18ft of Home Sweet Home


Living and travelling full time with 3 kids in an 18ft van….. Really?

Written by | Trekking Downunder, Ryan & Amy Murphy


To most people living in a standard 4 bedroom house feels too small for a family of 5, let alone a room on wheels.

Now you’re probably thinking no one is that crazy! Well, we Murphy’s are. We live the life so many could not even begin to imagine. We sold our beautiful 300 square foot home to move into a single room 18ft AOR Camper and travel Australia indefinitely with our 3 young boys. We are repeatedly asked by others, why? and how?

Now, I’m not selling a perfectly easy life, but for us – it’s a life well worth it.

The biggest decision, deciding to sell the family home, our dream home and leaving no roots. This house was everything we could have ever desired. Keeping it going, we didn’t have any free time left over to enjoy it. Between the cleaning, maintenance, working to pay bills and family activities. As hard as it was, we knew it was the right decision. The harder question “could we possibly live in the same room as our 3 kids indefinitely?”

Now, this was tough, giving up the safety of our home to the unknown concept of 24/7 parenting and the prospect of no more true adult downtime.

Could we really live this way? Honestly, it didn’t matter anymore! It was the difference between having daddy at home with us or at work. It reached a point when NO more questions or preconceptions of what others thought could change our minds. We were reclaiming our lost time with each other – hitting the road and the paths unknown and we now have the biggest backyard of anyone we know!

It’s not all perfect!

The few issues that face us are ones that you have at home too or are just part of travelling. The best part is by having everyone together on this epic adventure makes anything survivable.

First, there is the teething toddler – When we left Wade, had 6 teeth and within 7 months he had the full set… A painful story short – we as parents felt every single tooth cut through almost as much as he did. But now it’s all over!

Second, homeschooling, the 2 big boys are school age – at home, they are away for 6 hours a day and have their own teachers. Although it’s interesting teaching two grades at once, it’s incredible to see them grow and thrive intellectually. It’s not easy – and it’s been a struggle till just recently, but it’s fun getting to create new ways of teaching.

Lastly, we often discover it hard to be just us sometimes. Between the kids, exploring and working on our Trekking business (plus Ryan’s work), we feel we get very little downtime… The kids are up from 6 am till 8 pm (during daylight savings) then on the odd days when we aren’t exhausted, we either get stuck into all the pending work or we switch it all off and cuddle in to watch a non-PG movie together. Although we don’t get to focus on relaxing big people activities like reading or working out we know we only get a few quality years with our kids before they want their own space and so why not spend the time watching them grow up and being present.

Despite the minor inconveniences of travelling in such a compact shared space- we couldn’t think of a better way to develop the family bond than spending every day together exploring this country in our tiny off-road ‘adventure’ van!


You can follow The Murphy Family’s journey on Instagram, Facebook or their website.

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