It’s hard to remember when we finally decided to ‘do it’
Maybe it has always been my destiny to live like a gypsy, but Rod hmmmm maybe not so much, but he is embracing the plan whole-heartedly and shows no signs of wanting to bump me off and carry on living in our ever so lovely house in the rainforest – (Yes the one that’s so ‘lovely’ no-one wants to buy) Anyway enough of the negativity.
It was a year or so into our relationship, April 2013, that we decided to do our first road-trip from Cairns down to Sydney and back, we took a boot full of camping gear and used it once, it rained and I got sick so that was that, we ‘forgot’ we had all the camping gear and we hopped down the coast from resort to hotel to motel. We discovered we traveled well together, fell into certain roles, I did this, he did that and we laughed – a lot! Rods pretty impatient and I had to try and slow him down a bit or we would have missed so much stuff. We now have a rule that if we don’t get out of the car and check in on FB we haven’t been there, we all know that it didn’t happen unless it’s on FB right? You can’t drive through a place without stopping and then claim to have been there!!
We began to talk more about selling up and living on the road but it was still just a bit of a dream, could we really do it? We decided to do a kind of trial run we would fly to Perth pick up a motor-home and drive around for a few weeks to see how we went, it was March 2015, we went from Perth down to Albany, back up to Perth then up to Shark Bay before coming back to Perth to fly home. It was awesome, we had THE BEST TIME EVER!!!!! Except when we took a corner too tight in Fremantle Jail car park and damaged our vehicle and a parked car, oops lesson learnt “think wide” but we left a note for the owner saying sorry and giving him our number to sort out the insurance later. Oh and when the dump point was over-flowing in Denham and we had to empty our toilet cassette, that wasn’t much fun either. While we were in Perth the Caravan Show was on so we spent the day there having a first proper look at Caravans to get an idea of price etc and to see if we could live in such a small space, decided that there was pretty snazzy vans out there and we could do this!!! Though being the ‘glampers’ that we are we were going to spend rather a lot of money!!! Roughing it is seriously not the plan we have.
Once home we started researching caravans, motor-homes & buses to see what might work for us and started to formulate a short list, we ended up with about ten on the list of serious contenders -a couple of motor-homes, a fifth wheeler and the rest caravans, it was time for another road-trip woohooo!!! So in November 2015 off we went – fly to Sydney, hire a car and drive to each of the places on our short list in the vague direction of Melbourne.
It soon became apparent that we were very picky which was becoming a problem as we were striking motor-homes and caravans off our list at astonishing speed, motor-homes and the fifth wheeler became a no very quickly, really wouldn’t have worked for us, the we began picking off the caravans off one by one, too small, wrong layout, poor quality, boring, boring, boring white boxes. By the time we were in Melbourne and down to the last place to look at, I had loved the Airstreams that we had seen in Batemans Bay but Rod was a massive no on them and even though I would continue to ‘work’ on him I knew I wasn’t going to change his mind. So we rolled up to Van Cruiser Caravans in Currum Downs south of Melbourne feeling pretty disheartened I was beginning to think we were never going to find ‘the one’. But pretty much straight away we knew we were in the right place, awesome vans, awesome workmanship, awesome people hoo-bloody-ray!!!!!
They were great considering we basically knew absolutely zero about caravans and how they worked, I just wanted it to look nice, doh! So we set about getting an education on chassis, solar, grey water, tow-ball weights, 2 way fridges, diesel heaters oh my goodness the list went on and on, I’m sure Tania at Van Cruiser thought we were a right pair!! But anyway she was good fun and helped us out a lot deciding what would and wouldn’t work for us and we came home with a big decision to make.
Not long after we got back ‘The Plans’ arrived from Van Cruiser along with a contract for them to build our van, to sign or not to sign, give up on a ‘normal’ life to live in a 23ft caravan, took us about 2 seconds to sign!! We payed a deposit to hold the price and set about starting to get organised, Gumtree became my friend, selling off our stuff, we have had a couple of garage sales and will probably have one more big one once the house sells.
That was November 2015 and the plan was to leave in November 2016 but here we still are a personal tragedy and a slack housing market means we are still waiting, but it can’t be long now, its so close we can almost reach out and touch it. Van Cruiser have been amazing they are just waiting for us to give them the nod, and we have a deposit paid on a truck at our local Colorado dealer, just one last piece, albeit the crucial piece, of the jigsaw to fall into place…….