We had to row with the belts we had*

To start off this story you should picture this; Me, Lisa, a 27-year-old who travelled to the other side of the world, sitting in the middle seat, in between her parents, on an airplane. Yes, in-between them!Part of the vanderzweep fam

I must admit that I did ask myself whether this was a good idea or not. But it did feel good, comforting even. Hopping along with your parents. Sitting safe in between them. Joking around, annoying them after ten minutes. Yes! But it turned out that I would have to be the eyes and ears for them in a couple of cases. They are comic duo, my parents. 29 years of marriage, ‘fighting’ over the smallest things and if you let them get out of your sight they could possibly harm themselves badly ?.

Adelaide on a saturday nightSo here it goes. The story of our mother-daughter-father-trip. The first city on the agenda was Adelaide on a Saturday evening. Our flight got in late, so we were roaming the streets just when all the partygoers got out of their house. What.an.experience! Groovy is the word that best describes the feeling. I was walking around, eyes wide open, mouth far ajar. Lights and music everywhere.
I cannot erase the image of girls, who forgot to dress themselves, walking around and dancing in front of open windows, voluntarily! We were too gobsmacked to get our dancing legs out ourselves.

As I love clear communication everyone on this trip got a primary function/role fromOn the road me. I was the route manager figuring out where to go, what to see and how long we should stay. My mom was the accommodation manager and my dad the road manager (meaning he would drive most of the time). It soon turned out that one team member needed an extra push. Yasmine had booked us a campsite at the beach, so she thought. We were expected somewhere else. So here I was jumping in and assisting. She might not have been the best accommodation manager, but she made up for that with jokes and memorable oh-my-god-did-she-just-do-that incidents?

After Adelaide we decided to discover the Yorke Peninsula. If I can give you one piece of advice, don’t go there. It’s not worth it. It’s just very barren and dry.  Well, if you like fishing for crabs then it will be heaven on earth for you but otherwise, just no. We left the desert-like Peninsula to go to the Barossa Valley. At the same time my mom left her Pyjama’s at the camping ground in Ardrossan. She had to row with the belts she had for a couple of days until she got her pj’s back. So, it became a bit of a running gag during the rest of the trip to ask her if she was sure she didn’t forget anything.

The Barossa Valley is home to the most famous, delicious and expensive wines of South Australia. The surroundings were also green, it had character, and did I mention there’s wine? What more do we need?! I would like to add a peaceful night’s sleep to that list but that was an impossible wish. The three of us shared a campervan together. If you add the fact that both my mom and dad like to ‘sing’ when they’re asleep you see why I was able to read so many books during these two weeks.

From the Barossa Valley we made our way to Mt Gambier via the Naracoote Caves. Both beautiful and must sees. From then on, we were going to drive back ‘home’, to Victoria that is. We decided to stay in Port Fairy for a couple of days. The most liveable small community in Australia and it didn’t disappoint. Before we knew it, we were on the Great Ocean Road towards Lorne. Ready to say goodbye again (so not ready, I cried like a baby!).

Professional campersThe three of us covered a lot of km’s in a campervan. It was small and tricky at times to share such a limited space, but we had to row with the belts we had. Although, the Apollo campervan did become a much-discussed topic between my mom and me. We weren’t totally satisfied with the layout of the car. It just didn’t make any sense. So, our favourite past time was sitting in our chairs at the campgrounds looking around and making comments on how other people were travelling. Always comparing their vehicles to our sad Apollo. They were doing the same and wondering how on earth the three of us fitted into that car.

One time, our camping neighbours had a Britz van. It was raining, a bit cold and they were sitting inside their van drinking hot chocolate milk and playing games! Now picture this, we had put on all the clothes we brought with us and were huddled together under the booth of our van! Still a subject to nature’s elements. Unbelievable, I was so jealous. The family sitting in the Britz, it just looked like a Christmas commercial and I wanted to join in!

Although I made a lot of jokes about travelling together with my parents, I enjoyed it a lot! I think they did as well. I love the fact that they came all to way to Australia, so we could do this together. I would do it all over again.

Lisa en mama


Lisa en papa







*Literal translation of “Roeien met de riemen die je hebt”

English equivalent: Make do with what you have

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