · Queensland · Travel Photography

Monday Memories

Remembering Birdsville – What’s not to love?

Check out other posts on our sights about are visits to Birdsville and surrounds!

Camping · Home on the Road · Random Thoughts

Our Current Home on Wheels

To sell or not to sell? That is the question.

To upgrade or not to upgrade? That is the question.

This is our home. Our stability. We own it completely. As a couple of “nomads” we don’t own much but we do own our home on wheels. We are at that point now looking for the next option. We started our travelling around Oz with our dear little RV Oz-Tent which we still use frequently. We upgraded to our MDC in 2012 and it has completed many, many, many miles with us and we have lived in it for months on end. Is it time to upgrade to a pop-top style camper? Is it time to no longer have so much god damn canvas in our lives? Or will we miss it? I know at times after we brought the camper we missed our tent. (Crazy, right) It’s an attachment that you grow from putting the contraption up and down every day. The MDC camper is so easy to put and down and we can be set up in minutes. For those longer stays I often think we would be better in something similar to the MDC XT-10 but would we really? Do we need something that flash?

The eternal question: should we just be happy with what we’ve got?