Mister Weekender has long been a source of inspiration for those who share her affinity for exploring. Now as a mama to Dusty, she’s embracing a slower travel style and finding that the best moments are often unplanned and uncomplicated.
You started Mister Weekender quite some time before becoming a mum to Dusty. Tell us, how has your view of travel changed after becoming a mum?
Thankfully, my view of travel hasn't changed too much since becoming a mum. If anything, it has made me slow down and go with the flow when we travel, which has been a very lovely surprise. Prior to having Dusty, I used to experience as much as possible. Looking back now, it was quite hectic! But now, before every trip together, Jason and I write down a few essential things we want to see and do. Each day, we pick one, maybe two of those things, but we don't get upset if we can't do it all. Often we find the best moments on the road are unplanned and uncomplicated. These days, we like to take the relaxed route!
Having such an instinctive love of adventure and nature, what do you love most about the idea of raising your son to have the same affinity for travel?
"Outdoor living" is my life motto, so my hope for Dusty is that he will travel to experience nature. Whilst I enjoy exploring cities, I always prefer to take the path less travelled by choosing to enjoy the outdoors.
Mother Nature is so beautiful, and with global warming becoming an imminent threat for my son's future, and his children's future, it's important to show Dusty how magical the world really is beyond the skyscrapers and concrete pavements.
When we travel as a family, Jason is inspired by cities and food scenes, whilst I am inspired by the outdoors and adventure. We like to make sure we have a good blend of both, which is perfect for us.
What inspired your recent trip to Conondale Station?
I've always felt there are two sides to my personality; my contemporary side, which is very evident in the house we live in and the art on our walls. But then there's another side; my wilderness side, which is very evident in the places I like to explore.
We are giving our garden a complete overhaul at home this year, so we decided to book some trips around Australia instead of going overseas this year. I saw Conondale Station in a recent edition of one of my favourite magazines, Country Style and when I was looking for a place to stay in the hinterland close to home, I couldn't believe my eyes when I saw Conondale Station on Airbnb. The stars had aligned. We are big fans of road trips and weekenders close to home, so a couple of days amongst cows grazing in wide open fields and mountains beyond, is just what we needed.
As a seasoned adventurer who has travelled to more countries we can list right here, tell us your top 5 travel tips for mums travelling with little ones in tow.
1. Choose Airbnb - We always book our accommodation with Airbnb. The set up is always better than a hotel, and it means we can choose a house or an apartment with a kitchen and two bedrooms. We've found being able to cook meals, and Dusty having his own bedroom, is absolutely essential for travelling
2. Pack light - It's taken a bit of practice, but we always pack light. When you consider two suitcases, a travel cot, a pram, a car seat, and a child - it's quite a lot to carry around. Now that Dusty can walk, we've stopped taking our Baby Bjorn and pram with us. It's liberating to say the least!
3. Everything is a phase - Since our first trip when Dusty was six weeks old, we've had to learn quickly to adjust our expectations. Every month, Dusty changes and grows. Some things get better, some things get worse. We take the good with the bad and know, this too shall pass.
4. Keep kids occupied - Every mum knows there's nothing more stressful when you are trying to do something, and your kid kicks off. I'm sweating just thinking about it! Keeping Dusty occupied is a full time job. He was a super active baby and he's a super active toddler; he's always on the move. Whilst we pack light, we always ensure we have an arsenal of distractions to keep him occupied including lots of snacks, and some books and small toys.
5. Embrace the slow pace - Between early starts, daytime sleeps and early evenings, we can't do as much as we used to, but we have learned to enjoy slow travel and simply love it!
Adventure can be found by travelling, but it also calls in day-to-day life. What’s something adventurous you and your boys like to do at home?
We are so lucky to live in one of the most beautiful pockets of Australia, in Noosa Heads. The Sunrise Beach is a short 5 minute walk from our home, so you'll find us at the beach every day, running in the sand and swimming in the beautiful water.
Noosa National Park is a 5 minute drive from our house and we like to walk the coastal track to A Bay in the morning to satiate our love of nature.
We love day trips too, and often find ourselves driving to Pamona, or Cooroy, or Maleny to explore and enjoy a hike, followed by a bite to eat. Speaking of which, the food scene is coming to life this end of the Sunshine Coast, and you'll always find us at our local, Sum Yung Guys. It is our favourite place to eat!
Vist Mister Weekender here