‘Our only regret is that we didn’t travel much sooner!’

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Grey nomads and motorhome
Roland and Coral with their beloved ‘Nissy’

Roland and Coral Hersom began taking seriously long trips around Australia nearly 20 years ago.

They have travelled tens of thousands of kilometres in a variety of rigs. They have been from Tassie to Cooktown and from Broken Hill to Broome. They’ve seen hundreds of Outback sunsets and stayed in some of the most beautiful and remote campsites on the planet.

And yet, when financial constraints and declining mobility forced them to sell their beloved motorhome, they admitted they still had one major regret.

“We just wish we had started 10 years earlier,” said Roland. “Others I have known have also rued their delay, especially when their lives took an unexpected turn and prevented them from seeing all the wonderful things to be seen in this wonderful country.”

The couple, now in their late 70s, know they have been incredibly lucky and count their blessings each and every day.

They met at high school as teenagers and have six children, 12 grandchildren and 15 great grandchildren. Other than each other and their massive ‘tribe’, it’s probably not too much of a stretch to say that the love of the couple’s lives has been a 1986 Nissan Civilian they named ‘Nissy’ which they bought a decade or so ago, and which Roland totally revamped to suit their needs.

Ever since then, the Hersoms have spent much of their time criss-crossing the country discovering the magic of the Outback.

“We are not van park fans and prefer to find places where we don’t have to camp on top of our neighbours,” said Roland. “We have good neighbours at home but we live only six metres away from them on each side so, when you are on holidays, it is more pleasant to be able to spread out a bit.”

The couple says they were frequently the only occupants of campsites during their travels, and they found every place had its own unique diversity of ambience, sound or solitude.

“We have witnessed many beautiful landscapes and superb sunrises and sunsets,” said Roland. “However, it eventually became obvious that financial constraints, along with our inability to walk distances, required us to audit our situation.”

Reluctantly, the couple put their beloved ‘Nissy’ up for sale and the first person to look at it, bought it.

“Our future travelling, which won’t be as extensive as in the past, will now have to be done by car and park cabin … but them’s the breaks,” said Roland ruefully. “I believe an entire lifetime of normal travel would still leave things unseen … so my advice is don’t delay your touring and make sure you enjoy it while you can!”

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