Koala Otway NP Victoria Australia

 10 years on the road 2004-2014

The year was 2003 and I was still suffering with inconsistent health problems, unable to work even part time onsite at any business.

Our youngest child was finishing school the following year and we would face an empty nest situation. Realizing that we were not constrained to work just from home in the Brisbane area. It was time to make plans to travel and find work while on the road.

Albury NSW Lake Hume Rowena Henrichs

Lake Hume - Albury New South Wales  Australia

It is easy to imagine a life of freedom but putting it into practice is not for everyone. Making the decision was hard. You encounter all the what ifs... I knew that if we didn't set a date we would never change our situation. So with a of faith we embarked on our new adventure.

So at the end of 2004, we packed up and hit the road. We were in our mid 40s and owned our home. Learning to become working nomads changed our lives. Being able to travel, meet new people, see new places, go on new adventures enriched our lives greatly.

Freedom, to work when and where we wanted. It sounds so good, you imagine carefree lifestyle with no stress and pressure, which can be far from the truth. In this post I am covering some of the Good, Bad and Frustrating things we had to deal with.

The Good - The Lifestyle We Desired

Our Chosen Lifestyle
Was to travel Eastern Australia, in a Holden Commodore, towing a trailer and spending as much time as we could 'off grid' and camping. 

This is not everyone's choice for an ideal lifestyle but it is the one we chose.

Coolah National Park NSW

Coolah National Park New South Wales Australia

Muswellbrook Work

Installing new Laptops

Setting Priorities
Planning and setting priorities is a major thing to keep the stress at bay.

Deciding what is more important to spend your money on was one of our main decisions. 

Setting a balance between work and travelling. Our priority was work as you always need an income. That is not to say we didn't say no to work sometimes if it didn't fit in with our plans.

Creating Our Own Schedule.
We could decide which direction to travel, weather to sleep under the starts or in a resort. What we did during a day, what time to get up, etc. Each place we worked had a different schedule. ​

 While in Mount Isa we spent our time at the club, immersing ourselves in the outback mining vibe.

Townsville

In Townsville we were in a waterfront unit on the strand. Having lunch at the coffee club or other alfresco dining enjoying the coffee culture. 

Planning Trips Home
As Brisbane is around half way, we called in home every 6 months between travelling north and south. Depending as to what was happening we were home for 3 - 6 months, if Gavan had work in the area. 

How often We move towns 
You cannot keep up a with continuous travel with a new town each night for very long as it becomes exhausting.

You need a slow and steady pace to travel. Sometimes we would stay in one area for a few months, other times it's just a few days.

St George Gavan Henrichs

Gavan Working - Saint George Queensland Australia

If we were trying to get to a specific destination we would travel 3 days and then rest 1 day to catch up on shopping, washing and precooking meals.

Dubbo Zoo Rowena Henrichs

Dubbo Zoo New South Wales Australia

Self-Indulgences
We scheduled in quite a few, what is life if you don't indulge yourself. We had guided tours, island cruises, helicopter rides, theme dinners and more.

Experienced an African safari by staying overnight at Taronga Western Plains Zoo Dubbo.

Happy Hour
This was something we learnt early on from the grey nomads.

4 pm was happy hour, pickup your chair, wine and cheese and head to a gathering place. This was our socializing for the day and we met so many incredible people. 

Murray River Rowena Henrichs

Murray River Victoria Australia

Sunsets
We’ve seen beautiful national parks, amazing mountain ranges, all different kinds of landscapes, and more.

Gavan favourite is sunsets, we have had many happy hours watching the sunset set over spectacular scenery.

The Bad - Its not all sunshine and roses

Criticism
This came from well meaning family and friends, especially during our planning year. Once we had been on the road for a while it stopped. 

Car Troubles
One of our biggest expenses while on the road. Being hit by a kangaroo and other cars running into us. Auto transmission not working and brakes not working while descending a mountain.

We upgraded our RACQ membership while on the road and received a hire car and accommodation while ours was being fixed. 

Car
House

House Maintenance
This is the photo we received when we came into phone reception. Over the years we have had the kitchen ceiling fall in. A bedroom ceiling fall in. Broken water pipes and flooding inside the house. Busted storm water pipe leading to a swimming pool under the house. Hail damage to part of the house.

Safety
This was only problem when we had drunken neighbors, or after watching Wolf Creek. 

Frustrations

Being Organised
Living out of the Car can be very frustrating. Every thing has a place when you repack, so you can find it when needed.

Packed Car


Snowy mountains

Packing
Knowing what to pack was a big one. We had casual as well as work cloths for both summer and winter. You always pack too much, but if you don't it will be the thing you need and you go buy another one. I found this with kitchen appliances. We have a few blender wands and kettles.


Health Problems
Health problems, yes these most time came up on a weekend when they were no doctors or hospitals around. We learnt to have a comprehensive first aid kit. Except for the time I fell down the stairs and broke both arms. Gavan had to drive me 1.5 hours to the hospital. Was quicker than waiting for an ambulance to come to us.

Rowena Henrichs Kenilworth Queensland Australia

Kenilworth Queensland Australia

Doctors
My regular doctors appointments was via phone ( remember this was before Skype). We had to return home to Brisbane every 6 months to see the doctor in person and get enough scripts to last that length of time.

Muswellbrook NSW Australia

Our Townhouse - Muswellbrook NSW Australia

Postage
If we needed something posted we would pick a town and either a caravan park or motel and stay until we received the package.

Rain Hail & Shine

Whatever you want from your lifestyle is possible with planning and then putting that plan into action.

Setting up a recurring income online is worth the effort in the long term. Do the work once and get paid over and over.

In the end whatever you do, you should enjoy yourself. 

Working nomads - Gavan Rowena Henrichs

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