How to get started in the van life and why?

When we decided to go with Simon, we wanted to discover a culture and a way of life, a new language, and visit this magnificent country as much as possible. Life in a van seemed the best way to combine all this while keeping a minimum of comfort.
First of all, when we arrived in Perth in Western Australia, we set out to conquer the perfect van: not too many km (for Australia, that means less than 300,000), big enough not to ( too much) to walk over and with a maximum of equipment. All for an average budget of $ 10,000. Finally, we found our ideal van: Rooster, a 200,000 km Toyota Hiace Commuter. A beautiful beast for only $ 5,000! The only catch: he had no gear, nothing, nada, other than mud and old candy wrappers on the floor.
So, we embarked on this new and unforeseen adventure of building the van. Bunnings (THE Australian DIY store) became our best friend and then our worst enemy. Obviously, after having walked it more than a hundred times, it leaves traces…
Landfill shops, Salvos and Marketplace, are also great ways to save money for those on a smaller budget.
Two weeks and $ 5,000 later, we had a brand new baby with electricity, a kitchen and a fridge, a good thick mattress and lots of storage. We were ready to travel across Australia.

On the road between Perth and Pemberton
Around Australia with a house on a wheel
In 7 months, we have traveled 22,000 km and already 3 Australian states: Western Australia, Northern Territory and Queensland. We had the chance to see some of the Australian fauna without visiting a single zoo: kangaroos, wallabies, dolphins, sharks, snakes, spiders of all kinds (including the famous red back), cassowaries, quokkas, opossums…
We ate more than 33 unappetizing cans when our fridge was lacking. We ran out of gas one time 10 km from the next service station. Our battery died ten times, including once in the middle of the Australian bush. We stuck Rooster in the sand trying to get to a beach. We drilled the exact tire three times that we now call the Frankenpneu… But we had the most exciting seven months of our time. Life! We saw breathtaking landscapes, the most beautiful starry skies, walked on beaches with turquoise water several km long, wholly deserted. In short, if you still hesitate to travel, don’t hesitate, go for it!
For seven months, I said goodbye to stress, my anxieties and I said hello to simple happiness, quite simply.

Wake up and drink your coffee on the beach, facing the sea
Go where you want, when you want
The comfort of a good bed while camping
Have storage and “space”, compared to a tent
Being able to shelter from the wind and the rain
and the flops!
Going to the bathroom directly next to your bed and your fridge is average
Shower outside, whatever the weather (Ok, in Australia, the weather is pretty good but good)
Having to find a safe place to sleep every night (in Australia, wild camping is prohibited)
Despite the fridge, food storage remains limited when it is 35 ° during the day
Bye-bye late mornings, the sun is beating down on the van from 8 a.m.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *