Tuesday, July 21, 2015
Living Life Differently: Alan Cycles Across Australia
One of the joys of living on the road is meeting new people and hearing their stories. Part of the reason that Steven and I have moved into a campervan is to trial another way of living even as the median house price in Sydney reaches a million dollars. We run into Alan Melville at the Dubbo campsite. He is in the process of biking across Australia from Newcastle to Alice Springs and then across to Perth, Western Australia. While I love biking, the thought of riding such long distances, carrying all my gear has no appeal to me. However, I am in awe of someone who is about my age and is still able to live such an active lifestyle.
Alan is a father of twins and a sparky (electrician). In between biking across Australia, he flies back home to Perth if a job comes up—he says it helps pay the bills! We meet Alan as he is unpacking his rental van. He has in fact had a bit of a hiatus in WA working on a job and has just flown in to Dubbo to pick up his gear and re-start his bike trip. Our friends and family were amazed that we could consider living in a van for a year. Alan is basically carrying his tent, his food and water as well as his communication equipment on his bike as he travels across this continent.
He regales us with stories of his previous exploits in remote locations all over Australia. He raised his twin girls while pursuing his hobby and when they were younger he would often pull them out of school for 4-5 months at a time to take them camping in the outback. He says they settled down for the last two years of their schooling and are now quite the city girls, living in Sydney with full time careers. Alan says their teachers said they had turned out to be amongst the most well balanced and confidents kids of their class. We are not surprised that, for now, they have chosen to live the city life. Kids often desire a life that is the complete opposite of what their parents provided.