FRIDAY FEATURE #18 – BEC & GARY

Let’s start with a little bit of an intro on yourselves.

Hey howdy hey! So we are Bec and Gary, and we live permanently in a big red ex-postal van, currently traversing Australia at a snails pace.

We originally hail from the Mornington Peninsula in Victoria and count ourselves ridiculously lucky to have been able to grow up in such a beautiful and idyllic part of this fair country.

We’ve been together for nearly 12 years now, meeting fresh out of high school (yeah we know, it sounds like forever, but it honestly doesn’t feel like that long! lol…). We’re still new to vanliving, having only moved into the van in January this year.

Why have you chosen to live the idolised lifestyle of travelling in a campervan?

As cliched as it at sounds, we wanted an adventure! To try something different from the normal route. Everyone else our age seemed to be settling down, buying houses, having kids. And of course there’s nothing wrong with that. Before vanliving, we both had good jobs and wonderful friends and family around us, so we were already so lucky (yep, blessed is the right word!)  But try as we might, we just couldn’t shake the feeling when we awoke each day that there was something else out there for us.

We wanted to get out of our comfort zone, we wanted to travel and experience all the incredible places waiting in our own backyard, try living life a different way, even just for a little while. As they say “You can always make more money. But you can’t make more time.”

So we figured what better way to do it than in a campervan. One that felt like home and allowed us to travel at our own pace; no itinerary, no rushing around, no tour guides. Just getting out there and seeing what we can find. So we that’s what we’re doing, and with no end date in sight.

Have you guys planned a route around Aus or are you just taking things as they come?!

We’re just winging it, we only really plan a couple of days in advance.  It’s a little at odds with our old “house living” way of life –  We used to be such planners!  Now though, if we like a place, we hang around, then move off when we’re ready to.

What are 3 hot tips you would pass on to someone who is considering doing a DIY campervan conversion.

Build your van for YOU especially and how you want to live each day. Ask yourself how do you plan to use the space and adjust your designs accordingly. Decide what’s important to you first, whether it’s a permanent bed, lots of bench space, a desk. Then fill in the gaps. Silly as it sounds, put some effort into presentation (if that’s important to you of course!).

One of the things we’re most proud of in our van is how it looks and feels like a mini apartment, and it’s styled similar to how we’d style a regular house. It truly feels like our home, and somewhere we can spend all day chilling in. Practicality wise, ventiltion is key- our roof fan is one of the most used features in our van. It’s on and off throughout the day, pretty much every day. We do wish we could have fit in a second fan, but our solar panels take up all the available space on our roof.

Also, don’t cheap out on important electrical things like batteries and inverters. Our inverter decided to give up and filled our van with smoke, so now we’ve had to hang around waiting for a new inverter to arrive, as the local shops where we are don’t stock what we need. It’s not a great tragedy, we have no where set to be, but we’re eager to get back on the road for some more exploring.

We are pretty messy when it comes to cooking hence our outdoor kitchen set-up haha. Has any kitchen disasters happened inside your van yet?!

We’ve been pretty lucky so far and haven’t had any kitchen nightmares yet (touch wood!).

We do have a lot of bench space, (something that we’re very grateful for) so that helps a lot. We can spread everything out and the area’s large enough that both of us can work in the kitchen at once.

Salty or Summits?

Oooo both? We’ve both lived by the beach most of our lives, and it will always have a pull on us. It just feels like home. Once we pick a place to settle down, it will almost certainly be by the water.  But at the moment though, we’d have to say Summits! It may take a bit of effort, but when you reach the top of a mountain and get your first look out over an incredible view, it’s completely and utterly worth it. It gives you a high like nothing else.

There is no doubt that there has been a fair share of ‘loo with a view’. What has been the best yet?

We have our own on-board toilet but it rarely gets used, so we’d have to say Mount Wellington in Tasmania, which had an amazing loo perched on the summit. It was all glass walls and you can see all the way out over the city of Hobart on a clear day, or hide inside and watch the snow fall on a cold day. We were lucky enough to be able to experience both extremes on our visit there!

What is one thing that you find yourselves doing that you would not usually do in ‘normal’ life?

Sleeping in… we don’t set alarms anymore! Unless we want to catch a sunrise, we wake up whenever! It’s nice to not have to be a slave to a clock anymore.

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