Breaking Up While Travelling

Breaking Up While Travelling: A New Chapter

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I’ve had some unforgettable experiences over the past few years, travelling around Australia in a caravan.

I have laughed and cried, conquered unknown territory, solved problems on the fly and even faced some fears. I can say that I’ve been through it all. Life on the road has been a rollercoaster, filled with all of the ups and downs.

But, sometimes you can feel a door closing before it even happens… when it’s time for one chapter to come to an end, all you can do is surrender to it.

Breaking up with a partner while travelling was never going to be easy.

Originally posted 12 February, 2021.

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Breaking up While Travelling is Tough

I’m not going to get into the personal details of why we decided to go our separate ways, but I do want to talk about how the situation panned out for me.

It was early 2020 when the pandemic storyline started to play out across the world and within Australia.

We were in Sydney at the time and had a few days to make the choice on whether or not we should pack up and go back to Queensland (our home state), before the borders closed. We did make the snap decision to head back to Brisbane while the lockdown scenario played out.

Camping in Sydney, NSW
Time to bail from Sydney back to Brisbane

Our initial plan was to get back to Sydney and continue on with the journey once we were able to. But, during the next few months as we sat idle, it became increasingly obvious that we were all craving a home base. The kids were especially keen to settle down and have their own bedrooms.

So, it seemed time to get a house again, pick up 9-5 jobs and finish our travels in extended stints. However, personal circumstances found us making the decision to go our separate ways instead.

It’s been a bit of a journey, traversing this completely new territory, but now that the kids and I have settled into our new lives, we are all much happier people.


Did Living on the Road Cause the Break Up?

Wallam Creek, Bollon QLD
Wallam Creek, Bollon QLD

I can honestly say that no, living on the road certainly did not cause us to break up while travelling. So, if you’re reading this post thinking, “Oh my god, will my partnership survive full-time travel?!” then fear not. If your relationship is solid, you’ll most likely be just fine.

My partner and I got together when we were just 19 years old and the first baby came along when I was 23. I look back and think, “gosh, I was still just a babe myself!”

Some relationships that start during those earlier years can grow together forever, while others change, leading to different pathways. There is no right or wrong scenario… but for me, the ending was long overdue.

It was one of those toxic relationships where you become so accustomed to the highs and lows that you find yourself subconsciously clinging to the vicious cycle of something that you should have walked away from years ago.

Being stuck in a backyard in lockdown made my reality blaring obvious, with no more places to run away to and distract myself with. It was time.


Was it Because We Lived in a Caravan?

Jayco Starcraft Outback caravan

So, I guess the next question on everyone’s mind is, “Did living in such confined quarters cause us to break up?”

Again, no, living in a caravan didn’t cause the inevitable ending of the relationship. We all adapted to that different way of living and found how to make it work.

However, I definitely know there are many people who wouldn’t be able to live in such a tiny space and still get along.

The key is to be aware of when someone needs some time to themselves and let them have it. Whether that be putting some headphones on to tune out for a while, sitting outside, or going for a walk or a drive.

The beauty of following the warmer weather around is that most of your living is done outdoors anyway (besides the dreaded rainy days).

25+ Caravanning Tips →

What’s Next for Me?

As I’ve mentioned, we’re all getting pretty settled into what our new lives look like. We’ve managed to work things so that the kids spend as much time as possible with each of us. They are our main priority and we want for them to have a solid upbringing with both parents being present for them, regardless of where we live.

I’ve got myself a nice townhouse in the suburbs of Brisbane, which I’m really content with and am continuing as a full-time blogger. There’s no way I could go back to the rat race after living a lifestyle with so much freedom!

Yep, I’m living proof that it’s totally possible to support yourself through blogging. It didn’t come easy and a million hours of unpaid work were first required (I wish I was exaggerating!).

But in all honesty, I wouldn’t have been able to walk away and support myself and two kids without this blog backing me. So, thank you to the hundreds of thousands of readers who’ve unknowingly allowed me a different kind of freedom. 🙏

Caravan For Sale

The caravan was put up for sale and interestingly was bought by a mining company who wanted to provide outback accommodation for their workers.

See the full Jayco Starcraft set-up →

The kids have been going to a local school since mid 2020 and are fairly settled. They still have their days of feeling the pressure of showing up for long hours each day and the amount of school work to be completed.

After having so much educational freedom on the road, it’s been a big adjustment for them. Dom and Indii particularly love finally having their own bedrooms, a dog and permanent friends that they don’t need to say goodbye to.

Homeschooling & Travelling Australia →

The Future of MY RIG Adventures

On a positive note, MY RIG Adventures is here to stay!

The blog was always my own personal passion project as I traversed the nomadic journey, right from the very beginning.

I thrive on putting together informative guides, reviews, stories and resources. Not only do I love to share valuable information from my own experiences, but I also get a real kick out of being able to help others with their own travels.

Occasionally I collaborate with other travellers to help provide location-based content on places that I haven’t yet been. Since I can’t be everywhere on the ground, it’s always helpful to draw on the experiences of others to create a community of shared information.

If you’d like to contribute a helpful camp review or destination guide, please reach out to me at myrigadventures@gmail.com.

In addition, I’ve got many more travel resources and informative posts in the works. Look out for the complete collection of the Big Things checklists for each state of Australia!

Travel Planning Resources →

Reflections for Those in a Similar Situation

First off the bat, breaking up at any time is hard, but breaking up while travelling and still having to live in a caravan in the meantime… that’s next level! I was lucky to have been in my hometown at the time, which made arrangements much more manageable.

If you do find yourself on the road during a break up, the best advice I can give is to not isolate yourself. Get in touch with trusted people back home, whether it’s through phone calls, chat messages or video chats.

Also, don’t be afraid to open up to other travellers – they are the ones who will truly know how it feels to be 1,000 kms from home and feeling totally alone.

Wuruma Dam, Eidsvold QLD

Give yourself all of the space and time you need to process, reflect and heal.

Maybe that means finding somewhere nice to hide out for a while, or you may be better off heading home to take some time out and recalibrate.

There are most likely a whole host of practicalities that will need to be sorted, especially if there are children and/ or joint assets and belongings involved.

Be kind to yourself,
Take all the time you need,
Stay connected with loved ones,
Reach out for help.

I’d like to show my gratitude to everyone who has reached out during this period of ‘mysterious disappearance.’ It’s been heartwarming to have had so many people checking in to make sure that we’re okay and still alive. I’m genuinely grateful!

And now, the show must go on!

Emma xx

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Topics you’ll find at Organised Free Spirit:

  • DIY
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Kind Words from the Email Community

A difficult time and some of us have been through it all, it happens. Take note, and I didn’t believe it at first, there is a light at the end of the tunnel. Keep the moral high ground, take each day as it comes and don’t sweat the small shit. Look forward to your continuing adventures and trust the kids are shielded and loved, which I am sure they are. Life goes on.
– Brad

Thank you so much for sharing. I’ve always been single (65 and never married). I’ve been on the road full time in my small motorhome (VW Crafter). I know travelling full time wasn’t ‘the‘ reason… but I couldn’t imagine having to share “my space” with another, besides my cat. Sounds like you are going really well considering, so good luck with everything and take care. 
– Gail

All the best. I hope it all goes well for you and you can get back to doing what you love.
– Bev

I will continue to support you, stay strong.
– Hank

Ahhhh, sorry to hear about your break up. You’re doing a great job with your travelling news and looking forward to more. Keep up the good work and hopefully everything works out.
– Chris

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17 thoughts on “Breaking Up While Travelling: A New Chapter”

  1. Hi Emma,

    How exciting a new chapter! Sorry to hear though, you’re a wonderful team together & raising two awesome kids! That won’t change. When a relationship ends and it’s amicable it’s not always sad but, it’s new beginnings for everyone. As you know I raised my three children as a single mum in the 90’s after driving 4000 klms to Darwin on my own with the three kids in tow to start a new life! My ex is a jerk haha Travelling on school holidays or moving interstate every few years to explore new places was what we did for the next 10 yrs! Well until they grew up into happy stable successful adults. Those memories are treasured memories that made all the difference! Travelling is a wonderful education & it’s FREE! Keep the van if Allans willing & learn to reverse and buy a Toyota woman! Then we will see you on the road still! If not a 4wd with a small trailer & few swags will be just as great! Just stick to cooler weather when camping. And have a good fan! I brought a troopy during the plandemic haha Been decking her out and now on to a small Reno on my old Windsor caravan. Can’t wait to go to Bowen next to explore the West coast all the way down to Esperance! We did Tassie and every other state before Covid. I wish you nothing but lots of happiness & success with the blogging! I love reading about your travels and planning. You’re great at it! Love Belle, Troy & Joel! (From Mt Isa out @ Moondarra Lake) P.s I can’t fb comment, always banned for not being a sheep and believing the latest fake news.

    1. Thanks so much Belle, it’s definitely an exciting new chapter, I’m ready! You have done a fantastic job of raising the kids and being totally independent, especially with all of your travel adventures. Haha… me reversing the caravan… at least I’d be providing lots of campground entertainment. I reckon I’d need a drink around the campfire after that! Have fun with the caravan renos, that’s always exciting. Can’t wait to get to Tassie and the West Coast myself.

      1. You’re welcome! Thank you also for saying that. Broome btw not Bowen! But you knew that right? Haha And yeah it’s pretty entertaining watching someone mess up reversing caravans and trailers! We’ve all been there, well those of us who give it a go! So give it a go, I bet you nail it. I think I would Hire a Campervan or two maybe yeah to explore the west coast? It’s a long drive otherwise. Only way to do Tassie also in winter again is in one of those big campers and with a heater I would recommend! Ferry is expensive. The troopy just would be too cold & freeze to death & we would honestly melt in Summer! Fires would be scary stuck on a island! Haha Just need to save, save, save to hire one! Even though we did it in Winter on the RTT on the car with only sleeping bags, few heater throws & elec blanket! Hahaha The ski resort, Jakobs ladder and snow was amazing! Lots to see anyway. X

        1. A hire vehicle is another way to do it, if you can get one to cover the areas you want to explore. Diesel heaters provide amazing warmth, even for a Tassie winter. The Spirit of Tas is expensive, but it’s worth it if you stay for a while and make the most of it.

  2. Hi….. Have followed your adventures with great interest, but have just lost my hubby of 53 yeqrs ….. 3 weeks now , still hard, but in many ways much the same as you’ve been through. All our vanning adventures and experiences are a memory now, but where to go from here ? We must look at all the amazing travel opportunities available to us here in Oz. We really are lucky to live in such a friendly SAFE country….. Go for it girl ! ! ! Might see you out there !
    Cheers ….. Nattie

    1. Oh Natalie, I’m so sorry to hear that. How amazing that you did get the chance to get out there and create those memories that you’ll take with you forever. Some people never manage to do it, so hats off to you. I agree, there are so many travel opportunities for us right here in our own backyard. May we meet on the road!

  3. So sorry to hear about your break up. I wish you much luck, love and prosperity in your new venture and life. You will find so much peace and love in traveling solo if you decide to do that.

  4. We are so sorry to learn that you guys broke up! But are glad that you are still friends, that the kids are alright and that you will keep blogging! As much as camping and caravaning is important to you, perhaps you might also want to write about cultures or city trips in Australia? We haven’t been to Australia yet and would love to know more about archaeological sites, museums, and ancient civilizations.

    1. Thanks so much Mei and Kerstin. That’s really good advice, I could definitely expand into more city attractions and things to do. I enjoy exploring urban places as much as small towns that I visit as I’m travelling.

  5. Travelling together for long periods of time and in small spaces certainly does put a strain on relationships. But it can also make them better with shared experiences. But when you get together young, both people change so much at that time of life. So growing in different directions is not that unusual. Great that you managed to keep your friendship through this.

  6. Life comes with its own package of good, bad, and ugly, and this applies to everyone. So sweet of you to share your experience with full candour. I like the way both of you have handled a difficult situation and ensured you move on without much rancour and still be friends. Time, of course, is sure to work its magic.

    1. Thanks guys. Yep, life is still life, no matter where or how you live. I’m so glad we’re able to still be friends for the sake of the kids.

  7. Wow, I am so sorry to hear this but it sounds like you two broke up a few months ago before you published this and have ‘kinda’ moved on and stayed positive towards each other. Like you said, you don’t have to give a reason on why the break up happened however the readers kinda need to know that the team has split up. Seriously, I wish you and Allan all the best in the future, its a new start for your both on different paths and as a parent who has suffered a marriage breakdown (but somehow got it back on tracks over two years later), my only bit of advice is, children come first. Nothing else was important to me during those rough times than my child. And somehow my blogging continued. Looking forward to your future posts. 🙂

    1. Thanks so much Danik, I really appreciate your kind words. I have taken the time to adjust into my new life before addressing the team split. So yeah, we’ve both had the chance to start moving on. 100% the kids are the most important thing out of it all is the kids and their stability.

  8. Thank you for sharing your experience. Definitely a unique circumstance with the pandemic and the campervan but glad to hear you are starting the next chapter.

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