Megan, her husband Greg and their four kids have another member of their tribe, their beloved Bedford bus, Banjo. This adventure-loving family from the NSW north coast have spent the last 5 months road tripping around Australia. We caught up with Megan to chat about the catalyst for hitting the open road, and how the experience of travelling, especially during the pandemic, has shaped their family.
Who’s in your tribe?
My beautiful husband Greg and the loves of our lives...son Jarvis, daughters Mabel, Bonnie and our eldest daughter Milli (Greg's eldest daughter & my step daughter who hops on the bus adventures month on, month off.) Oh and of course the old boy himself Banjo! Our 1967 Bedford bus, our humble abode!
You’ve clocked up over 7,000 kms and 5 months in your beloved Bedford bus, Banjo. Tell us about your inspiration to live adventure-filled year road-tripping around Australia?
Things deep within myself really started shifting dramatically at the beginning of 2019. Our baby of babies started primary school and our eldest started high school! It was a huge moment for us as parents and it really hit me that time really does go by so quickly.
I started to question our journey and whether I was being the mother I thought I would be, what were my values & what did I want to weave into my children's souls? Simplicity, adventure, family & connections. I didn't want to look back on their childhood and have regrets about not taking them on a wild adventure and teaching them that it really is the simple things in life that bring us joy.
Around the same time my friend had gifted me the the SLOW book written by Brooke McAlary..... I was hooked and read the book three times in a row. I began de-cluttering my life physically and emotionally, I could feel things changing for me & my priorities became so clear. I was craving the simple life and time with my family. Life was feeling too 'busy' & hectic & I was yearning for an adventure outside of our routine.
Time is something that we can't get back and with this realisation it was time to pack up our lives and hit the open road to to start making some beautiful memories. No plan, no agenda, nowhere to be but with each other.
How have the travel restrictions affected your plans?
Yes what a wild time! Lock-down felt like it crept up on us pretty quickly, as we were blissfully in our own little love bubble. We were lucky enough to have just arrived into a gorgeous town in South Australia, Streaky Bay - a very remote coastal country town, and lucky for Greg it has some world class waves!
We were planning to stay here for a few weeks, but two and a half months later we’re still here - Happily 'stuck' I like to call it. Our time here has turned out to be one of our greatest adventures. The kids have made some special friendships with the local children so we decided to put them into school while we’re here (now they don't want to leave haha!)
I'm so proud of them for pushing themselves out of their comfort zone. There is so much growth to be made from doing so, and it has been such a joy to watch them through this chapter. I really love the freedom that children have in such a small town and this has been the freest I have ever seen our children, and for that we are so thankful.
During lock-down we were blessed with a never ending, untouched, dramatic and raw coastline to explore everyday; it felt like we were still on an adventure even though our travels were on hold. I have always been reminding our kids how lucky we are to have landed here throughout this wild time.
The last few months have been pretty wild for all the parents of the world. It’s also been a time to slow down and find time for reflection. How have your experiences on the road shaped and changed your family?
The past few months have really emphasised that we have so much to be grateful for and again it’s been a reminder that living simply is what makes us the happiest. We have witnessed our children thrive since hitting the road and it’s reassured us that we are on the right path for our family.
It’s been really important to show the kids that there are so many different ways to live life and that they can truly do what ever they want when they are older. I’m so inspired by the people who choose a slower pace, people who appreciate and live off the land. I’m hoping this trip can influence the children’s life choices when they are older.
Where to next?
I feel like it's hard to have a plan at this stage with everything going on, which we are fine with us as we aren't really planners at the best of times. We were heading to Western Australia and we are literally so close, but for now we are just waiting to see what happens with WA and NT borders.
When they reopen and travellers can happily and safely travel again we will head to either of those states. We were meant to be chasing the sun but here we are about to buckle down for winter in SA! Brrrrr!
We are excited to hit the road again but we are finding ourselves very happy and comfortable here in Streaky Bay for now, we feel very lucky to be able to call this town home during the pandemic.
Follow their adventures on instagram here