Budgeting · Destinations · Finance · Motivation · Preparation

5 ways travelling Australia has changed our life

Our lives have changed, we have grown and our relationship has shifted.

What’s to blame? Our travel filled gypsy lifestyle.

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Here are 5 powerful and positive changes that have come our way

Our finances are better!

Say What! Yes, it’s true?!?!?! It is hard to believe that our finances are better while travelling!! BUT our finances are in better order than ever before. Why? Because we set a goal and we achieve what needs to be done. We have a purpose. It’s the difference between thinking about what we want to do and doing it. So if we have two months to save X before we head off again, we do everything we can to make it happen. If you want to upgrade the tent, camper-trailer or caravan along the way you can! As you know we do work on the road and this also assists our finances but it also allows us to travel slower. To stop in certain areas for longer and enjoy what each place has to offer. We were never “savers” but we are now. But we don’t hoard our money, we exchange it for experiences. Life is short and you cannot take it with you when you go!

We genuinely enjoy the simple things.

Before it took bells and whistles to impress us. We would go on holidays and stay in fancy hotels which would constantly disappoint us. Now if a hotel has running water and air-conditioning we feel spoilt by good fortune. The simple things are appreciated ten-fold; sunsets, weather, good people, each other, the list goes on. Whether we are sitting around a campfire with friends we have just met, exchanging stories or if we are standing at the top of a mountain we have just climbed. These moments are special…….magical. We have learned to enjoy them and be present. Living in that exact moment. Not in the past, not in the future. In this precious life altering moment.

Travel has pushed us out of our comfort zone. 

I have suffered from anxiety as many residents of the modern world currently do. It can be debilitating and even worse it can hold you back from your full potential and living a life you love. Travelling has pushed me out of my comfort zone and while I may not ever bungee jump or eat a pickled peacock heart. I have tried so many new things, tasted many new things, experienced once in a life time experiences – multiple times. I can tell you, living out of your comfort zone is A-MAZING!

Our relationship is that much stronger.

It is something we didn’t think of very much before we headed off into the sunset. The reality of being stuck in a car or working in each others pockets. Or the reality of being the only people you interact with for days or weeks on end. We have spent so much time together during our time on the road; travelling together, working together and playing together. Our lives are more intertwined then ever. We thought we were bests friends before we left on our trip of a lifetime and travelling together has only strengthened that bond.

Travel has provided us with so many new and diverse opportunities. 

When you are ready to embrace opportunities, they find you. They come knocking. We have stumbled upon multiple opportunities along the road and have been in the perfect frame of mind to grab them with both hands. It is win-win. We have worked for one of Australia’s richest men, we have built an online following, we have been published in various publications. The biggest thing for us is we now embrace these opportunities. Instead of fretting about the opportunities thrown our way, we embrace them. We take them head on.

And you should too. Embrace life! Live the life you love. We only get one!

Sarah

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to Longreach with love

To Longreach with love, 

We all love a sunburnt country, but we really need our rain. 

As we drove by drought-stricken paddocks, we saw your heartache and your pain. 

With each mile of endless dryness, and each dusty patch of dirt. 

We pray you get the rain you need, and pray it heals your hurt. 

You are strong and resilient, though this drought has pushed you far. 

Your strength and perseverance, shows us what Australians really are. 





Attractions · Camping · Caravan Parks · Destinations · Finance · Four Wheel Driving · Free Camping · Home on the Road · National Parks · Preparation · Random Thoughts · Words of Wisdom · Working on the Road

no excuses

Haven’t been away for ages?

Do you feel like your Facebook news feed is full of friends, family and random travelling and flitting about everywhere? Meanwhile you are sitting on the couch, watching re-runs of Mash and daydreaming of your next holiday. Or you are so busy you haven’t had time to think straight when one day you realise it has been 6 months since your last weekend away?

STOP!!!!

You can be out there too.

No excuses.

We are the makers of our own misery and by the same token the makers of our own happiness. Chose to live a life you love.

Money tight?

Why not go for a cheap camp-out? National parks are great, low-cost and are quite accessible for most no matter which town you reside in. There are also endless free camp sites dotted across Australia. Keep meals simple and easy to reduce costs further.

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Time poor?

One night away is better than none? A night at the coast sounds lovely doesn’t it. Or why not hop in the car for a drive and see where you end up. Stay the night and enjoy the sites and head back home the next day.

Day 59: Our Time in Griffith is Ticking Away

 

Too busy at work/school/study/life?

It will all be there when you return. Our lives are forever fast-paced but we have earned at least one to two days here or there! Haven’t we? You don’t need to head off on a 12 month voyage to have a good time. Plan around your schedule! Fit in some time to getaway. Make the time.

Day 88

 

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tips for content group travel

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For our recent Simpson Desert crossing we decided to invite along friends and family. We normally travel by ourselves or with one other couple so how did we go with five couples and one family?

With no false pretences we had a fantastic time. Yes, there were difficult moments but it was a wonderful experience. Would we do it again? Yes. Would we do it every trip? No. Travelling as a group should not be entered into lightly. It should be entered with flexibility and eyes wide open.

Why did it how recent group trip work?

  • We were selective with who we invited. It sounds harsh but you have to be realistic.
  • We had reliable experienced trip leaders who took control of the messy side of planning. (preparation, bookings, group discounts, logistics and timing)
  • We had a well-planned trip itinerary which everyone had a copy of. It was open to changed and had several options at each destination.
  • We were all open and flexible.
  • Within the first few days of travel we were aware of each others strengths and weaknesses and factored these into planning.
  • As we were a group of 14 we were often privy to group discounts which was a travel perk.
  • We had plenty of “free-time” which allowed everyone to do what they wanted at their own pace.

At the end of the day everyone was there for the right reasons. We were all happy to be travelling through these amazing parts of Australia together. The key to happy group travels is choosing the right people and that we did.

 

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plans unravel but plan anyway

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We often get asked about our travel plans. More commonly we get asked do we plan?

The answer is yes and no.

Throughout our travels we have had itineraries planned down to the letter and other times we have had no plans at all.

Now for the honest truth. Neither of these two options suited us.

Itineraries that were too planned suffocated & stifled us while when we had no plans at all we felt we had lost our purpose. How? We are meant to be super nomadic, gypsy-like people who head where free love is and fly with the wind. We tried but in reality it wasn’t us. Free Love is great, free anything really! But it wasn’t going to keep us on track.

This line of thinking confused us. To think we couldn’t hop in our vehicle and head for the sunset no thoughts at all. We wanted to be carefree but we couldn’t! Why! For those of you who know us well. Sarah is a Planner (with a capital P) and LOVES lists but spontaneous! (yes, crazy right?) and Shaun is careful and thinks about consequences but leaves planning to Sarah (Yes, scary right?)

So what was the solution for us. We PLAN, PLAN, PLAN!!! It’s so fun who wouldn’t? There are lists and more lists. Maps are checked, doodled on and re-checked. To counteract this we have become flexible. We have learnt to follow the ebb and flow of travel which is wonderful to embrace. If we change our plans we are okay with it. We even plan for the unexpected. We have all the time in the world for planning, so why not!

A perfect example is our recent trip across the Simpson Desert. We were joined by several other couples raising money for the RFDS. This trip had to be planned, well planned and it was. However, even this trip had hiccups due to weather and so forth but we kept on going, changed itinerary, made adjustments and you know what the world didn’t stop turning.

Our advice

When planning your trip of a lifetime, go your hardest! Check maps, write lists, fill spreadsheets, research and more! Why? 1. because it is fun. 2. a well researched traveller is a good traveller and 3. what better way to count down to your BIG trip then by living it through countless hours of planning. As you set off out your driveway you will have purpose, you will have direction and it will feel GREAT! Remember though even the most carefully made plans can unravel and as long you’re aware of this, WHO CARES? Plan anyway!

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Reduce the Roadblocks

Let’s get you out there travelling and seeing Australia.

What’s holding you back? What’s blocking your road to travel?

House/Mortgage:

Is your mortgage the only thing that stands in your way of full-time travelling? If you want to travel short-term why not get a house-sitter? Or a short-term rental tenant. If you find your tenant through family or friends you may be happy to leave your furniture in place to reduce storage costs. If you are travelling full-time rent your property out for an amount around the cost of mortgage repayment. if the market allows. This will ease up the financial burden of paying your mortgage while allowing you some financial freedom to travel.

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Children:

We cannot speak from experience here as we are yet to have a family. However, we have met many families along the roads travelling with their children. There is children of all years on the road from very young to school-age. If your school-aged children are making you question whether you should wait until they finish school, home-schooling is a definite option. Your children will learn fulfilling lessons from a trip around Australia. Imagine the life experience they will gain. There are many distance education options available for travellers.

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Insecurity:

Let’s focus on why you feel insecure? Are you worried about leaving family? Money? The biggest fix for insecurity is knowing you can always return to your everyday life. While it might take you a while to get back your ideal apartment/house and get your fantastic job back, you can always go back. No one will judge you for deciding to go home, after all at least you took the plunge in the first place. As they say; “You never, never know, if you never, never go”. You will learn so much about yourself, your partner and your family. You will love it but you may hate it. This is okay, at least you tried. Trying is the most important thing. Don’t always sit there wondering, what if?

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Savings:

We were by no means savers when we decided we wanted to go travelling. It was less than 12 months from when we decided to travel to when we hit the road. This is not a long time to get yourself sorted. We were in debt and didn’t have much in the way of savings. However, when we made the decision it was like a switch was flicked. We went into over-drive, we set our departure date and then made a plan. We downsized and moved in with family. (This may not be an option but why not move into your caravan before departure or move into a one bedroom flat instead of a 3 bedroom house with high rent?) We cut all our costs that weren’t necessary, no more Foxtel, no more fancy dinners out and so forth. We still lived in that 12 months with numerous adventures and camping trips. Everything went into paying off our debts and building up our savings. We saved a substantial amount over that 10 month period and hit the road. It proved to us if you set your mind to it, you can achieve it.

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Debt:

Debt is a hard one to overcome. When we refer to debt we are not referring to mortgages. We are referring to  bad debt such as personal loans, store cards, car loans and credit cards. We recommend travelling this form of debt free. Why? Well because the repayments on these types of loans can eat into your savings very quickly and can make you more reliant on finding jobs along the way. From personal experience you want to work when you find a place you like not because you’ve run out of cash or need to make your next repayment. Our advice: create a budget which focuses on paying off your higher interest loans first for example start with credit card and then follow with your car loan. Set yourself a deadline to have each paid off by and you can make it happen. Keep a little nest egg to the side but put everything into paying off your debts. Cut back your house-hold costs to ease up cash flow. Look at all your money going out and question where it is going and why? You can probably go without Foxtel if it means your loan is paid off in 6 months instead of 12 and lets you leave on your journey sooner.

Day Twenty Two: Mapping it Out

If it all seems too impossible start with little trips a weekend here, a week there, a month here. Dipping your toes in will allow you some security while still exploring this beautiful country.

What is holding you back from travelling? We’d love to help you out and reduce the size of your road blocks…….If something is holding you back, you can and you will overcome it.