Imagine selling all your possessions in search of something fulfilling and purposeful? Well, that is exactly what Remi and Lauren from Happy Family Adventures did and they are currently on what they call The Big Lap of Australia travelling with their gorgeous daughter Gabrielle.
Let’s find out more about these Heartfelt Travellers…
Heartfelt Traveller – Lauren from Happy Family Adventures
Tell us a little bit about yourself
Our little family is made up of Remi (Papa/Daddy), Lauren (Maman/Mummy) and Gabrielle. We are an international family and together we have 4 nationalities; Canadian, Australian, French and Bajan.
We love the outdoors, nature, camping, travel and lots of adventure! We have been travelling with Gabrielle since she was 6 weeks old when we did her first camping trip as a family. She is an explorer by heart and enjoys curiously discovering the world.
When did the decision to become full-time travellers happen?
Before having our daughter, we were outdoor adventurers and loved travelling. We loved discovering new places and having a wide range of outdoor experiences. We never wanted this to stop after having a child and wanted to expose our children to the world and the outdoors as much as possible.
When we had our daughter Gabrielle, we were living in Australia on Sydney’s Northern Beaches. We love the area and would have loved to raise our daughter with that amazing outdoor active beach lifestyle. As much as we enjoyed life, we took a step back and pondered what it would take to keep up that lifestyle. As a couple it was easy. We worked hard and played hard but once starting a family, reality hit.
We were paying $640/week for rent for a run down old 2-bedroom on the beach. It was our home and we loved it but every year the rent just rose insane amounts. On top of rent, there were other high expenses including utilities, phone, internet, car… and the list goes on. The cost of living was insane. Childcare costs were $130-$170/day. We could work hard and we could afford this … BUT at what expense? We thought hard about the long work hours, about leaving Gabrielle in childcare 5 days a week to be raised by someone else, we thought about our health and the stress of living a busy lifestyle. Why work so hard just to survive?
We wanted a life of being together, of enjoying moments together and watching our daughter grow. So that is the life we chose and that is when we decided to travel full-time. We sold all of our belongings, gave up our jobs and headed out to explore the world as a family.
So you are currently doing the big lap around Australia – How is that going and what have been some highlights so far?
“The Big Lap” around Australia has far surpassed our expectations. Australia is filled with beauty in its land and nature. There have been so many highlights that it is hard to narrow it down to just a few. We have absolutely loved exploring Western Australia. There are so many secluded beaches with white sand and crystal clear waters. We especially loved camping in Lucky Bay near Esperance with kangaroos hopping along the beaches. Ningaloo Reef is also a must-see for anyone planning on visiting Western Australia. We snorkelled so close to the shore and were able to see turtles, manta rays, reef sharks and so many fish and coral. We loved the gorges of Karijini National Park with the red rocks and many swimming holes.
You have your own YouTube channel – tell us about why you started a YouTube channel as opposed to a blog?
We decided to create our YouTube channel Happy Family Adventures versus a blog as we feel YouTube allows us to be more interactive and personable with our audience. Our subscribers can actually see who we are and how we travel. We also hope to inspire others to travel and get outdoors through our videos. YouTube also pushes us to organize our family videos and document our travels. In the future, our daughter will have all her memories in short little videos and we loved that idea.
What are the challenges you have faced as family travellers?
Travelling full-time is not always sunshine and rainbows as some people might think. It comes along with many challenges. Things come up in our daily routines that don’t always go according to plan. For example, Gabrielle misses a nap or we get lost on our route, or we find ourselves in a place with no grocery stores, or it’s hot and there are flies everywhere, or it’s raining and we have to pack up camp… things like this happen sometime. It’s so easy to blame each other or just be angry. It’s hard to not let the situation take over your mood. The challenge is staying positive and working together as a team. Another big challenge is being far away from family and friends and not having that extra support that you would normally get with children.
Some advice you would offer to parents considering family travel?
To any parents considering family travel, we would advise that you plan and carry out your travels with always having your children’s best interest in mind. Know that travel with children is different than travelling with adults. You might need to take a slower pace of travel, change your plans according to nap schedules or even miss out on things you were looking forward to. There are so many benefits for children while travelling. Make sure you give them time to enjoy and explore as well. Let children be part of the process and involve them in everything you can as you will see so much growth and learning from the whole family.
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