Visit To The Sunshine Coast

Last week Zac, Brett & I went to the Sunny Coast.  It was a trip to introduce the little guy to his Aunty and Uncle – us being nomadic it was way easier for 11198637_10153123751847025_1046845756_nthem to fly us to them rather than come to us.  So we had a busy busy week of playing and adventuring, and I survived two plane trips with two kids solo (#gome)!

11173433_10153123751862025_351483864_nVery excited at the airport (sad to say goodbye to Corey), we did the ‘obligatory’ family selfie before we boarded, and I made sure I took a quick snap of Bretto, being his first flight and all.  I sometimes feel I neglect the little fellow when it comes to snapping him, so I am making a concerted effort to make sure I have lots of photos (second child syndrome).

Flight was great, kids were perfect! Another tick in the travel check box (keep Zac entertained with books/colouring and the promise of timtam fingers from the Hosties – worked a treat).  Breastfed taking off and landing, Brett slept pretty much for the duration of the flight.  Had a lovely G’ma beside me who was off to visit her Grandson, so it was a dream flight!!  Arrived in Brisbane and the weather was magical – check this shot I took  from the window!

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Bretto had a few firsts while we were there, not just a plane trip, but a trip to the beach and a little dip in the ocean.  Of course he loved it, it wasn’t too cold, big smiles all round!  Zac l11208815_10153123751827025_132181490_noved showing him the sand and shells, I don’t want to wish time away, but it will be great when they can run along the beach together!

11118431_10153123751447025_1514828767_nThese shots were taken on Anzac Day at Currimundi Lake, if you are ever on the coast this is a great place to visit.  There are no waves (you can walk over the dunes to the ocean side), so great for little people, and even better that you can walk across to the other side and go adventuring.  Great sand dunes for rolling down too!  We got to see some people landing from their sky dive – they couldn’t of picked a better day!  Great to see lots of families together and using SUPs too – I’ve jotted that down on the old bucket list to give it a go at some point 😉

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We took Zac’s school things with us as well, in between activities we did lots of reading and did all the work he needed to.  We incorporated a lot of other activities into his school, 11173585_10153123751397025_1721508240_nwe visited Mainly Music, Chipmunks (indoor play centre), Sea Life UnderWater World, and did copious amounts of playing and dressing up with his cousins. He mastered a flip on the trampoline too, feeling very proud of himself!11195326_10153123751407025_1580649347_n

Then this happened – Brett is actually 16 weeks old, time is flying by so quickly! I 11208870_10153123751222025_1640171547_nalways get a snap of the boys together to watch them grow, I hope their closeness remains the same as they get older.  Corey didn’t come on this trip so we made sure we sent morning photos!

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After a fabulous week, catching up with friends and family and Zac playing with his cousins from morning to night, it was time to head back to Townsville.  Was great to get away for a little while and enjoy some of what the Sunshine Coast has to offer! It really is a great place, make sure you visit!

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Until our next little adventure – take care x

 

Featured Family

While Travelling Australia – it is great linking with other travellers, especially other families. It provides an opportunity to meet up, share ideas, assist with schooling and all the other things (good and bad) that come with raising your children on the road!

One of my first contacts was Mandy at TAWKers “Travel Australia With Kids’!  She founded this group and has a great blog, assisting other travellers who are out there, not only within Australia but families who are coming from overseas!

I love that we are all here to offer advice and share our stories – we are the current ‘Featured Family’ on the TAWKers site – head on over and check it out – click here.  There is also a section on there that you can complete so you can become a Featured Family too 🙂

The Blonde Nomad Is Expecting!

The Blonde Nomad blog has suffered some neglect of late, and that’s not due to lack of interest, it’s due to starting our Dometic Follow The Sun ambassadorship, we are travelling around NSW, SA & VIC and Dometic are picking up the tab. If you want to get regular updates, follow us on Facebook where we share lots of travel info & photos!

Anyway, since I have last written on here, not only have we started this adventure, we are also pregnant! We have a bundle of joy due in January 2015 and words cannot describe just how excited we are. Little Zac (Master 5) is getting more and more excited, and now he can feel the baby kick, he is over the moon. There are regular belly kisses, where he talks to the baby, constantly reinforcing that he is the BIG brother, and that he can’t wait for the baby to come out so he can give it cuddles. It really is a magical thing, I just hope, that these siblings maintain a bond through their whole life, unlike me!

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So, pregnant and travelling, how has that been you ask? Well, this baby likes to sit really low in my belly, making it a little uncomfortable in the car, but I do regular stretches which help, and we don’t drive for very long stints at a time, without a pit stop so I can get up and stretch out. Having a toilet on board also helps as I regularly visit the loo throughout the night. This travelling life allows me to rest when I need to, so really, I am in an ideal situation and environment to be pregnant.

What happens when the baby is due? My obstetrician is in Townsville so come November we will be heading back to North Queensland to have Christmas with Family & Friends, and welcoming our bundle of joy into the world. If all goes well and we have a healthy, happy travelling baby, then we will most likely hit the road again. Zac will be starting school next year, so we will either hit the road prior to the school year commencing, or perhaps stick around North Queensland so he can do a term of school. I am looking into home schooling/distant education so we can continue travelling. This life has taken us by storm, we love travelling and have so many places on our ‘to see’ list due to meeting so many people on the road and them sharing their stories and experiences.

Life with children always brings surprises, so we wont be making any major decisions until early in the new year, but at this stage, a bigger van, opportunities on the lookout for us to hopefully venture to the Western side of this country, so watch this space people for updates on our adventures!! I promise I will try and do weekly updated from now on in to keep you all posted.

All our love from the road.

Kell x

Why I Write

Firstly, I was super excited to be asked by a fellow blogger, Heike Herrling…..but it tasted good to join her in this new age “chain letter” style of blogging, answering some questions as to why bloggers write?  She wrote a fabulous blog about why she writes then recommended me to do the same.  I then will recommend some of my loved blogs which will in turn write while they reflect and then recommend some of their favourite blogs. Get the drift?  I was excited as I needed to ask myself a few of these questions, which will hopefully make me think about where I want my blog to go.  So, here goes.

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What Am I Currently Working On?

Like many bloggers, I have a lot of ‘draft’ blogs that need to be finalised and published.  I draw my ideas from challenges I face in travelling around Australia with my husband Corey, and our five year old, Zac.  I write about travelling, about totally random things that pop inside my head at the time.  Sometimes, it’s just having a glass of wine and seeing what happens when my fingers touch the keyboard.  I guess my overall plan is to promote The Blonde Nomad brand.  To get the word out there and inspire people to live their lives.  Time is a precious gift, it doesn’t renew, it doesn’t stop, we need to use our time effectively to ensure that our life doesn’t pass too quickly with regrets.

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How Does My Writing Differ From Others In My Genre?        Why Do I Write What I Do?

Right, so I have totally merged these two questions because for me, they totally are dependant on each other.

I ‘speak-write’.  It’s a term I made up myself just now, to give an idea as to how I write.  I write as if you were sitting right beside me having a conversation and me telling you my stories and challenges.  While we are travelling, it’s hard being away from family and friends, I guess this is my outlet of pretending that I’m sitting with one of my confidante’s and having a laugh, a whinge, a vent, a conversation about what is happening in my life, think of it as my ten minute time out.  I’m known for saying it like it is, I don’t do a compliment sandwich.  If you have read some of my other blogs, I am not afraid to say that at times, this ‘living the dream’ scenario can be scary, yes I do fight with my husband, yes I get tired of being a parent to a demanding five year old.  Just like everyone else out there.  I will never pretend to be the happy rosy family without hiccups, and that’s why I write the way I do.  Whatever pops into my mind, is automatically written.  I’ve studied, I’ve written essays and fairly extensive projects for university, but my blog writing is relaxed, therefore I ‘speak-write’.

How Does My Writing Process Work?

I’m not very methodical when it comes to blogging, and maybe I need to be moreso.  Perhaps I need to plan out my blogs. I do however have a dream book, which allows me to write down ideas for blogs, things that have happened that I will then transform into writing.  I do think about what things people might like to read about, and start from there.  If we meet people on the road and they ask a particular question, then I sometimes use that for inspiration that perhaps other people would like that question answered.

I draft blogs, like I said I have lots in the wings.  For some of the blogs I need to read them and re-read them to see if I am prepared to actually “publish” them, but for others I just “add post” then write write write until I have reached my imaginary word limit. I’m new to the Blogosphere, so if I sound like I am all over the place, it probably means that I am.  I have gone from being the most organised person, worker, mother, wife, to now being the most relaxed I’ve ever been.  Thanks to our change of lifestyle.  This is a medium I use for fun, for engagement, and to connect with like minded people, so there is never pressure for me to have to write, I write when I want to.  I totally LOVE it.  Hopefully someday, I can use this as a means of income, maybe, maybe I’m dreaming, but sometimes I put a goal out there as something to work towards!

Blogs To Watch

I am a huge Facebook and Instagram fan.  That is where I submit little stories, and of course a gazillion photos of things that happen in our everyday life.  My first favourite blog is the FatMumSlim blog.  Chantelle started blogging a long time ago, and created an awesome photo a day challenge. Her Blog is inspiring as she has worked hard in creating it as a business and has now brought out her own iPhone app.  I connected with Heike (blogger who recommended me) using these Facebook and Instagram outlets, and even though we have never met personally, she inspires me in ways she would never imagine.  Her images, her writing style, her stories, and mostly her encouragement to me, makes her an outstanding blogger for me, and sometimes I even silently dedicate a new blog to her, knowing that her passion for blogging and for life, inspires me to pull out the laptop and write for myself.

As I am new to the BLOGosphere, I managed to get two of my other favourites to be part of this wonderful blogging experience, Why Do I Write?  So watch out next week for their blogs about where they draw their inspiration from!

MANDY – THE TRAVELLING AUSTRALIA WITH KIDS BLOG ~

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I found Mandy via Facebook and her fabulous ‘TAWKers page’.  Mandy used to live a 5 star lifestyle in England co-ordinating Motor Racing and travelling Europe. She then met an Aussie, married him and moved to Australia.  Three children later and the 5 star lifestyle out of the question and camping suggested – to which she reluctantly agree, SHE LOVED IT!  It led to a two year trip travelling the country and her life was forever changed.  Mandy still yearns for it now and lives vicariously through her TAWKers, through her blog and Facebook page she now supports and provides a great medium for other families currently travelling or those who wish to, Travel Australia With Kids.  Other follows offer great advice and it’s nice to be able to contribute by offering my own experiences to other families travelling.

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 FABI – THIS IS OUR AUSTRALIA ~

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Through Facebook again, I got in contact with Fabi, who was on the countdown in departing for a two year trip around OZ with husband Warrick and beautiful girls Charlotte and Celeste.  Fabi moved to Australia from Switzerland in 2005, her love for Australia was ignited from a family holiday to our great country when she was 10.  They share the most beautiful photos, Warrick has a drone and takes the most wonderful aerial shots.  Their love of stand up paddle boarding makes me want to give it a go.  They are truly making the most of every moment with their girls and Fabi’s enthusiasm and continued encouragement is why I love their blog.10500411_248888465303588_4684036462065291361_n

So there you have it folks, a bit of an insight into The Blonde Nomad’s way of thinking and writing and where I get some of my inspiration.  I knew that writing this would get me excited (thanks again Heike), and now my ideas and thoughts are just streaming.  So it’s off to the drawing board for me.  I’m going to get more focussed and even though I like my casual style, perhaps a planned approach might encourage me to write more.  So for anybody that might read this, then woohoooo, thanks for being part of this magical space us writers call the BLOGosphere 🙂

Please leave comments so I know who has visited, and also leave links to your own blog, Facebook page, Instagram so I can check your stuff out too!!

 

 

 

 

Caravanning – Living The Dream (then it rains)

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Right, so made the paper today.  Great story by the Charters Towers Northern Miner about us making the Final 20 in the Dometic Follow the Sun ambassador competition (which I will tell you all about in another Blog), we certainly are living the dream, then it rains.  It rains and Zac (Master 5) is trying his Spiderman moves in the caravan, Corey can’t sit still and I, well I am just downright ready to snap kick them.  So, the best thing to do in the rain, straight to my best friend Google as I type in the words “Indoor Play Centre”.  Whoever was the Mastermind behind this concept is a friggin genius.  It is the saviour of many a crazy Mums out there, where your kids can go crazy, run up and down the stairs to zoom down the ever so fast slides, while Mum sits here, vents on her blog and enjoys as Latte.
We are at “Scrambles”, an indoor play centre in Wodonga.  What a deal they have today, $10 entry and then you can use that $10 towards food. So I am overindulging and I ordered hot chips with gravy, going down just superbly in this cold rainy weather.  Usually there are a thousand screaming children at centres like this, but today, for the last hour of opening, it’s just us.  Corey is reading a magazine and Zac is having a blast, again, thank you to the master mind behind Indoor Play Centres!
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So what else has been happening with us??  We left Canberra (where Corey worked for a few months), and are heading South.  We have been free camping (until this weather turned on us), and the landscapes are just lovely.  The temperature has been perfect as well, beautiful throughout the days and the nights cool enough to snuggle.  We have booked into the show grounds, a lovely spot at only $20/night for power and water and will wait until this weather passes before we head south to Wangaratta.  We have been teaching Zac about Ned Kelly, so he is super keen to see the big bushranger and follow his trail.  Have you ever tried to teach a 5 year old about a bushranger?  Ned Kelly is kind of a hero, but he was naughty, Police are the good guys, this was a huge challenge in trying to teach Zac the story, am hoping that we have done an ok job with this.
Just a short Blog so you all know we are still around.  I promise I will be writing more, especially about where we have been and places we recommend.  If you want to follow live updates, follow us on Facebook/The Blonde Nomad or on Instagram/TheBlondeNomad13.
Until next time, be safe, and remember to Love Your Life, You Only Get One!!
Kellie x

What They Don’t Show You On Their Newsfeed!!!!

Most people say it’s the great Australian Dream, to buy a caravan and see this beautiful country, however I have also spoken to some people who could think of nothing worse.  This is what makes the human race so spectacular, we are all different and we all want and need different things.  What we find our ‘dream’, others may find a ‘nightmare’.
We left it all behind in October 2013, and we haven’t looked back.  Even though all our photos are fabulous, always having a great time, seeing things, the normal run of everyday life still exists people!!!  What you don’t see (what I or others don’t post on the internet) are the arguments, the tiredness, the over stimulation of activities, wanting some space, missing my family and friends, and wanting some TIME OUT!
For instance, I thought it was going to be tremendous, not working, and getting to spend all my time with our delightful son.  Well, let me tell you, at first this wasn’t so much the case.  I was used to working full-time and only really seeing him in the morning and afternoons, for the breakfast and dinner runs, books and bedtime.  I was definitely not used to the ‘mummy, mummy, mummy’ 24 hours a day 7 days a week.  I even got to one point where I could’ve quite easily jumped on a plane and returned home (home is my parents, a place that will always be my home).   I rang my Chief #1 Saviour, my Mum.  I didn’t know what was going on with this child I thought was an angel, he was erratic, tired, moody, I questioned myself ‘what have we done’?  Some great advice Mum offered was that maybe Zac was being ‘over-stimulated’.  I never once stopped to think that he wouldn’t like to be busy busy busy, day in day out, visiting all these new people (who were loved ones to us but total strangers to him).  The thing is, he was enjoying himself, however he also needed some much needed normality.  So we decided to ‘slow down’ a fraction and plan a ‘nothing’ day every so often gaging by his moods.  I had an exam booked in for Port Macquarie, we booked in to a beautiful little caravan park for a week.  A week to just do normal things, like painting, reading, swimming, and some much needed sleeping.  We got our little charmer back!!!!  We have continued these ‘nothing’ times to this day, as we end up with a much happier child.
OK, rant over about the child, problem number 1 is fixed.  Let me move on to problem number 2, the husband.  My husband and I are good mates.  We have been through a lot together, like most couples, and like every other couple have had our fair share of arguments, fights, disagreements, whichever you wish to call them.  I am extremely head strong, a planner, a perfectionist, a go getter, anxious, and I also never shut up.  Corey on the other hand is laid back, not a planner, doesn’t get phased by too much, hard working and a lot more on the quiet side than I.  Spending all day every day together has resulted in some much used curse words, that I feel cannot be used in this rant.  Oh, and wait until we are both extremely tired, don’t the barnies start then.  Corey is chief driver on this trip, that leaves me to be chief navigator.  Most of our arguments start in the car when Corey doesn’t listen to my directions, I get fed up with him not listening and then I start screaming like a crazy person because I am so frustrated.  Don’t even get me started on trying to give him directions to back the caravan next to the small concrete slab so it is aligned with the door.  I’m guessing you get my drift, we too have had to figure out when to shut up, walk away and then come back reserved so fellow travellers don’t think we are some possessed lunatics ready to open fire on each other when we arrive at a camp site.
This little insight into the ‘other’ world, is just to emphasise that even though we are living ‘our’ dream, we are still living.  We still have to clean our van, do our washing, prepare meals, we are just doing it in different locations.  People always say they are jealous, how do you do it (most people curious to the financial factor).  We are still going through everything other couples are going through, we just don’t have to save to pay our rates and house insurances any more, which provides us with the freedom we needed to fulfil what ‘our dreams’ are.