Book Awards, Travels Around the World

On the Road! Part 1

Part 1 – Clothing and “Stuff”

with Sharon Archer

Before I start my blog, I’d just like to say HUGE congratulations to our Fiona Lowe!  She won a RITA for her book, BOOMERANG BRIDE!  You’re a star, Fiona!

Okay, down to serious blog business… we’re still AWOL and loving it!  For those of you who don’t know, we’ve been travelling in Outback New South Wales and Queensland for just over two months.  And this blog is a great excuse to share some gratuitous scenery pictures!

I love the sunset soil!

We’re now wending our way southwards towards the Gold Coast for the Romance Writers of Australia conference which is just three weeks!  Hard to believe how quickly the time has gone!

(And Fiona, I give you fair warning that I want a very close look at your gorgeous golden lady!)

4WD-ONLY was an understatement for our drive into Muttaburra!

So, having now spent this time on the road, I thought I’d take a light-hearted look at what we’ve discovered.  The things that work… and the things that DON’T!

“Walking the Mutt” Note the thick polar fleece – on me not the Muttaburrasaurus!

We’ve carried things that we haven’t needed – and that’s LOTS!  As ALWAYS happens, we have too much stuff!  So much so that for the first couple of weeks I felt like I was moving stuff from here to there so I could get a so-and-so and then from there back to here so I could get a such-and-such!  Backwards and forwards and backwards and forwards and not much being accomplished in between!

For instance, the weather has been unseasonally cold so the following things haven’t seen action at all:
–    Swimming costumes – it’s been waaaay too chilly
–    Flippers and snorkels – see above.  AND the only place we got close to the sea was at Karumba and nothing would tempt me in to share the water with those salties (estuarine crocodiles)

Looks so inviting…. but….
Until you see this!

–    Lots of light weight summery tops and a dress.

Things that have seen LOTS of action that I hadn’t expected
–    Thermals!  Thick socks.  Beanie and gloves!  Polar fleeces!
–    The electric fan heater – love those powered sites!
–    My hot water bottle!  I told you it had been chilly!

Realistically, lots of these things we’d need to bring anyway because the weather might have been incredibly warm.  But I think for next time I’d bring some of those vacuum storage bags so I could put away the clothing items that I just wasn’t getting any use out of.  For instance, every one of my summery singlet tops could have gone into storage.

Oops… I was going to digress on to the pantry but I think I’d better make this a blog in several parts because I haven’t even touched on the kitchen and the pots and pans yet… and for some reason I feel that I must!  But on another day!

Before I go, I’m going to tell you something totally absurd!  We’d just got our act together with our stuff… and we got this insane urge to buy a guitar!  So for the last month we’ve had to move that from place to place as we set up camp as well!  But we are having a lot of fun with it – and our tender fingertips are starting to harden up!  We did actually buy it for a special purpose… but that’s a subject for another blog!

A bit more practise and we’ll have a repertoire of one song!

So, tell me any of your clothing tips for travels!  Or perhaps you’ve bought something completely crazy on a trip and had to transport it with great difficulty while you’re travelling!  Come on, ‘fess up!  I’d love to know and I promise, I won’t tell a soul!


We’re on the road again today but I’ll be back tonight to catch up with your tips and confessions!


17 thoughts on “On the Road! Part 1”

  1. just had to try!Your blog has started our day off well tho, not as exciting as yours.All rain here.Glenn looks the part with guitar!Enjoy your day…………the olds Tauranga

    1. Hello Tauranga olds! Glenn does look the part with the guitar, doesn’t he – just need to get his tender fingertips to play the part and then there’s the remembering the chords bit too!

  2. Sharon, it sounds as though you are having a lot of fun on your extended trip. Good luck with the guitar lessons, and the sore fingers!
    I’ve never had to pack for such a lengthy period away from home so doubt I can add anything useful. The only thing I can say is that when I go on holiday, I lay everything on my bed then see what I can remove. If I don’t, I end up with a case that weighs well over the limit.
    Mind you, it depends where I’m holidaying. If I’m traveling to Europe, I take lightweight clothing. If I’m staying in England, I take the full range from swimsuits to polar fleeces. The weather here is very changeable!
    Enjoy the rest of your holiday.

    1. Jennifer, I should have laid everything out on the bed and then put the excess back in the drawers! The problem is that I started well… but then I kept adding things… and then adding more things… and I never did do the final layout to see how sensible (or otherwise!) I’d been! I’d say it’s a learning experience except I should have already learned!

  3. Congratulations Fiona! (And thank you for giving us the news, Sharon).

    I have absolutely no tips whatsoever on packing. I may as well not do it, because I always take the wrong things – on my last trip to Australia I took summer clothes and ended up wearing the fleece that I took for the journey to and from the airport in London for most of my stay. (It was March – and although the weather wasn’t exactly cold, it wasn’t as warm as I’d expected either.) And I decided that a set of glasses (they are lovely – I saw them being made) was the one thing that I just had to bring back with me. So in the end, two wrongs made a right – I used the summer tops that I didn’t wear to pack around the glasses, so they arrived back home in one piece 🙂

    Enjoy the rest of your trip!

  4. Annie, isn’t Fiona’s news awesome! I suspect she’s probably in transit somewhere as I type!

    Gosh, you were a bit unlucky to have had chilly weather DownUnder in March! But then the weather can be weird anywhere, can’t it! We travelled over to the UK in March and expected it to be really REALLY cold – we even packed our snow boots because I hate having cold feet. We ended up lugging these great heavy boots around for 5 weeks and used them once on the very last weekend when it snowed on us in Cornwall!

    1. Too true, Sharon – I guess the only thing that you can safely assume about the weather is that you can’t assume anything 🙂 Hoping we won’t have any snow in the next couple of weeks, but I’m not going to tempt fate by making any predictions.

  5. FF here. Congratulations Fiona!

    I took 2 suitcases to Australia, and I used all the articles of clothing. However, I was going on a world-wide trip.

    1. Well, done on your two suitcases, FF. You must have packed very wisely to have used everything. Sounds like it would have been a fantastic trip – how long did it take you?

      1. I only went to Western Australia, but I visited Perth, something and another thing, and I visited a mining village and an Aboriginal camp. I even had an Aborigine make a boomerang. That was I was touring the world for a year.

          1. I don’t know how to throw the boomerang, but I have it over my desk as we “speak”.

  6. Sharon,
    It sounds like you are having an exciting time. I wish I was along. I love to camp. My secret to packing is to roll my clothes or to use a packing square both make it easier to take more. But the real secret is to only take half of what you think you need.
    Fiona was a real star! I was so tickle to be there to see her get her RITA.

    1. Susan, I’d have loved to be there to see Fiona get her RITA!

      I’m intrigued about your packing squares… so I had to Google. They look like a great idea to help to keep things neat! YES to taking LESS! Though we’ve needed all the warm clothing we brought with us because of the cold – just very very little of the lightweight clothing for hot weather!

    1. Thanks, Amy!
      Hey, that is indeed a beard on dh’s face! He’s had it for a while so your comment got me thinking… he must have started growing it after last year’s conference. Speaking of which – see you in a couple of weeks! woohoo!

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