BALANCING VAN LIFE, KIDS AND A HEALTHY RELATIONSHIP
We might have a normal relationship, but we don’t live under normal circumstances.
Unlike others we live in a small confined space, run a business together and look after two little humans together.
It is fair to say we live in each other’s pockets. Caravan living is like no other, and we wouldn’t trade it for anything, but it has been a big test, in all areas of life, including our relationship.
Most of our days are spent chasing Khloe around making sure she isn’t eating anything that isn’t food, re- locating Khloe from one end of the caravan to the other, working, adventuring, seeing the sights and making sure the kids are entertained so the day runs smoothly.
Sure, it sounds pretty normal, but there isn’t much “us time” and date nights do not exist.
We don’t have the luxury of calling Nan up to babysit! And the situation we are currently in leaves no plans for Nan to come visit on a plane any time soon either.
Before we left on our adventures around Australia, we were already spending most of our time together as we both work solely online and do enjoy being together- I mean we did get married so there must be something we like about each other right!?
We had the option of where we worked and we could separate if need be, or go visit a family member or friend whenever we liked. We had more flexibility.
We love our business and work hard at it to give us this amazing lifestyle and the freedom of choice, but we do not like to work much during the day, so we can enjoy quality time with our kids. That is why we chose an online business in the first place. Therefore, nights are usually spent catching up on the business things we couldn’t get done during the day.
We really miss date nights, alone time without the kids and also time away from each other.
Josh misses hanging out with the boys on a weekend and having chats about something other than the kids, business and where to next. You’ll often find him scanning the caravan parks for someone to chat to.
Elise miss’s coffee dates with her besties, cousin play dates, and long hot baths of a night reading her favourite book.
Call us selfish, but that is how we feel.
We were the couple that rarely fought. Since travelling, it is now normal for us to have an argument here and there, but still even now when we do, we are laughing and cuddling again a few hours later. It is never anything too serious, (mainly about Elise’s caravan directing skills when Josh is trying to back on to a site).
No matter how much you may love someone, it does not mean you can’t get over their company. Every relationship needs time to grow and flourish, but it also needs time apart. And when you are living life like this, it is vital.
No one is perfect, we all have flaws and little habits that drive others mad! This is where communication is critical, which is the one thing we count on to keep us all sane.
Us spending as much time as we have together hasn’t hindered our relationship, it has just changed it a little. In fact, I would say it is a lot stronger.
It has made communication a must.
It has made us realise parts of ourselves that need work.
It has made us argue over the smallest of things, but also laugh at the stupid things.
It has also made our relationship stronger than ever before, and our bond unbreakable.
It has made having some time away from each other, even if just for thirty minutes highly important. Whether it be going for walks alone, or treating each other to spa days. Everyone needs self-care.
It has made us appreciate the little things, like a snuggle on the couch, or enjoying an un-interrupted adult conversation together.
It has made us love meeting new people even more! In fact, we meet new people everywhere we go and love it!
Some may call us selfish, some may agree, but either way this is us. No filters here!
So, would we recommend it?
Caravanning with two young kids can and will test your relationship. No matter how rock solid it is. But do not let that stop you from living your dream life. There is a lesson learnt in everything we do. So instead of trying to find the negatives, focus on the positives, because believe us, they always overrule.
It's all about finding the right balance for you and your family, and explaining to each other what your needs and wants are. Life is too short for “what ifs”, just get out there and give it a go!
And remember, if in doubt… HUG IT OUT!
Elise and Josh