I started this blog only a few weeks ago, but can you believe it has actually been a whole year since we hit the road? A whole year ago that we said bye to Esperance, and hello to our first stop: Bromus Dam near Norseman. I still remember that first stop like it was yesterday!
So what I have a learnt after 365 days travelling in Betty?
- You won’t need about 50% of what you think you will. I am still so happy that I packed my plunger, coffee grounds and tea. That’s a must for me. But we got rid of the pod machine. Clothes, well my stash grew (bad habits from home) before it shrunk again and has stayed fairly manageable. I tend to wear my favourites a lot but honestly my appearance just isn’t my focus anymore. I like to have my hair cut and brushed, but rarely wear makeup, and never when I am out bush. I like sporting my new tan though. I still love that we have a fully functioning kitchen, as I cook a lot and it makes Betty feel like home. We got rid of our big home washing machine and swapped it for a small camping version which I LOVE!! And we often clean out the kids clothes and buy cheapies from the main chain retailers or op shops. It was all about finding what works for us. If we get what I call a “blockage” in any of the efficient systems we have (washing machine can’t be used for whatever reason, washing piles up, can’t dry dishes with no clean tea towels, can’t walk through our room because washing is all over the floor) those things can really bug me, and one little thing not working can lead to a big chain reaction or disorganisation. So I’d say on the road it is more important to stay caught up with those things as it less forgiving than a house, BUT you won’t have nearly as much washing, cleaning etc to do. So it is about getting rid of what doesn’t serve you, and make sure what does serve you works!
- Don’t sweat the little stuff. Things will get dirty. Your bedding will be dirtier than you ever thought possible, but it doesn’t mean you are a grot ( well in my case maybe it does, ha ha). It’s just life on the road. Every time you step outside, it is into dirt. Go out to the toilet in the middle of the night, come back in with sandy feet. You can’t keep your kids wrapped up in glad wrap, all clean, so I have learnt to let it go. I love a clean Betty, but I am happy as long as there is some order when we go to bed (so I wake to a tidy place). Otherwise, I have learned to let the little things go. I was never a hugely clean person at home and think the bus honestly makes this easier as I can clean it top to bottom in about 1 1/2 hours, BUT the bus can go from tidy to war zone very quickly with 6 people sharing the same space.
- Trust trust trust. The last year has been very tricky for us, and there were times where we did our fair share of worry. Karl and I are Christians and believe God has a plan for us and wouldn’t have lead us down this path only to get us in to massive financial strife, so we prayed and prayed, and through it all grew an amazing new trust and faith. We are both a lot more trusting in the Father, and less worried about cash (which goes back to point 2, not sweating the little stuff). In the last couple of months things have gotten a lot freer, but my goal is to not waste money, not let our spending “go” and forget how grateful we are to have a little more to spend. It’s like that with money, you pray and worry when you don’t have it, but when you do have it you so quickly forget the blessing. We like to have a treat meal out, but otherwise our main expenses are fuel and food. Food is not cheap in the remote places, but we try to support the town we are in. And things are good. Life is sweet.
- Kids will learn. And they will learn amazing things. Quickly. Get them out in nature, and everything in the books, comes to life. Do not stress about education. Read . Especially classic books with great morals, but don’t preach the morals to them. Just read. If you don’t want to read, download Audible books. And watch them blossom. We have kept up with maths (with mathsonline.com.au), but history and science has been learning about nature around us and the English arts are writing about those things. They pick up so much grammar and spelling form reading. And even if I don’t lead them, the kids will still learn. So mums, don’t stress, don’t nag ( I know I did for a while there). Teach your kids to love learning itself. This experience will only make them wonderful, interesting little people who have learnt so much on the road and have some amazing stories to tell.
- Look for the blessings. Sometimes we have moments where we wonder why we have been led on this great adventure as it can seem a little selfish, but Karl and I have certainly felt God’s leading through the whole thing. And then we will meet someone. Someone will come into our path. We might be here to offer encouragement to someone struggling. Friendship to someone who is lonely. Physical help and work to someone who needs it. We have made deeper connection with family and friends and it makes me emotional thinking of it. Connections we might never had made if we hadn’t made the time. So it seems people have been planted into our path for a reason, and we have more time and awareness to notice them and help because we aren’t all consumed with work.
So I know this is a bit of a rambling, but these are the things that have really stuck out to me in our first year. I look forward to giving the kids some roots in the future, but for now I don’t see an end to this lifestyle. Thanks to everyone for following along! And I will try not to make my next post so long. But hey it’s my 1 year road anniversary so I am allowed to right??