Receiving posting orders to move from one side of the country to the other is a daunting prospect but, for the Johnson family, the adventure had just started.
When they found out they’d be leaving Western Australia for Canberra, Amy immediately started thinking about the logistics. But when Navy husband Aaron suggested they drive across the Nullarbor and have the adventure of a lifetime with their two boisterous sons, she was a little blindsided.
“Aaron had just returned from a five-month deployment, our youngest had just started school, and I was lecturing at university and in the final stages of my PhD thesis,” said Amy.
“The idea of a long and arduous drive was not exactly thrilling, but I eventually agreed.”
As Perth faded from view and endless miles of road stretched to the horizon, the family were surrounded by nothing but bush and Amy realised the vastness of Australia.
“There is something beautiful about being on the road, with nothing to do except drive, and I felt the stress of the last few weeks melt away,” said Amy
“The long drive also helped make the transition from old home to new more manageable. The first few days we reminisced about our years in WA, and once we got closer to Canberra we were excitedly making plans for our new life.
“There were so many highlights—like the Great Australian Bight, the 12 Apostles, and driving the 90 Mile Straight. But it’s the small moments I cherish the most. Picking fresh strawberries at Beerenberg Farm, panning for gold in Ballarat, the kids reaction when we told them they were staying overnight at the Cocklebiddy Roadhouse and they said ‘But, but…it’s a fuel station.’
“I was able to catch up with my husband who had spent the last few years sailing all over the globe, and I got to listen to and hang out with my kids without the chaos of everyday family life.
“I’m endlessly grateful for the chance to travel across the country and the experiences we had along the way.”
But would she do it again?
“In a heartbeat!”
This article was published in the 2018 Autumn/Winter Defence Family Matters