Photo: Sally Currie
ALL PHOTOS BY SEAN BEALE EXCEPT WHERE SPECIFIED
Over the past ten years I’ve packed my bag and bike box hundreds of times. Travel is a major part of the life my family and I choose to live and we have always found ourselves living out of a bag more often than not.
This past year, the global pandemic pulled international travel to a halt, and in some ways, this has been an incredible opportunity for us as a family to spend more time in our home country of New Zealand and for me to reflect on what is most important moving forward, in support of what I hope to achieve as a professional athlete. The biggest realisation has been the importance of training consistently; including sleeping well and recovering well.
Travel interrupts this in a big way.
This is why we decided to take a big step and become the proud owner of a JB Caravan (the Dirt Road XTREME model); our home away from home.
The caravan is honestly, the best thing we’ve bought in our lives. We can now travel to events and diverse training locations as a family (the dog too), easily. The kids (Bella and Tarn) love it (especially the bunks), my wife (Sally) adores it and the dog (Manuka) has even claimed bunk number three! The Dirt Road XTREME is comfortable, convenient and set up, ready to go anytime so that if I’m feeling a bit flat and need a bit of variation in training or if I want to race an event on the whim somewhere then we just hook it on and drive to that place knowing I’m going to get a good sleep and everyone is going to be happy.
Photo: Sally Currie
We now don’t have to pre-plan or organise much at all and we save a lot of expense that historically would have been sunk into hotels or other short-term accommodation. For us as a family, it’s made the world of difference allowing us to travel New Zealand and make that super accessible all while giving me the ultimate base to train and race from.
Something really special about the caravan is that it is the epitomy of simple living, which brings our family together. We get that really valuable connection time no matter where we are or what we are doing; we cook together, clean up together, sit outside on nice evenings and play cards and it feels really nice. My life is normally pretty busy and a lot of the time I’m either training or recovering from training. Having this caravan as a base allows me to have more quality time with my family even when I’m in the middle of a 40-hour training week.
The caravan itself is incredibly well built, resilient, great to tow, it has an inverter so we can go off grid, we can run our smoothie blender, rocket coffee machine, cook really nice food on the gas hob, stockpile all the food we need in the huge fridge and there’s nothing we can’t fit in it; the storage capacity is next level (at the moment we have extra space which is a first for us) and it can carry every single toy under the sun which is pretty important for us (we love to mountain bike, pack-raft, fish, camp, hike into a hut, dive and surf whenever and where ever we can fit it in) and that’s the beauty of having a caravan as opposed to using air travel.
New Zealand is the ultimate adventure play-ground and there’s nothing worse than being somewhere where you can’t get out there any enjoy all that because you don’t have the gear with you. Now, in between training sessions and on my days off we can go out and do just about anything that we would normally do from home.
Photo: Sally Currie
We believe the Dirt Road XTREME is the best thing a family could ever dream to own and even though we have only owned it for 7 months its already paid its due because it gives us something that nothing else would provide. We have it for years to come and know we are going to have so many special times as family together in our home away from home.