In Australia we have a description for mature folk who sell up, buy a mobile accommodation of some sort, be it a caravan, fifth wheeler or mobile home, and who leave the family nest to travel Australia.
Some just head north each year to escape the cold. Others like to do the lap, circumnavigate Australia by road. There are some who travel permanently, heading wherever they feel like, settling down for a few months or weeks as the mood takes them, then upping sticks and heading elsewhere on a whim.
Whatever their reason for hitting the road, we call them the Grey Nomads, and they are a feature on any rural main road. Those with the real big rigs potter along at 80kph, frustrating those motorists who have deadlines to keep and things to do.
I never thought that I’d become a Grey Nomad, but here I am, I’ve joined the flock, albeit temporarily.
I’ve hired a substantially large motor home and am touring the Northern Territory. Although, unlike a genuine Grey Nomad, I do have a definite timetable in which to complete my trip.
Hiring a behemoth motor home wasn’t my first choice; that was going to be a 4WD and stay in motels. My research showed that hiring a motor home was the most cost effective option for which to do this trip, so I went ahead and hired a vehicle that would give us plenty of room in which to be comfortable.
When picking up the van I was shown a 20 minute video about how to set up the van when we arrived at our campsite. The van has its own shower and toilet, air con, gas stove, 12 volt and 240 volt power, water tank to fill, gas bottle to monitor, electric step, electric awning, it is a seriously sophisticated machine, one that is designed to be operated by idiots like me!
It is the size of a truck, but very easy to drive. It even has a reversing camera which shows you the obstacles at the rear you are running in to.
Out on the open road, she does drive like a dream, and even takes hills with ease.
We pulled into Litchfield National Park for the first night of our sojourn. After a short debate over which bay to use, I had her hooked up to power, filled her tanks with water, and were ready within minutes.
Camping in comfort, I could quite get used to the idea.
As for being a Grey Nomad. No way! I am a camper! My trip has a purpose other than to escape a normal lifestyle. I may look like a Grey Nomad, but my trip has a purpose, and it not anything like the aimless wandering of true Grey Nomads.