Life’s Booming: The Grey Nomads

Life’s Booming: The Grey Nomads is a podcast brought to you by Australian Seniors, and in our first six-episode series, we delve into stories of adventurers from all around Australia. We find what drives and draws them to intrepid journeying, and life “on the road” and find out how travelling has changed these bold nomads.

We talk about the fun times, the confronting moments and the challenges for newcomers to the nomad lifestyle. It’s time to seek out the best travel spots, learn about the places to avoid, talk about all things rig-related—the costs, the on-road etiquette, and what you need to know before packing the van and filling the tank. Let’s set off on into the great unknown!

Hosted by James Valentine

James Valentine is one of the ABC’s most loved hosts. His daily Afternoons show explores the nuances, ups, downs and downright weird and funny moments in life, and his unique presenting style is like chicken soup for the soul. James will bring his compassionate, kind, wry and always curious questions to Australian Seniors’ Life’s Booming: The Grey Nomads podcast throughout six exciting and fun episodes for series one, which is devoted to grey nomads. With James, we’ll explore the high roads and by roads of life on the go—the freedom, the thrills and spills, the sights, sounds, dreams and secrets of this unique tribe of over 50s adventurers.


Listen to the stories of adventurous Australians in these Life’s Booming podcast episodes. Explore life on the road and get immersed in the thrills, spills and escapades of these courageous grey nomads.

Episode 1 - Hello freedom

In this first episode you’ll meet Tony and Lisa Southwell. A few years ago, Tony fought off throat cancer and had terrible survivor’s guilt, so he and Lisa hitched up their caravan and took off—using the time and space to mend physically and mentally. This podcast covers everything from cooking bush tucker to saving a turtle from an untimely demise, as well as meeting the man that developed the Tasmanian Overland track. If you need inspiration to get on the road, you’ll find it right here!

Episode 2 - Going solo

In this episode of Life’s Booming, you’ll meet the extraordinary Gaylene Seeney. Gaylene is a thalidomide survivor, but her condition hasn’t stopped her from heading off on solo adventures. With her furry companion Albert the dog—and her trusty pliers by her side—she tells us about the joys and challenges of living off the grid (and just how long you can survive on canned food!) If you’ve wondered what it’s like to travel solo in the outback - inspiration awaits. Listen to her story here, and hear about the fabulous experiences she’s had since hitting the wide, open road with her ute and van.*

Episode 3 - Rolling on the road

In this exciting episode, you’ll get to know Judy and Erle Williamson. They call themselves The Travelling Willies after they decided to sell up their home in Gunnedah and live and travel Australia in their makeshift ‘mobile granny flat’. Hear about their experiences volunteering in remote places, as well as their hot tips on how to financially set up and plan your life on the road with minimal fuss. Share Judy and Earle’s geographical and emotional journey as they take us from Kangaroo Island to Lightning Ridge and everywhere imaginable in between. 

Episode 4 - The trainspotters

Get ready to experience not only life on the road, but life on the track. In this episode of Life’s Booming, you’ll meet Graham and Wendy French, who have spent the past three decades traversing Australia on the hunt for trains and centuries old disused rail lines. Graham’s fascination with trans-Pacific trains started back in the 1970s while working for a Kalgoorlie radio station which was located next to a busy railway yard. Since then, his fascination has grown into an obsession. Share the laughs and get ready to be surprised, as Graham and Wendy take you on their train inspired journeys all over Australia.

Episode 5 - The adventurers

Bob and Phyllis Bowers are adventure junkies. They’ve been married for 53 years and it’s their shared love of exploring that keeps them together, from kayaking to camping, hiking and abseiling. They’ve had near-death experiences down the Nymboida River, completed seven-day hikes in the Kimberley and seen the incredible Gwion Gwion Aboriginal rock art (formerly known as Bradshaw art). Their love of small towns across Australia and the wonderful people they’ve met along the way continues to inspire them and their trips.

Episode 6 - Chasing Elvis

Swing dancers, rock’n’roll circuitgoers and avid Elvis fans Lyn and Peter Davis talk to James Valentine about life on the road with Wagz their dog in a refurbished 1986 bus that follows the music. From the friendships they’ve made to the range of towns across Australia they’ve visited. Don’t miss Lyn’s extensive Elvis memorabilia, which includes cushions, a thermometer, a jukebox, hand towels and salt and pepper shakers, plus James singing a few tunes of his own. This heartwarming episode will make you want to dance. 

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*This episode mentions suicide. If you are having suicidal thoughts, or are worried about someone you know, there is help available. If you or someone you know needs help now, call Lifeline on 13 11 14. If someone is in immediate danger, call Triple Zero (000).

The thoughts and opinions discussed on the Life’s Booming: The Grey Nomads podcast are not those of Australian Seniors.

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