It’s 5:30am and as I lie in bed there is a snoozy little black cat resting on my shins. Steph is sleeping as well so, outnumbered, I don’t dare disturb anyone this early. Though, I’m far too excited to fall back asleep.
We are in our campervan and it’s our first morning since leaving Hobart yesterday. We’ve said goodbye to our friends and family, sold all of the stuff we accumulated in our 18 months back home, and we are ready for the next chapter of our van adventures.
For a long time I’ve been saying that it’s happening soon, that we will leave Hobart once more to travel around Australia, but now I can say that it’s happened. We have left, and we are living the van life full-time once more.
But, why would we bring our cat?
For the past few weeks we have been parked in my brother’s driveway as we got ready for our departure date. We tidied out everything we didn’t need for this next chapter and sold or found homes for anything that didn’t make the cut. Willow helped along the way, of course.
We also got to spend lots of quality time with our family, and my nephews discovered that the van was the perfect spot to watch some TV.
So, yesterday we said our goodbyes and left.
Soon, we found ourselves in a forest on the Tasman Peninsula, a place we have visited many times before. It’s the perfect start to our trip as we transition from our life in Hobart to van life.
Willow took the opportunity to sit outside and enjoy the surrounds. There’s something so peaceful about this forest, listening to the trees sway above and the bird song.
Willow was content to sit by the van, but it wasn’t long before she hopped back inside to curl up on Steph’s lap.
It wasn’t something we questioned this time, but when I first left Hobart to travel in 2015 I had to ask myself – why would I bring my cat? Will she be okay on the road? Will all her needs be met?
The answer seems obvious now. She is family, and where ever we go, she goes. The idea of leaving her behind so that we can travel seems absurd. She thrived on the road.
Willow was just four years old when we first started travelling, and now she is twelve. That may seem old in cat years but she is young at heart and so are we.
Yes, we could have left her behind. There will be places we won’t be able to visit with a cat, but that’s fine. Because being with her is a greater reward; to see Australia through her eyes.
We want her to live her best life, so do we, and we get the opportunity to live that life by each other’s sides. That means the three of us need to stick together.
Back in the van, Willow stretches her paws out along my legs as she wakes and we listen to the morning birds. There’s something deeply comforting about sleeping in our campervan in the forest. I think it’s more than about being away from the city and the noisy traffic. It’s about waking up each day knowing that we made this choice.
This choice to follow our dream. And why wouldn’t we do that with our best friend Willow?
Today, we will drive to the beach and Steph and I will swim in the crystal cool water, and I think I’ll bring my goggles so I can watch the kelp forests sway with the current. In the afternoon, the three of us will enjoy time together, wherever that will be.
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Thanks for joining us as we set off on this new adventure! Whether you have just found us, or have been reading our stories for years, it’s great to have you here along for the ride.
Willow has been a real lap shark lately, taking every opportunity to sit on Steph’s lap. Check out the photo below of Steph trying to enjoy some raspberries while Willow finds a perch.
We have just three weeks in Tasmania before we all get on the ferry to mainland Australia. There’s lots to see before then.