Grey Nomad Migration

Hit the road and see… the back ends of thousands of caravans

Folks, what’s coated with a thin sheet of foil and full of rich goodies inside?

That’s right, a caravan!

And Easter time means the Great Grey Nomad Migration is about to set off from their southern hives seeking warmth above the Tropic of Capricorn.

These mobile home hauling pensioners have spent the summer sheltering from soul-destroying heat and humidity and now, at the start of footy season, they’re hitching up their vans in preparation for the long trip north again.

As the rest of us are spending this weekend eating our bodyweight in chocolate, they’re packing, putting their homes into hibernation and possibly giving their non-migrating neighbours some good-natured ribbing.

“Do you want our heater? We won’t be needing it! How are you off for warm jackets, jumpers and electric blankets ‘cause we won’t be needing those either! Hooroo!”

I suspect some stuck-at-homes must toy with the idea of leaping the fence with coils of extension leads and garden hoses slung over their shoulders after the van turns the first corner.

Anyway, onward to the equator the caravans trundle, at 20kph below the posted speed. Which is why frustrated truckies have nicknamed them ‘aluminium speedbumps’.

Fortunately, the herd stops at regularly throughout the day to allow the several thousand cars, trucks and buses trapped behind them to race on to the next doddering van hauler.

Now, they may be clogging the highways, but they’re a mobile goldmine to many communities.

More than one local council has been toppled for messing with the Grey Nomad Mafia. Banning dogs from parks, removing a free camping area or not keeping the toilets sparkling clean can be enough to get your village placed on the nomad’s no-go zone and eventual economic ruin.

Their sheer volume means there’s lots of them spending a little each but it all adds up to a very pretty penny indeed.

Then, as the footy season winds up, an unheard signal sounds and the swarm turns homeward. Their wrinkly skins bronzed and their vans richly loaded with the 3 ‘P’s: Prescriptions, Plonk and Pressies for the grandkids.

Until next year…

One comment

  1. Hi Greg – I don’t know how old you are but from your photo you look about 30 years younger than me. I found your article “The Grey Migration” both patronisiing and ageist. Not all older people are pensioners who drive slowly, “clogging up the highways”. Many take no medication, and not all have “wrinkly skins” – in fact the photo used to illustrate your article shows a couple with nary a wrinkle. Your article is a rich mine of lazy stereotypes about older people and fosters a lack of respect in this youth-obsessed society, I did not find it “on a lighter note”. In 30 years you may be singing a different tune…


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