There is no doubt that I’m totally, utterly, overwhelmingly excited about this trip. And not just excited for the trip, but also very excited about not having to go to work for six months!
But there is also, mixed in with all the excitement, a measure of fear; maybe it’s better described as anxiousness or trepidation.
We think we know what we’re getting into, but we’re not really sure.
I mean, the longest we’ve ever camped together is about a week. :-O I’ve been on a camping safari in Africa for three months, but that was when I was in my early twenties and not nearly as soft as I am now. Also, on that trip someone else did all the planning and organising and making sure that we were safe. That’s all gonna be on Ben and I now.
So while we’re super excited, we’re also wary that we don’t actually know what we’re getting ourselves into.
These are the things we’re worried/conscious/anxious/concerned about and how we’re mitigating the risk as much as possible:
Of course this had to be at the top of the list. I (Michelle) am the type of person that doesn’t really cope without a clear financial plan, savings and a budget. While our Money Post will show you that we don’t have very much money, I’m comfortable with our budget and that we’ve got a sensible plan for the next 6 months and beyond.
We’ve planned our living expenses for six months and put that into a seperate account. All the rest of our savings will be used to get ourselves set up, buying the car and camper trailer, fridge, battery, camping equipment, all that kind of stuff. So if we go over budget on anything here, we can’t draw from our living expenses, it can only come from the set-up budget. For example, if our camper trailer costs more than $5,000 then we will have to do without the fridge or solar panels or something.
Our living expenses, though tight, is not miserly or overly restrictive. We’ve done our best to include everything we could think of for our day to day living, but if we’ve got it wrong, we’ll just have to adjust.
For my peace of mind we do also have money set aside for emergencies and getting back into our ‘old’ life if we want or need to. (i.e. enough to keep us going while we look for jobs)
Getting bored (i.e. no internet)
This one may seem a bit strange to some, but we’re a little concerned about the lack of internet. (Alright, all you over the age of 60 can stop rolling your eyes at me!) We don’t have a TV and haven’t for three years, the internet is our source of entertainment. At the end of a long and stressful day, you may sit yourself down in front of the TV to watch Home And Away every night; but we plonk ourselves in front of our computers and numb our minds with countless hours of internet entertainment via unlimited wifi.
We’re hoping that our evenings will now be time to enjoy campfires, meet new people, and work on projects like editing videos and writing up posts. Oh and, you know, talking to each other and stuff.
We’ve also loaded up the devices with loads of kindle books. Just in case.
I know it’s uncouth to talk about it in public, but really, number twos is a very real (and often insistent) fear!
When you have your own private throne at home to retreat to you know that you can do your business in peace, in a clean bathroom, with ventilation.
I’m nervous about public bathrooms with somebody else sitting right next to me doing exactly the same thing without even a full wall between us. Good-bye privacy, hello embarrassing farts and plops.
I’m nervous about long drops and how bad they can smell and how blow flies buzzing around my bare bum freaks me out.
I’m nervous about having to dig a hole in which to do my business, thinking that I’m all alone and realise I’m in the path of some hikers gone walkabout. Or worse, some snake gone exploring!
Our back up plan is the porta-potti in the shower tent. I’m glad it’s the ‘back up plan’ because of all the options the porta-potti is my least desired option. (And then you’ve got to transport your poo around with you and then dispose of it. Argghhh!)
I hope this is all worse in my mind than it is in real life.
I really hope.
I’m not the greatest with creepy crawlies. It’s mainly spiders that I have an irrational fear of. But that fear could actually stand me in good stead in Australia, you know, the land of the most deadly everything there is.
But it’s quite ridiculous when my heart just about stops beating at the sight of a cockroach or daddy long legs.
So I’ve decided that on this trip I’m going to put my big girl pants on and just deal with the crawlies that creep me out.
And make sure that our tent is zipped up. All. The. Time.
Mechanical failures i.e. getting stuck
What if we buy a lemon?
What if we get ourselves stuck on some off-road goat track that we should not have even been on in the first place?
What if the fridge breaks, the solar panels stop working or our car gets stolen!?
Well, these aren’t actual fears of mine because we will do what we can to minimise the risk of these things happening; we’ll do stuff like getting mechanical checks done before buying, regularly checking and servicing our vehicle, and doing plenty of research about an area and the roads before heading there.
And then we’ll do what we can to minimise the impact if these things should happen, stuff like making sure we have adequate and correct insurance, having road-side assistance, having money in reserve to bail ourselves out.
We’ll do everything we can to prepare properly, but then we’ll just let it be and don’t worry about all the ‘what ifs’.
What if we hate it?
We don’t actually think this will happen. I mean, you don’t happily and excitedly embark on an adventure like this where you know you’re going to be living in a tent and not have your own bathroom for six months if you’re not totally keen on the idea already. But we have considered that both, or one of us, may hate it.
It’s a possibility, but there’s no reason to plan for it, right? If we hate it, we do something else. We go to Port Macquarie and rent a flat and get jobs and go back to the same life we’ve always had. Or we come back to New Zealand and go get jobs picking fruit somewhere.
We don’t think we’ll hate it. But if we do, that’s okay, there’s plenty of other adventures for us to try.
Going back to our old life
To be honest, this is the biggest fear we have. That if we aren’t able to make any money online, we’ll have to go back to normal jobs and a normal life. And then somehow we’ll get suckered into a normal house where you have to buy nice furniture and decorate it and fill it with stuff. And we’ll spend all our money on toys and entertainment and dining and alcohol and all that other stuff we used to buy to make ourselves feel better. And we’ll forget what it’s like to feel free.
What fears do you have (or did have) about doing a big road trip around Australia?