Bobo&Boo Blog | Behind the Boo: On the Road with Naomi

5 min read

What do you get when you pile a family of four into a caravan and send them off on a spontaneous, year-long adventure around Australia? One heck of a tale (and some important life lessons along the way). 

We sat down with Naomi, Chief Boo at bobo&boo and chatted about all things travel, toddlers, and the non-stop search for a little wifi in the middle of nowhere.

In 2018, you set off with your family in your caravan to travel around Australia. What inspired you to do this? 

I struggled with PND following the birth of my youngest son (#RealTalk). Although I was doing my very best to take care of him and my eldest while building the bobo&boo brand, I was finding I needed help, especially as my husband worked full-time and we didn’t have family close by.

I also realised that it was becoming difficult to find joy in my day-to-day life, and I felt my resilience beginning to wear thin – and that was not the type of life I wanted for my family or me. I shared this all with my husband (who’s incredibly supportive, I have to add), and we decided that we’d look after the kids together as more of a team; it was just a matter of working out how that would look.

Mr Boo and I were chatting one night about how short life was and the kind of lives we wanted for the boys and ourselves. We both wanted freedom, adventure, support, and connectedness as a family, and realized that things needed to change.

By the end of the night, we’d made the decision to travel, and within a few weeks, we’d packed up our house on the Gold Coast, sold our cars, bought a caravan, and headed south!

child next to a kangaroo while they travel around Australia as a family with chief boo, owner of bobo&boo bamboo dinnerware

Holy moly! Were you confident about packing up your life for this new adventure?

 To be honest, I didn’t worry about it too much; I knew that worst-case scenario, we could just come home if it didn’t work out.

We left with a vague plan to be away for a year, but we also agreed that there’d be no shame if we discovered it wasn’t for us and chose to return earlier. That laid-back outlook around flexibility really helped us to manage any nerves we had!

So, did you last the whole year, or did you end up going back to the Gold Coast?

Actually, we ended up travelling for 2 years – turns out, we loved it! In the end, we decided we didn’t want to go back to the hectic lives we had on the Gold Coast, so we relocated to a remote town in South Australia where the closest proper supermarket is 320km away.

Okay, ‘fess up: what was it like travelling full time with kids?

Truthfully? It was HARD (caps intended).

I have two very energetic boys; Bobby, who had just turned 4 at the time, and Sunny, who’d just turned 1 when we set off. Add into the mix juggling work commitments on the road, living in a cosy (read: small) caravan, and that Sunny wasn’t the easiest of kids (#toddleryears), and yeah, we had our fair share of challenges. Now we look back and laugh about it, but it wasn’t so funny at the time.

(This was taken on the first night of our travels. As you can see, it didn’t get off to a good start.)

toddler crying on the first night of our trip around Australia with chief boo, Naomi of bobo&boo bamboo dinnerware as a family

What were your favorite parts of living on the road?

Having no commitments (apart from working from my laptop and chasing the surf), being able to spend so much time together as a family, being constantly immersed in nature, and the friends made along the way.

Oh, and the ghost crabs that come out at night on the beaches in Western Australia – catching them was so much fun! The kids still talk about that all the time…

No trip ever runs perfectly. What were the most difficult parts?

Initially, it was working around nap times, spending 24/7 together, working on the road in remote areas, being so reliant on technology, etc. But by the end, we had most of it figured out. (Besides the flies; we never got used to those suckers!)

The bobo&boo brand was 3 years old when you started your travels. How was working on the road?

I have to admit; I count my blessings that I could work on the road so successfully. We bought a cell phone signal booster to help us in remote locations with minimal wifi, which was a lifesaver.

In saying that, there were also plenty of times that I’d have to make a 2-hour round trip to random towns to get a bit of work done; I’d pull over wherever I could find a few bars of reception and work in the car, haha! The scenery would vary between sea views with whales breaching on the horizon and being swarmed by flies on a dusty road (gross) – but that was all part of the adventure!

child on a caravan table eating off his bamboo dinnerware for kids while travelling around Australia

All mothers feel #MomGuilt at some point. Even when travelling with your family did you still feel that?

Actually, I did. Even though it looked like I had this fantastic work/life balance, I’d still experience crippling mom guilt whenever I went off to get work done. And then, once I’d found some reception and got stuck into my work, I’d feel massive FOMO because I knew the boys and Mr Boo were off doing something fun together, and I’d miss them.

As I found, whether you’re doing business in a big city or in a caravan, the Mom guilt never stops.

child on a beach where they were camping with their mom chief boo of bobo&boo bamboo dinnerware for kids

We imagine that on this trip you put your bobo&boo products to the test. How did they handle it?

I’m not gonna lie; having our caravan cupboard stocked with bobo&boo essentials definitely made things easier. They got used all day, every day, and they never once failed us – even when our water tank was empty and we had to wash the dishes on the beach! (#CaravanLife). They handled everything we put on them, from fresh-outta-the-oven morning tea to cheese platters as we watched the sunset over the ocean (while the grownups had a few sneaky wines).

We even took the kids’ sets on trips to Bali and Fiji, as they’re so light and easy to pack. And many hotels only offer ceramic dinnerware, and we didn’t want to have to watch over the boys whenever they had a drink (because nothing spoils a holiday more than broken glass and a trip to the hospital, right?). 

We hear you have some exciting news! Can you tell us about it? 

Absolutely! I’ve released a new range of camping- and caravan-friendly dinnerware made for travellers of all ages. We already stock kids eco bowls, plates, and cups, but this collection is for the big kids and adults who want in on the action.

Modern caravanning has really been evolving over the past few years, with many being done up very stylishly these days. And with COVID-19 having restricted our ability to travel overseas as freely, families are looking for other adventure opportunities in their backyard. That’s why I re-designed our classic large cups and plates in a modern charcoal grey colorway and bundled them in 4-piece sets, making it easier for couples and families to eat in style on the road. 

kids eating off their bobo&boo bamboo and plant-based dinnerware while camping in a caravan and travelling around Australia

You can take a peep for yourself here

 And finally, what tips or advice do you have for families thinking about travelling and living out of a caravan?

Just do it! It will be challenging at first with the kids (and possibly, the spouse) as you all learn to adjust to being together 24/7, but it does get easier. And trust me; there’s so much beauty to see out there that it’s allllll worth it!

 Just go!