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  • Writer's pictureAmba Brown

Book Tour: Part 1 - A camper trailers account of being on the road with two newlywed booksellers

Part 1: Queensland

To Brisbane from Cairns

Patriot Camper Trailer North Queensland

It’s been 45 days; if you don’t count the speed trip to The Cape James took with his Dad before Amba jumped in at Cairns.

Trust. They’ve already given me the lamest and least thought given name going – Pat. Yes, I’m a Patriot camper trailer.

Straight out of the factory and gunmetal grey, but thanks to James and the red dust of the north you can now recognise me as part red.

Camping Australia

‘Red’, see there’s a name.

If they’d given it just ONE more moment’s thought I could’ve been ‘Red – the Patriot’.

Don’t get me wrong, I'm not a complainer but I do like to tell it how it is. No cutting around the bush kind of van... more a high way cruiser. Ironic given I’m built to go off-track, but with these two – there’s little time for bush bashing, in between racing around Oz.

On the weekends we’ve had a few adventures; The Daintree without a doubt my favourite so far.

45 days I was saying... we’ve made it from Cairns to Brisbane.

And… the amount of times I’ve heard them say, “Not sure why we’re heading south. It’s getting SO cold!” – “But the schools! We have to stick to the schools…”

Amba Brown Finding Your Path Books

Then every stop calls for at least one of them to remark, “If only we could stay here a week. But, time to move on…”

Oh, if only I had a dollar for every time I've heard that!

But I do have to give it to them, they started out with an impeccable health regime!

Week 1, Palm Cove you could smell the kale. Organic this and that, with daily yoga and meditation time. They were sporting the most meticulous cleaning habits. I was sparkling inside. No words really. Well two might sum it up – ‘Camping Dyson’. James’ new favourite appliance. Can you believe he carries a Dyson?

Yep, that happened, and it’s the yin to the yang of our operations now.

Camping Australia

A block of chocolate a day with sporadic exercise brought on when their sto​​mach hurts after hours in the car.

I guess it happens to the best of us on the road. Good intentions, food priorisation and constant alertness of all that should be seen. With these two it’s what can we cram in between bookselling and schools?

I wont go there, except to say –

I’m stocked full of them if anyone knows a transitioning student?

Finding Your Path Books On the Road

Buy one here and unload me. PLEASE.

Smooth plug?

I’m learning from Disco - their car, and yes she’s a Land Rover Discovery 2. Well half a Discovery. You hear her share her dramatic story of being rolled, and chopped, and now a flashy convertible. She’s quite the show off. Always competing for my attention, tattooing their website on her side.

Finding Your Path Books

Try hard if you ask me.

I’m taking more of a slow build love strategy with the couple.

Their first set up took half an hour. Not sure what they were doing.

Their first pack down – 1.5 hours! What the?

Within two weeks, they managed the set up in 13 minutes. And now I’d say they’re averaging an 11 minute set up and half hour pack down.

But we still blame James for sprawling his goods as far apart as physically possible.

Amba’s pretty neat. Although to be fair, she’s hogging all of the storage so James is left to manage out of bags...

Book Tour Australia - Finding Your Path

I might just add this has nothing to do with my lack of storage and everything to do with their lack of organisation. Put simply, it’s user error.

The one thing they have organised is their school route, now having visited over 100 schools.

Let me paint a picture:

Week 1: Monday 23rd July - Cairns

Week 2: Monday 30th July - Townsville

Week 3: Monday 6th August – Mackay

Week 4: Monday 13th August – Gladstone & Bundaberg

Week 5: Monday 20th August – Noosa / Sunshine Coast

Week 6: Monday 27th August – Brisbane

Week 7: Monday 3rd September – Gold Coast & Byron Bay

Week 8: Monday 10th September – Port Macquarie & Newcastle

Week 9: Monday 17th September – Sydney

Week 10: Monday 24th September – Sydney

Week 11: (School holidays) Monday 1st October – South Coast

Week 12: (School holidays) Monday 8th October – South Coast

Week 13: Mon 15th October – Melbourne​​

Week 14: Mon 22nd October – Melbourne

Week 15: Mon 29th October – Commute to Adelaide – districts in-between

Week 16: Mon 5th November –Adelaide

Week 17: Mon 12th November – Commute to Perth - districts in-between

Week 18: Mon 19th November – Perth

Week 19: Mon 26th November – Perth

Week 20: Mon 3rd December – Commute to Adelaide - districts in-between

Week 21: Mon 10th December – Commute to Adelaide - districts in-between

Week 22: Mon 17th December – Commute to Sydney - districts in-between

Week 23: Mon 24th December – Sydney

Week 24: Mon 31st December – Sydney

Now, let me colour it in for you:

  • Grey nomads, everywhere

  • Blue skies, everyday

  • Starry skies, every night

  • Ridiculous car games, mostly involving rhyme

  • Books, books, schools and books, in case I didn’t mention that

  • The most beautiful beaches you’ve ever seen – with crocodile and stinger signs plonked on nearly all

  • Sugar cane motorways taller than cars

  • Excitement anytime they pass a local produce stall, stopping off about 4% of the time

  • An abundance of gratitude for all of the above

Amba and James

Touch base after the next state folks.

NSW here they come!

- Pat


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