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My place: Caravan adds new dimensions

I never thought I'd love a caravan experience so much, but the stress-relief and joy I feel when I hop into my car to drive to my 1970s on-site Franklin van is outwardly obvious to all. The caravan is a symbol to me, of the simple life of the '60s and '70s – the era I grew up in.

I was not a camper or even an experienced caravan holidaymaker as a child, but the idea of an on-site van at the beautiful Inverloch Surf Beach seemed to lure me with the promise of taking an interval in my otherwise hectic everyday life.

My caravan dream began when my eldest sister retired to Phillip Island. My husband and I visited her, sometimes staying with friends close by at the Cowes Caravan Park. We put an offer in on an on-site caravan there. Unfortunately we missed out, but our prayers were answered when we read about the vans for sale at Inverloch Surfside Caravan Park.

The result is that now, we are only 15 minutes from Phillip Island and my sister and we have the sound of beautiful rolling waves to lull us to sleep. We have no lawns to mow or trees to tend to, just a compact retreat to escape from our busy household duties and workplace stresses.

Inverloch and our caravan have become our beautiful beach haven – just about perfect in every way! Not only is the caravan "cute and compact" but it is 200 metres from a stunning surf beach. What a bonus. Inverloch has become our little taste of paradise and indeed I would call it "my place". My husband, who is an exceptionally hands-on primary school principal, now has a special place to hide away from his bustling everyday lifestyle and I have a project that satisfies my every whim.

The caravan is my passion and as a visual art teacher in my "normal" life, I have been able to paint and decorate to my heart's content. Every time we visit, we marvel at how lucky we are to be able to relax in our little retro van and annexe and relive the "simple life".