‘We’re happy we shook off the shackles of suburbia’

Published: June 7, 2021
grey nomads fishing

Early last year, Paul and Lindy Ellis were sitting in their home of 35 years pondering what the future held for them when they had a ‘Eureka moment’.

“We just decided it was time to shake off the shackles of suburbia, possessions and group responsibilities and hit the road,” said Paul.

The couple quickly sold their memory-filled family home, bought a 2005 Nissan Civilian motorhome … and they were off to live the dream.

Then Covid hit.

Ultimately though, the enforced pause just made them appreciate the grey nomad lifestyle all the more when they were finally able to spread their wings.

“We loved the lifestyle and freedom of choosing where you wanted to be and when,” said Paul. “We were in WA and meandered from Albany to Broome enjoying some great places … fishing on Eighty Mile Beach, fish’n’chips on the beach at Peaceful Bay, free camping alongside the Irwin Inlet and kayaking with dolphins, sunset on Cable Beach, and many more wonderful experiences.”

After a while though, Paul and Lindy realised they needed to supplement their pension by picking up some casual work.

Their first position was at the Yelverton Eco Resort near Margaret River, where they did some small jobs in exchange for free camping … and they were off and running.

“It was a wonderful location, with lovely hosts, set amongst the forest with kangaroos for neighbours,” said Paul. “This gave us the opportunity to explore the Margaret River region with no site fees.”

With winter coming, Paul and Lindy cast their eyes northwards … and soon landed a job managing the Dumbara Burru Caravan Park near Derby.

“This is a small boutique, shady, adults-only park mainly catering for grey nomads and those travelling the Gibb River Road,” said Paul. “We are still there and enjoying every minute of it … we have a big fire pit where travellers sit around nightly and trade stories and experiences with each other.”

Life then is very, very good for the couple who have no regrets about taking a leap of faith and selling up 18 months or so ago.

“I do believe it will all eventually affect my pension but we are willing to take the hit and work full time for a while,” said Paul. “We just love living the life and encourage others to get out there and help the regions by taking positions while lapping up the lifestyle.”

  • Has taking a casual job enhanced your Big Lap adventure? Comment below.
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