Ted & Janice

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Grey nomad character travels in Coaster campervan
Ted enjoys spending time in the Kimberley

Ted, who is originally from Scotland, is happy to hit the road solo …  while wife Janice stays home with the cats

What do you travel in?
I’ve got an old Coaster campervan which suits me perfectly because I travel alone and I can park up just about anywhere without attracting too much attention.

How is solo travel?
I love it. About 10 years ago when I first retired I went on a three week camping trip with my wife, Janice, and it was a disaster. She is the first to admit that she is not a camping kind of girl and she hated pretty much everything about it. It was a bit tricky because it had always been my dream to head off on the Big Lap. Growing up in Scotland, I have so many memories of amazing trips with my family and I wanted to discover Australia in the same way.

A difficult problem?
Well, we thought it was. I kept trying to persuade Janice to have another crack at camping but she flat out refused and eventually said, ‘why don’t you go on your own?’ And so I did. I travel for about four months every year and Janice stays home with the cats and she is happy with that, and so am I.

Where do you travel? I pick a different route every year but I have to say I love the Kimberley. I love the walks there and I love to catch a barra or two. It’s heaven. I also enjoy visiting some of the bigger towns and cities, and I tend to park up in residential streets. I know a lot of people say this ‘stealth camping’ is wrong but I am doing absolutely no harm to anyone and feel I should be able to sleep in my campervan as long as it is legally parked.

Do you make friends?
Sure, I’m a pretty sociable sort of chap and enjoy chatting to fellow grey nomads, both couples and singles. I also quite enjoy meeting backpackers from all over the world. Because of my vehicle and the way I travel I think I am sort of an honorary member of that group.

Likes and dislikes? I love the genuine warmth of most country people and I am absolutely blown away by the countryside. I have lived in Melbourne for nearly 40 years and, even though I had seen the Outback on television, I had no real concept of its scale and beauty. I dislike people and towns that think that you have to spend a fortune to justify the privilege of visiting their area. You really don’t! It is completely up to you where, how and if you spend your money as you travel.

‘Reluctant partner’ advice? Just go on your own. If you end up not travelling to please your partner, you’ll be resentful and, if he or she travels just to keep you happy, the reverse will be true. Talk about it, come to some arrangement, and then hit the road. You’ll always regret it if you don’t.


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