Taking off down the East Coast
To leave a physical sense of home, the family, the support, all the familiar feelings and places, even the sand banks and reefs that have given so much joy and wave faces for our self expression, it's a difficult move to make when focusing on all we leave behind, but when we dream of exploration and connection to this great land, teaming with the most ancient, living culture, we feel honoured to respond to this big calling, paying respects to traditional owners and lending our hands to environmental initiatives along the way. We left Bundjalung Country in early 2021 and begun our adventure.
We spent time adjusting to life with the 3 of us in one space- Taka finding his bedroom in the front seats and both Nash and I adding paintings and stickers to give the 75 series Troop Carrier, a personalised touch. Nash added some more cupboard space for my clothes of which I had to half and half again- letting go of things we don't use or need. It was very empowering! The set up gives us lots of space throughout the body so we can fit our lives and ourselves. With a fridge, pull out kitchen, water containers, solar power, storage boxes on the roof as well as our 7 surf boards, tools for mechanics, probably too many shoes, GoPros and more GoPros and finally all the knick-knacks that reminded us that we are home. Right here. If you'd like to see our whole 'Troopy Tour' visit my YouTube channel.
Following our hearts and the coastline South, we came across a big shedding and letting go of ideas of who we were and the lessons to learn. We grew so importantly during this time and gained new strengths.
Traveling along the East coast of NSW during peak summer holidays and finding wild, free camping situations with a dog was not easy… We found ourselves lucky to have no run ins with local rangers and found comfortable places to base in the middle of crowds.
To travel during this uncertain time meant constant checking on boarder closures and current restrictions depending on which area but all in all, we were prepared to dash if we needed to. We were set on crossing the boarder to Victoria and bypassing Sydney and the South Coast.
During some of the down time, recuperating from the long drives, we love flicking through Patagonia’s YouTube channel with an array of documentaries highlighting both sides of arising threats our planet and people face. We then saw a film in collaboration with the Bob Brown Foundation about the deeply threatened old-growth forests of Takayna in the lutruwita/Tasmania wilderness, an inspiring film about doing what you can to protect places you love. My mother had worked at that very campaign, chaining herself to trees in opposition of logging and mining- my brother and I even protested at a pulp mill at 6 and 4 years old...
Nash and I found a ultramarathon and marathon that would directly support the protection of this forest and the Bob Brown Foundation, all happening while we had planned to be in Tasmania. So we signed up and began training for the 26km run.
Right before the boarder of VIC, we stumbled on a town expecting to stay the night but decided to check the local beach to see how the waves were. We had found the most amazing left hand point break with sets rolling across the bay, the huge caverns spitting out surfers in almost every line. We grabbed our boards and headed into the crowded line up, surfing right into the evening.
The next morning we woke up to see the wind had shifted the bank and decided to test our endurance, running as far as we could... We ran along the shoreline, with Taka by our side, unaware of the distance and dedicated to a mantra "Don't stop." One we reached halfway, Nash decided to run ahead to push himself and sweet Taka boy stayed close, encouraging me to keep going. 12km and just over an hour later, we were amazed with the time for the distance and felt excited for the weeks of training ahead.
We crossed into Victoria and enjoyed time reconnecting with Nash’s family, staying in Melbourne and visiting friends, riding beautiful blue waves and getting some runs in along the way.
It was so special meeting extended family- telling stories and sharing big laughs, venturing to old stomping grounds and pressing pause on living out of our home one wheels.
During the time with family we experienced a small snippet of a lockdown - feeling so much sympathy for those effected in the month long restrictions...This delayed our voyage across the strait to the island state neighbouring Antartica but we finally set off on our next chapter spent in cooler climate, beginning our journey in a new way in luturuwita/Tasmania.