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Van Journal Week 7: Tassie Tour With Dad

Van Journal Week 7: Tassie Tour With Dad

The value of time… 

They say that with every year that passes, our days seem a little shorter. As these weeks in Tassie fly by, I can definitely attest to that. It’s hard to believe that we’ve already been back on the road for seven weeks and that scares me. 

The truth is that ever since I was very young I’ve always been conscious of just how finite our lives are. In fact, I would say that I still think about it almost every day. How many times have we been told by our elders to appreciate our youth because to them, they blinked and it was all over? I’ve always taken those words very literally. 

To some, including Haylea, this sounds like a curse, and maybe it is in a way. But I think one thing this curse has taught me is to fear any wasted time, which in retrospect I can see the benefits of.

With the current pandemic pulling the rug on many people’s freedoms and opportunities, I could imagine the deep dissatisfaction felt by so many who for so long have put off the things they’ve always wanted to do or achieve. It’s not until those freedoms and opportunities are gone that they realise the danger of complacency. It’s only then that most people begin to fear the sands of time. 

But I also understand the need for balance and the importance of living presently. Getting too caught up in these sorts of things can make you lose sight of the very thing you’re afraid to lose. It’s a delicate balancing act that I’m still working on. 

Someone who I’ve always admired for having a grounded sense of time is my father. Last time I mentioned him on this blog we were sailing together up the East Coast of Australia aboard Malaika, a 50-foot steel yacht that he’d built off his own back over the course of ten years with no prior experience. That level of dedication, to devote a decade to achieve a goal with no short-term rewards in between is something that I admire deeply.

This week, it was his turn to fly in to join us on our adventures in Tasmania. 

Olly gaspar

By Olly Gaspar, full-time traveler & adventure photographer for 6 years with 700+ published travel guides. I visit every place I write about & share real tips from what I learn.

The Tasman Peninsula & Port Arthur

We began the week by heading to the Tasman Peninsula. This region is full of history and incredible nature. We experienced both on the first day with my dad, exploring the jagged coastline on the Waterfall Bay Track and learning about the lives of the early convicts at Port Arthur. 

Port Arthur really is a special place and it gave us all a new appreciation of the hardships faced by the ancestors of many Australians.

Read More: Waterfall Bay Hike

Amos Round Two

A curveball was thrown at us on the second day of our dad visiting us in Tasmania. We’d been given a last-minute offer to photograph and promote Picnic Island, one of Tasmania’s most beautiful private Islands, and that definitely wasn’t something we were prepared to turn down.

However, this meant that we needed to do a fair big of backtracking back to Freycinet National Park. 

When we arrived, we had to show dad Mount Amos, which had easily been one of our personal highlights of the trip. So, up we went for round two. 

Read More: Mount Amos Hike

Mount amos summit panorama

Picnic Island

Staying on Picnic Island was an awesome experience, to say the least. We were also gifted with dream-like conditions. We had practically no wind, clear blue skies and fiery sunsets– a stark contrast to the previous week in Tassie. 

Read more: Staying on Picnic Island

Picnic island tasmania

Mount Field & The Styx

Next on the agenda was a trip back to one of my favourite National Parks in Tasmania; Mount Field. The initial plan was to explore the alpine section of the park but unfortunately, conditions didn’t allow us to get there in a big van. 

However, dad didn’t mind at all and he loved the opportunity to see the Tassie rainforest and waterfalls of Mount Field. 

We also made a quick stop to The Styx, a huge forestry area famous for being home to some of the world’s tallest flowering trees. Unfortunately, much of this region is dedicated to logging but thanks to persistent activism, the tallest trees in The Styx have been saved for conservation. 

Read More: Styx Tall Trees Walk

Read More: Three Falls Circuit & Tall Trees Walk in Mount Field National Park

Styx tall trees 0805

We wrapped up this great day of exploring by staying at Bethune Park, a perfect secluded spot just off the highway next to a beautiful lake. It was great to spend time with dad in the outdoors by the fire, a moment I will always cherish. 

Camping at bethune campsite

Hobart & Mount Wellington

Just as quickly as week seven crept upon us, it had fleeted. We spend the last day with dad exploring Hobart and earning the view from Mount Wellington by taking the steep tracks up from The Springs. 

Again, we had great weather and clear views of Hobart from the top. 

Read More: Mount Wellington Hike

Read More: Snug Falls Tasmania

Triggers and Timing

My father has and continues to teach me many things. As with most people, I craved independence in my teens. But, as I grow older, I find myself increasingly turning to wiser men to help me make better decisions. 

While Haylea and I instinctively know that the path we’re on is the right one for us, the unorthodoxy of our lifestyle does come with its uncertainties. The reality is that abandoning the conventional nine-to-five in the pursuit of a more fulfilling existence is much more difficult than simply accepting that dreaded desk job.

But, without risk, there is no gain. Growth and progress don’t arise from comfort but flourish in the world of challenge and uncertainty. We reject the path of least resistance because we know that path only leads to short-term victories and skips the greatest rewards.

I consider myself very lucky to be surrounded by unconditional support. Dad reassured me this week by giving me a valuable piece of advice; to trust our instincts and to be conscious of what he calls “triggers”.  He explains that these triggers are events that should be taken as catalysts for action. This requires a focal shift to the present so that you can better understand where you are headed in the future.

Timing is everything. Live presently, trust your instincts and the triggers will guide you into the future.

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I'm Olly Gaspar, adventure travel journalist & photographer. Traveling non-stop since 2018, I've published over 700 travel guides on We Seek Travel. These draw on my personal experience to share unique itineraries, accommodation tips, & fun adventure guides covering hikes, viewpoints, beaches, waterfalls, & tours. Read my Publishing Ethics Statement.

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Stefan Capkovic

Monday 11th of April 2022

No one can take away experiences you breathe , taste and lived . You will carry them for the rest of your life. If you close your eyes you can taste , smell and see each part of the world that shaped your personality , mind and spirit.