A big part of why I started MATB was not only to pursue a longtime dream of a life of adventure for myself but to also inspire others who dream of freedom, a simpler life and paving their own path. Early last year I spent a few weeks working over in Byron Bay with the gorgeous team at Arnhem Clothing. My sister Nicola is the General Manager and I spent some time with Founder Arnhem Bickley and her beautiful girls Meika and Inka. I was so inspired by Arnhem's journey, her childhood, her philosophy for life, her passion for a sustainable future and her kickass attitude to totally nailing business. When I launched and started the journal I knew I wanted to share some of her story with you too.
After 6 months on the road with her family Arnhem is back in Byron but I asked her what it was really like living on the road with kids and what her advice is for those of us wishing we could pack it all up and do the same.
Q: You've recently returned home after spending 6 months on the road travelling around Aussie. How was that?
It was incredible! Such a different life, everything slows down and life just seems so simple on the road...the kids had all our attention & everyday was an adventure...
Q: How was it (honestly) spending 6 months on the road, in a caravan with 2 kids?
Looking back on it there were definitely days when I thought I couldn’t do it anymore, being confined to a small space, the driving, heat, flies and being exposed to the elements..but the whole life altering experience overrides any bad days. Being minimal waste came with its challenges, having to buy bulk in big cities and carry it, there was a lot more preparation but we managed.
Q: There'll be a lot of mums out there wishing they could do what you did but are worried about taking their kids out of school or their normal routine for so long. What's your take on this and do you have any advice for anyone on the fence about taking their crew on an epic road trip adventure?
The schooling was a challenge on the road, Meika was not interested in sitting down and doing academics. She wanted to explore and experience everything around her. For me this wasn’t really an issue, I don’t believe in education being only academics, my children learnt so much about the land, animals, indigenous history, just everyday life experience....
Q: Do you think this trip has changed you, the girls or your hubby? Was there anything you learned or anything that opened your eyes while you were away?
100% It has changed all of us, seeing how many incredible places are out there made me even more passionate about sustainability and a future for my children on the planet. You go out and see all the beauty and it makes you want to fight for it and help save it, protect what’s left. It’s like stepping out of a little bubble and really experiencing life, the good and the bad. Seeing the waste crisis, the fact that towns are still burning rubbish in Australia, the micro plastics on all the beaches, plastic bags floating in the ocean, animals dead from plastic consumption, the issues in the indigenous communities, droughts effecting towns, it was all such an eye opener.
Q: What's one road trip essential you won't leave home without?
Plastic free Bulk food and lots of it!!
Q: What's the next big adventure for you guys?
We would love to do it all again but go the opposite way ~ south first.