Saturday, July 23, 2011

Road tripping...

The girl at the petrol station this morning told Bren her family had done this trip we are doing around Australia when she was 13. She said she doesn't remember a lot of it but her Mum kept a journal and they pull it out sometimes and read it.

I need to keep a journal. I will keep a journal. From now.

There is so much that happens that I try to memorise as we go. So many smells and thoughts and stories to keep track of.

I want to remember... kicking my family out of the caravan so I could write a blog post a few days ago and looking out of the window to see them skipping. After that afternoon it has become part of our routine, skipping at rest stops, skipping after breakfast, before dinner, after lunch.

I want to remember how Miss Pepper smells everything and often her descriptions are hilarious. This smells like the Booba who lives upstairs's pool room, next to that caravan smells like soggy sauce (soy sauce), Uluru smells like honey, this bathroom smells like fishhies, your hair smells like the Sally with the two odd shoes...

I want to remember that comforting feeling of bringing your home with you where ever you go. Being a turtle. Being able to pop inside for a hoodie. Having your own bed and pillow every night. Being able to stop by the side of the road to make a cuppah. And being so proud of her when she is surrounded by boring, new, all look the same, caravans.

I want to remember the excitement of Miss Pepper's first friend on the road. A little boy called Brandon who brought her wrapped up plastic figurines as prezzies and followed her around the playground.

I want to remember nights when the girls were across the way at the playground, Bren was making a bbq outside, I was making a salad inside and Paul Kelly was playing on the ipad, working his way from A through to Z.

I want to remember how although it sometimes feels tedious listening to tour guides repeat the same words they have told forever over and over, my girls love it. The big two are the perfect age to take in every word, to follow each number on the map, to suck up every bit of information.

I want to remember how they loved the noodling (fossicking for opals) in Cooper Pedy and continued to dig holes and examine the dirt for days after we left that area.

I want to remember how frightened they got of the dummies in the opal mine tours. Dummies dressed up as miners scared the pants off them. Miss Pepper even had nightmares about those big dollies for days afterwards.

I want to remember that driving into a new state was an occasion and how exciting it is to chart our journey on the big map.

I want to remember crafting it up in the car as we drive.

I want to remember the rat plague and the police hunt for the missing caravaner when we first got to the NT. Low flying police planes and lots of police cars on the road. Oh how we hope they find him soon.

I want to remember the looooooong distances we drove through the outback. Looooong distances with only things like a tree full of boots or undies or bottles to break it up.

I want to remember that isolated feeling of being out of internet and phone range for days. Of feeling disconnected but also aware of how much crochet and reading I get done when there's no screens to distract me.

I want to remember how much I am trying to see everything and do everything and notice everything. Including every time one of my girls wants me to see her doing something which is a full time job in itself.

I want to remember changes in the weather, in the vegitation, in the climate...

I want to remember the feeling of awe when we first laid eyes on that rock.

And then the feeling of complete overwhelm watching her change colour as the sun went down.

This is just the list that sprang to mind in the last ten minutes. So many things to do, so many things to keep track of. I'm going to try my best.

I hope things are wonderful in your world.


Yep, I guess this has become a travel blog.


  1. wow. seriously great post kate. things are wonderful in my world, and even more so now having read this post and poured over your pics and seen myself on those roads in four short weeks. thanks for letting me take the journey with you, it is whetting my appetite for the big trip.

  2. Just a pop in to say hello!

    I LOVE LOVE reading about this wonderful caravan trip you are on with your family. I never had a chance to do anything similar to this when I was a child; so it gives me inspiration that one day I could do this with my own family!

    You and your family are so amazing,
    thanks for putting all this out there for others to enjoy.

    South Carolina, USA

  3. I get so excited when I see a new post from you Kate!
    It's so exciting to hear about your amazing journey and follow you on your path around Australia... every time I log on I check to see for an update!
    I cant wait to have adventures like this with my own family one day... You Inspire!
    Elise x

  4. And a darn good travel blog it is :) Keep posting, please, you have a lot of virtual companions along for the ride !

  5. Thanks for the amazing post and allowing us to come along with you on your journey. Your kid's are so lucky to be seeing all this. You are right about the smell thing. They are the strongest memory trigger for me. Enjoy your weekend xo

  6. kate, i think i'm going to have to stop reading your blog...every time i do, i want to drop everything and take my family on an adventure trip of a lifetime!
    you guys are so lucky, and your girls will remember soooo much through your beautiful words and photographs.
    drive safe!

  7. My extended family and I did the top to bottom trip in 2001 (I was 12) and there was a big police roadblock that stopped us and searched through our three caravans because it was at the same time that Peter Falconio went missing.

    Ours was an older caravan too, they've got so much more character than the new ones. We hadn't given ours a makeover though, so it was a sea of 70's brown and orange. Yours is much prettier.

  8. wow u have travelled so far already! its a little surreal seeing the photos of your girls in that landscape. i cant imagine how you must feel. it looks so beautiful.. happy days to you all manda x x

  9. Oh I cant believe how far youve gotten already. Im not ready!(dont know why I wrote that).
    Is Uluru close?
    Trying to make you laugh but not achieving.
    I have to admit that seeing you all in different scenery is a bit alarming and not comforting, like im used to, thats all.
    Ten minutes huh? Were in for a lot more then arent we?
    I have to say that the times they want to share what they are doing with you, 'mum watch this' just doesnt seem to end. I still have my guys walk in and want to tell me all about their day and what they found at the op-shop, etc all the time!
    Be safe out there, x

  10. I am loving seeing your trip across country. That has always been something I would love to do, maybe in a few years....maybe you should have the girls keep the journal with you...share the writing duties...that way you get their thoughts and feelings and it may cement it some more in their minds..

    Is that Ayers Rock?

  11. wowww!! beautiful post and imagery!! thank you

  12. I love this post, so full of feelings. What a great, complete experience you are having.

  13. I love the stories of your road trip. I want to drop everything now and take my lot away in ours (which by the way is a retro one as well - I like them much better than the new ones).

  14. I always love reading your blog, but now there's also that added excitement of wondering where you are and what you've seen and done. That road trip isn't going to happen for me until I am a grey nomad, so I am enjoying seeing it through your camera! Thanks!

  15. Saved the best pic till last didnt you.... Even jujust a photo took my breath away.... Sepctacular!
    I am really interested in knowing what all the other caravaners think of your super-stylish renovated caravan, do you get some.funny looks some time, so peoe are so closed minded.
    We all miss you and would love it if some of the journal made it online.... Xxx keep having fun!

  16. Beautiful images, Kate.
    Your journey is epic and your journal is here.
    Happy weekend.

  17. But this is your journal, isn't it Kate? Haven't you kept a journal all along? This is your travel adventures part :) Loving hearing what you've been up to. I got goosebumps the first time I saw the Rock too. Also had a very strong feeling at Uluru of being the invaders and that this isn't our country. This post is just wonderful - it's so much more than a travel blog, you know :) Kx

  18. I was going to say that you don't need a journal - this is your journal. you are capturing it all so well that I feel like I am on the journey with you. it's bringing back all sorts of memories for me - we did regular road trips in our caravan when we were kids. Oh how I want to do it all again :)

  19. Loving the reference to being a turtle Kate! And so exciting to see your posts pop up you know.

    Hugs to you guys.XXJ

  20. I'm so loving following your journey. I have tears in my eyes just from thinking about all that your girls are learning and experiencing.

    The skipping on red dirt looks like fun :-)

    Safe travels...

  21. and what a travel blog it is.
    A beautiful and special post Kate, as well as all the amazing photos.
    thanks for sharing it with us. I hope you do remember it all, i have a feel it will be a trip you won't forget.
    big love to you all
    PS You guys being like turtle is the perfect analogy fits perfectly with your slow travelling way xo

  22. I think you are inspiring me to take Aurora on a drive to So. California rather than flying!

  23. I am enjoying reading of your travels so much. We've just come back from a mini road trip ourselves and can't wait for the next! and one day a big one.

    We loved the approach to Uluru too (7 years ago)- and the sense that we were one of many making a kind of pilgrimage there. A funny thing happened, after days of being out of range, Gerard's mobile rang as we were walking around Uluru.

    Thank you for sharing your journey.

  24. Great memories, Kate - and keep writing them.
    My mum kept a journal on a big family trip we did when I was 4. My parents took 7 kids to the Gulf of Carpentaria and back (madness!). It really is wonderful to have those memories preserved in writing.

  25. Loved every smell, touch and visual of this post, I'm loving this journey.
    x Sandi

  26. Hi Kate, this maybe my first comment here.....but have been a quiet reader for a couple of years :)

    My sister arrived at Uluru yesterday and I was on the phone telling her about your family......told her to say hi if she saw you etc.... At the end of the call she said 'foxs lane is here' hahaha....
    So I guess you met my crazy baby sis Amber :)

    Hope you having a wonderful journey Xx

  27. I loved that rock and the Olga's just beside her. I'll get back there one day...take my tribe along just like you. xx

  28. Kate, so many of my childhood memories are triggered by smells too :) I am loving that through this journey you are sharing many memories with those of us who are following your travels.


  29. Hi Kate, I am so jealous of your trip!!!!! I haven't read any blogs for so long and just popped in here today to find out you guys are having such a great adventure. I'm definitely looking forward to more travel blog! xxx

  30. your blog is your diary now! for you all look back on later. diary 2.0

    miss and love you to bits & pieces.


  31. Hi Kate, its so good to read this, it brings back a lot of memories for me. Our family went from west to east in a caravan when I was fourteen, all six of us!! That was thirty years ago now yet you make seem like only yesterday. Keep having fun and making wonderful memories :)

  32. Hi Kate..I have just read your last three posts 'cos when I read this one I realised how much I have already missed! I am so envious of your look behind the scenes of Maggies intriguing..I love that kitchen and saw all of the Cook and the Chef series. I adore your little pink ballet bunny and am amazed at don't seem to have been away long enough to get there..what the? Keep on trekking or should i say 'vanning guys..I'm looking forward to hearing more!

  33. I'm so glad this has become a travel blog! You've prompted me to dig out my journal from the camping trip around Australia that my family did when I was 8. And you're making me want to go again. Your girls will have amazing memories. I remember a lot of our trip and I'm sure that's partly due to my mother's picture taking. We also had a family scrapbook journal that we would take it in turns to write in and stick brochures, tickets, stickers etc. I still have that too. Must dig it out. Hmm, I think I feel a blog post coming on.

  34. Gorgeous photos as always...and so many wonderful memories already. You do have the perfect online journal right here! Maybe your girls could each keep their own scrapbook journals too, to write and draw in, stick in postcards and other 'treasures' they collect along the way.

  35. Wow Kate - you've travelled so far already and it sounds like you're having the time of your lives. I can see how Uluru might smell like honey. It sure looks pretty with the setting sun making it glow like that.

  36. good-o! yes, it really is a great idea to keep a travel journal, it's amazing what you forget!

  37. Amazing post! I'm secretly pleased this is no longer a craft blog. I'm not so into crafting, but I'm loving following your travels.

    For the nights when Z is with us, we write down our Three Great Things from that day. It's like a diary of highlights. Some days all of our three things are the same, and on other days they are funny and surprisingly different. xx

  38. Love it all but especially that photos of your littlest with the big mouthful of food and her little side buns. So very sweet. What great memories you are creating for your family. Reminding me of our own family adventures trekking around in the van when we were little and v envious. Plotting our very own adventure one of these days.

  39. Thanks so much for sharing your journey, we did a caravan trip around oz about 20 years ago, I kept a journal and glued in anything I could get my hands on to go with my words. Get the girls to journal too. It's amazing how the towns have changed over the years as we have revisited many of them.
    Happy Trails

  40. A travel blog...that I am loving...

  41. Oh Kate you're so eloquent, say it all so beautifully, no matter what's on your mind or in your heart you know the exact words. Thank YOU Darling for being so dedicated.
    Hey what about one of those online places that will print your blog into book form ... who knows there's probably a publisher, well there should be a publisher, waiting to sign you up for a book deal.
    Thank YOU Lovely. ♥♥♥♥♥

  42. Wow. Please keep posting about your travels. Loving it!

  43. "your hair smells like the Sally with the two odd shoes" :) Brilliant!

    Thank you, I needed that on this dreary Melbourne Monday morning!!

  44. Dont be worried about this becoming a travel blog and do you know what I would do - I think that I would print up the pages when you get home and call it your journal:)
    Loveing your holdisay - thanks for taking us along with you:)

  45. You inspired me to dig out my journal from our trip when I was 9. I wrote about it here:

  46. I am just so excited to have stumbled across your blog! We have just renovated a 1960s caravan and are planning a road trip around Australia with our 3 kids - 3 and under - in July.

    I'm really looking forward to making myself a cuppa and reading more about your family's amazing adventures.

  47. P.S.... If there are any MUST HAVE places you can recommend, I would be incredibly grateful. Sonia x

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