Flight of a Dove

Our Dove has flown.

Last Friday it flew the coup, out of our lives forever and into a new home. Now, before you think we’ve lost a wayward bird, let me explain.

Four years ago we bought a Jayco Outback Dove. Yep, it’s a camper but not an Eagle, a Hawk or a Penguin (fellow Aussie caravanners will understand).  The Dove was perfect. Right size, right price, right capabilities.

It was a big step for us, our first van and an upgrade from the camper trailer we’d enjoyed for eight years, which was a big upgrade from our tent. It’s all relative isn’t it?

Our new Dove gave us off road capability, comfy beds and the convenience of an indoor kitchen when the weather turned feral.

Inside there was heaps of storage space and it was super easy to tow.

A stop along the Great Ocean Road

However times change and now after four years we’re moving on. Our family dynamics and circumstances have changed and with change comes a need to adapt to what suits us now.

Travel is about the gorgeous feeling of teetering on the unknown” Anthony Bourdain

A look back …

Our first trip was no small weekender. Barely a week after we got her we set off … three thousand kilometres in under two weeks. Together with friends, we road tripped to the Flinders Ranges and Arkaroola discovering the rugged beauty of the South Australian outback.

The Dove flew travelled like a dream.

It took us to South Australia more than a few times. Last year it was Port Elliot and the year before we travelled to the Eyre Peninsula exploring the gorgeous coastline around Port Lincoln, Coffin Bay and beyond.

We were hit by semi cyclonic winds clifftop at Port Lincoln but, thankfully, there was no flying away for this Dove.

Snug on the clifftop at Port Lincoln

In a scorching week of consecutive temperatures over 40 degrees c the breezy Dove did us well.

In 2017 we covered over 9000kms up the Red Centre, across into Outback Queensland in what I dubbed our “half lap” of Australia. It was the biggest trip for the Dove and she didn’t let us down.

There were minor hiccups, like the time she sprang a leak on the corrugated roads in the Outback and a few dust issues but nothing that wasn’t fixable. Life on the road is never without a challenge but isn’t that what makes life interesting!

Our happiest memories as travellers always seem to come when we stumble upon one thing while in pursuit of something else. “

We’ve slept in the shadows of ancient gorges that glowed red in morning light. We’ve enjoyed countless camp fires. Cooked gourmet meals as well as baked beans underneath towering cliffs. We’ve been abused by Germans when we accidentally set up on their site at Uluru, but mostly we’ve befriended kindred travellers.

In between these big trips the Dove was our home away from home on weekends by beaches, rivers, lakes and valleys. We’ve camped with family and friends and horses, ducks, birds …

Can you spot the wandering bird?

We’ve woken to million dollar views.

Ironically at Moama, on our final pack up barely a month ago, it absolutely hammered down with rain. We were soaked to the bone. It’s the only time we’ve ever got saturated when packing up. Perhaps it was a sign from the Universe. Telling us it was time to move on.

Last Friday it was goodbye.  Her first and only inspection. The young family that came to look at her fell in love at first sight. SOLD.

I’m thrilled she’s gone to a good home.  When I asked them about their first trip they mentioned the Flinders Rangers. Just as ours was, four years ago. Perhaps another sign that it was all meant to be.

Our little Dove has flown the coup.

And us now? In less than a month we pick up our new van, an Outback Journey. So fitting, as the next part of our journey continues. And a new set of adventures begin.

‘Outanabout loving life, both on and off the road’. Think I need to get that logo and tagline on the new van!

May your adventures be as wild and whimsical as you want them to be. Life’s short so go take that trip and find what makes you happy.

Just remember, even if you’re not travelling, there’s a sunrise and a sunset in every day and they’re absolutely free.

Don’t miss too many of them. That’s where the magic begins, in every new day.

In love and light

Magic in the valley near Hiawatha

Camping on the spectacular salt lake shores of Lake Hart
There’s nowhere quite like Outback Australia

109 thoughts on “Flight of a Dove

  1. Wow more exciting times ahead. I know what you mean about sending them off to a good home. I’ve felt that way with all our past campers and caravans too. It’s so good to see another young family happy and excited and looking forward to camping trips.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. What a journey. The Dove was perfect for her season, and now you have moved into a new season. I hope your journeys “fly” as successfully.
    It’s amazing to see how you have grown since I started following a few years ago.
    As we say in Texas. “Happy Trails”.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. It’s like saying goodbye to an old friend, one you’ve shared a part of your life with, but it’s time for the Dove to help others fly. And your Journey? Well, it’s only just beginning! Can’t wait to follow you on it 😎🚐

    Liked by 2 people

    1. You’re quite right Rosemary, it was like saying goodbye to an old friend. But she’s in good hands. And yes, our journey continues. Thanks so much for your comment.


  4. We too had a Jayco campervan when our girls were little and it was perfect for that time of our lives. It enabled us to take the girls on some wonderful adventures. When it became just the two of us we upgraded to a Jayco caravan which has been great too. But now we’re wanting to upgrade again to a semi off road van, so I’ll be interested to see how you go with the Outback Journey. It’s one of the vans we’ve considered.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Yeah, we’re really looking forward to it. I love the fact that it’s a combination of comfort and added luxuries with all the off road capabilities that our Dove had. Stay tuned! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much Louise, must admit, we’re very excited. And yes, I think I’d like to put my tag line on the van. As you said, why not. Need to create a logo which is my next project. Know anyone with expertise in logo creation and design? 🤗

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Woo-hoo! Yep, no more trudging outside in the middle of the night!! 😬Honestly, not that it overly bothered me (except maybe in winter) but it will be nice! Don’t worry, we may pass your way again. 😁

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Gosh that brought a tear to my eye. We often wave to our old van as we pass through Swanpool. No doubt you guys will be doing the same. You’ve made a good choice though the Journey is a lovely van. Funnily only today our mates found themselves parked near the South Australians whom they had bought their current van from many years ago. Cheers to many new adventures!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. That’s funny. What a small world it is! Yes, I must admit, as sad as it was to say goodbye to our Dove I’m really looking forward to the new van. I’m getting withdrawal symptoms already from not camping!


  6. It looks as if you had many wonderful and memorable experiences with the Dove! And now I look forward to reading about your travels in the new van. Is the new one bigger, or simply easier to use? And congrats on entering this new phase of your travel life!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks Ann. Yes, the new one’s bigger. It’s designed for two people only and has an en-suite as well. And yes, It’ll be much easier to set up. Stay tuned for lots more travel adventures once we get it.

      Liked by 2 people

  7. Great set of photos to accompany your words about all the adventures you had with the little Dove! I googled the Journey, looks pretty comfortable, so all the best with it for your next set of adventures.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks Estelle. I’m so happy with the family that she’s gone to. Such a nice couple and the kids are at the perfect age to really enjoy it. And yes, I think my tag line will eventually end up on our new van! 😊


  8. How sad. Like losing a member of the family (almost) but great that it’s gone to a nice family that will really enjoy the new adventures that they will share. Exciting to have a new van on it’s way. Could be the start of a new stage of travel for you. The Dove looks really good though, the way it opens up and gives you a full height living space is perfect.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Yes, the Dove really was a great set up Jonno. Like you said it expanded to give a really spacious and roomy inside. We loved it but it’s time to move on and let another family enjoy her. Looking forward to the next stage!


  9. Ahh yes, its a sad day when you sell such a loved possession as a tent/campertrailer/van. They become a symbol of all the great times you enjoyed together and it seems like you are farewelling the memories too. I must admit I cried when we sold our big family tent; it was not just the memories but also facing the reality that our kids had grown up and were not camping with us anymore. But new opportunities come along, the campertrailer and then our beloved Evernew that has taken us to the most wonderful places over 4 years of full time travel. And we still have those memories of family holidays in the tent! Enjoy your new van and make lots of new memories!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I can so relate. And yes, I’ll admit to feeling a bit sad when the Dove was driven off. It was a wonderful camper with loads of happy family memories but, like you, before that we had the camper trailer which held just as many happy memories. The kids have grown and times change. But, whilst I’m nostalgic I’m also looking ahead. Plus, I have loads of photos and published stories to remind me of our trips. Onwards I guess. To new adventures! 😊


  10. Sounds like you had great times with the Dove. It is hard to get rid of vehicles you enjoy having! We don’t camp but I feel that way about cars. Last year I had to get rid of my Ford Expedition that I had had for 14 years! It was the best car I have ever had, but finally just died on me!! I totally agree that you should put your logo and tag line on your new van!! And I know you will love it and make wonderful new memories!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. 14 years! That’s a pretty good innings with your Ford. I bet it took you on some awesome trips. But we move on don’t we? Yes, that tag line and logo will eventually find its way onto our new van. In the meantime hope you have an awesome upcoming holiday.


  11. Lovely remembrance, Miriam, of all the places Dove took you. And I like that you included all your steps on the way.
    Time for a new van and a new type of adventure…can’t wait to see photos of the new memory-maker.

    Liked by 2 people

  12. Hi Miriam, I have been a bit AWOL on the blog scene of late, life has been hectic! and change is all over the place and it has been a whirlwind of it.

    As usual, your post are fun and upbeat. I certainly thought the Dove was a bird, but, then I read further. You really are very good at your titles and then the twist in the story. What great adventures you have had in your Dove and now sounds you are going to have even more. As always your photos paint the canvas and the words the adventure. A beautifully positive and up beat post and the last sign post humans 30! just says it all.

    love your blog and your posts. I love your tag line for the new van. look forward to catching up with all you posts i have missed.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Hi Bella, thanks for all your kind words, you’re always such a wonderful support. I know what you mean about being AWOL on the blog, that’s been me and my life these days too. Life is just so busy we do what we can when we can. Take care of yourself. It’s always lovely to hear from you. xx

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I am going to try my best to keep my schedule and at least post a meditations weekly either on Minday, wednesday or saturday, so do keep an eye out.

        I ran out of space on my phone so got rid of instagram. Which makes it hard to active on instagram like before. I now use a desktop version of instagram which is a bit difficult to use. Anyway.

        It is nice to see your work published and paid for.

        Hopefully i will have time to keep up with your blog.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. That’s a shame about Insta on your phone, I find it much easier to interact and post there at the moment. My blogging schedule’s almost non existent at the moment, since I’ve been focusing my efforts on my freelance articles. But that’s ok, can’t do everything I guess.
          Good on you for keeping your blogging schedules and meditations regular, I think that’s great and I’ll definitely look out for them.
          Thanks again for your support Bella. Means a lot.

          Liked by 1 person

  13. It looks like your Dove served you very well, Miriam! I’m sure the new family will have many adventures with it. Just as I’m sure you’ll have plenty of new adventures with your Outback Journey!! xx

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks Donna. Yes, she did serve us well and I’m looking forward to plenty of new adventures. Still a few big things that need to happen before we get our van, but still, very exciting!


  14. Such a nice post Miriam. So many great memories, and beautiful photos. I’m sure the new van will bring many more wonderful moments as well. I’m excited for you and look forward to reading about them. Here’s to many new adventures!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Aww, what a truly beautiful comment Andrea. Thank you so much. And yes, smiling here, you can come along with me, though you’ll have to sit in the cabin. No room in my backpack! 🤣 Big hugs to you. Have an awesome week. xx

      Liked by 1 person

  15. Oh so loved how you walked and towed us through the journey with your Dove.. And such a delightful journey its been as you shared your adventures and the places that you visited and stayed..
    So pleased it gone to such a good new home and it looks like its adventures are ready to start all over again starting just where you did at the Flinders Rangers…
    Excellent Miriam…
    Much love my friend and thank you for taking me deep into the heart of your travels and thoughts.. I always love my time travelling with you ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Hi Miriam!
    Your little Dove is a very cool compact camper to take off road and everywhere else. It also looks very roomy inside. So what are you getting to replace you ‘Dove’? or not?

    Liked by 2 people

        1. Just in the final stages of publishing my book – Phew!
          it’s been quite a journey on oh so many ways and very please how it evolved.
          The stories humbled me, at times I felt embarrassed for being one of the privileged and soft generation.
          Changed my life in ways I didn’t expect.

          Liked by 1 person

  17. Your “Dove” was certainly a family member on wheels. I consider my min truck, Nissan Clipper, the same way. Driving around town with family, getting chores done, my Clipper is now essential for me.
    Wishing you to have more amazing and lovely adventures with your new Outback Journey 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

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