POLL: Family sells everything to travel around Australia
THE Schembri-Francis family has sold or given away almost all their possessions - their house, their business, their boat, their trailer and even most of their clothes.
Melissa Schembri Francis, Pedr Francis and their three-year-old daughter Chloe Francis are now ready to embark on an adventure that's been 10 years in the making.
Would you sell everything to travel around Australia for a few years?
This poll ended on 03 April 2016.
This is not a scientific poll. The results reflect only the opinions of those who chose to participate.
They will spend the next three years travelling Australia in a caravan.
The family finalised the sale of their Andergrove business, Mr Shiny Mechanical, on Wednesday and was packed and ready to leave on the journey yesterday.
Ms Schembri Francis said the couple had been dreaming of the holiday since 2006.
In August last year they went on a camper trailer holiday and decided it was time to undertake the mammoth trip.
"We were on the road for two weeks and we thought it would be magic doing this for good," Mr Francis said.
Ms Schembri Francis said the couple had joined a growing movement of "nappy nomads" - couples who take their young children on long caravan holidays.
"Our daughter has just turned three, she's got three years until she starts school and we thought, 'why wait, why not?'," she said.
The family has taken ownership of a friends' Facebook page called 'This is our Australia'.
The creators of the page have just returned from a similar two-year trip, and have passed on the page to the Schembri Francis family to continue blogging their Australian travels.
The page has more than 17,000 Facebook fans.
"That way our friends and family can follow our journey. We'll be uploading all the great places that we're going to," Ms Schembri Francis said.
She also hopes the page will inspire others to follow their travel aspirations.
"Our favourite quote is, 'Follow your bliss and doors will open', it's a Joseph Campbell quote and that's how we live our life," she said.
"We want to inspire other people to do it. We want people to get out and explore our backyard and bond with their children and have great adventures in our beautiful country."
The family hasn't planned exactly where they're going, but will first travel to the Sunshine Coast and then make their way to Darwin with other family members.
Bucket list: These are the spots the family can't wait to visit
- Tasmania: Ms Schembri Francis is looking forward to food and wine festivals when they head south in summer.
- Perth: The family hasn't yet visited Western Australia's capital.
- Extremities: Mr Francis wants to travel to the most northerly, easterly, southerly and westerly points of Australia, as well as the highest point on Mount Kosciuszko.
How will they do it? The family talks logistics
How have you budgeted for a three-year holiday?
- Melissa Schembri Francis: We don't have all the money for the next three years, so we'll work as we go around. I sold my law firm in 2009, so for the past six years I've been motivational speaking. I guess this is my turn to be the breadwinner for us because I'm going to be doing some motivational speaking as we're travelling around.
- Pedr Francis: We've got enough for the next 12 months at least.
When did you sell the house?
- MSF: We sold our house in April last year and rented. We had that yearning for adventure and we didn't want to be tied down again.
How did you choose what to keep? Did you make a list?
- PF: Virtually. We have a weight limit too, it's 600kg, so you just can't put as much as you want in the caravan. My clothing is 14 of everything I wear every day, then only one good set of clothes. Then we have a box of winter gear.
Have you thought about the music you're going to be listening to in the car?
- PF: There's a lot.
- MSF: We definitely like our music.
- PF: And audiobooks too.
What reaction have you had from family and friends?
- MSF: 99% of it's been really positive... One or two people have said, "Are you going to be alright? It's a big world out there". It's not everyone's cup of tea.
You're not worried about getting sick of travel?
MSF: Not at all, it's the other way. We can't wait to wake up each morning with our biggest question being 'Where should we go?'