The little family from Echuca who quite literally packed up their life (into 1 suitcase might I add) and took off to travel the world. Check how this adventurous couple broke the 'norms' of everyday life + managed to do it with 2 little people right by their side!
Who makes up your family?
We are Jordan, Corinda, Rosie (7) and Sadie (4- who has recently changed her name to Sparkles and will not respond to anything but).
What made you abandon the everyday norms of life for this huge adventure?
After Rosie was born three months premature in 2013 and we arrived home after a much too traumatic, stint in the NICU, we knew that this life we had (we all have!) was not to be taken for granted. And perhaps in a morbid way, but probably more in a ‘carpe diem’ sort of way, we knew all too well the fragility of life, and felt, with an intense earnestness, that it needed to be lived to the fullest and with the least amount of regrets possible.
We understand that you’re back in Aus now since Covoid-19 hit but tell us, what tracks did you cover whilst overseas?
We began our odyssey with three months driving around France, drinking rosé and trying to wake early enough to get hot baguettes from the local boulangerie. Then we headed to Africa: Morocco (which totally stole our hearts), before Israel, Palestine and Jordan and then back to Africa to tour around Egypt. Then we flew all the way over to Malaysia, made our way up to Thailand, hopped over to Vietnam and then finished (unwittingly) in Cambodia.
Describe one moment while travelling that made you realize that you guys had made the right decision?
Just one?! We had so many moments where we really felt like the universe was patting us on the back, as if to say, ‘yep, you are exactly where you should be right now!’. I think most often this happened in Northern Africa, snuggled together atop a sand dune in the middle of the Sahara in Morocco, waiting for the pin prick of dawn light to explode over the sand dunes was definitely one of those... even Sparkles stood still and was awed by that one. Another time, we had let the girls watch the new Lion King and I heard Sadie ask Rosie to confirm that the movie was set in Africa because she thought it looked a lot different to the Africa she had seen... Rosie confirmed, without missing a beat: ‘they are in SOUTHERN Africa and we are in NORTHERN Africa’. Jordan’s Geography teacher heart nearly exploded.
What was the hardest part of travelling with little ones?
The hardest part is definitely giving them safe space to just be kids. They have so much energy and even if they’d walked 20kms in a day (a regular occurrence!), but didn’t get to offload some of that kid energy on things that they were interested in, they could get really cranky. Some places it was incredibly difficult to find safe spaces for them to run around but we improvised fairly well and made it work.
In terms of materialistic items and consumption, what did travelling abroad make you realize that you needed or more importantly, didn’t need?
Well, we travelled with only one checked bag between the four of us so it was definitely a lesson in minimalist living. We each had a carry on but for the entire almost ten months, we did not make one non-essential purchase other than letting the girls buy one small souvenir from each country on the proviso it would fit in their bags AND that they would carry them (Sparkles got some help). If we saw something we really wanted we weighed it up against what it might detract from our overall budget- that's 2 days of travel just for that... whatever. All four of us realised how much happier we were having experiences rather than things (ESPECIALLY when we had to carry said things!).
Would you do it all over again?
Without a shred of doubt. We feel like we still have so much left to do... we were supposed to be in Sri Lanka right now. The morning we woke the girls and told them we had to make a speedy exit home, immediately, Rosie sobbed uncontrollably saying that her bucket list was not yet full (I think she was thinking it was a real bucket).
What’s your one piece of advice for families wanting to take the leap and join the nomad life?
That the hardest part is making the decision. The rest is a dream. I mean, of course there are good and bad days but the bad days are so eclipsed by the good and the memories you share together are immeasurable and priceless. And also, that the world is so not scary. It is just full of other human beings being human. It’s an incredible place and people are probably more open and inviting of you because of your tiny companions.
Follow some their adventures on instagram @this.vagrant.life