‘The 3 questions we are always asked when travelling around Australia’

Jan 03, 2020
Brian and his wife are on a leisurely trip around Australia. Source: Getty Images

Where do you live? It’s an all too common question we’ve all asked someone we ‘just met’ … and now it’s happening to us. My wife, Kaye, and I are ‘Living The Life’ full-time on the road. No, we are not Grey Nomads (she happens to be a gorgeous blonde and apparently way too young anyway!), but we’re also fortunate enough to be working online in between sight-seeing and getting to know the locals of various places we visit.

We used to live in a house in the ‘burbs of Sydney. We spent 26 years there in fact. Nothing flash and we bought it because it was close to our work at the time. Right now ‘home’ is a new-to-us 20-foot caravan with en suite, washing machine, stove, microwave, air-conditioning etc. All the things we took for granted ‘at the house’. We’ve had it about two years and have done several East Coast Australia trips — the longest being a month or so.

The usual questions ensue from those who have never lived in a ‘van before or maybe only done the odd weekend … the classic being: “How do you cope living so close to each other?” Umm hello, we’re married! If you can’t spend your days together with your loved one than why are you together?!

The next question always seems to be seeking some kind of ‘qualifier’ of your character or who you are. “Where are you from?”

If we said, “Oh the North Shore of Sydney overlooking the Opera House and Harbour Bridge” one could take it to mean we must be pretty loaded. But we always tell the truth. Carlingford, Telopea or Dundas depending if you’re buying, selling or renting! Those suburbs by the way all link together at the end of our ‘old’ street.

The final question is “Where are you going?” Our answer is always “Australia!”

We’re not ‘big-lappers’. We’re not “Doing Oz in 12 Months”. We’re doing ‘Kaye and Brian’s Zig-Zag Tour Of Australia’ (sometimes we joke it’s the ‘Dan Murphy’s Tour’ of the country) but ultimately our intention is to go ‘somewhere’. We want to spend some time there to get to know the place and the people, and enjoy life each day at a time.

We recently ended up in Cairns, far north Queensland. The idea was to stay a few days to a week, check it out, do a quick day trip to Port Douglas then head back down south for Christmas/New Year in Melbourne, Victoria with our grandson.

Well you guessed it. We’ve been here almost two months (as I write) and will probably stay until at least early-2020.

We’re just going wherever we want but most importantly when we want. As it happens the best part so far of Cairns — apart from the amazing scenery, local markets, beaches and general facilities — are the people.

Whether it’s the people we meet daily at the caravan park we are in called ‘Cool Waters’ (which is a bit like living in a tropical rainforest when compared to anything we’ve ever experienced) or the local indigenous dance group we bumped into called the Minjil Dance Group. They opened our eyes to the original culture of this land, but also educate young Aboriginals along with local and international tourists in some of the stories handed down from generation-to-generation.

Maybe instead of ‘Where are you going?’ people could ask ‘Why are you doing this?’ to which I can only quote an old Northern Territory tourism campaign — “You’ll never know if you never ever go!” Perhaps we’ll see you on the road.

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