The Beginning or the End?

We arrived home from our amazing holiday around 10.30pm on Sunday 22nd January. After getting the girls to bed we were overwhelmed with how amazing the place looked. The lawns were mowed, hedges perfectly trimmed and our house was immaculately clean inside. Nothing better than coming home seeing that everything has been so well looked after. Thank you to Mark, Claire, Annabelle, Hamish and Rebekah – and a special thank you for looking after Jack!

Caroline and I both showered before going to sleep as the beds were made with fresh linen. The shower was incredible. Better than I remember it to be. I took comfort in the fact that I only had to walk indoors a few metres to have a shower before getting into our comfortable bed, which was the height of luxury. Upon Caroline’s trip to the shower, she realised that she hadn’t looked at herself in a full length mirror for three months. It is amazing how the little things that we take for granted on a daily basis can make such a big difference! We loved our #3monthsinacaravan and fell back in love with our home all over again.

Over the last two days we had the mammoth task of unpacking, cleaning and repacking the caravan, multiple loads of washing along with other standard household jobs. Whilst our pace of life immediately changed upon returning to Beecroft, there was a notable change in how we completed all the tasks. There was no stress, no fighting, just taking things as they come. Working together, with each other. Many lessons were learnt whilst on the road. The real challenge will be keeping those lessons alive back ‘in civilisation’.

Bec, Ryan and their lovely boys arrived at our place this morning to have breakfast with us before picking up their van and driving it back to Melbourne. Over breakfast we shared experiences during our travels including a list of our favourite destinations and what we had learnt along the way. For Caroline and I we are just so thankful of Bec and Ryan for their generosity they showed when lending us their van. It is difficult to put into words how grateful we are. Thank you for the holiday of a lifetime!

Ryan and I attached their car to the caravan and completed a final check to ensure they were right to go while Bec stored the boys in the back of their car. Standing on the nature strip outside of our home we said goodbye to the Callisters and wished them safe travels before watching the caravan leave York Street for the last time. Such an odd sensation seeing our home for the last 3months leaving down the street and not having the pleasure of seeing it in our rear mirror.

It was an amazing life decision to take our girls on this epic trip, and we cannot wait until we can go again and explore this beautiful country even more. The time together as a family of 4 has been a memorable experience and a learning for all of us. We have all got to know each other better by being together 24.7 for 12 weeks. We learnt so much about the girls and their individual personalities just shone through. Caroline and I reconnected as a couple as we had so much time together away from the day to day hustle and bustle of work, renovations, childcare and household chores, all of which seem to swamp every hour of every day, and this allowed us to just be ourselves.

On the drive home, we all shared our learnings from our #3monthsinacaravan:

What was the one best thing from our three month holiday:

  • Ava – Seeing nanna and grandpa
  • Audrey – Cuddling Daddy when it’s morning
  • Caroline – Just being the four of us
  • Lachlan – Spending time together as a family exploring Australia.

What was the one lesson learnt:

  • Ava – How to make new friends
  • Audrey – Playing with everyone
  • Caroline – You don’t have to plan everything and rush
  • Lachlan – Things will happen when they happen. Don’t stress.

What was my favourite place:

  • Ava – Dumbo (aka Dubbo)
  • Audrey – Grampians
  • Caroline – Margaret river region
  • Lachlan – Esperance region

What are you looking forward to when you get home:

  • Ava – Seeing Jack and Mia
  • Audrey – Jack and toys
  • Caroline – Jack and bed with a duvet
  • Lachlan – Jack and our pool

What are we happy to say goodbye to:

  • Showering with thongs
  • Walking outside in middle of night for a wee
  • Climbing over Lachlan to get into bed
  • Sitting outside when is cold and windy

What are going to miss about camping:

  • Toasting marshmallows
  • Waking up to a different view
  • Meeting people from all walks of life
  • Sharing all mealtimes
  • Proximity of the family within the caravan
  • Living with just the basics
  • Driving onto the beach and not having to carry any bags or children
  • The calmness and tranquility of not living by the clock

What do we want to continue from our travels:

  • Making time to read
  • Minimise use of technology. Don’t watch tv for the sake of it
  • Be flexible. Be happy when plans change
  • If a job doesn’t get done – it can always get done tomorrow
  • Try and buy local, buying produce from local markets rather than supermarkets where possible.

Thank you to:

  • Bec & Ryan – For loaning us your van and making the trip possible
  • Claire, Mark, Annabelle, Hamish and Rebekah – For looking after our house and Jack
  • Donna and Matt – For minding Jack at short notice
  • Jamie – For lending us your air compressor
  • John & Rosie – For mail direction, car logistics and storing all the wine we bought along the way!
  • Nonna – For her daily commentry

Trip Statistics:

  1. Total Days on the Road: 79
  2. Total Distance: 16,212 km
  3. Total Diesel: 2,717 Litres
  4. Diesel Consumption: 16.7L/100km
  5. Total Cost of Diesel: $3,600
  6. Highest Diesel Cost: $1.74/L – White Cliffs, NSW
  7. Lowest Diesel Cost: $1.18/L – Broken Hill, NSW
  8. Average Diesel Cost: $1.33/L
  9. Total Caravan Parks: 44
  10. Average Caravan Park Cost: $46/night
  11. Total Number of Vineyards visited: 61
  12. Total Number of Vineyards purchased from: 42

7 responses to “The Beginning or the End?

  1. I think everyone has said it all. The summary is excellent and makes very interesting reading.
    Family is everything and you have shown that by getting back to basics you have found more time to reacquaint with each other and learnt how to adapt to the needs of each. We all change a little through time without realising it. The children’s personalities are shining through and from the blog we have read and understood how they have adapted to life around them. They couldn’t have a better education than you have provided for them over the past three months.
    I feel sure you have returned to friends you have missed and who have missed you. Remember that true friends are hard to find, they will want to catch up as I’m sure you will with them; make sure you do as just like family you need your friends.
    A true life experience. Memories for ever.
    We are so proud of our Beattie family and love you all very much.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Well why would we not be surprised with the summary after experiencing the important factual Blog being written while trying to play S’Head!
    Well done in every way. We have loved reading the Blog daily, we will miss reading the adventures of you holiday while enjoying my morning cup of tea, I might get to work earlier now!
    Looking in from the outside we can see the differences in the experience you all have had. It’s been so benefical for all your relationships and family bonding. We can only see positives out of the whole experience. Let’s hope that all the benefits that you have had can be carried on in to day to day life. Some of the things you mention about importance of doing things took me a lot longer and a far bigger experience to realise that “things” can be left until tomorrow,
    We really enjoyed our “glampimg” with you in the Barossa and McLaren Vale. The warm that you all shared with us, the caring for the oldies during our stay, the fun of the big purple slide in the caravan park in Tanunda noting that I am willing to give anything a go even at 66, the nights enjoying and talking about the wines, our shared meals, the sleep over with Ava and Audrey, even if Audrey emptied the whole box of tissues behind the bed and the love that you gave us during our stay.
    We feel so privileged to have been a small part of your magical experience and hope that we stay fit enough and not too old to do it again.
    It was wonderful having you all pop into work this morning, Ava in her dress from India and Audrey in her ballet dress, the cuddles and expressions of love, the patients loved it, thank you.
    We hope that you can settle back into the routine of work and the big steps with Ava staring school and Audrey Pre School.
    Lovely to have you all back safely and for you to be able to share your adventures with everyone.
    We love you all, have missed you and one realiseds the importance of family. We are truly blessed to have all 17 of you plus the three dogs and two chooks!
    Love you all
    Mum!Rosie,Nanna xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

    Liked by 1 person

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