South West the perfect sanctuary for stranded nomads
Two American tourists, who became stranded in Roelands during the coronavirus lockdown, have thanked the community for its support after a two-month stay.
Former North Carolina residents Bonnie Truax and her husband Trinity Montero were travelling around Australia when the coronavirus pandemic sent the country into a whirlwind of worry.
Non-essential travel was banned and regional borders were monitored by Police and the Australian Defence Force, leaving the nomads shipwrecked in the South West region.
They received a call from the United States, urging them to return home, however, Mrs Truax and Mr Montero had no home to go to.
The 47-year-olds had quit their corporate jobs and sold their belongings to journey around Australia in their new house on wheels — a decked-out bus equipped with a kitchen, bathroom and bedroom.
The minimalists had planned to loop around the red-dirt continent and were baffled as to what to do in the midst of a global health pandemic.
We tried caravan parks and accommodation sites, but many were closed to visitors.
“We even pleaded with councils in the Perth area to let us isolate on their soil, but they all said no.”
Mrs Truax said there was “a lot of anxiety” within communities and many were reluctant to welcome stranded travellers in fear of contracting the virus.
However, the pair received a helping hand from Toby Richardson, a Roelands resident they met over Facebook on a travel blogging page. Mr Richardson offered his Roelands backyard to the couple, where they parked their bus for more than 60 days.
“The people in Roelands were so friendly,” Mrs Truax said.
“We are so grateful to have met Toby and we appreciate the support from the Roelands and Burekup communities.
They made us feel welcome at a time when many people did not want visitors in their towns.
The pair departed Roelands on May 27 to continue their adventure. They are hoping to apply for another year-long visa to see more of Australia.
“As nomads, we rarely get sentimental or choose to call a place home, but Roelands will forever feel like a home to us.
“Maybe one day we might even choose to settle down here.”
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