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single mum

What we learned living in tents for four months

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What we learned living in tents for four months

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I have something to confess.

It’s hardly a secret for those of you following my social media, but if you’ve been living off the gram, you might have missed this one.

Ok here goes…

After four months living in tents, I caved, and on Saturday we were offered to move into a two-bedroom studio, and I accepted.

First reason, the rent was $8 more for a house than for an unpowered patch of grass, and since we returned from our trip north (360 travel videos coming soon) the caravan park had moved us from our large, shady spot opposite Lake Ainsworth, to an exposed, smaller site where we were getting smashed by rain, hail, wind, sun, and other humans.

Second reason, the food and kitchen boxes had started to do my head in. Perhaps it was simply that following our three-week trip north, where we pitched our tents in 14 different locations, I was exhausted and wanted to come home to a ‘holiday’, where cooking for my family (which I love doing) didn’t mean trudging around a caravan park with a gas stove, gas bottle, two kitchen boxes, especially in the pouring rain or brutal winds. For some reason, it all seemed so much easier until a week ago.

Third reason, with seven weeks to go before our epic #asiacrossing where we will cross seven countries from India to Japan over three plus months, I need to buckle down into my laptop and smash some work, edit videos and start Vlogging (YouTube channel launching in September!), and start selling off our accumulated ‘stuff’ (again) before we hit the skies.

So yeah, the timing was impeccable. I hadn’t even considered moving until that morning, and followed through with a spontaneous message to a friend whose empty studio Remy (my boyfriend) had been painting. We moved in the same day.

In a matter of days, with my Ninja blender plugged in to power finally, I had made batches of organic almond milk, bliss balls, salsa, macadamia butter, and daily smoothies, nurturing my family from the luxury of a small kitchen and feeling like a mum-boss. Not to mention how much work I’ve been getting done.

But, there are things I miss profoundly about living in a tipi, like waking up to jump in the cold lake, hearing the birds, and sleeping on the ground. In fact, since moving to a bed, like a ‘real’ one off the ground with a thick mattress, inside a bedroom with four walls and a roof, I have had the worst sleeps this year. Interesting right! Not to mention we go to bed much later, which is good on one hand – I’m being more productive – but on the other hand I feel my body is being stimulated by artificial lighting and thus making it harder for me to fall asleep.

The kids love having a TV, but at the same time they’re being boisterous around the house, jumping off furniture and they even tried to create a slide out of a didgeridoo. The difference is clear: when we lived at the caravan park, the tents were simply bedrooms, for sleeping, and the outdoors, nature, was their home. They played outside from sun up until sun down, minus the time they spend at school, but in a house the temptation to be inside, watching TV, and ultimately getting ‘bored’ easily makes for chaos.

I am so grateful for the four months we lived in tents. What I learned about simplicity, sustainability, and also about myself, could not have been taught to be without actually living the experience. There is no doubt in my mind that one day I will buy some land, build myself a little cabin with a sleeping deck surrounded by glass walls, a bed on the floor, and space for me to pitch a tipi whenever I want to be closer to nature. I’m consciously walking outside to stand in the grass barefoot, something we were doing throughout the day when we were camping but when you are in a house you can’t ‘earth’ as easily what with concrete, tiles, carpet and floorboards.

But one of the most important lessons, a recurring theme throughout these recent years of transformation, is to not get too attached to a place, for your life can change in a breath. We are making the most of the comforts of a house before we hit the unknown road, where we will venture to the depths of the Himalayas, working closely with the Australian Himalayan Foundation and women’s refuges like Her Farm Nepal, across India, Nepal and Bhutan, before heading East crossing into China, Mongolia, Korea and finally Japan, my kids’ second land of origin.

What follows that adventure we are yet to be sure, but one thing we do know is that the more we live outside the box, the more we grow, and the more we grow, the more we live our most authentic selves.


Check out the first in our 360 Vlogs from the Far North Queensland trip! What do you think?

Subscribe to my YouTube channel and turn on notifications and stay up to date with our travels and the preparation for our big Asia trip. I'll be Vlogging regularly in traditional video and 360, so come and join us for the ride!

 

 

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Bush walking adventures and the waterfall challenge

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Bush walking adventures and the waterfall challenge

100 waterfalls challenge: 2/100

Upper falls - after an hour playing in the lower falls we decided to trek another half hour inland...worth the effort when we found these stunning cascades and had the pools to ourselves.

Upper falls - after an hour playing in the lower falls we decided to trek another half hour inland...worth the effort when we found these stunning cascades and had the pools to ourselves.

Happy Easter!

Well, the Easter bunny sure appreciates a vegan family, delivering two recycled jars filled with dark chocolate vegan blueberries, strawberries, vegan Easter eggs, and dried apricots. We were up before the sun, typical of most days, yet instead of taking off on my morning run I hit the yoga mat first thing then went about my rituals of juicing and preparing the kids a healthy vegan breakkie.

We had no plans for Easter except for being outdoors, and with the beaches typically crowded over this holiday break we decided to go off on an inland adventure, about 3hours-ish south and into the bush in search of waterfalls we were yet to discover.

Ryder was complaining of a stomach ache the first two hours of the drive, resulting in me pulling over every 15 minutes so he could try to vomit. I think a few too many dark choc eggs were consumed first thing, a good lesson for my little guy about having rich foods in moderation.

We reached a dirt road and continued into deep rainforest for around 15 minutes before finding where we thought would be the start of the walking track. These falls are not sign posted - the best kind - but being Easter, there were a few cars parked on the side of the road suddenly so we knew we had hit the entrance.

We loaded up on water, a homemade vegan picnic lunch of fresh wraps, fruit and veggies, and set off on foot into the rainforest. This area is quite rocky and the kids loved crawling over rocks and fallen trees as we traversed the dusty, narrow track. It reminded us (on a much easier scale!) of our recent adventures in the Tayrona National Park in Colombia, where we spent two days exploring some epic terrain on foot in the park.

Lower falls and the water temperature was icy.

Lower falls and the water temperature was icy.

We reached the lower falls and spent a good hour playing in the frigid waters; I had suspected the water would be murky after all the recent rain but we scored crystal clear water and full pools. The sun was out and the rocks warm for some sun bathing between plays.

Frrrresh!

Frrrresh!

We left some of our belongings on the rocks and decided to go exploring a little deeper into the rainforest; our experiences exploring waterfalls in Colombia had taught us that the further you go, the more you can find. Such is life. The path was sketchy, slippery, and barely a trail but we made our way over boulders and scaled a small cave and after about 30 minutes we found what we were after: majestic falls without the crowds.

Going deeper...

Going deeper...

I could swim right up under the falls and felt the pounding water massage my skull while the boys played in the shallows. The water was so much colder than expected and I think we will be back in winter to use these pools as training grounds for the Wim Hof Method.

Raindrops keep falling on my head :)

Raindrops keep falling on my head :)

As we played in the pools I took a moment to look back over the past 8 years of motherhood, from living through raging domestic violence to being a lost, emotional single mother, to falling in love again only to find myself back again as a single mother but this time around a whole new woman and, in my heart, a whole new mother.

I realized that I had been living with some kind of contempt from being made a mother so young, in my eyes missing out on all the solo travels I had expected myself to undertake in my 20s. In many ways since my divorce I have been trying to recreate those 'lost years', and whilst I've had some wild adventures on film shoots and travel writing trips, there has always been a piece of me that has not been able to completely feel free since becoming a mum.

Eating the sun for afternoon tea.

Eating the sun for afternoon tea.

Day by day, this feeling has been transforming, and whilst I'm not going to sugar-coat single motherhood, I have realized that my blueprint for happiness has needed shifting. Instead of focusing on what I missed out on in my 20s, I've moved my attention to the epic adventures I can have as a mother of two rad ninja boys as a fit, healthy vegan woman in my 30s. Today was testament to this mindset shift and the three of us had a truly amazing day out in the bush exploring.

Rock hopper.

Rock hopper.

As if reading my mind, at the conclusion of the day the boys decided to kick off the 100 waterfall challenge for 2017. So whilst today's falls are so worthy of a return, it looks like our next waterfall adventure will be to new terrain. And we explored both the lower and upper falls of our secret location today, so that's 2/100 for the year (the five falls I visited on my solo drive from Adelaide to Lennox last week don't count apparently; the challenge is the three of us have to adventure as a family to new falls each time).

If there are any single mums out there struggling with the challenges of the day to day of motherhood, I encourage you to get out and explore your local area. Today's mission was a six-hour round trip in the car (less than $10 in petrol in our Toyota Hybrid Prius), with the kids sleeping the entire way home while I listened to Tony Robbins podcasts. Put the laundry aside, whip together a picnic lunch, throw in towels, hats and water, and don't overthink what you need to get out into nature and explore with your kids.

Upper falls.

Upper falls.

Happy Easter.

Much love,

Angie. xx

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