Who Are We?
Hi there! We are Daryl, Emma and Chika, a couple and our dog, travelling around Australia in our caravan full-time.
I will divulge some more. Please, keep reading.
Daryl is a keen traveller. He has taken to being a full time traveller and living in our caravan exceptionally well.
Daryl is also a golfer and plays when he can. Golf and travel does not mean he gets to play as much as he would like. We do not always time it, so we are in towns on the day their golf comps are on. Still, he has played some great courses and met some great people through golfing around Australia.
In our life, caravanning full time, Daryl has taken on the roles of cooking me breakfast every morning (poached eggs, avo, tomato and mushrooms), keeping our vehicle in working order and doing any caravan repairs. Our rig – car Stanley and caravan Josephine keep him busy.
Currently, he is earning us money working as the manager of Denmark Country Club in Western Australia. We are also staying at the club in our caravan. At least he will get to play more golf while we are here!
Um, so it was my idea to travel in a caravan with our dog. Like Daryl, I am a keen traveller and a dog lover. When we needed to change things in our lives, it made sense for us to travel Australia full time with our dog.
My roles as we live the van life are to make our bed and do a daily general clean, manage our finances, write for our blog on travelling with a dog and full time travel and ensure we have movies downloaded to watch when we have no internet.
I am currently working in hospitality while we are in Denmark WA. We saving to top up our travel funds again and reduce our mortgage debt with interest raising.
Chika is a sweet and loyal border collie x koolie mix. She is also a reactive dog (other dogs and some noises) which makes travelling Australia with a dog interesting.
We adopted Chika when she was four years old. She is now eleven years old (April 2023) and has lived more of her life on the road than not.
Chika has taken to the dog travel life extraordinarily well. It is not an overstatement to say that she loves being a travelling dog. She loves exploring new places (sniffing), any hike or beach where she can be off leash, that she has human company nearly all of the time and there is plenty of time to sleep.
It has been travelling with Chika for nearly six years, which is the inspiration for the dog friendly travel blog posts on our website. Caravanning Australia with a dog is doable. Our dog travel blog will hopefully help others to travel full time with their dog or go on dog friendly road trips.
Why Did We Chose to Travel Full Time?
Like so many, we were working full-time, exhausted from long hours, long commutes and stressful jobs, all so we could pay bill after bill. Also, we had little time for each other or to do what we enjoyed. All this meant our marriage and our health (physical and mental) were suffering.
The catalyst for us taking our life on the road was my mental health. Twenty years in child protection had burned me out. My generalised anxiety disorder was the worst it had ever been.
Something had to change. I was literally on my one and half hour commute home from work when it came to me that I HAD to quit my job and find another purpose. When I thought about what I enjoy, travel immediately came to mind.
On the drive home, I gathered together in my head all the arguments for why we should travel and at home quickly crunched the numbers (finances). Then when Daryl got home from work, I sat him down to tell him my idea. He took no convincing at all!
Travel has always been a priority in our lives. Even when we bought our first home, we made sure we could still afford to do some travel each year.
Over the years we raised our children, we always prioritised travel and family holidays in Australia and overseas. We tried to make life for our children about experiences rather than having stuff.
When the day came for us to change our life, travel was the obvious answer.
There were many conversations and lots of research that followed the first conversation. Over the following weeks, we made a plan to get our lives on the road.
We gave ourselves a year. It took us nine months.
Our Wayfaring Life officially started on 27 November 2017.
Why Travel Full Time? Why Not Do a Lap?
Maybe in different circumstances, we would have considered a lap of Australia. Honestly, we never considered doing just a lap.
It just felt like the right decision to travel for as long as we wanted to, without an end date.
How Do We Fund Our Travels?
How full time travellers fund life on the road is a common question.
Straight up, we chose to rent our family home. We did not sell our house to fund our set up or travels.
Initially, it was savings that we used to pay for our travels. Now we work when we need to add money to our travel savings. There are so many jobs for travellers in Australia. Generally, jobs have found us!
Also, we are very much budget travellers and have discovered to save money while caravanning around Australia. How much it costs us to travel Australia varies based on where in Australia we are and if we have stopped to work.
Do We Really Plan on Travelling Full Time Forever?
There is no plan to stop. Will it be forever? Nothing is forever, but we certainly have no end date.
Eventually, we would like to travel around New Zealand and take our travels further abroad. Where exactly we do not know. We will be taking Chika with us.