Every Friday we will feature fellow binge-explorers/adventure seekers who are living the ultimate Australian dream of exploring the amazing country in a camper. Our aim is to get an insight on the lifestyle of this idolised community. Salty Summits takes no responsibility of severely increased FOMO!
Like always, let’s start with the lowdown; who you are and why you have chosen the idolised lifestyle of exploring Australia in a camper.
My name is Angelica (23) and my partner Jaxson (27) and I are two young Aussies from the ever-growing surf town of Newcastle, NSW with a shared dream of living an alternative lifestyle and travelling wherever the world may take us… Trying to escape the ordinary, the 9-5, the typical work-sleep- eat-repeat routine, because life to us should be so much more than that. And this is what brought us together in the first place.
We both have spent our years after school not concerned about the prospect of University, full time jobs, career paths etc, but instead devoted to our passions of backpacking, volunteering and surfing our way through exotic places around the world. We’ve been to and lived in some wild and wonderful places such as Mexico, Nicaragua, South Africa, Peru, Chile, Brazil, the list goes on, BUT the one thing Australians can always agree on is just how incredible our home country really is, and travelling the world has always taught us of this. This is why we truly chose to begin this new chapter in our lives of exploring Australia and living full-time for the foreseeable future in a campervan… Because damn, we are so lucky to call this place home. And it would actually be rude not to!
Have you planned a route or are you just taking things as they come!?
Definitely just taking things as they come! That is who we are. Easy-going and cruisey, wherever the swell chart and wind forecast says it’ll be taking us! The coastal route, that is all we know we know for certain. You can’t beat the Australian coastline, and we feel so much more at home by the ocean.
Any “oh my god I cannot believe that just happened” moments during your travels so far?
Two short weeks in and only a few hours from home and the timing chain in the van gave in and needed replacing… Which is not a good thing… So I’ve learnt. We definitely didn’t see that coming so soon. $1700 later and a week spent awkwardly living/sleeping out the front of the mechanics workshop in an industrial estate and we were back on the road. Thank god.
What has been the worst thing that has spilt in the van?
I may or may not have spilt an ENTIRE not-even-open-yet bottle of my favourite organic red wine all over the inside of the van in the attempt to get that perfect Insta shot 😐 Walls, carpet, clothes, bedsheets, didn’t miss a single thing. Spent the next 3 hours detaching the carpet and scrubbing every inch of the van in a plea for forgiveness…
Sorrrrrrry Jaxson. Now I am under full-time supervision when handling potentially dangerous goods such as wine, beer, sauces, and any food in general haha.
If you had the chance to swap passengers for the day who would you choose (real or fantasised) and why?
As cliche as it may sound, we’ve both decided that really even if we had the chance, that we wouldn’t want to. Living and spending time with someone in a small space like this isn’t necessarily all that easy, but we seem to have this whole vanlife thing down pat together pretty good, and we work together so well in this tiny space that it would seem silly to change that. Although in saying that I’m sure Jaxson wouldn’t say no to spending the day with Kelly Slater if given the chance… hahaha.
Where is your favourite surf location in Australia?
So far on our travels being only 2 months in and only 11 hours south from home, I don’t think anything has been able to beat our home local just yet. That being said we haven’t scored the perfect conditions along the way, being summer and always moving, but we are absolutely open to it. Its hard to beat Newcastle though, that’s for sure.
We all know that #vanlife really is not as glamorous as it looks on Insta. What do you find the most challenging aspect of it?
You can say that again! Haha nah, I know what you mean but we’re finding it easier and easier as time goes on… We’re both quite clean and neat freaks for two people living in such a small space together so we indulge in making ourselves hot showers almost every day and I couldn’t stop Jaxson from sweeping the floor incessantly and keeping things super tidy each day even if I tried.
The hardest part for us would be the Summer heat. We’ve been lucky not to cop it too bad just yet (touch wood) but when those 35+ degree days roll in out of nowhere we run straight for the pub, the grocery store, the visitor centres, surf shops, back to the pub again. Our powerful little fan just can’t beat the muggy humid air on one of those stinking hot days. That is where we struggle the most.
Fill in the blanks: Nothing feels better than ________ on __________ .
Nothing feels better than an ice cold beer on a summer’s evening watching the sun go down at 9pm after a full day of surf and sunshine.
What more could you ask for. The moments that make you feel happy to be alive and grateful for the life we have chosen.