By Scott Thompson
MEET THE family-of-four who took their children out of public school, sold all their worldly possessions and bought A CARAVAN to travel the world in – and despite money being a problem and their kids missing their friends they have no intention of ever stopping.
Book seller, Joanna Rogers (34) and her electrician husband, Oliver (37) from Moriac, Australia, have always believed travel is an important part of family life and for their two children Jameson (9), and Evelyn (7).
Between 2014 and 2018 the family went to Alaska, Canada, New Zealand, Vanuatu, Switzerland, Italy, Germany, Austria, Hong Kong and Australia.
Joanna and Oliver decided in 2017 that leaving their children at school for six hours a day, five days a week was far too long and they no longer wanted to live within societies guidelines and decided to travel together.
The family sold their home they had owned since January 2009. Oliver sold his business as an electrician, they bought a 4WD and a caravan and in January 2018 they set off on an amazing journey around the world.
Since then they have travelled along the East coast of Australia and since March, they’ve been road-tripping across America and Canada.
“In January 2018 my husband and I decided that work five or six days a week to pay a mortgage and sending our kids away from us for education was not sitting well with us,” Joanna said.
“We only get a few short years with our kids and it felt like the time was slipping through our fingers. So, we decided to ‘time out’ from the life society had dictated to us.
“We always put aside time to travel, over the past five years we have been to, Alaska, Canada, New Zealand, Vanuatu, Europe, Hong Kong and travelled different parts of Australia.
“So, we sold our family home and Oliver gave up his business as an electrician which we’d spent eight years building. We pulled our kids out of school, bought a 4WD and a caravan and set off on the adventure of a lifetime.
“Since we set off full time in January we have travelled along the east coast of Australia from Melbourne to Brisbane. Then since March we have been road-tripping across America and Canada.
“Our absolute highlights have been New York City, Alberta in Canada and without a doubt our slow travel down the Pacific North West Coast.
“Of course the real highlights are very simple – spending every day with each other, no getting up early for work, no prepping for school, no after school activities or weekend madness.”
Joanna has had to adapt to being a teacher as well as a mother, which has been challenging at times. Both children are enrolled at an online school in Australia where they have regular contact with their own teachers.
Although the two siblings get along very well, they sometimes miss their friends, but they have also made lots of new ones on the road.
Throughout their travels the family have seen their savings dip without a pay cheque which has taken some adjusting to. In November they will return to their hometown where Joanna will work the peak period in the local book shop and Oliver will find the odd electrician’s jobs.
They plan to do this every year, so they can continue to travel for 10 months a year.
“It’s been hard getting the mindset of being ‘teacher’ to our kids. Both are enrolled into an online school in Australia that are designed for long distance learners. Our children have classes three mornings a week. They have their own teachers who mark their own work and write reports on their progress,” Joanna said.
“Jameson and Evelyn get along very well, and we love being around them. Typically, they miss their friends especially Jameson, but they manage to make friends wherever they go. Australia is full of travelling families, so I know they’ll be ok.
“Watching the savings account go down with no money coming in has taken some adjusting to. Because we want to continue travelling, we have decided to work two months a year. So in November I’ll go back to work at the local book store in our hometown and Oliver will find electrician work.
“It’s incredibly cheap to travel in this way and we can easily get by on $600 (£327) per week. We often get to camp freely and enjoy free activities like hiking and surfing. It’s very easy to not spend money.
“To be honest we can’t see ourselves ever returning to a typical lifestyle again. We can’t wait for our big Australian lap tour over two years and then we want to go back to Europe.
“Some of our family come from the generation where work and money are the number one priority and understandably, they had their concerns. Over time though they’ve seen how the life we are giving our kids is absolutely priceless
“On a final note it’s important to take hold of your life. You don’t have to own a house and you do not need to have a fancy car. Money doesn’t equal happiness. Our children are with us for such a short time in this life. Go out and live your best life possible with them.”
A link to the contributor’s Instagram.