CARAVAN LIVING - WHAT IT'S REALLY LIKE!
Updated: Aug 25
How do we live life in a small confined space full time, with two kids??
Ahhh well it’s CRAZY!!
Would we have it any other way? HELL NO!!
The reality of caravan living was hard at first. We had always holidayed in vans, Riley being in his first caravan when he was only five months old. But we never spent any more than two weeks at a time living in one.
The decision to travel full time was one we didn’t take lightly. We had to think about how it would affect the kids, not just us.
We took Riley away from everything he ever knew- day care, friends and family, swimming lessons and toys.
He went from having his own space to having a small bunk bed and a tiny tub of toys to play with.
But despite the life change he has had, we are extremely proud of how well he has adapted. He ditched the toys for bike rides and imaginative play, and yes he has times where he asks to go home or to go see his cousins, but we make sure we Facetime and call as much as we can.
Missing family is always going to be confronting, for all of us, but we have too much to gain with this journey, despite how many mixed emotions come with it. Talking to Riley about how he is feeling has really helped us understand any emotions he is dealing with, just because he is four doesn’t mean he understands any of what is going on.
Seeing Riley’s face light up every time we say “We are off on our next Adventure!” makes everything we do worth it.
He is going to learn more on the road then he ever will in a classroom. He loves the jumping pillows, making sand castles on the beach, jumping the waves and being able to be outside and play in nature. He also has made friends in a lot of the parks we have stayed at! Which has really helped to build his confidence.
Khloe was only six months old when we took off, so she has adapted fine. She knows no different! The only challenge we faced with her was baby- proofing the van! She is teething and getting in to everything, but that would have happened if we were living in a house too. The first few weeks were tough, as the kids went to bed at separate times and Khloe having day naps, there was and still is times that Riley wakes Khloe up. This can be frustrating, but we know the longer we travel the easier this will get. It isn’t easy keeping a four-year-old boy quiet!
Running an online business definitely has way more advantages than disadvantages, and it is what is funding our whole trip, but it can be a struggle to manage with no office space.
But, in saying that, the beauty of working online is being able to work from anywhere, so while one of us works in either the van or by the beach, the other entertains the kids. It is about finding balance, and what works for you.
The last challenge we want to talk about is our relationship. Yes, we get to spend every single day with each other, which we are incredibly grateful for, but everyone needs alone time.
We have found the importance of communicating vital and sharing what is affecting us all, including the kids.
We make sure we both get time away from each other and the kids, and both have time to fill our own cups up. This is key to being able to survive living on the road happily and staying in a positive frame of mind. Despite all the challenges and struggles we face, it will never outweigh the highs we have had, and the memories we have made.
We have already seen things we never would have seen if we weren’t on this trip. We have bonded as a family, and are far more appreciative of the small things in life… like a bath or a large couch to sit on!
We don’t need materialistic things to make us feel good, as long as we have our health and a place to park our van we are happy!
This life chose us, we were called to it. Not once have we regretted the decision we made to pack up everything we owned and live a life full of adventure!
There will always be hard times, there will always be tantrums, but there will be more incredible stories to tell!
So, do we recommend travelling Australia in a caravan with kids?
Life is too short to be anything else but happy. Don’t regret the decisions you didn’t make, and the memories you didn’t create.
Kids will always test us, and we won’t always get along. But what family is perfect? None. So enjoy the time you get to spend together and make the decision to live life on your terms.
Elise and Josh Tait