Sarina family sells up and sets out on Australian adventure
THE Maree family has gone from one extreme to another.
From living apart, to living within a couple of metres of each other, Sarina family Kelly and Troy Maree and their two kids Ronin, 1, and Maddi, 3, left their homes and bought a camper van to "reconnect as a family."
For a long while, they had been living apart and felt as if they were drifting.
Kelly was in Sarina, while Troy was in Brisbane completing his trade after struggling to find a job in the area due to the local industries downturn.
"I said to Troy, when you finish your trade, we can go travelling because you'll be able to use that (skill) while travelling on the road," Kelly said.
So, they packed up their Sarina home, bought the van and headed down the Bruce Highway to begin their tour of Australia.
Currently they are on the Sunshine Coast visiting family, before they set off to embark on the rest of their journey.
"We spoke about (travelling) for a while, and next minute we were doing it - we took our tax money and ran with it," she said.
"We have been known in our lives, though, to always do things differently.
"Talking to some of my friends they say it doesn't surprise them because I am always looking for the next crazy adventure to go on."
Their camper van is nothing flash. In fact, they were mistaken as homeless by a fellow camper while in Tully.
"I do have envy when we see caravaners go past," she said. "We have kids equipment - everything spills out of our van around us.
"Then we have washing hanging up, here, there and all over the place.
"We look a bit like a gypsy camp compared to others.
"The kids have already gotten into the swing of things, running around with their muddy feet and un-brushed hair some days."
Once they set off, they hope to head north completing the anti-clockwise lap of Australia at a "leisurely pace" while working.
The family has even come up with a catch-phrase, that has stemmed from the kids' imagination - "two kids, a dog and an invisible frog".
"My daughter has a great imagination, she has this imaginary frog that follows us everywhere," Kelly said.
"They've got great imaginations the kids, they use that most of the time to entertain themselves."
"We're outdoors all the time - we don't have a TV any more.
"We're just living unplugged, which is really good to see, because it worries me so much that people are reliant on these things in society these days.
And with the kids only young there is no real end date in sight.
"We talk all the time about just travelling, forever just living on the road.
There is no real end date, it's just a matter of seeing what happens I think.