MAMA: Laura McNamara
KID(S): Frankie, 7 & Myles 4 and a little bub in my belly
WHERE IS HOME RIGHT NOW: Phillip Island, Victoria
What do you love about your home?
My husband spent 4 months building our beautiful home on wheels with sustainability in mind and eco friendly materials. We used organic hemp curtains, recycled Tassie oak floorboards, non toxic paint and floor sealant, installed a compostable toilet and tried to find preloved woods when we could. I loved the white and wood finish, making it feel bright and spacious for such a small space. Our favourite place was our queen bed where every night and morning everyone would be snuggled up together. We love her because she has travelled to all parts of Australia with us over the last 2 years, waking up to million dollar ocean views or in tropical rainforests with the abundant sound of birds and wildlife. She was our home and we decided the location.
what do you do professionally and tell us about your journey to get there?
I currently run two online businesses with my husband. After creating and managing my own plant based cafe for 4 years with two young children I knew it wasn’t the life I wanted to raised my wildings. When we set off travelling two years ago, we decided we wanted to make an income without a defined location. My background is in Food Science and Nutrition and my passion has always been about optimal health for the body and mind and the environment. Earlier this year I was able to pursue a childhood dream of launching my own health food product - hummble, a spiced cacao chai drink for everyone’s new morning ritual. My other business stemmed from a fascination with water, it’s the most incredible resource on our planet! While we travelled I wanted to make sure we were drinking the highest quality for us as a family. After years of research and trialling different water filters we became aware of Water Ioniser’s and have since teamed up with Enagic to become distributors and grow our beautiful holistic team sharing the incredible health benefits and sustainable solutions these machines have to offer. The best part is work now for us is our passion - Health & Sustainability. It’s location free and balanced between my husband and I, while we spend our days with our children, watching them grow.
who inspires you?
Holistic mumma’s who hold space for themselves first, have created a balance between family and work life and creating / living our their truth and purpose. I’ve met many on our travels and women from my friendship circle back home on from Phillip Island, who continually inspire me in my day to day life through their creations and conversations. I’ve also been moved by the following women who I’ve either worked with or read their books that have shaken something inside of me to make a change, allowing growth within, whether that be habit, behaviours, mindset or limiting beliefs, Marion Mays, Peta Kelly, Gabrielle Bernstein, Terarai Trent, Lacy Phillips, Jen Sincero.
your mum/nan/gran’s best advice? (first that springs to mind!)
Have empathy for all as you never know one’s journey.
Sunflower - how can they not brighten everyones day!
favourite(s) spots your family have enjoyed on this journey so far?
Cockle Creek Tasmania, the most beautiful, rugged, tranquil place you will find. Set in the most southern part of Tassie, so yes, it’s cold. It’s where big rolling mountains meet the calm ocean bays and creek systems, you feel like you really are at the end of the road, so remote and distant from civilisation. Days were spent hiking, snorkelling, supping, collecting wood for fires, morning ocean dips out in nature soaking it all in.
Another memorable spot, was East Arnhem Land especially, Bawaka homeland - It was everything we set out to experience on our travels, to live with and learn from the traditional owners of our beautiful land we call home. The driveway alone was an experience in itself with over an 1 hour of driving on deep sand, trying not to get bogged to get to camp. We were speechless when first arriving, Mother Natures beauty is next level out there. You feel like you are on a tropical island, with crystal clear blue waters and white sand. It’s remote with no reception, so the days are experienced moment to moment, observing Mother Nature, swimming, exploring and listening to the stories and laws of the land and kinship. The traditional owners showed us the medicinal and edible plants, how they hunt for food, welcoming ceremonies and songs around the fire. Every night we waited for the crocodile to come and see if any fish was left out. We went back 4 more times.
In what ways could you say your family is practicing a slower existence?
For us a slower existence is having no timeframe. We don’t have to be anywhere at any one time, no school drop off or work commitment, there is no rush. We can enjoy where we are for how long we like and then move on when it feels right. In the first year of travels we travelled a lot, moving most days, which for me, was a little ungrounding. We love seeing new places and meeting new people but found in our second year slowing our movement down and spending more time (approx 2-4 weeks) in an area gave us a routine and grounded feeling. It also allowed us to enjoy the days together and the surroundings and build deeper connections with the people we were meeting.
Close quarters, 24 hours a day.. what are some of the challenges you have come up against on the road, and how have you overcome them?
We live in an area most likely smaller than everyones bedroom.
In our first year of travelling, it was challenging. The first, was expectation. I’ll be honest, I did see this as a way to escape our current life predicament of feeling over worked, having no time as a couple and a family and not feeling balance in our life. Matt and I loved our road trips pre kids so there was an underlying expectation my days would be spent like that, surfing, reading, soaking in the sun, campfires, with a happy little family. Yet in reality, life comes with you on the road and everything you haven’t healed. The daily cooking, cleaning, washing had to be done, then managing everyone’s emotions and feelings while having to find time for ourselves and each other in such a confined space. I’d say it took a few months to settle into a routine that worked for us, keeping our home organise and clean, spending time with the kids and holding space for their emotions. The next challenge was finding time for Matt and I. And those first 8 months were hard as our communication had started to break down. We became aware of this and knew we wanted to keep travelling so we decided to find a beautiful holistic councillor to help us. We were able to heal so much and made the next year of travels that much more enjoyable, finding space for each other in small moments during the day (driving was always good to talk) and nights when the kids go down. But also finding that space for ourselves to fill our own cup up each day.
What does an abundant life mean to you?
Freedom to choose your day/s. I feel so incredibly abundant because I feel so grateful for all that we currently have in our life and that we have many choices that have allowed us to live the way we do. I have my family with me who are healthy and happy. We get to experience life together each day. I feel an abundant life is purely a mindset. I think back to times where financially or materialistically I had so much however when you are following your heart, your desires and allowing your path to unfold, it’s so much more fulfilling when you are aligned.
What’s a typical day like for your family on the road?
Matt and I are both early birds. I’m usually up at 5am and love this time of the day, the silence! I take this time for me to fill my cup up. I use this time to be grateful, meditate, journal, walk/run/stretch and hydrate. Usually by 6.30-7 the kids are waking and it’s time for a warm hummble and breakkie // porridge, pancakes or smoothies. We make the beds and get the bus clean for the day. We’ve found in this morning time, Frankie and Myles are super creative, so it’s either a bit of learning, or getting the art box out of letting them explore and play outside. If they are in their own world we catch up on a bit of work. Then depending on where we are, we love days at the beach / skate park or seeing what’s around the area to do. This has been great to tag team with the kids too if we have work or life admin to catch up on, one parent has the kids and then swaps. We love finding the local whole foods cafe/store so if there's one around we’ll find it and support them. The afternoons are spent slowing down, reading books, possibly a movie, a nap for mumma, then everything kicks back up around 4pm for more outside time before dinner. Every night we wipe the kids down, especially their feet, brush teeth and read books before bed which is about 730. Sometimes matt and I will do some work, read, or catch up on socials, but usually I’m asleep before the kids.
On our travelling days we aim to travel from 8-12noon, then stop for an hour to have lunch and let the kids expend some energy, back in the bus from 1-4pm, giving us time to set up and get dinner prepared before we watch the sunset and get ready.
What rituals does your family have currently?
Gratitude is everything for us. My husband and I wake up and think of 10 things we are grateful for in our life. Over dinner we all go through the following - what’s something we loved during the day, what’s something we could improve, what’s something we did for someone else. We read books every night and before sleep we go through saying I love you to ourselves and each other before we sleep, that’s including little bubs in my belly.
What activities are your kids enjoying on the road?
Frankie and Myles are thriving at their skateboarding and surfing so we aim to get them on their boards most days whether that be a skatepark or beach. Matt and I are both surfers so it’s a family affair. Frankie is very creative and enjoying her art, colouring in, creating letters and cards for everyone and reading. Myles loves to collect sticks and made swords out of everyone, he loves his bike doing big jumps, loves being a knight, or anything ninja and weapon related.
What has been the most surprising aspects/learnings as a parent from this nomadic way of life?
That this way of living is not a holiday like some may see it and how I pictured it before we set off travelling. This is our life that still requires everything home life (in a house) requires, we just get a different backyard everyday! Also the emotional mirror your child will present to you. There’s no escape, you are either in a box or out in public so when the kids are emotional or hyper-energetic I’ve got to check in with myself and see where I’m at too.
In 3 words how would you want your kids to remember you by?
Humility. Kindness and Love.
What does a ‘modern mama’ to you mean?
Modern mama - owning her inner voice, her heart and desires and being bold, stubborn and strong to stand behind it yet with a softness to hold space for herself when needed and her family.
If you could tell your kids one thing you wished you’d known about having a baby?
Take no advice from anyone. Trust your instinct and inner knowing. It took me months to feel into being a new mum after Frankie. Being my first I took in everything and became so confused with differing opinions and ways of ‘mothering’ that eventually I threw my hands up and felt into what Frankie and I both needed first. It’s a wild ride being a mum, it’s like the best self discovery / personal growth journey you will ever go on!
We talk of bon bola being a tool to ‘connect with your buba’. How do you like to connect with your wee one(s)?
Every morning when I wake and everyone else is still sleeping I place my hand on my lower belly and talk to bubs. It’s my way of feeling into having our third, connection with bubs and creating that space for everyone.
When do you feel most content?
I feel so content most days because of the life we have created. I feel it in the morning after I’ve made that time for myself or after I’ve been surfing having been in the ocean and had that physical release and mental space.
I have loved these questions and the experience to share a little insight into my life and my families. Thank you so much for allowing me to share and for everyone spending the time to read this. I love to connect with other like minded mummas so if you do want to connect or had further questions on nomadic life feel free to reach out through instagram @theavocadofolk or email email@example.com
photos taken at Kalu Kalu