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
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69 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 1 person

  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 1 person

  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 1 person

    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.

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  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 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? 🤗

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    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 1 person

    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!

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  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 1 person

    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

    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! 😊

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  7. 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 1 person

    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!

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  8. 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 1 person

    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! 😊

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  9. 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 1 person

    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.

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  10. 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 1 person

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