The Australian Road Trip is Coming To An End

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It first started nudging its way into my soul in Broome. We stayed there for five weeks, the longest time in any one place on this road trip.

Every morning I rose at 5:30 to meditate and attend a 90 minute yoga class. It was effortless.

The day was then spent with a semi routine of tag team work, pool swims, beach play, and exploratory days here and there. We had our local cafe and sunset bar and friends.

I felt the bliss and I knew where my soul was calling me.

A home of my own.

Mangrove Hotel, Broome, Western Australia
Broome time at the Mangrove Hotel

Since we rolled out of Broome my passion and desire for this road trip disintegrated with every mile. The wow had gone and I started to see more of how travel was getting in the way of things I wanted a little more.

I’d evolved. My soul wanted some grounding. Some space for separation and a time to explore other parts of me. It must have been those damn upward dogs. I swear they open you up to different dimensions and close off the doors to the old ones.

It’s been a battle to stay wide eyed with wonder and enthusiasm as we have traveled through the most extraordinary areas in Australia. I’ve loved it, and we’ve made many precious memories, but lately it’s been more of a kinda dragging the feet embrace rather than a race into the wind one.

It got so bad that I had to admit, “I don’t think I can do this any more” to finally “I’m not going to do this any more.”

So it is with a little sadness in our hearts that we tell you our road trip is almost over.

I’m so sad because we’ve wanted to explore South Australia for so long. We’ve heard so many amazing things about it, and how it’s one of Australia’s most underrated states. It’s been my dream to visit Kangaroo Island and the Barossa Valley. Now that we’re here for just a few days, there’s a little voice inside of me that says,

“Well maybe while we’re here, we should explore South Australia. We should just suck it up and check off the lists.”

But, that’s the voice of fear and denial. It’s a little frightened of this new road ahead and wants to hold tight to the life and the person it’s always known.

Deep down inside I know I’ll break if I push it. I don’t want to do that to me, and I don’t want to experience this South Australia in the frame of mind where I don’t really care. I don’t want to visit South Australia with thoughts in my head of “Oh God when is this going to be over.” And I don’t believe in travel just to check things off a list.

I don’t have the energy to appreciate it fully. We will return one day with a spring in our step and that excited new love skip. The one that comes when you first set out on an adventure that does have a finite end and you know each day has to be counted and enjoyed fully.

We know how excited our community was for us to explore South Australia, and we were determined to do it for you. But, we soon realized that breaking ourselves spiritually and financially was not what you’d want for us either.

Australia is an expensive land to travel and the cost is starting to get to us. The time we have to spend on our own business activities is low so we both want to stop the trip for awhile, regroup, and focus on building the resources back up and creating better content, products, services and more security for our future.

Of course when the right decision is made, the Universe will step in to support you. It kept throwing up road blocks to South Australia and opening up doors to safely and gently carry us home.

So, we’re heading – I can’t say home as we don’t have one – but we’re heading back to the east coast over the next 4-6 weeks via the Red Centre and Outback Queensland.

You know it’s so strange, but we reversed from our road trip last year just before we hit South Australia and we’ve halted it now. Both times I just couldn’t envision myself there, which I feel is a very big part of creation. For some reason, it was as if I knew my future wouldn’t be there so the dreaming was irrelevant.

But, everything in my body – the yearning and the visions – speaks Uluru. Uluru. Uluru. To turn from the most stunning coastline we’ve ever seen and go inland. Back to the red dust and a giant red rock that changes colour with the setting sun. The centre of an ancient and spiritual land.

We always envisioned Uluru would be the perfect end to the road trip and I still want that to happen. It’s one place we can’t miss!

Uluru, Australia
Uluru – image via Shutterstock.com

When I was teaching in the US, my students and I would put on an Australia Day cultural experience for the entire school. The kids would do projects on different aspects of Australian life and create a display to share. We’d have Australian food, games, and music to try.

I painted a big picture of Uluru and the poem My Country for the exhibition.

My country Australia
Sharing my country

As we’d work on our projects, I’d always play the song, “Raining on the Rock, by John Williamson and for the past few days that’s all I’ve been humming. It’s just bubbled up for me. I have to see Uluru and I think my spirit somehow needs to go there.

Have you ever had the experience of being drawn to a place so deeply and you’re not sure why?

And it’s all worked so perfectly for us to go up there. We’ll spend two – three weeks in the red centre, then through the Queensland Outback (Winton and Longreach) to the Gold Coast region. I’m also being called to Burleigh Heads. It’s just the name that keeps jumping out of my soul.

If not Burleigh, we’ll endeavor to find a place to stay somewhere on the Gold Coast.

Sunrise at Burleigh Heads, Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia
Sunrise at Burleigh Heads

Once there, we’ll base ourselves for a bit until we work out a longer term plan. We want to get some systems in place for the business and develop a few ideas so it can demand less of our time. And I’m needing large doses of rest, sleep, wholesome food, exercise, routine and stillness.

The plan is to put Kalyra back in a school, which we are all excited about. I really want for her to start pursuing some of her own interests as well like tennis, dancing and drama. And for her to have lots of friends to play with. She’s made a few lovely friends on our travels. I love how she connects so easily with other children in campsites, and I really enjoy it when they all hang around our camper. I think it will be nice to have that home filled with kids. (I’m certainly not going to be birthing another one to fill it up!)

We were considering doing a US road trip for 1-2 years after this one. My response lately to Craig,

“There is no way in hell I’m doing that. Not right now. And definitely not in the style we’ve done this one.”

Although our beautiful girl, Kalyra said to me the other night while colouring together,

“Mum. I don’t want to be travelling anymore. “

“I hear you baby girl. Neither do I. We’re moving to get our own place for a while.”

“Yes. But, I do want to do a road trip of the US.”

Isn’t that the sign of a true gypsy heart? Always planning the next adventure, scared to give up the state of movement. Travel is definitely not over for us. We know that in six months time we’ll be itching to go somewhere else.

We’re just popping the suitcases away for a bit. We’ll still be taking trips and exploring more of Queensland (and Australia and who know’s where) but it will be shorter holidays – an experience rather than a lifestyle.

And Craig, well, he just wants to move back to the US. But that’s another story to write.

For the first time in my life I’m wanting a settled life over a nomadic one. I felt the pull of that as we drove away from Western Australia across the Nullarbor. The vastness of that journey is a portal for reflection.

The Nullarbor, Western Australia
The Nullarbor

I felt the pull and it caught my breath. The fear if it began to enter my heart. I’m moving away from the only life I’ve ever known and I’m scared of what that means, and even if I’m capable enough of living it.

I wanted to cry, yet dance at the same time in celebration for the most amazing travel life and memories I’ve had for the past 18 years.

It’s terrifying to think I’m possibly giving that up. Or, more trying it from a different angle. And this undiscovered part of me is calling me to do it.

Who is that person without that travel and who is she destined to become?

Through the panic and the sadness the voice clearly spoke,

“It’s time Caroline.”

We hope you continue to join us for the journey.

68 thoughts on “The Australian Road Trip is Coming To An End”

  1. Good for you Caz for going with your heart and doing what you want to do rather than what you feel like you should. I’ve been enjoying following along with your road trip, but will also enjoy seeing what adventure you’ll decide to embark on next and seeing the growth of your fabulous website and business. Good luck with the next step and enjoy Uluru!

  2. I have loved following along on your journey these past couple of years but am also excited to see what comes next. I haven’t done long-term travel with my kids, so I don’t know how you’re feeling, but it sounds like you are listening to what you and your family need at this time. Having a home base with kids can be a nice thing–I think it’s nice for them to have stability, friends and birthday parties, and a school routine. I’m definitely curious about how your plans for the U.S. will shape up and am curious to find out why Craig wants to move back to the U.S.! (I’m always dreaming of leaving 😉

    1. Long term travel with kids is hard, especially with a business. I think if one or the other wasn’t present, we could do it for much longer. And I’m not prepared to give up either of them so it’s the travel that needs to pause for a wee while. I’m pretty keen on living in the US as well, it will just take us a few months before we can sort something out and I don’t want to think about it until we have a few plans on the horizon. Maybe we can swap passports?

      1. Don’t tease Jenna about swapping passports. She will take you up on it!
        It has been a pleasure following your Australian road trip, but I know that you need to follow your heart. I do loads of short term trips with my kids and even those sometimes need to get spaced out a little more some months, especially when my boys start asking if they can just stay home and play. As a parent I just want to show them the world and satisfy my wanderlust, but as a kid, sometimes their backyard is just enough, even if it isn’t for me. It’s all about balance, isn’t it? We all find our to fit where we are in our lives that day, week, month or year. Listening to your heart rarely steers you wrong.

  3. Love your blog and applaud your decision for the future. Go with your heart whatever it is you’re chasing. Thanks for the good times. Jan

  4. ” I left the woods for as good a reason as I went there. Perhaps it seemed to me that I had several more lives to live, and could not spare any more time for that one.”
    Thoreau
    I love that you seek change, live it and once it has done its job you move on to the next adventure with no idea what that next adventure may be or may bring, but you have an ‘inkling’ and you follow that inkling until it flourishes and it fills your heart with fulfilment when it explodes and shatters and the next fragment inkling is born…

  5. I love living vicariously through your travels Caz – but I can understand how, after so long you would be ready for something a little more grounded. And I think the GC is a fab place to head to (close enough for a catch up!).

  6. You are always going to be a nomad! Whether it is where you lay your head, or where you lay your thoughts….it doesn’t have to be a permanent fixture! Time off for a little while or a long time is fine, recharge you batteries, get a new direction or do nothing for a bit! Enjoy the last kilometres! All the best!

  7. I feel like I have been everywhere with you over the past 18 months. I have learnt so much about my own country through your eyes. Great that you have realised your limits and want to now find a new normal. All I can say is thank you so much for all that you have shared with all of your followers, it has truly been wonderful. Cant wait to see where your travels take you in the future. I hope Uluru is all that you imagine it to be. Safe travels!

    1. Thank you so much for these words Donna. I’m all teary. The journey has been made all that more special by having such a beautiful community of readers following along.

  8. Is the Aussie road trip the lonest continuous spell of travel you have ever done? Maybe you needed to experience that to be able to feel happy to settle in one place. I think that is what I need to do, to get the long term travel ‘out of my system’, at least for a while so I can fully enjoy a more stationary life (still rich with travel but in smaller doses)

    1. Yes, it is the longest continuous spell and with kids and while running a business. I think it’s amazing we’ve made it this far, but I just don’t have any fuel left in the tank. And then the Universe made the choice easy by throwing up all the road blocks! I think we’ll possibly do long term again, but in a very different way and not until I get my strength back

  9. I definitely hear you. The longest I’ve been on the road was eight months, and I always thought I’d be happiest as a permanent nomad! Sometimes it is nice to have a home to come back to and have some routine to our days – at least for a little while 🙂

  10. I know that pull, although not as strongly. But I envy the strength in your decision making. We are heading the same way, after 2 months in this beautiful villa in Bali – should we stop longer… I don’t know, but good on you for taking the time to listen to yourself, it’s a valuable lesson.

    1. It’s really not easy to change your mind on a belief you’ve always had. We’ll see how we mould into this new life. I’m sure we’ll be itching to travel again soon enough.

  11. There are pluses and minuses to traveling and to staying in one place and one must accept both. When the pluses become minuses, it is time to switch to the other. When the love of seeing new things pales, then it is a waste of time to go see them. Something you said resonates with me: having it be an experience rather than a lifestyle; having the experience have a limit in time. That makes it special and makes one want to savor the experience. Good for you in listening to what is best for you and for your family.

  12. Caz, I’m thrilled that you are listening to your heart and about to move into your next chapter – whatever that may be. You are setting such a good example, by being honest with yourself, and doing what is best for you and your family. I applaud your choice! I was also struck by how devoted and supportive your followers are. Comment after comment has encouraged you to move forward in the direction you are being pulled. May you and your family continue to blossom and live life to the max in whatever form it brings. Sending hugs and best wishes…JJ

  13. I get it Caz. I totally get it. We’ve been inspired by your journey like so many others. But perhaps unlike most, we took your lead and followed you to a life on the road. Peter and I retired and have lived out of a roller bag for the past year on an experimental mission to travel around the world without spending more than we spent to sit home watching TV in 2013. It’s been a fun challenge but a daunting and tiring one too. But lately we too have reached the place where we no longer sigh with pleasure at the beauty around us or gleefully look at the map to find the next destination. Just like you, we feel it is time to go home. Our work out here is done, for now. As is yours. For now.
    Wishing you many blessings as you find the next place to call home and write the next chapter in your life adventure. <3

    1. And many blessings to you Tracy! I’m so glad you’ve had the journey. I think we all have a point we reach where the eternal travel is not so dreamy anymore!

  14. That was quite a tome. But also in a way an understandable one. Have enjoyed your tales, experiences, photos and just the whole thing over the past few. It has been a little like tuning into a TV channel which keeps on giving …

    One thing which stuck out at me were the words – “trying it from a different angle” …

    Reckon that is what you will ‘decode’ and resume the journey in another way, and at another time. Enjoy the next few memories from the Red Center … they appear to have been in your subconscious for a long time.

  15. You know, I’m happy for you. You’re taking a break when you need it and following all your hearts.

    Perhaps this recharge will help you guys work through anything that needs to be worked through, spend some time together (and apart after such a long trip together) and settle in for a while.

    Then, you’ll be ready for the big bad USA (how exciting!) 😀

  16. I always get the feeling your inward journey is much more important than the places you see Caz. I think that even if you have the heart of a traveller you still need home – it is the balance we all need in life. Some stay put mostly and travel occasionally, others wander but always wander back. I haven’t been to Uluru, but I’m drawn to the spirituality of the place and I’m sure it will be a great official place to end your journey – around Australia to journey to its centre. And looking forward to catching up with you when you base yourself on the Goldie for a while. Maybe you could look at a house swap to get a base in the US for an exchange down the track.

    1. It’s a possibility although neither of us are that keen to buy property in Oz at the moment. It will be great to catch up with you when we hit the Goldie Kathy. And I agree, the inner journey is always more important.

  17. It’s a sign of our humanity that we can want something, or a way of life with all our hearts and then switch to wanting or needing something else. And That’s Fine. I think it’s the inner journey that’s important, the outward physical one should be a great adventure that should be consumed in great big fearless chunks whichever way it takes us. Our spirits might be party to those adventures but will have other callings which need fulfilling too. I say good on you for addressingto this calling … Although so many of us will miss following you both and the girls around Australia.

  18. Well done Caz for having the courage to change direction and for going with what your heart and soul are telling you. I think you and Craig are both amazing to road trip for so long with your girls. You’ve given them wonderful memories and adventures. As Chris said, you’ll still be travelling just in a different format! Good luck.

  19. This is great stuff: growth, evolution, change. Y’know sporadically reading about your road trip the last 18 months from Thailand along with memories of the 5 month road trip I did in NZ before that has made me itch to do an Oz version though probably more like six months (of course I said I would spend 2-3 months in New Zealand…right. When I mentioned that in passing to my incredible fiancee awhile back, she smiled, nodded, and simply said “ok.” Perhaps she was a gypsy in a pre-Thai lifetime. I don’t comment a lot but this piece particularly resonated with me. Cheers and best wishes.

  20. A thoughtful post Caz, and good on you for trusting your instincts. I am amazed that you have been on the road for as long as you have, with small children to boot! And yay, Queensland! It is such a fantastic place for families. I’m sure a period of rest, stability and routine is just the fuel you need while you ponder your next move. Good luck!

  21. I’ve certainly enjoyed your perspective on Australia and the adventures you found along the way on your road trip, but I have no doubt there will be many other adventures to read about in the future. You have to feed your soul, first and foremost.

  22. I remember when you announced you were about to go on this trip and I was living in Australia at the time. It’s hard to believe you’ve been on the road so long! I think you have to do what you decide is right at this time. There’s no point in forcing yourself to keep going if your heart isn’t in it. I like to travel in bursts. Too much in one go and you don’t appreciate it quite as much and begin to yearn for a little more stability. I’m sure you’ll finish the trip one day. And for the record – Uluru is definitely worth the journey to the back of beyond!

  23. Caz,
    I am so glad you guys made this decision. It’s a brave one for someone who has been traveling for 18 years, but it is also a good one. It’s like what Fray says in their song, all at once, “sometimes the hardest thing and the right thing are the same”. We traveled around the globe for 7 months with our two kids and I completely understand when you say traveling with kids and running a successful business can be really tough. You guys will figure it all out. There is definitely something nice about letting the kids have a routine and pursue interest of their own. We just got back home to the US about a month ago and are really looking forward to settling back down and having a bit of schedule :). Traveling has definitely changed us in many ways, for one we are leaving the tri-state area and moving to the research triangle in NC. We actually plan to explore the US on our next traveling adventures, would be awesome if our paths cross at some point.
    Good Luck with the remainder of your trip and rest assured you will figure it all out 🙂

    1. Go NC! Great area. It would be awesome if our paths crossed over there as it would mean we’re living back there! Enjoy your new settled life.

  24. Its always important to listen to those little whispers in your head. I’m excited to see what’s next for you 4.

    Funny, we’re going in a reverse direction. Although my husband, daughter and I have always traveled for holidays, we’ve never traveled full time. I think we’ll go slow…

    Congratulations on your decision and a toast to your next adventure!

  25. What a great post Caz & I think it’s great that you guys have made the decision & not completed the trip & felt that you could have or wished that it still continued. When it’s time it’s time & only you know that.
    Kalyra will love school, imagine the stories she will tell about where’s she’s been what she’s done. Her imaginative writing will be miles above the rest. She will smash it.
    We did Uluru last year without the kids & it was awesome. I too wasn’t sure why I so desperately wanted to go there to begin with & now I’m super glad I did. We only stayed 3 days & that wasn’t long enough!
    I’ll still be following as I’m sure you guys will still be doing great things. You have achieved so much & it’s been fun watching.

    1. Awesome! We’re going for about a week so I can’t wait!! Will be arriving this afternoon. Although I’m a bit nervous about visiting in Feb, it’s going to be stinking hot!

  26. It takes so much courage to embrace the vulnerability of something new in your life. All those upward dogs did OPEN YOUR HEART to a new adventure in life. I’ve loved all your posts and can’t wait to keep following you on your next adventure.

    If you ever do come by SA, I’ll take you to the best winery in town!

  27. I’ve gradually been going back and reading your blog posts for this trip and not too long ago read the one where you first announced this road trip. In that, you stated your mission was to “show that family travel can be done, road trips are great fun, and Australia is worth exploring”. You also wanted to to inform & inspire us to travel & do it more often. I think you have accomplished all those things and that feeling of accomplishment is what is driving you to move on to your next goal, even if you don’t know exactly what that is yet. Thank you for taking us along on this journey, I am looking forward to going with you on the next one!

  28. Caz & Craig, I have followed your journey with interest, having done a similar 6 month trip last year. It was so exhilarating to see you visit the same places I had seen and see your beautiful photos and read your thoughts about those same places. I know the feeling of ‘homesickness’ and being tired of the nomadic existence, so I can emphasize completely. I will look forward to your blogs on Central Australia (as we never covered this area). If you do come to Burleigh Heads, it is the place I call home, so please look me up. I would love to meet you guys.

    1. That would be great to finally meet in person Kathy! We’ve loved having your positive spirit on the journey with us. We hope we can share the beauty of Central Australia with you.

  29. I think you’re doing the right thing, by listening to your heart. Broome is a place which opens the heart, isn’t it? I had quite an opening experience at the Buddha Sanctuary there.
    We finished our trip up in November. It doesn’t feel like it was that long ago, but it was. I won’t lie – it’s been tough. Tougher than I expected. I’m pregnant and was definitely ready to finish being a full time gypsy. But, the transition to normal life, and normal life in a city, has been really tough on me. I’m struggling to feel a sense of purpose and my productivity is low. It’s getting better, slowly, as time goes on though. I know this hard time will pass. Administratively, stopping travel is even worst than starting it. But, we’re getting there. We’re living in Brisbane now. Perhaps we’ll cross paths again one day in the great south east 🙂

  30. It’s so great that you guys are thinking of settling down for a bit. But this post on your thoughts also made me think of a future where I might be in a similar situation as you where one would have to choose family and work compared to a passion that one has lived for a long time. I can’t even imagine a life without travels, hope you write a post when you finally decide on your future plans as well:)..

  31. I’m sure you’ve made the right choice. You must be very excited to get into the new phase of your life. there are so many opportunities waiting for you. Very few people may have the kind of experience, contacts, etc that you have. Keep shining and let us know what you’re going to do. Blogging is something you aren’t going to stop I hope!

  32. I just discovered your blog, and have read a few articles on your travels.
    From what I have experienced (little, but still something), travel can be exhausting after such a long time. So I can understand why you would stay in a place and get some stability, especially important for the kids.
    Travelling never stops, so follow your impressions and do what you want to do.

    Best luck for what’s next!

    Julie.

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