Can solo with unusual rig call himself a grey nomad?

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Graham Meyer (inset) ponders whether or not he is a ‘grey nomad’

It’s about 6.30 am. It feels cold out and I’m nice and warm in my sleeping bag. I need to get up and have a cup of tea, the day won’t be the same otherwise. As I get out of my sleeping bag, I let down my air mattress and pillow and swap my long johns for some proper attire. Throwing on my camping shoes I crawl out of my tent and greet the day. Yep, it’s cold alright, can’t be more than 3° or 4°C.

I could be anywhere, Coward Springs or Hawker Caravan Park or maybe in a national park. Camping is a way of life for me, and seeing this beautiful country while I’m at it is a bonus. A few others are stirring. I can hear friends greeting each other as they go about their morning business. Cups rattle, kettles boil and the smell of tea and coffee wafts through the campsites. I greet others on my way to and from the amenities block and some eye me curiously.

I get myself a nice hot mug of English Breakfast and sit in my campchair and watch the day unfold. Bonnets pop up and conscientious owners make sure everything looks in order for the day’s drive, while others stow awnings and wind up caravan stabilizers. I decide I need to get a wriggle on and start to break camp, packing my duffle with the various parts of my camping set-up. Pretty soon my site is nearly bare and it won’t be long before I’m ready to leave.

An older gentleman cautiously approaches me and says “G’day”. I greet him warmly. Travelling by yourself can be a bit lonely sometimes and it’s always nice to have a good yarn with someone. We exchange the “where you beens?” and “where you goings?” and the conversation drifts along from there. In the end, I usually excuse myself as I need to cover a bit of ground and it’s mostly dirt roads, tracks and trails for me as sticking to the bitumen only takes me to those over-commercialised tourist sites with fake Aussie trinkets made in China.

I load my duffle and strap it down tight, check my panniers are strapped down as well, and survey the campsite to check I haven’t forgotten anything. I climb into my gear and tighten the buckles on my boots. I swing my leg over my motorcycle and start the engine, allowing it a minute or two to warm up a touch.

As I gaze at the ‘grey nomads’ going about their business, I stop to reflect. What is a grey nomad? How old do you have to be to qualify and where do you have to come from or be going to? I lean slightly to the right and gaze into the mirror at what I can see of the face partly obscured by my helmet. Yep, I’m wearing glasses the days, vision isn’t what it used to be. My hair has been grey now for quite a few years and the kids that caused it have all but grown up and left the nest, and I’ll be 55 soon. I ponder a bit more in those fleeting seconds before I shift my bike into first and let out the clutch … am I a grey nomad too?

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4 Responses to Can solo with unusual rig call himself a grey nomad?

  1. Yes you certainly are a grey nomad. Welcome to the club.

  2. Yep
    A nomad is not determined by age, vehicle or destinations. Just somebody travelling around. Even by foot or pushbiker or boat , plane still a nomad

  3. Sure are. Grey and on the Wallaby. Nicely written.

  4. What a wonderful way to live, we have such a beautiful country, you are living the dream, that is living, and peace within

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