It was a strange feeling to wave goodbye to the film crew this week, knowing that this was the last leg of our mammoth trip around Australia. It’s been an exhilarating ride. We’ve seen some amazing places, and our list of places to go back to extends for pages. (That will probably not surprise you at all, since caravanners spend a great deal of their time planning where to go next!)
People often ask us “What’s your favourite place?” or “What was the stand-out experience of your trip?” or even “Where would you most like to live?” We honestly find it impossible to answer! We saw so much stunning scenery, so many lovely towns and cities, and went on countless interesting tours and side trips. I suspect that we’re like a lot of other travellers in deciding that we need some time to digest it all. We do know that, having travelled around quite a bit of Australia in the past 12 months, we already live in a very nice part of the country. We’re quite happy to continue to make the South Coast of NSW our home!
And the photos…!!! We have hundreds and hundreds of them. They’re already reasonably well sorted, since we saved them according to state/area/town as we went, but now we need to go through and decide which ones we want to save and which can be deleted – and of course, which ones we want to have printed out. Digital cameras are wonderful, but the trap is that you can put off printing hard copies for months or years… and then find that the file gets lost, or the computer dies and all the photos go with it. So this will be one of the tasks we’ll do sooner rather than later: sort those photos, back them up (again… I already have them stored on one external drive, but you can’t be too paranoid with photos!) and print out some of the best.
There are other decisions we have to make now that we’re back at home. The biggest one is what to do with the house, which is really too big for us now. We will probably repaint it and put it on the market, and look for a smaller house with a nice big yard for the caravan. (We had also considered buying a unit in an over-55’s lifestyle village; dual occupancy with children via a roomy granny flat, or a small apartment/townhouse… and we haven’t completely decided yet, but it will most likely be another house.)
A year on the road was a great experience, but from now on we’ll probably spend around six months at home and six months travelling. Not in six-month blocks, though: the time on the road will vary from just a week or two to two or three months, depending on how far we go. Maybe in another 3-4 years we’ll go around again… who knows?
What we do know is that we’ve made many new friends as we’ve travelled, and we value those friendships highly. I’m sure we’ll meet up with lots of those people again… and again… and again!
We’ll finish up this post with a couple of photos: first, one of Judy and Paul Ford, who were our very last neighbours on the Big Lap of Oz, next door to us at White Sands, Huskisson. Second, there’s a photo of our home on the road, our comfortable and reliable Crusader Manhattan, being driven away into short-term storage before going to its new owners. We had some good times in this van, and who knows? We may see it again on the road, or pulling into a caravan park near us!