“What do you mean, there was an issue with my Kombucha at the South Australian border?” I asked Dave worriedly. He left more than forty-eight hours ago with the van in tow and I knew he would soon be deep in the bowels of the Nullarbor, losing phone signal rapidly. “I mean, Kim, drinks containing live Scoby cultures are not common at the South Australia / Western Australian border crossing. I told you it was a silly idea to pack them.” One could, I suppose, add to the ‘silly idea to pack’ list many other non-negotiables that I have insisted on: Thermomix, espresso machine, and Sodastream, to name but a few.
It’s approximately seventy-two hours until the girls and I leave for the big trip and I am feeling overwhelmed. Perhaps it’s the lack of sleep from last night with #daughterswhodontsleep, or this morning’s 5:30am start to edit final documents relating to legislation that just passed in Parliament – a culmination of two and a half years of my professional life. More likely than not it’s the niggling anxiety that, maybe, we have bitten off more than we can chew in packing up our lovely home, saying goodbye to everyday comforts and support networks, and deciding to travel with three small children (the youngest being not yet 12 weeks old).
Don’t get me wrong. I am quite ok with roughing it for a purpose… just not necessarily for fun. Despite my vain motivations for bringing my GHD on a cross-cultural mission trip to rural Mexico in my twenties, it actually turned out to be a rich experience of community engagement. How? Well, I found the only generator in town and then proceeded to style the locks of a rural Mexican bride and her bridesmaids. That, in turn, led to wedding dress improvements and the distribution, amongst her wedding guests, of Aussie delicacies that I had transported across the globe. Similarly, I have spent a large amount of time in my thirties leaving my babies with Dave as I globe trot developing nations as part of a global mission to prove that justice for the poor is possible.
But… this coming trip feels different. This time we have intentionally decided to trade in the rat race of city life for adventure. Rewind twelve months ago, my self-assessment is that we were a stressed out, thirty-something couple who the Sydney ‘lifestyle’ had gotten the better of.
Despite our naturally positive and faith-filled outlook on life, the daily grind of intense jobs and mortgage repayments in between hours spent in heavy traffic driving to and from children’s birthday parties and activities was taking its toll. The catalyst for change was triggered when we simultaneously found out that I was pregnant with Alice (surprise) and that the NSW government was going to compulsorily acquire our recently renovated family home to build a very large tunnel under Middle Harbour (double surprise). And so, we embarked on a journey of reassessing how we really wished to live out our days and the precious childhood years of the three princesses whom we have been entrusted to raise.
So we did… and here we are now only hours away from leaving the city for life in a caravan, and I am minutes away from one of more of my #daughterswhodontsleep waking up (again).
I would love for you to take this journey with us. Not because I have any idea on how to introduce minimalism of any sort into my life, or declutter my pantry or, it seems, smuggle Kombucha across the Nullarbor. Rather, it is because I have a deep yearning to be part of a community with those who also have an adventurous soul, and a desire to take a joyful wander.