Grey nomads reveal the allure of life on the road at Albany motorhome rally
As hundreds of RVs begin their descent on Albany for the 30th Campervan and Motorhome Club of Australia (CMCA) national rally, one veteran couple is preparing to hand over the keys after two decades on the road.
Ed and Jan Taylor have spent 22 years navigating Australian roads.
Although they maintain a permanent home on the central coast of New South Wales, the couple have taken to the road at any given opportunity.
The Taylors are in Albany for the CMCA national rally — an event expected to attract upwards of 800 campervans and motorhomes to the seaside city.
But after 20 years with the club, the CMCA stalwarts are taking the keys out of the ignition.
"Because of my health I can't do things on the motorhome that I need to do, so it is time," Ed said.
The spritely 81-year-old will receive a helping hand to show his ET Cruiser at the rally.
And therein lies the appeal of a life on the road for Ed and Jan.
"We go to rallies and it doesn't matter where it is, every place is good," Ed said.
"The reason we go to rallies is because of the people who attend.
"It's the camaraderie and friendship that's displayed in the club."
The early arrivals to the Albany site are a social crew: 3:00pm marks afternoon tea each day, and 4:00pm means happy hour and a game of cards.
"The whole thing is the people," he said.
"It doesn't matter where you go, everyone talks to one another."
An adventure in retirement
At 79, Jan is an advocate for early retirement.
"Don't put it off," she said.
More than twenty years ago, an industrial fire left her without a job.
"Our son had a pastry shop in Woy Woy and one night a fire went through the shopping centre and it burnt down," she said.
"That meant suddenly I didn't have a job. So I thought, 'good, I can have a holiday' and I'd always wanted to go to Darwin."
The couple bought their first motorhome and were hooked.
They are now lifetime members of the CMCA.
"It will be a sad day when we sell," Ed said, reflecting on his time on the road.
But the couple are not done with adventuring.
They have decided to take up cruising.
The first trip will be a 75-day voyage around the Pacific Islands early next year.
"They even do your washing; that's the best part," Jan said.