Working hard? Or hardly working? My life as an agency Midwife!

Our indefinite trip around Australia is funded by us! We have tenants in our home that covers the mortgage so we work to live, to buy food, rego, insurances, accommodation fees etc. Life on the road is so much cheaper than at home but we choose to keep our savings in a ‘just in case’ account!

We have a loose aim to work for a few months then have a month off with Pez & I taking turns who works and who stays with the kids and leads the schooling! I have been the breadwinner thus far on our trip but have worked previously as an agency midwife in 2008 when Pez & I did a lap around oz pre-kids!

So let’s face it a hospital is a hospital, I have worked in quite a few public/private in 3 states of Australia so far. As a midwife it always comes down to three important things;

  1. Never trust a multi
  2. Late/earlys are terrible
  3. The ward clerks actually run the show to become their best friends.

In addition to my above observations below are some extra tips about choosing your agency, knowing your limits & doing your research!

  • Get ready!

My background is primarily midwifery – birthing suite to be even more specific! When we left I knew I would be working in rural/remote settings which means working both as a registered nurse & a registered midwife. My General skills were rusty so getting ready for me meant going back to my local ED to get some confidence back doing really basic ED stuff like wound dressings, ECGs & the getting up close & personal with the good old chest pain pathway. There are some fantastic organisations that run courses to assist nurses to transition to rural/remote setting – check out CRANA & RAHC. Having your immunisation certificate with current immunisation experience is also beneficial as is a current ALS.

  • Choosing an agency!

There are be many benefits to agency nursing/midwifery e.g. accommodation subsidies, travel subsidies etc. I recommend signing up to a few agencies initially, get a feel for what they can offer you; free uniforms? Do you even like the uniform? Education allowance? Do they return your calls/emails? It will quickly become clear which agency you want to deal with, you would be surprised inefficient some companies are!

There is a choice of working for the agency or the health service –these options come with their own benefits and your agency will explain all of this thoroughly and help you decide what is best for you!

I am with CQ NURSE and feel very looked after! I have Cat & Leah, my ‘contracts management consultant’ who knows our situation and exactly what I want from a contract & Sharon who regularly checks in on me during placements! So far the team at CQ have been fantastic!

  • Accommodation!

Good Nurses accommodation is very common – if you are travelling alone. Very few facilities are able to provide accommodation for both you & your family. Never fear, most facilities will have nurses accommodation – always accept this! Set the family up at a caravan park etc and use the nurse’s accommodation to sleep in for night shifts, late/earlys or just when you have had a gut full of them!

  • What are you comfortable with?

Do your research on the facility you are considering working at! I cannot stress this enough! Are you comfortable working somewhere with no Medical Officer on site? Are you comfortable being the only health care professional onsite? Would you be on call & if you are required to do call outs who will be with you? Most importantly is there a Kmart in town? By knowing what type of a facility you would be comfortable working in helps your agency find a contract that’s a good fit for you!

  • CPD points / Mandatory education…

These cheeky buggers still apply obviously and you need to be able to account for these should you be audited when you renew your Nurse/Midwife registration. There are apps you can record your ‘points’ in or if you are a bit old fashioned like me & use the ‘notes’ section in the back of your diary to record each CPD point. Mandatory education can be easily arranged by your agency who will either have their own modules to work through or be able to give you logins to access short courses etc.

  • NURSES UNION… make sure you let your union know where you be! Find out if you are still covered working when interstate etc.
  • Ask around…

There are some great Facebook groups where you can ask about people’s experiences, what the nurse accommodation is like etc. but again questions like this come back to your agency! A good agency will know the staff/patient ratios and have accurate feedback about facilities from nurses who have worked there!

Working around Australia as a midwife/RN is absolutely amazing! There is nothing quite like the community feel you get from a small country hospital, the characters you meet and the genuine appreciation from patients and families.  The staff at these places have taken myself & my family in & we have made forever friends!

I have learnt so much about general nursing e.g. like how much talc is too much when showering someone, MIMS has become my best friend and I have actually wanted to hug a helicopter that arrived for a retrieval! & I have loved every minute of it!

So to all you baby catchers & nurse out there get amongst it – this is living!

 

Follow us @milsypezwardo #milsypezwardo on Facebook or Instagram to see what we are up to today & don’t be shy to ask any questions!

Is Caravan and Camping Hire taking the industry by storm?

We all know the true costs of owning a caravan and the numbers always add up to more than the original budget we had planned when we bought one in the first place! That is where the brilliance of caravan hire comes into play. In recent years, the growth in caravan and camping hire businesses has been considerable. Why? That is easy when on a brand new caravan over five years you can save as much as 50% by hiring one instead, the numbers tend to stack up.

Now it’s not all doom and gloom for current caravan owners, which is where the boom in Peer-to-Peer Hire has also shown a huge uptake. Current owners are utilising peer-to-peer services (such as https://caravanandcampinghire.com.au/ ) to hire out their caravans when not in use. They have some control in where the hirer is taking the caravan but more importantly, they are making a great return on those annual upkeep costs when all it would be doing is getting dirty at home and needing another wash!

Outside of the main barriers to caravan ownership (costs & volume of use), more families are looking to holiday domestically and you can understand why –
1. Australia is a beautiful country
2. There is no threat of a volcano erupting and cancelling your flight home
3. Who wants to manage flights anyway
4. One of the kids almost always gets a stomach bug overseas… But seriously the interest in getting back to basics and exploring and enjoying our great outdoors is huge and doing so via the comfort of a caravan is a great way to keep a little bit of luxury in the experience.

So next time you want to feel like a caravan owner without the costs, consider the alternative – you’ll love it!

And if you’re an owner who’s wondering how to make easy money – make someone happy and money at the same time and hire yours out today!

The Benefits of Hiring a Caravan

As a non-caravan owner we have always felt left out – A group of our caravan owning friends all get together to go away several times throughout the year and explore and enjoy the great outdoors with their families. They always seem to easily agree on the destination, always ensure they have grouped powered caravan sites and they all chip in to allocate/manage one dinner per family per night for the entire group.

Our tent was getting on as was our camping equipment, so we hired a cabin instead and joined into the group for the getaway – Barwon Heads (Amazing!). Now for some, being in a cabin is great but the problem is you’re not really part of it as it depends on where the cabins are vs the groups sites and if you’ve got kids, it’s hard to manage the evening drinks & fun if you can’t leave them on their own yet!

So we decided we needed a solution – we need a caravan without the outlay of ownership – Caravan Hire! Caravans for hire would enable ANY family/couple/individual the opportunity to enjoy Caravan/Camping holidays

After a little research we found several reputable sites (we like https://caravanandcampinghire.com.au/ ) that hire out great caravans (they have over 250 beautiful Caravans/RVs/Campers available in all Aussie states for you to hire out for your much needed holidays!) that the following year saw us feel like we fit right in without the hassles (and arguments) of how we were going to manage caravan ownership. We were also able to hire an almost brand new Jayco Expanda which was the talk of the group!

Now anyone can enjoy the wonderful experiences of a Caravanning or Camping Holiday without having to own their own luxury RV. So next time you feel like not missing out, consider hiring a caravan and have an amazing time!

  1. Caravans for hire enable ANY family/couple/individual the opportunity to enjoy Caravan/Camping holidays by hiring any one of our beautiful privately owned listed Hire Vehicles
  2. Some companies have over 250 beautiful Caravans/RVs/Campers available in all Aussie states for you to hire out for your much needed holidays!
  3. Now anyone can enjoy the wonderful experiences of a Caravanning or Camping Holiday without having to own their own luxury RV

They quit their jobs, joined a carnival and explored Australia

I’ve been enrolled in University for 7 years and have attended for 3 and a half years, the other 3 and a half years I’ve been travelling the world. 12 months ago now, my partner asked if I was willing to quit my job, put off University for another year (which wasn’t unusual for me) and take the time to see our own country. I’d seen 27 countries but had never been outside of Victoria or NSW. The answer to his question was a no-brainer. So that’s exactly what we did; we quit our jobs, said our farewells and began travelling Australia.

When we began our life on the road, we said we would take 5 months to see Australia, clearly having no idea how big this insane country is. Majority of people’s responses were, ‘If it doesn’t work, you can always come home’. In our minds, it was never not going to work. 5 months turned into 8, and 8 turned into 12. Life on the road has been the best thing we’ve ever done, alongside joining the carnival and meeting such incredible people from all across Australia and the world. We’ve lived in a space the size of 1.5m x 2m for the past 12 months and never once have we felt trapped, crammed or regretful of leaving our lives back home.
We’ve driven over 56,000kms in our babies Maxy and Larry (our Van and Land Cruiser) and it’s been such an adventure that neither one of us will ever forget. To so many people, living out of a car would be their worst nightmare, to me, their insane.
Before living on the road, I lived in a 5 bedroom home which consisted of 6 TVs and 4 people; you do the math? It didn’t take me long to question, why do we have all of these material objects in our life when all we need is a car, a road, a map and each other? (Oh and some money helps too!). My point is, you can have all the material possessions you want in your life and still be unhappy, or you can live your life on the road for a while, see these incredible places Australia has to offer and I’m certain that you’ll find a level of happiness you’ve never come across before.

 

56,000+kms in 310 days.
$26,000 spent;
$600 on caravan parks
$100 on National Parks
Can’t even think about the $$ spent on fuel.
3 flights.
2 cars.
2 car breakdowns (stupid choke!).
0 flat tyres (How? It’s beyond me?).
1 fight.
2 hospital visits.
0 accidents.
2 birds hit (R.I.P).
47 degrees was the hottest.
5 degrees was the coldest.
Cheapest meal: $1 for 12 dim sims.
Most costly meal: $200 seafood feast.
Most memorable comment: “Slow down you cockhead!”.
Top 10 spots in Australia:
– Whitsundays (QLD)
– Coolangatta (QLD)
– Uluru (NT)
– Kings Canyon (NT)
– Lucky Bay (Esperance, WA)
– Karijini National Park (WA)
– Wallaman falls (QLD)
– Broome (WA)
– Litchfield National Park (NT)
– Great Ocean Road (VIC)

 

I’ve always been a Gypsie at heart, and now I’ve found my Gypsie man. You learn so much about yourself and each other when you both only have one another. I always say, if we can survive living in a car for 12 months, we can survive anything. It’s now time to go home for Christmas and switch our life on the road from full time to part time; that’s until we get bored and find a new adventure anyway.

If you’re sitting on the fence trying to decide if life on the road is suited for you or even if you’re already on the road, head to www.girlmeetsboymeetsvan.com to check out some entertaining stories of our life on the road or even if you need some visual motivation as to why you should hit the road or places to add to the bucket list, head to @girlmeetsboymeetsvan on Instagram.

8 Tips You Must Know When Camping With Dogs – Campersway

We have our dog Pippy Perry alongside us for the journey – is she a pain? Nope – Andrew is much more trouble than Pip will ever be! We did consider finding her a temporary home but we are gone indefinitely and the thought of not seeing her for a few years was just too upsetting to even think about!

Our advice before you set off on a big trip;

1. Have dog poo bags EVERYWHERE – in the car, your wallet, caravan, handbag. If your dog does do a No.2 PICK it up! If you don’t every other camper will judge you (myself included) & there is nothing worse than treading in it!

2. Bulk pigs ears – our Pip will take approximately 1hr to get through one.

3. A good sturdy water bowl – not the collapsible ones, they become unstable after a few weeks.

4. A few dogs leads & a proper walking harness – we have a lead in the car & on in the caravan.

5. Have a copy of your dog’s vaccinations in the glove box just in case it needs to go in a kennel in an emergency, in a pinch you can always get a copy faxed to you from your vet!

6. Make sure the mirco-chip is up to date!

7. Exercise your dog! Pip goes on at least one walk a day (over 3kms – usually 5kms) not only is it great for me & Pip but we meet so many lovely people locally and also those staying in the same place as you.

8. Where will you stay? Get WIKICAMPS – have the ‘dogs allowed’ filter on! Follow other travelling families/couples who have taken their dog on Facebook & Instagram, see where they are staying! I look up the #travelaustraliawithdogs

Get to know your dog;Are they ok on a lead? They spend a lot of time on the lead when you are on the road – do they carry on like a pork chop when they see other dogs? Knowing all their quirks make life so much easier!

  • Will they be happy to be left on their own for short periods? Can they handle being on their own if you all go to the shower block at the same time? Or if you all go to the camp kitchen for dinner together? Or are they barkers?
  • What are they like near water? Pippy will run & jump off a jetty quicker than you can say ‘croc’ – so she is on a lead before we open the car doors! Good to know in advance!
  • Do they come when they are called? Our Pip is very obedient but I have seen a few grey nomads chasing fluffy white dogs around caravan parks – it’s a bit cute to watch but probably not so cute if you’re the one doing the chasing!
  • Do they get car sick? Pip doesn’t but it seems to be surprisingly common for dogs!

 

The most common question we are asked……

What do you do with her when you go site seeing or to national parks?

We take Pippy almost everywhere & know her very well – she is happy to sit under a tree eating her pig’s ear while we swim in the pool etc. And remember when I said you meet lovely people when you walk your dog in the morning? Most people are happy to babysit your dog in exchange for you babysitting theirs. We have even had people travelling without their dog offering to mind Pippy because they miss their own pooch so much! Most Dog-friendly caravan parks are able to give you advice on local dog sitters, alternatively, there are dog kennels for overnight/longer stays.

We don’t regret bringing Pippy with us – not for one second!

Follow us on Instagram & Facebook @milsypezwardo #milsypezwardo. I’ll be posting regularly about how we find work, distance education, what essentials we brought along, caravan/troopy mods & camp sites!

Don’t be shy to leave a comment below or message us with any questions or with your hot tips of your own that might help us along the way J


The Search For Zac Barnes Continues – Have You Seen Zac?

It’s a milestone Karen and Michael Gudelj hoped would never be reached. 

November 13, 2017, marked one year since their son Zac Barnes was last seen, dashing from a friend’s car in a bush near Thornton. 

Zac’s younger sisters still wake in the middle of the night when it rains, scared their beloved older brother is somewhere outside, getting wet. 

The family’s concern for their missing boy hasn’t eased for a second of the last year, leading to their latest attempt to find out what happened that night on November 13.

Zac’s Mum writing this on Facebook last week:

Zac Barnes is now 19 years old an outgoing larrikin you can’t help but like him and if there was any initial resistance he would always win you over especially if he wanted to know you.

Zac is one of 4 boys, he was number 3 of the bunch, and was always loud, as you can imagine. He also has 2 little sisters (8&9) who absolutely adore their big brother. He always had time for them and they truly miss him dearly. Apprentice bricklayer, loved his footy and loved a VB or ten lol, so much so he had a VB label tattooed on the back of his calf muscle.

So I guess you could say a little crazy too. I thought it was a very silly tattoo but now it’s a key identifying mark that just may find him. 12 months ago he never came home. It was a Sunday evening and it has changed our lives.

He was with two friends they tell us he was last seen at the corner of Tripp close and Haussman drive Thornton. They say he ran off and just disappeared. Nothing makes sense. Zac has not used his bank accounts or social media accounts since that day. He was wearing blue board shorts a single tank top and steel cap work boots.

What happened to Zac seems to be a mystery there has been no firm sightings Australia wide. Maitland detectives are working hard on the case. Zac is loud if you were in the room with him you would definitely know he was there especially if he had a few beers under his belt he would be hugging you, making you laugh or both.

Australia we need your help to find Zac if you know anything at all please either call CrimeStoppers on 1800 553 314. Or to donate to the GoFundMe page click here https://www.gofundme.com/7t3xd6-help-find-zac-barnes

 

How to maintain a healthy lifestyle whilst living on the road – One Day We Should

How to maintain a healthy lifestyle whilst living on the road – One Day We Should

Meals on the Road

Before we left I wondered- What we will eat while living life on the road? and Could we maintain our healthy lifestyle? Turns out -life on the road is extremely similar to ‘normal life’. It’s just a compact living space and we choose to cook our meats on a BBQ or campfire instead of an oven or cooktop.
A typical #meal for us on the road: Meat and Salad- Tonight we enjoyed some homemade chicken nuggets and salad!

Lunches for us consist of wraps -with all different types of fillings. We very rarely purchase bread as it goes mouldy extremely quickly in the warm climates. Wraps also have a longer use to date which is handy when going remote! Woolworths quite often sell them at half price (so if you ever go to get some wraps and find there’s none left… I’ve probably been and cleaned out the shop). #bulkbuyer.

Breakfast is exactly the same. The kids eat cereals and the occasional pancakes, eggs and bacon, yoghurt or porridge just to mix it up.

Snacks – ‘packet snack’ we buy in bulk when on special and store under our bed. (This is kids favourite place).
Fruits and vegetables we buy often- stocking up whenever we see a roadside stand/market or shop – we’ve never had a problem getting our hands on fresh fruit and vegetables.

Drinks- We have a separate drinking water tank in our van and fill this when we like the taste of the drinking water (some ‘potable water’ doesn’t taste as nice as others). We purchase water bottles and carry those in the car for days out and about so we never forget to drink or have to purchase water for $4 a bottle! We also buy powdered Powerade (I know it’s not that great for you but on those days when it’s super hot, we’ve spent the whole day outside sweating and we really haven’t drunk enough water, sculling a full 600ml of Powerade is better than a headache!)

HOW TO KEEP FIT WHILE TRAVELLING AUSTRALIA!

As amazing as this lifestyle is there is no luxury of having a gym membership. With 3 kids to chase after there’s no time to attend one anyway. So how are we keeping fit on the road??
Believe it or not, we don’t carry any fancy gym equipment. ZERO. Here are 6 ways we are able to keep fit.

1. Playgrounds – Not only are playgrounds fantastic for the kids but they are extremely helpful to maintain our fitness. Kids entertain themselves while we do our workouts. Sometimes our workouts are more playing than ‘working out’ – our favourite is racing each other up those spiderweb towers. Kids think it’s hilarious but after a few rounds, we sure start to feel it!!!!

2. Hiking etc.- We never steer away from any hikes. Whether it be 4-5kms return through a gorge, Climbing a mountain peak, hiking to a stunning waterfall. We put the girls on our backs and go for it. Axl’s become quite a fantastic little hiker he tells us he’s training to become the future #ninjawarrior.

3. 20L drum workout- We don’t carry weights while we travel…. Or do we?!?!!! We always have a 20L water drum in the car and it makes a fantastic work out tool. Great for weighted squats, lounges, one arm rows, deadlifts etc.

4. Using the Kids- the kids love volunteering to be my weights they jump on my shoulders for a few rounds of squats, lunges and push-ups. By the time they’ve all had a turn I’m well and truly done!

5. Games – Our favourite game is the ‘Glow Stick Game’: we play this at night at our #freecamps. I throw some glow sticks into the darkness and give myself a set amount of burpees, push ups, squats, chin-ups etc. to get through before the kids can find them all and bring them back to the mat.
This helps wear the kids out before bed and gets me motivated to keep going as the kids don’t let me rest after just a handful of rounds…

6. Beach workouts- granite rocks, large driftwood and soft sand make for a great work out. Adding that extra level of difficulty to a normal workout.

🌈 LIKE AND FOLLOW ‘One day we Should’ 🌈

Milsy Pezwardo are travelling Australia, and this is their Campersway

Milsy Pezwardo is the latin alter ego for me! Millie Perry! I am a mum, wife, midwife & keen sewer from the Central Coast of NSW. I am an over-sharer, I use exclamation marks excessively & our facebook page started off as something silly to show people what I was sewing & turned into a little sewing/travelling page!

In 2008 my husband Andrew & I set off for a ¾ lap of Australia. It was just us, our swag, my sewing machine and our 75 series Landcruiser Ute. In July this year we set off on our 2nd lap this time with 3 kids & our dog Pippy, with all these tagalongs the swag and the ute wasn’t going to cut it for us so this time we had our 99’ Landcruiser troopy & a 98’ Windsor 16ft pop top caravan (the sewing machine is still here with us too). Yes the idea of a new landcruiser & a new caravan was very appealing but being tied up to repayments would mean us having to work more – less work was the whole point of getting away!

SO the big question is why? Well, why not? Everyone kept telling us these were the best years of our life, our kids were young enjoy them – we were spending so much time at work our only family day was Sunday & I usually ended up working! We packed our stuff in a shipping container, got a tenant for our house & off we went!

How long? It is indefinite at this stage – we don’t want to rush anything and we have so many spots we can’t wait to take the kids too! We are thinking 2-3 years!

Our little adventurers are Ruby 7 & 6-year old twins Rosie & Zac. We are enrolled in Distance education through Port Macquarie NSW. Andrew & I take turns being the teacher depending on who is working & we love it, all resources are supplied, we talk to our teacher weekly & can call her with any worries! It is definitely the best fit for OUR family!

We take turns working & try to have a few weeks off between contracts – so far it has been Happy days!

Our highlight to date has been Cape York for the off-road side of things & Palm Cove is the highlight when it comes to luxury!

Follow us on Instagram & Facebook @milsypezwardo #milsypezwardo. I’ll be posting regularly about how we find work, distance education, what essentials we brought along, caravan/troopy mods & camp sites!

Don’t be shy to message us with any questions or with your hot tips of your own that might help us along the way!

DIY Campervan – TopGear

TopGear Motorhome Challenge

* Jeremy compares two supercar convertibles, the Audi R8 and the Porsche 911 Turbo, and the Stig gives them lap times
* The boys are challenged to build their own cool motorhomes and put them through a series of challenges
* SIARPC: actor Andy Garcia

Don’t buy a drone until you watch this! – Campersway

We hope you enjoyed these drone fails, are you in the market for a new drone? Then you need to read this!

When picking out a starting drone, you’ll want to look mostly at durability, ease-of-use, and price. Durability is important because first-time users always have a few crashes, and you don’t want to trash your new toy when you’re first getting started. Ease-of-use is obvious – a high-end drone like the Phantom 4 might have a ton of great features, but to a beginner, those are just complications you don’t really want to deal with. And in case something does go wrong, you want to start with a fairly cheap drone that won’t set you back thousands of dollars.

 

How to fly a drone

  • Pick a nice day with no wind.
  • Go to a large open field with no obstacles such as buildings or power lines around.
  • Keep distractions to a minimum, and switch off your phone.
  • Make sure you don’t fly near people or properties.

Now it’s time to practice your skills. Taking off and climb a couple of meters, hovering, flying from point A to point B, and landing. Take it slowly.

 

Wind Speed

This is probably the first thing you need to find out before your flights if you are flying outdoors. I personally would not fly if the wind is stronger than 15mph. It’s flyable, but the quad will be a bit wobbly and the video footage will be a bit shaky.

Before I understand how important this is, I flew my 450 size tricopter in gusty wind (it must have been 25mph – 30mph) and it didn’t end too well. It was totally uncontrollable, eventually it was pushed away by the wind and crashed pretty badly. So you need to know the limits of wind speed your quadcopter can handle and don’t risk it flying in powerful wind.

Practice Hovering

Hovering is actually harder than it seems, especially when you are flying FPV through a monitor or FPV goggle. Mastering hovering does not only allow you to have better control over your aircraft but also allows you to shoot better aerial videos and pictures.

Cut Throttle

When you are flying forward fast, and you are about to crash into a tree, what would you do? If you can escape by turning left or right, a wise option would be turning off your throttle. By stopping throttle, you also stop the fast rotating propellers as well. This reduces the chance of breaking your props, motors and further damages to your quadcopter. Some nano quads come with prop guards which are also good features to consider.

https://www.catch.com.au/event/67122/

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