Travel Stories / Why our founder started travelling full time with her family
Jeanne, Founder and Managing Director of My Dream Adventures, just left Sydney for a road trip around Australia with her family (her husband and her two little girls of 6 and 3 years old).
They will travel through most of Australia’s states in their equipped 4WD (“The Beast”) and two swags starting from New South Wales, through to Victoria, South Australia, Western Australia, Northern Territory and finally ending in Queensland.
She tells us the story of how it all began, her objectives and the logistics of this adventure that begins in very unstable times.
How was this project born?
A childhood full of adventurous trips
I grew up in Australia from 1 to 7 years old as my parents were expats here. My memories of these times are extraordinary as we would often go on adventurous camping trips with our 4WD.
We later went back to settle in France for several years during which we lived a more standard life but I was always dreaming of going back to Australia for more adventures. I realised that dream as I came back to live in Australia after my eighteenth birthday and started a career in tourism as a specialist of Australia, allowing me to keep exploring it.
As I started my own family a couple of years ago, I began living a more settled life. We bought a house, travelled less due to comfort and financial issues (even though I always said that having children shouldn’t stop you from travelling) and I slowly started feeling suffocated by stress and routine. I rapidly felt the urge to go back on the road with my family.
Developing Conscious Travel: a responsibility
In 10 years working in the tourism industry in Australia, I have seen it evolve a lot. Ironically, as we’ve been developing My Dream Adventures the last 3 years, I am not on the road as often and I therefore have a real urge to go back, rediscover our destinations with a new eye and meet with ever-changing operators.
The tourism industry is often accused of contributing to the damage of our planet but we are convinced that there are ways to travel more consciously. It is our responsibility to communicate on this subject, to set an example in order to inspire as many travellers as possible.
At My Dream Adventures we strive to protect our destinations that we care so much about. Through this trip, we hope to expand our conscious travel experiences and make sure that the operators we work with have the same values as us. What better way to do this than to go source them directly on the road?
This project is as much about finding operators that wish to protect the environment as finding aboriginal operators that wish to share their culture, unfortunately widely unknown although it is the most ancient living culture in the world. There is a clear unease around aboriginal culture in Australia and tourism is a perfect conveyor to educate people and help indigenous voices being heard.
What’s it like travelling in the middle of the Covid-19 pandemic?
In the end, the pandemic is actually responsible for accelerating our departure because it made us realise that there is no time to waste to make your dreams come true, life is happening now and we don’t know what tomorrow will be made of. Our name “My Dream Adventures and our mantra “Now is the time” never made so much sense as they do today!
We are extremely lucky to live in a country that is mostly safe from the pandemic and where movement is possible, we therefore wish to make the most of it. The main stops of our itinerary are roughly planned but we will adapt to the ever-changing inter-states border restrictions as we go. If we cannot go to a particular destination, we will bypass it.
As a travel agency, the one thing we’ve learned from this pandemic in the last year is that the key to travel is now flexibility. This is also what we want to pass on to our travellers: make of these restrictions an opportunity to explore places they wouldn’t even have thought of. Australia is a big enough country to offer many alternatives. We may still travel, but differently.
Is it a challenge to undertake such a trip with kids?
For me the real challenges lie in the routine of life and every day stress. This trip will allow me to see my kids grow, to educate them as I see fit and take the time to be fully present.
Of course we will adapt our pace and our activities considering we are travelling with 2 young kids of 6 and 3 years old but it will also be a great experiment as a travel agent. I will hopefully come back with many quality Insider’s tips for our travelling families.
What’s your equipment for this trip?
This trip represents our wish to live a more minimalist life as we sold our house, our car, most of our furniture and belongings. We have only kept the things we truly care about in a small storage box in Sydney.
At first the plan was to invest in a camper-trailer to have a minimum of comfort with the kids but in the end we rejected this idea because of the wide range of options available, the complexity of the decision-making and the high financial investment.
If we had to wait until we found the perfect option for us we may have never left! Instead, we decided to simply take off with a 4WD and 2 swags. We didn’t mind as we love camping and our girls too. The most important for us was to have a well equipped vehicle allowing us to go off-road and this itself is already a big investment.
Our vehicle is a ute 4WD with a big canopy at the back allowing for lots of storage space. We have a fridge, a dual battery, a table and chairs, a few jerrycans, an air compressor, etc. We also have a big awning that goes around most of the vehicle and to which we can add “walls” and protect us from the rain if needed.
After a month in from the start of our trip and a couple of wet nights – having to put our girls into damp beds – we caved in and started looking for caravans again. We are now proud to say that we found our new home and for the first time in our lives can 100% call it ours. While we now have a roof over our heads we will keep our swags to have the flexibility to go on deeper outback adventures and leave the van behind for a couple of nights here and there.
This trip is a proper return to nature for us. We are really looking forward to mostly living outdoors with the sun setting the tempo. It will do us so much good!
How can we follow your adventures?
I will also publish several blog articles throughout the trip to share my feelings and discoveries.
Keep in touch!
I’ve been in love with Australia since I was a teenager. After moving from France to Sydney and exploring the country, nothing has made me happier than to share my passion for this amazing country.
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