Well here we are – our last weekend in a ‘normal’ house, we left our home town of Cairns in May and have been living in a relatives doer-upper in Wonthaggi while we wait for our Van, finally (but on time, thanks Nova) we pick up the Caravan on Tuesday and move straight in, we will be dropping a trailer off at a caravan park then go and pick the caravan spend probably 3 hours trying to reverse it into our spot then unload our life into the van!! The dealership have been told our cat & dog will be coming to our handover, they are part of the deal, such an exciting but little bit scary time, we have booked into a caravan park near the caravan dealership for a week while we learn how to work everything and fix any minor problems that may come up, then off we go, we have a detailed and well thought out route and it is as follows – Go clockwise, slowly.
We have done all the prep we possibly could have over the past couple of years, researched caravans have done two big caravan shows and a Sydney to Melbourne road trip stopping in at so many different caravans, motorhomes and even thought about a camper trailer at one point. We finally chose and are looking forward to getting our 19’6 Nova Terra Sportz, it’s a reasonable size for full-time travel but not too big, it’s an off road van not that we are going bush bashing with it but of course we will have to deal with dirt roads and corrugations. We have learned about Tare weights, ATM’s, GVM’s, GCM’s, we have looked at all the different Utes on the market until we settled on a Holden. We have beefed up the suspension on our Colorado Z71, our truck has to pull our caravan around all the time, not just 3 or 4 holidays a year so we have taken the advice of others who know more than us. We have done a towing course which was money very well invested, we are still a little nervous but after a couple of months I’m sure we will be much more comfortable with dragging our home behind us. I have been saving recommended free camps on my Wikicamps App for more than a year, learning about them from pages on FB.
We have gradually over the past couple of years bought a load of stuff to keep us comfortable, happy and entertained on the road, my favourite best buy has to be our kayak, and we have sold almost all of the rest of our possessions including our house, though that tried to hold on taking fifteen months to eventually sell. I like owning very little, almost everything we own now has a purpose, we don’t have a load of ‘stuff’ we don’t need, it’s a good feeling.
Lots of people think we are mad, lots of people think we are brave and lots of people say “Oh you are so lucky, I wish we could that”.
To the people who think we are mad I say – We are debt free, we have no credit cards, no mortgage, no car payments, we don’t have to pay utility bills, rates, etc etc. Take for an example our annual expenses now include Rego’s for truck & caravan Insurance for truck & caravan, servicing for truck & caravan, roadside assistance & ambulance cover are around $5000 per year plus our weekly food, fuel, beer and caravan park fees (though we plan to mostly free camp), so we don’t have to work anymore, we get to be on holiday everyday exploring the most amazing Country on the Planet, we get to hang out with each other and our pets, we get to go from beach to bush and to follow the sun. We have a bucket list of stuff to tick off.
To those who say we are brave I’d say, maybe we are, but since starting out on making our dream happen I have had to deal with a tragedy so great that now just getting out of bed everyday and fighting to be happy again is the brave part not going on a full time holiday.
And finally to those who are a little envious I say you can do it too, you just have to come up with a plan and never waiver till you make it happen, there are always ways to travel full-time, you can travel & work, you can travel & school your kids, you can travel with your pets, there is always a way you just have to find your way. Believe in yourself and your ability to make it happen.
I wonder what we will miss? We didn’t live close to family and we may well see more of them now as we travel around. Friends? – for sure but we will keep in touch, FB & Instagram are a great way to keep up to date with whats happening, then of course theres messenger & Skype. I think we will miss our old life a bit, we used to eat out a lot, we enjoy food, but now we have to adhere to a pretty strict budget. I guess there will be no more Chanel perfume for me, I will be embracing Impulse!! No more expensive shoes – one pair of runners, one pair of thongs and one pair of crocs will do me now. We were a pretty materialistic, wasteful couple and I won’t miss that at all, I enjoy our new attitude of planning our weekly menu and no throwing food away and asking “do we really need this”, usually the answer is no, don’t get me wrong we aren’t going all hippy we have invested in a new truck and Caravan both which were not cheap but we hope that they will see us through all the years we plan to travel.
I have no doubt we will have days when we wonder what the hell we are doing, we will make mistakes, its not going to be awesome everyday, but we are pretty sure that the good will far out way the bad. Oh and I’m taking bets on how many times Rod will trip over our dog Bosun in the caravan in the first month and how quickly we will loose Maloo the cat, luckily we will always find her she is too old and slow to go far.
Wish us luck and follow us on our adventure.