Yesterday, Hot Husband, the kids and I returned home from an adventure.
That route you can see mapped out in the picture? We just drove it.
Our minds, hearts and souls have been blown wide open by the sheer beauty of this country, and today, I’m going to write a little bit about it.
Three years ago, Hot Husband and I first discussed the possibility of a family road trip to Perth. Our dear friends had recently moved there to pursue their careers, and although they had made the trip back home a few times, we had yet to visit them.
Although we discussed the logistics of making it happen on a number of occasions, as is often the case, life just got in the way of the follow through. We got caught up in the busy-ness of work, and raising the kids, and of course, paying the bills (which always seemed to put an immediate stop to all holiday plans).
The idea was eventually put onto the back burner completely, where it remained as a barely glowing ember in our brains, as we continued to plod through the daily grind.
It became our “one day”.
It became our “some day”.
It became our “Wouldn’t it be nice if…”
And as much as we wanted to do it, we just couldn’t find a way to prioritise it, and make it fit into everything else.
In December last year, our friends announced that they were expecting their first baby.
INSTANT GAME CHANGER.
As their friend, as a mother, and as a midwife, I knew there was no way that this little baby was going to be making her way into the world without us being there to meet her soon after. Oh, Hell no! These arms of mine KNOW how to rock a baby (and Hot Husband is quite the baby whisperer!), and this heart of mine KNOWS how important support is for new parents, ESPECIALLY during the newborn phase.
Thus, almost as soon as the announcement was made, this brain of mine went immediately back into planning mode, and the road trip discussions re-commenced in earnest.
In the same way that we tackle most things, Hot Husband and I sat down and started making lists.
Jotting down budgets.
Drafting out maps and itineraries.
Reading travel blogs and forums.
Figuring out school terms, annual leave, and the kids’ sporting commitments.
Talking, and planning, and juggling, and eventually, coming up with something semi-solid.
We are, and always have been big planners. The vastly expansive and unknown depths of what we were proposing to undertake was more than a tad unsettling, albeit it tremendously exciting.
Would there be enough fuel stops available?
Where would we sleep?
Could we really drive 700km in a day and stay sane?
Would the kids be ok?
Were we crazy to even consider it?
You see, we aren’t campers. We don’t own a caravan or a camper trailer (although after having done this trip, I think I’d like to). We’re not even adventurers, in any real way. We just like driving. We also happen to really like hot showers, and warm beds, and although we were ready to take on something new by doing a really, really big driving trip, we weren’t crazy enough to go all in and suddenly take up camping at the same time.
The idea of pitching tents, or setting up camp after a full day of driving in completely unknown territory wasn’t even on our radar. But taking a decent sized step out of our comfort zone and going exploring certainly was.
So we found our middle ground, loaded up our car, and hit the road, spending the days checking out some of the incredible sights that this country has to offer, and spending the nights sleeping comfortably in AirBNBs located along the way.
It was the perfect balance for us.
Although Hot Husband and I are homebodies by nature, travelling is in our blood, to a degree.
His own parents loaded up a campervan and their babies (his brother and sister) 40 years ago and set off for the West Coast, leaving behind a bemused extended family, who were convinced that they were probably certifiably insane. Knowing that they had two kids under three years of age, cloth nappies and toilet training to contend with, I tend to agree, but they LOVED it.
My own family is quite nomadic by nature, with my grandparents travelling and signwriting their way around Australia in various directions over more than 30 years, and my own dad exploring and living in some pretty remote areas himself.
So, although the prospect of doing this trip ourselves was as daunting as hell, it also felt undeniably RIGHT.
We were ready for our great adventure.
The next few blogs are essentially going to be travel-spam, so I’ll apologise in advance if it’s boring and unrelatable.
But after more than 9000km on the road, and experiencing some of the most epic and unbelievable scenery I have ever encountered, I’ve got plenty to say, and one or two tips to share, as well as a bunch of photos that barely do the subjects any justice at all.
If you’re looking to explore the West Coast at all, particularly with kids, or if you’ve been and you’ve got some tips to share, stick around for the next few posts.
Honestly, we’ve learned a TONNE of stuff during the past four weeks (about the country, it’s history and of course, more than a bit about ourselves), and it has become blaringly obvious that this trip is simply the beginning of a grand love affair with travelling the countryside, exploring the sights, and going adventuring.
Hello there, Wanderlust. My name is Rysie, and I’m so pleased to finally make your acquaintance.
Part two coming soon, friends.
PS: Those newborn baby cuddles? Worth every single kilometre. We love you baby A. xo