It’s been over a month since we ended our road trip down the East Coast and I realized I haven’t yet taken the time to recap our travels or properly write a remembrance to our ever faithful van. Chuck brought us over 4000 kilometers safety across the country, sheltering us from storms and lulling us to sleep soundly every night for 5 weeks. He was our home, our transportation and our companion. You may roll your eyes, but you would’ve said the same thing had you’ve known him. We found ourselves consulting the van for his opinion on travel routes and new destinations, encouraging him up steep and windy roads, and wishing him goodnight before turning in for the evening. He was the van.
As you can guess, it was bittersweet having to say goodbye. In fact, we continued to sleep in Chuck after moving into our apartment, as it was our only bed option for a while. Sleeping in a car park after paying a couple grand to move-in was a bit of a crack up. We were definitely in need of cash to take the burden off finding jobs immediately, however, we wanted to find the right buyers as well. Someone who would take good care of Chuck in his tender late years – With nearly 300,000kms and leaking oil tank he isn’t the youngest buck… But he isn’t the oldest yet either. With good care, I believe Chuck will keep truckin’ for many backpackers to come. Or at least (fingers crossed!) for 2 young French backpackers who are currently driving him back up to his original destination of Cairns as we speak.
In reflection, there were times on the road that I missed having a kitchen or showers and looked forward to eventually getting to Melbourne. Now after settling into our new home for the next 4 1/2 months, I am definitely missing our van lifestyle. Showers and a kitchen are great and all, but it doesn’t replace a beach at your doorstep or a morning coffee with kangaroos in the rainforest. As the newness of St. Kilda settles, I’ve been feeling a touch of boredom from lack of constant activity. Call me spoiled, but I miss everyday being in nature and a new experience. There is such freedom in making your travel itinerary as you go and seeing these amazing places through a travelers eyes. I’m always amazed at how much we can fit into a day when we are in this mindset. Something changes when you get settled into a place… There are times now that I am in awe at how little I seem to have accomplished before a work shift at 5pm!
As I look back at my previous blogs now, I am reminded that my time left in Australia will surely pass in the blink of an eye and it’s important to keep that travelers mentality. May these last 4 months be filled with new challenges, experiences and lots of savings!! We’ve got an epic itinerary after Australia….