Who are the "gray wanderers" of Australia

"Gray-haired wanderer" replenishes water from an artesian spring in the desert of NT, the pump is powered by a wind turbine

Australia has a very long life expectancy of 85 years. For comparison, we only recently stepped over 70, before that it was in the area of ​​65. The pension comes in 55-65 years. It remains about 20-30 years to do something.

Imagine: you are 55, the pension is normally enough for life without excesses, the children have already left. You live in your home somewhere outside the city and think what to do. Well, and then strange begins. So much so that they were able to largely change the lifestyle of so many small settlements.

So, the house is rented, and grandparents buy their own house-on-wheels. This is either a trailer for an off-road vehicle with a container house, or a land yacht van, or even a converted bus. And they go to the “Around the World” in Australia - this is easy, because the whole continent is one country (two times smaller than Russia), and there is a ring road around. For a year and a half, as these wonderful people initially think. And get stuck for 10-15 years.

Minute sociology

In the 1980s, there were no gray-haired wanderers. In the two thousandth, they began to appear, and in 2016 there were between a million and a half million people in Australia at a rough estimate. The approximate estimate is based on the fact that 586 thousand houses-on-wheels and mobile home trailers are registered. The current level of growth is 22 thousand per year. Plus, there are those who just set up a tent near the SUV or on its special rooftop platform (since it happens in Australia, the latter is important for protection from snakes and insects).

The roads are crowded with vans with elderly couples in the winter in northern Australia and south in the summer. All upside down, that is, their winter = our summer, that is, they usually prefer about +21 and moderate season. And they drive in better weather in the best parts of the country.

Where did they come from? There was a wonderful article in 2013 (it can be found on the Schihab on DOI 10.1196 / annals.1396.030) with a good analysis of the prerequisites and proofs in numbers. The researcher says the following:
  1. Most of the population is not sick the last 20 years, and has good health. It usually worsens dramatically several months before death, but there are statistically few long sad periods.
  2. The new structure of the family - in pairs of parents, and not the whole bunch, like in Victorian times - made it possible to free people after 60 from a pile of household items.
  3. The concept of a “work for life” society has changed to “learn all life”: people have become much more open to change and want new impressions all the time. What to do? Travel! I note that there is about the same on land in Canada and the USA, in Europe on the coast of Spain, and on the sea in England, Norway, etc. Here, for example, great news about the grandfather, who went out for bread and went to the 18-year-round Around the World. Yes, they are. Yes, the same Norwegians are a very traveling nation.
  4. Pension levels no longer make people dependent on children.
  5. On the roads already have all the infrastructure for travelers.

Now let's look at the infrastructure. What do you want for those who want to move relatively safely around Australia? First, good roads. Let me remind you that everything is simple for them: if an accident happens where there is no marking or there is damage to the road, it is the fault of the road builders almost regardless of the circumstances. Secondly - refueling. They are everywhere, and these are often city-forming enterprises. Why - a little later. Thirdly, a safe place, water, toilets and electricity - yes, people usually have everything with them, but it's still nice to be where they are equipped. Such parking is approximately every 50 kilometers. Even outside brown lands (these are uninhabited suburbs), from Nowhere Lands to the Red Center (where there is almost no infrastructure) there are autonomous shelters - a solar panel, a submersible toilet, a rainwater collection tank with a warning that you need to boil it, a satellite phone for call a ranger or a flying doctor (yes, you can be saved from anywhere in Australia).

Most likely, went to the radial

Normal view

Rare, you can't climb it everywhere

Sometimes this “boat” is taken with you: you can leave the house on the joke and move on quite wild places on an SUV

"Starcraft" are considered a suite made by Australians for Australians. I spent a couple of days in this without an engine (sometimes in such caravan parks as in the room), everything is almost like on an expeditionary yacht.

In places that are interesting to wanderers, there are usually more nishtyakov - for example, they are very fond of external electrical network. Yes, they don't have a lot of money. They save, and therefore do not stay in hotels. Not everyone is rich, but in total they provide 40% of the load of all the “caravan parkings” in Australia (where young people go on holidays and weekends). Travelers in cars spend on parking only $ 8.6 billion per year: 10% are foreigners, 50% are “fast travelers” and long-range fighters, 40% are our heroes. And another 40% of wealth is concentrated in the hands of the category "over 55" in Australia. In fact, this is their own homes that are rented for the duration of travel.

Typical refueling in Nowhere Lands. This in a civilized place on Stuart, there are a lot of truckers stops for the night.

And this is a “caravan park” in Mataranka near geothermal sources. At the top of the photo you can see the river (more precisely, the trees near it), further in the forest there can be up to 400-500 wanderers.

An example of an emergency caller

Another closer

On average, they need little - sometimes durable clothes, sometimes some kind of device like a solar battery. They spend little. But they all use gas stations, everyone buys food from the gas station store and everyone tries to come to local festivals and other events. Because they are interested. There are a lot of them, and when they gather somewhere, this is a good plus for the city’s economy.

Local Holiday in Darwin

Darts tournament near kakadu

This creates a secondary wave - people are starting to try to make every place in Australia interesting. This is a whole industry, almost like in South Africa. But there is a culture of adventure for tourists, starting from the fact that they are giving you a t-shirt "I was in South Africa and shot AK-47 at blacks" (the top of political correctness, but the targets are really black) and ending with a special cave route. in the middle of which you will rescue a dummy that has fallen into a crack, and in the end, leave the shaker in clay. In Australia, the interest is directed to local residents, and in many respects - to wanderers. Many festivals. Gas stations are becoming city-forming enterprises: if there is something besides a grocery store, a cell tower and gasoline, then wanderers are not too lazy to spend a couple of days to come in and see. From here - every city finds something to be proud of. As we walked along the Stewart highway, this is what happened:

And so on.

"Termitary Stuart". Just a big remarkable termitary, then hundreds more of the same, but a little less. Generally, it is in the NT that all good things are named in honor of Stuart, the builder of the telegraph line to Darwin, who discovered the route through the middle of the continent.

Place with aliens

Newspaper clippings

Normal invitation

Here the owner collects license plates.

Mentioned traffic light

Here is going to a collection of bras

Normal entry

Yes, I will clarify. The wanderers do not like tourist places, they try to get away and find something rare and strange. They are very well coordinated in terms of information sharing, and bikes play the same role for them as they were decades before, before the development of a large Internet, information played a role in the community of Australian hackers Altos. The more valuable you say - the higher your karma in the community.

They have a huge friendly site thegreynomads.com.au. Everything is there to become a gray-haired wanderer, all instructions, etiquette, news ( for example , they learned that AU mail is registered as an airline - and drones are waiting for cars), the current condition of roads, descriptions of campgrounds, equipment sales, a schedule of all kinds events in the country and places where the work of wanderers is needed. And a huge forum. A large section about the hobby. Dog care, travel description, astronomy - everything to choose from.

Now the funny thing. Job. The fact is that grandparents do not waste their skills after retirement. A mechanical engineer of the “Formula 1” level can, of course, soak for quite a long time in a geothermal source, but then he will become bored. A grandmother who was a hairdresser in the trendy salon of Sydney will want someone to do a cool haircut. Who does not know how - can participate in the harvest, every handyde, look after houses and farms, do all sorts of things for environmentalists, and so on. But we are now interested in people with great life experience. Grandpa and Grandma drove all of Australia, drove into the wilds of the suburbs and went to buy groceries at the store near the gas station. They were warmly received there, they talked to the locals, and now the grandfather is standing in the barn of a car mechanic and is looking at a tractor that broke 10 years ago. And his hands itch to fix it. And the grandmother wants to make her other grandmother's hair, and her hands are also itching. A car mechanic offers an internship bid - he has no more budget. Grandfather does not do it for earnings, therefore he agrees. Six months later, within a radius of 100 kilometers, there is no poorly functioning equipment, and local residents go to show off their hairstyles at all the festivals. Having earned all the redemption, the grandfather accepted the deserved applause and left with her grandmother at sunset — another half a year of travel, and they would settle down again somewhere.

Grandpa in supermarket in Payne Creek. I have already shown it in another post, but it is painfully characteristic.

This is how they influenced Australia. More interesting places, better roads, occasional professional work, the development of field medicine. And we can expect about the same movement with us: it is only necessary to raise the average age slightly.

If they want to settle down, they will rent a house for a year somewhere in another region. And then they again pull on the road.

Source: https://habr.com/ru/post/408817/

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