This week we’d like to welcome a young travelling couple – Lisa and Rex as our Featured Lappers. They travel and study at the same time, which is no mean feat! You can follow their adventures at Seeking the Serenity – Travelling Aus.
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PLEASE INTRODUCE YOURSELVES
We are Lisa, Rex and Rusty; the nurse, primary school teacher and American staffy x boxer. Well I’m just about to graduate from Enrolled Nurse to Registered Nurse and Rex has almost finished his teaching degree. Full time study and full time travel is tough….but not as tough as full time work and full time study!
HOW DID YOU ARRIVE AT THE DECISION TO DO THE ‘BIG LAP’?
From the day we met we have talked about travelling around Australia. Rex was ready to do it in the Ford Transit camper we had but I had my doubts about how long the three of us would last in a van.
I’m originally from country Victoria, Rex is from Sydney and we met in Airlie Beach; we have absolutely no idea where we want to settle down so we’re hoping a few years on the road will help with that. We were living in Sydney, both studying and working to save the funds for our trip. We couldn’t wait until we finished University so decided to take it on the road with us.
HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN TRAVELLING FOR?
We hit the road on the 6th of June and have a goal of 5 years. Our goal is to finish our studies, work rural and remote nursing/teaching contracts, find somewhere to settle down, explore, adventure and live our dream. You never know, there may be some mini serenity seekers joining us along the way.
ARE YOU ON THE ROAD PERMANENTLY?
We will be on the road permanently. In December I graduate from Uni and will be doing a 12 month New Graduate Program in Alice Springs. During that time we hope to take the Land Cruiser and roof top tent for many adventures through the outback.
WHAT IS YOUR TRAVELLING HOME?
Our home is a 25 foot Spaceland Sydney caravan and a 2005 Toyota Landcruiser with roof top tent for adventures. We didn’t realise quite how big 25 foot was but we love our little (massive) home.
When we bought it, we decided to renovate and turn her into our own. It was stored at my dad’s place in Victoria, and to make things more difficult, during that time we lived in Sydney so it was a bit of a mission to go down and work on the van.
ARE YOU WORKING ALONG THE WAY?
We have picked up a little bit of work along the way. In our previous lives I was an Early Childhood Educator and Rex a Professional Fisherman so we have been able to pick up work in those fields while we were in the Whitsundays.
DO YOU HAVE A HOME BASE TO COME BACK TO?
No home base for us to go back to. We were renting and then lived with Rex’s Mum for a bit in Sydney (Sydney rent is crazy expensive) so we could save for the big lap. We got rid of most of our belongings but have a few boxes of stuff stashed in Victoria.
WHAT DO YOU THINK ARE THE BENEFITS OF DOING THE ‘BIG LAP’?
So many benefits of doing the big lap where do I start? Working (shift work) and studying for the last few years made time go by so fast and we would hardly see each other. While it has been an adjustment living in such confined space it’s been great to get to know each other again.
The adventures, meeting new people, living simply and more sustainably, improving our mental health (fishing at amazing locations and watching the sunset), improving our physical health (we have both quit smoking and a lot of the adventures involve breaking a sweat) and escaping the rat race.
WHAT IS ONE PIECE OF ADVICE YOU WOULD GIVE EVERYONE BEFORE SETTING OFF?
Do it! Follow lots of families and couples already doing it for tips and product reviews. There are so many people out there in so many different set ups- so inspiring. You’ll never be 100% ready to hit the road but you can always pick up stuff along the way. We are 5 months in and just bought a solar panel for the Landcruiser and only just found out that water filters for the hose to the caravan exist!
You will definitely pack wayyyyyy too much stuff but buy/swap/sell in the towns you go through is very handy for selling or giving away stuff you don’t need. Some of the stuff we packed is just embarrassing.
Go back to basics; an old school kettle on the cooker, toast in the grill/on the fire/in the frypan, showers out in the open, a bucket for washing.
And of course Wikicamps.
HAVE YOU ENCOUNTERED ANY NEGATIVITY FROM FAMILY OR FRIENDS?
We have been talking about doing this for so long that I think they were actually relieved when we finally left! We have been really lucky with how supportive our friends and family have been.
Regular ‘facetime’ calls have helped alleviate some of our and our families concerns about ‘disconnectedness’ or missing out on things such as nieces and nephews growing up. It is important to us to maintain those relationships with our family in any way possible while on the road.
WHERE HAVE BEEN YOUR FAVOURITE PLACES SO FAR?
Ooh the snow in the Victorian High Country was incredible. Rusty LOVED it. The whole of the Whitsundays; amazing fishing, free camps, boat trips and non-stop sunshine!
We have travelled the east coast of Australia from Airlie Beach to Gippsland many, many times so we are really looking forward to exploring all the outback has to offer.
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What a great read and so awesome to see a young couple out there living their travel dream. You can follow Lisa, Rex and Rusty’s adventures on their BLOG, on Facebook and also on Instagram. Thank you so much for sharing your story with us.
Don’t forget to check out our other Featured Big Lappers as well.