It’s 3pm in Toora, Victoria. The warm autumn sun against my back, my feet wrapped in lush, green grass, and my senses livened to the smells and sounds around me… I have not felt this calm and at peace in a very long time.
Ben is perched on top of a hill overlooking our camp about half a kilometere away. He’s taking in the views of southern Australia and soaking in the last of the day’s sun as dairy cows watch on inquisitively. For the past month, this is how we’ve spent our days. Mostly alone with ourselves and each other, but always feeling alive.
As I reflect on our first month on the road, I can’t muster a single negative moment or event that has stirred my anxiety or ruffled my wellbeing. We’ve seen so much in these four short weeks that I don’t know where to begin. How about instead, we share our learnings and failings in the hope that others might following our journey and embrace our great southern land for themselves.
While I can’t fault our trip thus far, it hasn’t always been easy either. We’ve had to adjust to life on the road and everything that comes with it – tracking down drinkable water, laundromats, paying for a shower and a toilet, paying for fuel, setting up and packing down camp, not showering for a day or two, feeling cold or hot and not having a split-system aircon to fix it, losing phone reception for days on end, missing out on events, birthdays, milestones back home, kissing goodbye comforts like television, takeaway, and privacy. We’ve had things break on us – important things like our cooking apparatus and our lighting, our trailer brakes and lights just stopped working…
Having said all that, THANKFULLY, I married a very resourceful man who keeps a cool head so even when I have been running in circles shouting ‘what are we going to do?’ Ben has always risen to the challenge and we’ve ALWAYS been totally fine. Everything’s been fixed.
We’re slowly forgetting our busy schedules which were our whole lives before we hit the road. It’s hard to imagine just over a month ago we were up before the sun, working long, stressful days and living for the weekends. Now, every day is our weekend and we’re averaging 10-12 hours sleep a night, uninterrupted. I had no idea just how exhausted we’d been. Yep, be jealous.
So here we have it… Brisbane to Victoria in one month.
- We have travelled 4861 kms
- Camped in 19 locations
- Stayed at 1 motel (Canberra – before Dawn Service)
- Camped for free in 12 locations
- Spent $1156.06 on diesel
- Done 3 grocery runs – averaging around $70-100 each time… Depending on how naughty we want to be
- Petted 5 wild animals – wombat, kangaroo, echidna, blue-tongued lizard, brumby
- Eaten 17 bakery treats – 4X sausage rolls, 3X meat pies, 6X custard tarts, 1X vanilla slice, 1X apple strudel, 1X apple pie, 1X cinnamon scroll. Sorry not sorry.
- Drank 4 cartons of beer, 4 bottles of wine
- Had 3 takeaway dinners or pub meals
- Bought 4 coffees
- Used 12 drop toilets
- Done 2 bush poos
- Met up with 3 friends (One in Tamworth, one in Orange, one in Canberra)
- Watched 6 sunrises (We need to get better at this ;-P)
- Watched 30 sunsets
- Had 1 argument (Pokemon GO-related)
- Missed working 0 times
- Missed Sammy, friends and family 549307607309634 times
- Blue Mountains, NSW (hiking, lookouts, little towns and general activities)
- Snowy Mountains, NSW (Mt Kosciusko and the National Park, scenery, hiking, sightseeing, activities)
- Jervis Bay, ACT (beaches, scenery, swimming, relaxation)
- Canberra War Memorial and Dawn Service, ACT (experience, history)
Items we’ve sworn by:
- Tin bucket for warming water on the fire to shower
- 12v shower pump (heaven)
- Portable 2 burner gas stove
- Hot water bottles
- Sleeping bags for extra warmth
- 12v usb chargers
- Tripods for the camera/smartphone
- Baby wipes
- Hema Maps Navigator
Items we haven’t needed:
- Portable toilet
- Portable pop-up privacy annex
- Secondary fridge
- Emily’s hair straightener, hairspray, make up, and other various beauty products/utensils
What we miss
- Hot, regular showers
- Our dog Sammy!! (1.5 months to go)
What we don’t miss
- Our jobs
- Expenses that come with living in a house i.e. electricity, water, insurance
I could go on forever recounting our first month, but every second I spend here punching away at my laptop is a second where I could be laying in the grass, looking up at the sun, and counting my blessings. We have experienced and loved so much of our great country so far, but we are far from done.
What we’ve got to look forward to this coming month: Tasmania, Melbourne, northern and western Victoria, South Australia and Adelaide! If you have any tips, please send them through – Wikicamps is great, but always keen to hear about those hidden gems or must-dos along the way.
We sincerely thank you for checking out our story.
Ben and Emily x
A lover of the written word.
Journalist by trade, writer by hobby. Writing fuels my soul and I promised myself I’d string words together more often, so here I am.
A collection of pieces that describe the inner workings of my mind.