Life on the road with four boys and a 16ft caravan is a dream come true for Naomi Mackie and her husband Chris in one down-to-earth Aussie family. Naomi beautifully captures a lifestyle that favours the simple with her husband Chris and their sons Sol, Nullah, Ollie and Alby. We spoke to Naomi about what inspired them to live an alternative life and how they organise everything from the setup to the wardrobe.
Tell us a bit about yourself and your family
I’m Naomi, I’m a wife, I'm a mother and a photographer, capturing the daily lives of our family. I’m a lover of adventure and the wilderness. I am deep down a land girl so my feet need to be set on the earth.
My husband is Chris, he is passionate for travel and adventure, and loving life outside the box. He is an incredible father to our boys, raising them to know the love of God. He is an ocean man needing to always be near or in water. A keen diver and incredible at making things.
We are both raising our four boys in an unconventional way. We have always homeschooled our boys and have always wanted them to be free thinkers and live a life outside society's norms. We have now been travelling around our countryside for over 6 months in a 16ft Caravan.
What prompted you to live life on the road?
We have always loved adventure, we never owned our own home and the boys never went to school. The boys were at the right age and we just knew it was time to set sail to see more than our own backyard.
What’s your setup like?
We live in a 16ft Windsor rapid caravan, it’s an off-road caravan. Chris put more suspensions on it before we left to give us more weight leverage and ability to go completely off grid if we wanted to. It’s small and cosy, it has a little kitchen inside, and it's enough for us to live comfortably in.
Why do you value simple living?
Because in the end it’s so much easier! We noticed how much we complicated life with wanting too much, that we don’t even value the simple things in life anymore. We became so wasteful. Since living life on the road it has made us much less wasteful and thankful for a whole lot more.
You’ve been to some incredible places in Australia, any favourites?
Soooo many places! Tasmania was incredible, the beautiful mountains and fresh water creeks. On the mainland, Karijini was one of my favourite places to visit so far.
What advice would you give to other families who are interested in living life on the road?
We spent a year planning and preparing for or trip. Start planning and find out what and why you really want to travel. Start to map out some places that you would love to visit. Make sure you know that you don’t need a big expensive caravan to get you around. Keep it simple and find what would work for you and your family.
What is the most rewarding aspect of your lifestyle?
Watching the boys grow in a deeper understanding of their own country
2020 has been an unexpected year for us all, how have you taken it all in your stride whilst travelling with 4 young boys?
It was definitely a bit of a ride shock for everyone, but we knew it was all part of the journey. Knowing it was for a time and season, like all things.
What has surprised you about your journey so far?
How resilient we can all be. How long car drives are actually do-able and we all survive, and the boys get so used to it.
What is your favourite part about travelling with your family?
Discovering amazing remote camp spots and having the place to ourselves. To be able to have fires and enjoy watching everyone enjoy their surroundings.
Any tips on how to plan your wardrobe for travelling?
I travel light with clothing (well Chris doesn’t think so) but I put mostly summer clothes in my main wardrobe for the places we go that will be warm. I have a few long baggy trousers, jumpers, socks and beanies for cooler afternoons and mornings. I pick away all nice clothes/jeans that if I need something nice to wear I can pull them out. But mostly everything is comfortable, easy wearing clothes, and all swimwear at hand!
You can follow along with Naomi and her family's journey on her instagram account @boys_run_free, and see more of her beautiful photography on her website.
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