Life long dream with toddler

Submitted: Monday, Apr 12, 2021 at 10:03
ThreadID: 141387 Views:7424 Replies:3 FollowUps:3
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Hi, Hope we can find some ideas to bring our lifelong dream a bit closer to reality.
I and my partner always wanted to travel and work around Australia.
I was told, that i was never to be able to have kids, so we planned our future towards travel and work around Australia until just halfway through, I found out I was pregnant and this, of course, was a bit of a surprise and a blessing. Fast forward our son is now 2 but the idea of travelling and working is still close to our hearts.
We have most of the things worked through but now, we are trying to think how to make it work with a toddler.
Our ide was, to do some seasonal jobs in between our travels but we seem to get stuck as, when we do get a seasonal job, most of those jobs can be 12 hours from 7 am to 7 pm for example and often 6 days a week and last for a season for example 4-5 months and then we continue our travels. We don't know, what would be our options for care arrangements for our son, while we would work the seasonal job. I was wondering, if anyone has been to this position and how they have solved this or what options they have used?

Thank you any advice is greatly appreciated
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Reply By: Member - Cuppa - Monday, Apr 12, 2021 at 15:19

Monday, Apr 12, 2021 at 15:19
First up, good luck with making your dreams a reality. Back in the 80's we planned to do similar with our then 2 year old son, but circumstances conspired against us & we never did it. It was decades later when we started making that dream a reality, & by then our son was an adult & living independently. I'll be honest, I think we enjoy our travels far more than we might have done with a young child in tow, but having said that I still wish we had been able to go back then because so much has changed during the intervening years. We think the adventure would have been far more adventurous 30 odd years ago.
To try & answer your questions about work & child care I guess I think it depends upon how much you are dependent upon earning an income, how long you envisage travelling for, & where you want to travel . If you have some savings to act as a 'buffer', it will take a lot of the pressure off . If you have a 'for as long as it takes' approach it makes it easier to travel slowly. Travelling slowly makes finding work (or alternatives to work) so much easier. The main reason for this is that if you are in one place for a while, rather than just 'passing through' you get to know people, & importantly they get to know you. If you have skills that folk want (just about any trade & often just a willing pair of hands) you may find it harder to leave outback towns than you think. One job, no matter how short lived, is often followed by further offers, word gets around quickly in small communities, even when those communities are stretched over large distances. It is not uncommon for folk to go to quite generous lengths to accommodate you if you can help them. Stations often provide accommodation & meals for example. With a financial buffer, it gives you the opportunity to get to places without having work lined up before you go. being there, on the ground, counts for far more than any posted resume! You don't need to earn a great deal if your living costs are low. An alternative to looking for work is care taking or house sitting/farm sitting. If you can get a sit for a month or three, it's a great way to become part of a local community, & from this opportunities arise if you make it known you are available & interested. Sits can also provide low cost experiences that those who pass through or who have an intinerary would never see. In our case for example - 7 months alone at a remote idyllic coastal location 200kms north of Broome, 4 months looking after a 100acre Daintree rainforest wildlife refuge, a safe covid 'bunker' at a 150 acre property in the Atherton tablelands for much of 2020, currently at another idyllic coastal location in a comfy house way up Cape York (outside of the tourist season) for 10 weeks, & just agreed to a further fortnight at somewhere even better close by. None of these are paying jobs, but all our expenses bar food have been covered, & in some instances fuel and or use of a vehicle too. Even our return flights were paid for the current one. House sitting/caretaking with just one of you working locally would be very possible. This may not answer all the what -if's you no doubt have but I hope it gives you some hope & optimism. One last thing - you do need a 'plan b'. Part of this is the financial buffer I've mentioned, the other part is a vehicle you can travel & live in, plus some sort of plan for what to do if the vehicle dies or you get sick or.....? Have that mix to travel with & you can't lose!
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Follow Up By: Kat R1 - Monday, Apr 12, 2021 at 15:41

Monday, Apr 12, 2021 at 15:41
Hi, there ..
First, i want to thank you for taking the time to reply and adding a bit of advice and optimism.
I think it is absolutely incredible, that people have pushed past the comfort zone and overcome their fears of letting go of familiar, to open up their lives to the unfamiliar and take that leap of faith and follow their dreams.
We are quite realistic people and we definitely not think, that it is going to be easy. It takes the first lot of courage to let go of our quite well-paying and stable jobs.
We are both in the mindset that if we really want it, we can make it work, and even if things don't work out as we hope, we can always return home and start over.
We have both been to outback Australia and worked in Outback Australia and we enjoyed the experience and now we feel, that we want away and we want something else in life, rather than working 7am-5pm and waiting every day to pass so, that we can spend weekends together or enjoy a bit of life.
A lot of people have told us, that we are insane to even think about it with a toddler and that it is too crazy, so of course, we have a lot of doubt but I want to keep researching and reading other people stories, it helps us to move forward and keep a positive mindset about this possibility and dream. I will definitely keep eye on your blog and well-done guys 4 years, that is amazing and i am sure there will be still plenty of years ahead. Best of luck and thank you again.

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Follow Up By: Member - Cuppa - Monday, Apr 12, 2021 at 16:23

Monday, Apr 12, 2021 at 16:23
You are right, it does feel like a huge step. I'd almost forgotten! About 15 years ago we bought a small bus & converted it over 3 years & travelled around Australia in it full time for 18 months + lots more shorter trips over the next 10years. It was as much home as any bricks & mortar. Lots of folk either thought we were were crazy, or said things like "I wish I had the courage to do what you are doing BUT...... & there were a *lot* of buts ( finance, leaving friends, ageing parents, grandchildren, jobs etc etc etc). The biggest thing for us which made it easier (apart from the desire - like you have) was talking to others who were already doing it. There are so any folk out there on the road, part time & full time, you have no idea until you get out there. Finding them & talking to them was an immensely validating experience, it served to normalise our dreams & added all sorts of practicalities. I found a (now long defunct) online forum of travellers & DIY vehicle converters & still know many of the folk from back then. So I can very much identify with your concerns & I enjoy posting as I have to you because it is a form of 'giving back' in the way all those who did similar for us when we were in the situation you are now in, plucking up the courage to 'let go'. I have never yet met anyone who having made the decision regretted having done so. We only get one life! We felt the same when I gave up employment at 40, & we went from two salaries to one salary, & a semi self sufficient small farm life out in the bush. Another big step which we never once regretted. Same when we left our families behind in the UK & migrated to a Australia when neither of us had even been on a plane before, let alone visited Australia. We came with the view of 'making it work' & have never looked back. We are not the types to be totally & irresponsibly carefree, no matter how much we might desire that. We do plan. Not obsessively, but 'for example' we could have sold up everything, home included, after our 18 month jaunt around the country to stay 'on the road'. It was very tempting, but instead we worked out how we could do it for as long as we want to, our safety net was a home to return to if/when needed, it was a 5 year plan, which actually took 7 years, but we were committed to making it happen. Lots of conversations over that period began with 'When we are travelling again". Step one - decide & commit, fixing a date helps enormously, gives you something concrete to work toward. Step two. Do it. Step three- Smile with each other when you have your first conversation along the lines of "How on earth could we ever have worried about doing this". :) Safe travels.
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Follow Up By: John Baas - Tuesday, Apr 13, 2021 at 01:40

Tuesday, Apr 13, 2021 at 01:40
That's a fabulous, thoughtful, helpful set of considerations Cuppa.

Not of direct relevance to me/us personally (we're way past wanting/needing to work) but appreciate your insights and 'care to help'.

Cheers. JB.
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Reply By: Peter_n_Margaret - Tuesday, Apr 13, 2021 at 10:07

Tuesday, Apr 13, 2021 at 10:07
We travelled the bush with our kids from when they were 6 weeks old.
Best place for them and to start their education in life, have no fears about that.

OKA196 motorhome
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Reply By: Olsen'sToursandTraining - Wednesday, Apr 14, 2021 at 10:08

Wednesday, Apr 14, 2021 at 10:08
I know it came seem daunting but the best way to do it is just begin. Be honest with your employers about what hours you can work. On the road, children get the best education on how to be a social, functional human being.
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