‘We’re 91 now … and we’re still loving life on the road’

Published: October 8, 2021

The ongoing adventures of 91-year-old grey nomads, David and Moira Huggins, should certainly offer inspiration to any ‘youngsters’ in 70s or 80s who are beginning to wonder how much longer they can keep travelling.

The couple, who have been married for 61 years, still regularly get away in their six-metre Trakka motorhome … and still have the time of their lives.

They have quite recently returned from their fifth trip to Tasmania where they once again enjoyed the island’s stunning scenery and also took in the National Gem show at Glenorchy, north of Hobart.

“My hobby is lapidary, or gem stone cutting, so we spent a day admiring other lapidarists’ work,” said David.

They then spent some time touring Tassie taking in places such as St Helens, the Bay of Fires … and David recalls a memorable drive from Bridport to Pipers Brook winery.

“It’s not a road for the faint hearted,” he said. “More bends than we could count.”

While David and Moira try not to let the advancing years restrict their adventures, they do have some limits.

“For example, I’m glad I took the steep climb at Wine Glass Bay before while I was young enough to do it,” said David.

The couple actually begun their caravanning adventures all the way back in 1966, when they bought a 15’ Fairholme caravan and toured Europe.

“The iron curtain countries like Yugoslavia and Hungary were scary as we were held under armed guard and deprived of passports for up to two hours at a time,” said David. “The caravan was searched with long poles to detect people smuggling.”

Happily, that – and other adventures like having crowds throwing bottles at the caravan – didn’t put David and Moira off the lifestyle. In the ’70s and ’80s they towed caravans around Australia with their Chrysler Valiant.

David remembers buying a ‘Commodore’ caravan and quickly learning that no thought had been given to weight distribution.

“This led to swaying down the road at 60km/h and some hair-raising rides,” he said. “A mechanic provided us with sprung sway bars and these levelled the unit … we had learnt a lesson.”

By the ’90s, the pair had bought a Hallmark van, which ‘towed perfectly’, and in the 2000s they bought an Evernew van with ‘all mod cons’.

Now, of course, they travel in a Trakka but it’s not just their vehicles that changed over the years.

David says there has been a lot of improvement in road surfaces; fuel is much more freely available in remote places; and then of course there are things like mobile phones, Wi-Fi, and the introduction of TVs into caravans. And van parks themselves have evolved from being pretty basic into something far more well appointed.

David and Moira have pretty much done the lot over the years, and they got to places that were once genuinely remote but are now considered easily accessible.

Looking back over several decades of what David describes as ‘very happy times’ travelling, he has some very simple advice for other grey nomads.

“Just keep moving and enjoy the freedom of the road,” he said.

  • Do you hope to still be hitting the road when you’re in your 90s? Comment below.
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6 Comments
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Martina Begbie
3 months ago

Due to looking after my ageing by reasonably healthy mother , we are becoming part time nomads next year when our van is ready. We are in our late 60’s and wondered how long we would be able to live this lifestyle. This story has inspired me, wishing them both many more happy years on the road.

Den
3 months ago

What an inspiring story.
Would certainly experienced some amazing changes in their travels.
May the travels unfolding before you Be happy injoying ones.

Janice Nell
3 months ago

Oh How wonderful
We met a couple who were 94 and 91 had been Fulltime Travellers for over 60 years
They were travelling in a small MH with a Dog , a Cat a Bird and a Fish Bowl

Sally
3 months ago

Lovely story!
Yes, hope to still be travelling in an RV of some sort well into 80s and hopefully 90s! Why not if you are physically able?
Keep active, think positive and remember, age is just a number! Think young and enjoy!

Possum.
3 months ago

We met an elderly, loving couple (late eighties at Longreach (Qld) that told us they travelled every winter from their home in Victoria. Utilising old Ford Falcon and a homemade metal caravan with “Dexion” framing, complete with fitted pot belly stove and flue pipe. She was mobility impaired but both sharp as a tack. Reminiscent of the Beverley hillbillies.

Rambling Rose
3 months ago

I hope to keep going as long as my body allows. My mum was still travelling at 91 and at 92 tried to convince my sister to buy a Motorhome and so they could do another lap.

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