‘After virus scare, we’re in no hurry to hit road again’

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Grey nomads staying put
Ruth and Hans are happy to park up for a while

While some grey nomads are already tentatively getting back ‘out there’ or are anxiously awaiting the opening of Australia’s internal borders before doing so, not all are ‘grounded travellers’ are quite as enthusiastic about a return to the road.

Despite Australia’s apparent success in crushing the coronavirus curve, South Australians Hans and Ruth Graf are among those taking a more cautious approach. Over the past four years, the couple have taken numerous trips, often lasting several months, in their 2000 Roadstar Explorer … but that’s not going to be happening again any time soon.

“We think we are going to wait a while … maybe quite a while,” said Ruth. “As a semi-retired registered nurse, I guess I see the world beyond the desire to ‘get out there’.”

The Grafs firmly believe that, even as we come through this pandemic crisis, the world will never be quite the same.

“There is so much we do not know about the virus and, although many grey nomads do not see themselves as part of the vulnerable members of our community, their age alone puts them in that category,” said Ruth. “The other issue is the impact an outbreak would have on the small towns we love to visit … many share one GP between them and, if the virus was introduced, their health system wouldn’t cope.”

Hans and Ruth were lucky that when the full extent of the virus risk became clear and borders started to close, they had just returned from a trip.

“We escaped the panic felt by many other travellers who needed to hurry home to isolate,” said Ruth. “Or those that had no home base to hurry home to, as we still have our house.”

But that doesn’t mean the pair didn’t share the disappointment felt by so many grey nomads when their future travel plans were abruptly curtailed.

Hans, a retired property valuer, has made many modifications to their Roadstar in the years since they first bought it, and has it set up perfectly for their needs.

“These changes made us selfsufficient as far as free camping is concerned,” said Ruth. “And although we don’t have an onboard bathroom, we are able to deal with all our needs with portable bathroom facilities.”

The couple sometimes used to take their granddaughters along on their shorter trips, and that is just one aspect of their adventuring they will miss over the coming months.

“We particularly liked to travel along the coastline,” said Ruth. “We both love the sight, sound and smell of the ocean.”

So, is there a chance they might be tempted to get back on the open road, after all?

“Hans and I believe very strongly on reducing our impact on the planet, and that includes its residents,” said Ruth. “On that basis we will not be travelling until we are sure there will not be a second wave of infections and, if there is, that our health system is in a position to cope with it.”

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2 Responses to ‘After virus scare, we’re in no hurry to hit road again’

  1. We fully agree with you ..not heading off this year will wait til next year

  2. Will agree. Just sitting tight on the mid north coast of NSW. Were going to move on mid July, but will now defer due to those mass gatherings in major Australian cities. Wait and see what the health outcome is.

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