Travelling Australia...What could possibly go wrong?
Just how prepared can you be for the unexpected?
When travelling full time around Australia the thought crosses your mind - what could go wrong..... but so often you still seem to trek the path of - only if.
So when illness struck, and Ryan was admitted to hospital - the situation was further amplified by the fact he was not only the main driver but also the towing and van set up expert.
What do you do? Where do you go? How do you cope?
When Ryan’s first common cold for the trip turned into a shakes and sweats kind of deal, we happened to be exploring our national’s capital. I picked up the slack to give him maximum time to rest and heal. Morning, noon and night, I did the cooking, cleaning, entertaining of the 3 kids, bathing and still attempted parts of the boys schooling (basically everything but the driving/ towing and hitching). Towards the beginning of our ACT adventure we’d still head out for the day trips to awesome attractions like the Australian War Memorial, National Dinosaur Museum and Questacon but as the day trips went on so did this persistent cold and sore throat.
We travelled on to Cooma and it was just getting worse and looking more like tonsillitis. After attempting to wait for the GP results, we found ourselves no choice but needing to head into a hospital one morning as Ryan’s ability to swallow reduced rather substantially all of a sudden. Still in my fierce keeping it together phase and my ‘only if’ way of thinking, assuming it will all work out just fine, we realise maybe this was not so simple. Ryan’s throat infection had been slowly getting worse and had turned Quincy on him, now a large pus-filled abscess on his tonsil- the swelling was taking up over half his airway. He’d be in Cooma Hospital for at least 24hrs. SPLIT SECOND PANIC, my ‘only if’ had rapidly become ‘holy it’.
Where would we stay, how would we get there, how safe would we feel, how on earth will I push the pop top roof up??? Mmm..... Could we just stay in the car park?
The end verdict got worse, he would require overnight admission in Cooma for IV antibiotics and a transfer to Canberra Hospital early the next morning to have his enormous abscess drained..... simple enough. Except for the fact I had hardly driven this trip let alone towed the van.
QUESTION; Have you ever towed the van in an emergency situation? Have you set up and unhitched as the ‘second person’ by yourself? Would you feel safe camping without your partner?
Luckily for us the Travelling Community is full of supportive followers and friends plus we had been slightly prepared before leaving.
How it ended- 1) Although I’ve only towed once before- prior to leaving we completed a Tow-Ed course and it was the most valuable prep activity we did! Having never towed through a town either I was so grateful to have our compact AOR on the back. 2) Thankfully I’ve watched Ryan unhitch, hitch and set up a fair few times so I had an idea of what needed to be done. 4) Finding a new camp with 3 kids and no Ryan was not ideal- I put a call out to the locals who follow our Trekking fb page and was connected with wonderful friends of family, who not only gave us a home for the night but a place to leave the van for the next few days whilst we headed back to Canberra to pick up Ryan.
Our experience was a big what if, became an actual it- and thankfully although feeling slightly out of my depth.... I turned out to be more prepared than I gave myself credit for. My new found advice to travellers is share all the roles- both pink (girls) and blue (boys). Be prepared before you leave; know your vehicle/ your van and your own capabilities. Be supportive, without the trust from Ryan that I could do this- I would have totally freaked out! And instead not only did I learn to trust myself, we met some incredible new life-long friends and got to stay in one of the most divine scenic spots outside Cooma NSW, surrounded by rolling hills and loads of dirt tracks.
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