We left our home on October 8th, 2018 excited to embark on our “gap year” The year has flown by, we have seen so much, but there is still so much more to see. We have decided our “gap year” needs to be longer, it might even turn into two years. It has been a wonderful adventure, an adventure that came about to escape the pressures of work, long working hours and way too much stress. This adventure was taken to improve our health, as stress was taking its toll. Full time travel has been a wonderful way to relax, de stress, and enjoy the simple things in life. It has been just what the doctor ordered!
We have listed a few stats, highlights and lowlights from our first 12 months further on in this blog.
Click on the link below for our “Full Time Travels” page. If you scroll to the bottom we have a live link to our WikiCamps trip so you can see where we are at any time.
Accomodation average cost per night over 365 nights: $12.24
Free camps – 175 nights
Low Cost Camps – 97 nights
Campsites over $20 – 93 nights
In our 365 nights only 41 were powered sites.
We don’t carry a generator and have no need to, our solar setup suits our needs. When we stayed in powered sites it was not because we needed power, but it has been because those towns offered no unpowered alternatives.
We have travelled a total of 41000 km
We have spent $11677.52 on diesel
Our fuel economy is 16.1 L/100km
We do carry a 20 litre Jerry can, but don’t depend on it. We do not have a long range fuel tank, so we top up regularly, regardless of price. It is a much better option for us to top up at every opportunity than to carry the extra weight with a long range tank.
Total dollars spent:
In 12 months we have spent $44255.16
This includes costly expenses such as our return fare on Spirit of Tasmania ($2500) Overnight Horizontal Falls Tour ($2000) and flights home to visit family ($1000) We need to eat wherever we are, we free camp whenever possible. We do like to enjoy tours and activities in the area. If we didn’t do this, we would not be learning about the history and industry within the area which would lessen our enjoyment of the trip. Fuel is the biggest expense (over $11000) If we stayed still for longer, this would obviously reduce, but for now, we are moving at a pace comfortable for us.
Our Biggest Free Highlight: Several sightings of platypus in the wild in Tasmania.
Our Biggest Paid Highlight: Overnight Horizontal Falls tour from Derby. So worth the huge dollars!
Our Biggest Lowlight: Car accident in Tasmania resulting in a total write off and needing a replacement vehicle. Thankfully no one was injured.
Ford Everest Car Accident
Our Ford Everest was involved in a car accident that was not our fault. Thankfully no one was hurt, but unfortunately the car was a total write off. This put a slight “pause” on our travels while we searched for, purchased, and fitted out a new tow vehicle. Not easy to do while living in a caravan interstate from our home town. We now have a new Ford Ranger, but the accident put us behind schedule. Our plans to follow the weather needed to be altered. Instead of crossing the Nullarbor, we went through Central Australia.
Our first night on the road with our new Ford Ranger tow vehicle.
Our Biggest Caravaning Mishap:
It was extremely dry when we camped in Cobar, they had been in severe drought for years. We camped on private property with gorgeous views for miles. Overnight, Cobar received 60+mm rain! So, when we woke, we were well and truly stuck!
Click the link below for video footage of our recovery.
What did we wish we left at home?
Nothing. We really did scrutinise everything before we packed to leave full time, we had travelled enough to know what we use and don’t use. We reduced our van contents to the essentials only before we left. We no longer have “The Tardis” as our friends affectionately refered our caravan contents to.
Every little thing in our van has been used repeatedly.
What did we need to buy?
Inverter – so happy to be able to use the washing machine while unpowered camping (read our blog below)
Blower vac – used to blow dust from inside the car canopy regularly
Prescription goggles for snorkeling
Read our blog on how we decided to install an inverter to run our washing machine.
10 months since we installed the inverter and it is still the VERY BEST thing we have added to our van. We exclusively use it for the washing machine. We have no other need to use 240v appliances. Our solar setup suits our needs. The inverter to run the washing machine makes our preferred method of free or unpowered camping so much easier!
Edge of The World. Tasmania’s West Coast.
Quobba Blowholes Campground. Western Australia.
Uluru. Northern Territory.
This last year has been amazing. It has certainly had its ups and downs. The downs have also included episodes of sickness where Glenn has experienced ambulance trips and several visits to outback hospitals. Throughout our travels he has had a few surgical procedures blasting kidney stones and passing at least 4 more himself. (The largest horrifying even the urologist with a size of over 8mm!)
Although this has been worrying and extremely painful for Glenn, his mental health has improved significantly. The reason we resigned from our jobs to travel was because his mental health was declining. Stress at work was unrelenting. Travel has been the best medicine.
If you have a dream to travel Australia one day, I suggest you change your dream to “a plan” Make timeframes for your plan to make the plan become reality.
We meet so many people who would love to do what we have done, but say they cant. They give us their reasons and they are very similar to ours, eg: we still have a mortgage, we have kids at school, we would miss the grandkids.
The one that I smirk at the most is “we cant afford it!” I smirk at that one because we had no savings and we “couldn’t afford it” But when health comes first, we needed to find a way to make it work. When we tell people we are living off equity in our home loan, they are shocked. It is something most people would never dream of doing. We dont own our home, but have reduced our mortgage enough that we have money available to fund our “gap year or 2”
We will need to work again, but for now, we are enjoying every moment of every new day.
I hope our story inspires you to turn your dream into “a plan”
Vicki and Glenn