Reconnecting with the kids - Why we chose to travel Australia fulltime
Who are we.....
We are the Mad-Murphy’s from Trekking Downunder. A young family of 5 Ryan, Amy, Jake (8), Lucas (6) and Wade (1).
We made the decision to sell our house and purchase a van during Easter 2016 to focus on living a more intentional life and travel Australia full time. We left on March 15, 2018!
We decided to create a blog with videos on YouTube, mini blogs on Facebook and images on Instagram so we could share our journey with friends and family. Before we knew it, we had begun to inspire others to follow the idea of packing up the family and hitting the road, even if only just for a holiday.
How it happened……
Travelling Australia has always been something on Ryan’s bucket list. I’ll be honest….. It’s never been on mine- I’ve always been more of an overseas kinda person (prior to being blessed with our gorgeous boys).
Back in April 2016 Ryan planned ‘his’ first big Family Holiday for us (up until then it had usually been me planning the big ones). A 3-week trip up to Fraser Island, including stops at Yamba, Hervey Bay and Forster.
Being that I’ve never been too fussed on details of camping trips- more so just the set up and relax part- I let him take control. Whilst travelling from Yamba to Hervey Bay, for the first time in years, I saw a more relaxed and less stressed husband. So during one of our longer driving stints, Ryan broached the topic of a trip around Aus. Starting at 12months I instantly said NO WAY….. But I told him I’d consider a 6 months trip MAYBE- we’ll Ryan took that as a yes and started planning our trip immediately.
Now for the deal makers…… or breakers!
Ryan suggested we should sell our newly built home and make it a real worth while trip….. My dream home for his dream holiday…… mmmmm, I took my moment and threw in my one and only, teeny tiny condition- something I’d been pestering him about for years….. One last Baby. 40 minutes of listening to music in silence later- and much to my shock he said Ok!
So here we are now, we are on our trip of a life time. We have given away, sold or donated over 95% of our worldly possessions. And now with the excitement of the unknown future ahead, this trip has become as much for me as it is for Ryan.
To fund our trip we sold our beautiful family home of 10 years (thankfully it was sold within 1 week of going on the market) and purchased our new home on wheels – an AOR Quantum Plus Super Camper “Ruby Q” and made all of the required modifications to our family tow beast – a 2016 Prado GXL “Pippi”. Selling the house has enabled us to be less concerned about how we will fund the trip, as if we budget correctly we can travel indefinitely with some work along the way. We are however, fortunate that if/when we return to our home town, we have an investment property which we could move into if we needed. This does provide a certain level of financial security for us during our big lap.
Why it happened……
One of the reasons for deciding on living this lifestyle is the excitement of spending quality time with the boys and to focus on living a more intentional and meaningful life. We have been struggling mentally for some time, being stuck in the ‘rat race’ and feeling like we need to ‘keep up with the jones’s’ and are looking forward to writing our own story. We felt like we were constantly living to work and not the other way around.
Since the birth of our eldest son Jake, I have predominantly been blessed to be a stay at home mum- watching them grow and giving them the best childhood I could, returning only to part time work as a paediatric and/or maternity nurse 2 days a week. My main pull to do this was to contribute to the household bills, but also because I absolutely love what I do. During the time between Lucas and Wade I also started up a small successful online based consulting business which I absolutely love as it gives me a sense of community and contribution. This has been perfect whilst on maternity leave and is something I can continue to do on our trip, providing a regular source of income for us.
Since the age of 17 Ryan has been employed by Australia’s largest privately owned electrical company as an apprentice, tradesman and account manager. He since starting a family he has always had struggles with the work/home balance.
About 7 years ago Ryan decided to take a break, opening and running a successful 4wd accessory franchise, right when our son Lucas was born. Over the following 2 years he gave everything to the success of the business, however that often meant many sacrifices were made affecting his family time. He missed many keys milestones in our children’s lives- which still eats at him to this day. To try and gain some work/home balance, he returned to his previous job, where he is still currently employed today. But again, due to his strong work ethic he ended up in an extremely demanding role, managing the commissioning of the High Voltage network at Sydney’s Barangaroo development. He regularly worked an average of 100hrs per week at the start of the project which went on for a period of 9months in the year Jake started school. Ryan is extremely dedicated to his work as a High Voltage Account Manager, and although the hours have settle back to 45-50hours per week he is still always on call and working on emails from home.
Ryan being spending uninterrupted time to reconnect with our boys is something we both are loving. So this trip is something we are very excited about, being able to spend time together without the pressures of our typical everyday life.