Last year, serial traveller and QLD man Graham Stanley was en route to tour NSW and VIC in his caravan when COVID hit, and he had to return home, just so happening to settle down in Logan West.
Now, with borders slowly reopening, using his new place in Logan Reserve as a base, he’s ready to finish what he started.
Mr Stanley who with his 22 foot RoadStar Caravan has travelled across almost all of Australia since he retired from the construction industry 15 years ago, says he had just set off for a big Aussie road trip when the pandemic put a pin in it.
“I sold a home on the Tweed Coast in January last year and didn’t know what I was gonna do and the caravan was there so I thought I’m going travelling for whatever period and yeah I got to Victoria and Covid came along, then the borders closed so I thought I better get back to Queensland,” Mr Stanley said.
Mr Stanley says he returned to Queensland and stayed in a Brisbane caravan park during the lockdown period, but, as soon as it was lifted in July, he hit the road for Cairns and didn’t look back, nor forward to where his new home base would be.
“When they opened the state up again around June last year I headed up to North Queensland, and spent 6 months up there, travelled around and came back to Cairns every now and then,” Mr Stanley said.
“When I took off in the caravan I didn’t know how long I was going for, what I was going to do, whether I’d buy another house or whether I’d buy a unit.”
Eventually Graham settled on an over 50’s village at Halcyon Rise in Logan Reserve in June this year, which he says is great because it offers him the opportunity to close the door, hook the caravan onto the car and live the nomad life he wants when borders reopen.
“I’ve got caravan storage here that they provide. The other good part about it is when I go back out in the caravan again it’s a gated community so It’s secure, I walk out, lock the place up and store my caravan in the storage area here, it’s good,” Mr Stanley said.
Mr Stanley says he plans to resume his travel hiatus early next year when free interstate travel will be permitted and he finishes recovering from a recent knee replacement surgery.
“About 9-10 weeks ago I had a knee replacement, I’m in the recovery stage of that at the moment, then come next year the house here will be a base for me and I’ll be out travelling,” Mr Stanley said.
After being locked inside the state for over a year, not even a major surgery is enough to rid his travel bug. Mr Stanley says his dream itinerary for his next travels would be to resume the trip he started last year before having to come back to QLD because of the pandemic.
“Now that the borders are going to reopen again, yeah hopefully I’ll start travelling through Victoria and New South Wales,” Mr Stanley said.
“There was a lot I wanted to do last year when I went down there, but couldn’t because of Covid.”
‘I’m looking at going out through Western Queensland across the Northern Territory and down Uluru and if that does not eventuate it will be back up to North Queensland, basically resume what I started last year and add a bit more to it.”
Graham says throughout his numerous travels over the years, he’s found that caravanning is his preferred method of transport for the social and practical perks.
“It’s the freedom to do what you want when you want to do it,” Mr Stanley said.
“I’ve done many cruises all over the world, but my favourite style of travelling is hooking the caravan on the car and taking off.”
“It’s different, the comradery I suppose because you’re out there mixing with likeminded people who have caravans and a lot of common and like-minded interests.”
Graham will trade house keys for caravan keys soon, but in the meantime he continues to enjoy retirement life and keep himself occupied by riding his pushbike, socialising with neighbours at the Halcyon happy hours and visiting his grandkids.
Until then, we’ll be eagerly waiting to hear back from his next big adventure.