‘Accidental grey nomad’ is making up for lost time

Grey nomads are long term caravanners and motrohomers

While most grey nomads count down the years, months, weeks and days until they are able to take off on their big adventure, some dis¬cover the joys of the lifestyle purely by chance. But that doesn’t mean they enjoy it any the less.

Graeme P confesses he was once a workaholic whose idea of camping was staying in a 3-star resort instead of a 5-star one.

“I never took a holiday which could explain why I’m di¬vorced,” he said. “And when I did, it was under protest.”

However, Graeme’s life was turned on its head when an illness meant he was unable to work for a while, and so he decided to drive from Cairns to Victoria to visit his children instead of flying.

“I loved the journey that much that I just never really stopped,” said Graeme. “I learned way too late in life what I had been missing out on and have been making up for it ever since.”

Indeed, while Graeme is happy to refer to himself as an ‘apprentice nomad’, that life-changing trip to Victoria took place more than 10 years ago and his journey of self-discovery has never ended.

“I sold my home in a beach suburb of Cairns and, even though now my mailing address is a post office box and technically I am homeless, I have never looked back,” he said. “If someone had told me 11 years ago that this is what I would be doing in my retirement, I would have said they were drinking the ink and had them committed … I never ever dreamed that I would enjoy this lifestyle as much as I do.”

Over the years, Graeme has travelled in just a car, a car and trailer, a car and camper trailer, a car and a caravan, a campervan, and now he is back to a ute with a camper on the back and a tent to mark his spot.

“Most of the time I travel alone but when you are on the road you are never really alone,” he said. “Pull up for a night at any rest area or camp¬site in Australia and there will always be somebody to have a yarn with or learn something from.”

Graeme says his on-the-road lifestyle means he never gets stagnant or grumpy or bitter, and he plans to continue travelling as long as he is fit enough to do so.

“Every day I wake up I am extremely grateful that I am alive and fit enough to be able to live the life I do,” he said. “I know there are many of us long termers who feel exactly the same way and can’t stop, or don’t want to stop, moving … regardless of what our children might think!”


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