Desire an alternative lifestyle?
Desire for an alternative lifestyle has Australians living on the road, caravanning, free camping
Posted on 25.02.2019
As the summer holidays draw to a close, for most, it’s back to school and work. But for some travellers, there’s no end in sight to the journey.
(January 29, 2019)
Phil O’Neill didn’t intend to turn his city lifestyle upside down.
It was an error in his travel arrangements that catapulted him on a radically different path.
Fifteen years ago, Mr O’Neill was a radio operator for a courier company.
On a brief holiday in Canada, he had planned to do a ski improvement course but his travel company booked him on an instructor course by mistake.
Mr O’Neill never looked back.
Two weeks later he called his boss and quit over the phone, swapping the Sydney grind for a life of travelling the globe.
Now he spends the ski seasons in Canada and Australia teaching children to ski.
On the months in between, he camps in the Australian bush
More Australians heading to the bush
Mr O’Neill is one of a growing number of Australians looking for alternative life experiences that connect them to nature and provide a sense of freedom from city life.
In the 2018 National Visitor Survey, the number of nights spent at non-commercial camping and caravan grounds increased 15 per cent to 20 million per year, double the growth rate for more traditional holiday accommodation.
Mr O’Neill said camping was a release from the intensive and physically demanding ski season.
“We tend to work seven days a week for four months straight.
“There’s no standby pay or guaranteed work, sick leave or holiday pay, so for me camping is that release that everyone needs to chill out, relax and do some fishing.”
“We’ve been so focused on chasing the dollar and paying houses off, and we had some lucrative perks, but now it’s time to chill out and hang out with the family”
“We love free camping, and caravan parks are crowded and expensive at this time of year”
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