©2018 by The Great Escape - Australia

AMAZING TRAVELLERS THAT INSPIRE US!

February 18, 2019

We often have people message us and tell us that we've inspired them to travel Australia, which we think is fantastic - we LOVE getting positive feedback and hearing about your travels.

 

But to be honest, we don't think what we do is really all that amazing. Sure, it's a little out of the ordinary, and it's been a great lifestyle, but there are thousands of other families travelling around Australia just like us (which is awesome!).

 

So what I really find inspiring, is hearing stories that are truly out of the ordinary. I love hearing about people who have done things so wild, and so out there, that the idea scares even me (and believe me, I'm full of crazy ideas!).

 

Some of these people just go about their business quietly and we never hear about them. But fortunately, some of them are willing to share their journeys, and it's some of these that I'm sharing here. These are all people who we find extraordinary. Some are families, some are couples, some are solo travellers. Some travel Australia, some the world. Some do it in a bus, some on two wheels, some on public transport, and some on their own two feet. But they're all people we choose to follow on social media because they're living lives so out there, that we can't help but be inspired by them.

 

HOLIDAY ROAD

 

Lets start at home, here in Australia, with another travelling family. But the guys behind Holiday Road aren't just any ordinary family travelling Australia. They've been on the road longer than us, much longer than us. 14 years to be exact. And we've been following their journey since well before we started on our own. But that's not even the thing that is most extraordinary about this family. No, the thing that makes Allison & Peter so unique is that they don't travel with 2 or 3 kids like most travelling families. They travel in a bus with TWELVE CHILDREN (yep, you read that right!).

 

So whenever someone says to me that they'd love to do what we're doing, but it's easy for us having only 1 kid, and that they can't do it themselves because they have 3 kids I say to them: that's nothing, go check out Holiday Road and then tell me it can't be done!

 

Now these guys will be the first to tell you it ain't always easy - they have particular trouble with Caravan Parks (can you image the cost?!) to the point that they no longer use them at all. But choosing to stay on the road for 14 years means they must find that the good outweighs the bad. And one of the things I like the most about these guys? They're experts at finding those unique, out of the way places away from the main tourist traps - in fact they've inspired us to visit many of the great places they've found along the way.

 

Yep, 12 kids, 14 years on the road. And they're not stopping any time soon. What a bunch of legends!

 

Want to follow their journey? You can check out their webpage or follow them on Facebook

 

Additional note: Since starting to write this Holiday Road have been hit with some very bad luck - their bus was unfortunately caught up in the Townsville floods and sustained significant damage. Thankfully, all the human & animal inhabitants are ok, but it's a definite setback for these guys. If you'd like to help them get back on their feet you can contribute here

 

 

AKELA

 

Akela are another family who are currently travelling Australia. But they're not Australian. Maria, Leander, and their son Lennox have been on the road for 3 years so far in their vintage truck Akela. They've driven all the way to Australia from Austria, covering such places as Iran, Mongolia, and Japan (to name a few!). And they're not stopping yet. After their planned year long lap of Aus, they'll be following us over to NZ, and then carrying on to travel the Americas. 

 

Leander is a photographer, meaning their Instagram feed is full of beautiful photos of his gorgeous family, their photogenic truck, and visually stunning landscapes that most of us will never see with our own eyes in our lifetimes. We were lucky enough to catch up with  these guys in Melbourne before we left, with Ryan & Lennox becoming instant friends. And they're currently touring around Tasmania, so look out for them on the road, and be sure to say hi if you spot them!

 

Travelling around the WORLD with a family. Now that is truly inspirational.

 

You can also follow their journey on Facebook and Instagram, or check out their webpage which has a great map showing the route they have taken so far.

 

 

AUSTRIA2AUSTRALIA

 

Austria to Australia by truck is one thing. Cycling from Austria to Australia is another thing entirely. But that's exactly what Andreas and Dominic did; 25,000kms across 20 countries, over the space of a year. 

 

We'd been following their journey on social media, and then we met them along the Nullarbor (unfortunately heading in seperate directions) where we all stopped off on the side of the road in the rain for a quick catch up and then both carried on our way. 

 

The boys have since returned to normal life in Austria after their huge journey, but you can check out where they went on Facebook, Instagram, and online. Plus they're currently editing a movie they made about their travels, so we're hanging out for that to be finished so we can check it out!

 

 

ONE YEAR ON OUR BIKE

 

A couple of young blokes cycling for  a year is pretty amazing. But can you imagine doing it with kids? Well that's exactly what the Wolters family did! Diana, Jozef and their kids Jack (13) & Cloe (14) spent a year cycling around Australia as a family, and raised money for Motor Neurone Disease in the process.

 

We met up with them in Karratha where we were stopped to work for a few weeks, and offered them a bed for a few nights which they gratefully accepted. Since then they have cycled a complete loop of Australia and have just returned home to QLD a few weeks ago after covering approx. 18,000kms and raising $53,000 for MND!

 

You can check them out on Facebook, contribute to the MND charity here, or check out their story as heard in this podcast.

 

 

GOING HOME TO AFRICA

 

Travelling with a family is one thing, travelling solo is quite another, particularly if you choose to drive overland through Africa. But that's exactly what Dot, who recently turned 60, is doing, and I bloody love it. Dot was born in Zimbabwe, but she's spent her adult life living elsewhere - predominantly Europe - and in recent years, she's developed a hankering to return to the country of her childhood. So instead of getting on a plane, she bought her self a van (affectionately known as BlueBelle), and hit the road. 

 

How long will this journey take? Well that remains to be seen - BlueBelle has a penchant for getting bogged in African sand after all. But this trip is as much about the journey, as it is about the destination, and I am loving seeing Africa through Dot's eyes. Perhaps it's the perspective of being African Born, European based, or dare I say it the wisdom of a few years, but Dot has such a great way of bringing her journey, the places, and the people to life. Plus she takes a mean selfie. Oh and did I mention she's started her own charity to raise awareness and funds towards educating and empowering women in Zimbabwe? 

 

I love a solo female traveller (after all, I used to be one myself) and I feel like as long as we've got people like Dot in the world, then there is some hope for us all. So please don't rush to get to home Dot, I'm loving the journey too much!

 

You too can travel home to Africa with Dot & BlueBelle by following their journey on Facebook, Instagram, or check out her blog. And if you'd like to find out more about her charity Kusasa, you can check out it out here.

 

 

VAN CAT MEOW - TRAVELLING CAT

 

Ok, so we know lots of people who travel with dogs - they're mans best friend after all. But how about with a cat?

Well Willow the cat has been on the road travelling Australia in a campervan with her human companion, Rich for the last few years. And she hasn't been idle in the time - Willow is a very photogenic cat who loves exploring, and as a result has developed a large social media following along the way. Plus she's helped Rich write and publish a book about their travels together!

 

You can follow their journey on Facebook, Instagram, and their webpage, or pick up a copy of their book signed by Willow herself!

 

 

AROUND THE WORLD IN FIVE YEARS

 

How long do you think it would take to drive around the world? Well for this young Danish family, they've allowed themselves 5 years, and with 18 months already behind them they are well on their way! 

 

Nikolaj & Pernille, along with their two young children are currently overlanding through South America in a small motorhome, with Asia next on the horizon. They put up regular updates on both Facebook and Instagram about their travels - the good, the bad, and the in-between, and watching their journey around South America is definitely giving me itchy feet!

 

 

EXPEDITION EARTH

 

Speaking of overland travellers, these guys are the big guns. Kiwi travellers Topher & Bridget along with their Jeep named Gunther  (after the man who inspired their own journey) have been on the road for the last 317 days at time of writing. Commencing in Alaska, with an eventual destination back to their New Zealand homeland, Expedition Earth has already completed the Pan-American Highway (which runs from Alaska down the west coast of North/Central/South America all the way to Argentina), and popped down to Antartica for a visit (sans Gunther I presume). Their journey will next take them across the Atlantic ocean to Africa, up the African continent to Europe, across Asia and eventually to Australia and home to Kiwi land. I mean if that's not the worlds greatest road trip, then I don't know what is?

 

These guys take the most amazing photos, drone footage and video, and are teamed with National Geographic no less. As you'd image their Instagram is HUGELY popular, and I absolutely love following their journey. They may be single handedly responsible for all my latest crazy schemes, much to the dismay of my poor husband.

 

If you'd like to follow them too then you can check out their Facebook, Instagram, and website. But be warned, a huge case of itchy feet (and envy) may follow!

 

 

BIKE HIKE SAFARI

 

So we've had people who have driven all over the world, and cycled great distances. But what about walking from one end of a country to another? Well that's exactly what  Aussie ex-copper Brad is doing in New Zealand as we speak. I only heard of the Te Araroa Trail recently, but it essentially runs from the very top of NZ, to the very bottom, covering about 3000kms in the process. And Brad is currently nearing the end with less than a few hundred kms to go.

 

But this is nothing new for Brad - he's been hiking, cycling, and canoeing all over the world for years. In fact when you really start looking at what he's achieved, and where he's been, it's pretty bloody astounding. And he's certainly not shy in sharing his knowledge - his webpage is a huge wealth of information for anyone planning a similar (or more low key!) adventure.

 

As for his current journey, you can follow his regular blog posts on his webpage, Facebook and Instagram. And who knows what adventures Brad may dream up for the future?

 

 

SAILING TO ROAM

 

Let's finish up with another Australian family who decided to pack up their lives and take the family off on an adventure. But instead of buying a caravan and hitting the road they bought a yacht, sight unseen, in the Caribbean. And then flew themselves (Erin & Dave) and their three boys across the world to start their new lives sailing the world. Oh, and did I mention they had never sailed a boat before?

 

We first heard about this family on an episode of The Family Travel Podcast, and I was blown away by the sheer balls of doing something so fantastically daring as a family. We've since started following their journey, and love seeing the similaries and complete contrasts that appear between our own travel experiences and theirs. Now travel by sea is not for me - I get seasick and i'm a little scared of the open ocean, so I can promise you this is one family whose footsteps we will not be following in. But I love that I can experience a little bit of their lifestyle from the comfort and safety of dry land.

 

And you know what else is extraordinary? Their entire journey bagan spotaneously after they watched a documentary about another family who had packed up their lives to do the same thing. Which just goes to show how big an impact sharing your story can have, in ways you may never know about.

 

If you'd like to sail along with this family you can find them on Facebook & Instagram, or listen to this podcast to hear them talk about how they turned their crazy dream into a reality.

 

 

We've also been reading books like Drive Around the World  the story of an Australian family who spent a year driving their Nissan Patrol around the world, and Woman in the Wilderness, the story of a dutch woman who has spent years living completely self sufficiently in the New Zealand wilderness!

 

So many inspirational stories out there, so many amazing places to visit, and only one lifetime to do it all! 

 

 

 

 

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