Norm & Jenny

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Part-time grey nomads
Norm and Jenny appreciate their trips and their ‘home time’

After seven months on the road as full-timers, Norm and Jenny decided they needed a base and they now appreciate both their trips and their ‘home time’. Here, they explain why

We travelled our first ‘lap’ in 2003 when we took our Kimberly Kamper anti-clockwise up the centre, down the west coast and back across the Nullarbor to Melbourne.

This really whetted our appetite! After retiring in late 2005, we bought a caravan, sold our house and – in early 2007 – began the nomadic ‘no fixed address’ lifestyle.  However, we found it a bit disconcerting not having a home base to return to (both of us had recurring back problems) and, after only seven months on the road, decided to purchase a house in Ballarat, Victoria.

Since then we have upgraded to a van with an ensuite and recliner chairs, and travel most winters for 2-3 months exploring all parts of wonderful Oz – enjoying the best of both worlds!  We never make detailed plans for our trips and seldom book ahead. This gives us plenty of flexibility to wander depending on what we discover on the way.  It also allows for changing weather conditions and even health/ comfort issues that may arise.

Jenny’s main hobby is knitting and mine is photography. I generally put together a photo book after each major trip and we now have a little collection of books to share with family and (unsuspecting) friends. But, more importantly, they remind us of our wonderful experiences.

Naturally, not all experiences carry pleasant memories and our worst by far was being stranded in Tennant Creek last year for four weeks after a vehicle breakdown and the associated cost! We had to  be towed 160 kilometres  from Renner Springs and then have a replacement motor fitted to our vehicle (Thank goodness for RACV Total Care road-side assistance which covered the cost of towing vehicle and van, and some accommodation/car hire.)

However, our overwhelming memories are fantastic – recollections of seeing many spectacular places and meeting many interesting people. The ‘band’ of like-minded travellers that you meet are always friendly, happy, relaxed and cheerful folk who are as interested in you as you are of them. We both enjoy observing the ever-changing countryside on our travels – the journey is as much pleasure as the destination.

We appreciate how very fortunate we are to be able to travel so freely across this amazing country and look forward to enjoying many more trips in our van.


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