Marc & Nora ROUND THE WORLD 2005/2006 - Join us!

Travel time: September 2005 - July 2006  |  by marc and nora L.

Reflections of travelling in a van/car

It may be tough for people who havent done such a trip to understand what i mean but i m sure that those who have experienced such a trip know exactly what i mean when i say that it is the little things that happen to you on a day to day basis that are the most valuable ones.

people back home think we are having a loooong holiday...we are not disputing that! But even though every day is new to us there we created a certain routine in our lives - just like back home but still so different!

Certain things become a mission - every day we plan something new, easy sounding things like driving 600kms become our goal, finding a spot to cook dinner and a free spot to sleep are our daily aims. sometimes we done nothing other than driving for a full day, sometimes the day was loaded with activities from dawn till dusk.

The past 6 months (with 1 month interruption when we had a flat in perth) we lived in a car!
the car was our living room, bedroom, kitchen and bathroom!

we both enjoyed this way of travelling and would always choose this option again but we are also happy that it has ended!

we suffer of bad backs, i (nora) have had bronchitis for the last 5 months (maybe it has developed into asthma meanwhile) and we both look forward to regular showers!!!

you might shake your heads but when you are in a van trying to park up anywhere that is for free (on the street basically) you automatically leave early in the morning and daily showers are out of question.

we used public showers at picnic areas, at the main train/bus station (surprisingly clean-you even get towels for free!), also 'bathed' in the sea and used swimming pools for 'freshening up'.

we stocked up on deodorant quite frequently and also baby wipes became our best friends...

...every now and again we checked in at a campsite (in Australia not that often as public showers can be found in every little town at almost every picnic area; but in NZ we had the luxury of a campsite 2x a week)to enjoy a proper kitchen, get our laundry done and OF COURSE(!!!) have a proper wash! Guys I tell you that we have never appreciated a shower as much as we did during our trip! The campsite showers usually lasted 40 minutes as we both really really appreciated and enjoyed every hot drop of water touching ur skin! To find public toilets where enormous cobwebs and huge spiders were not covering the entire roof was all of a sudden a real joy!

To encounter public toilets that also had soft toilet paper was rare but when we did find such occasionally we recognised the change immediately - things we wouldnt even think of back home.

To find public toilets with mirrors and soap dispensers was a sincere delight!

--> these are the small, immaterial things we started appreciating not to mention the big things we missed such as cooking NICE food, going out regularly, dressing nicely, being able to afford a nice lunch/dinner, etc etc...

Now and again - especially after a period of bad luck or bad weather - we treated ourselves with a nice meal or a visit to the cinema.(with hiking boots and trekking sandals being the only footware we have it is rather difficult to dress up nicely)

--> thats the sacrifice for travelling around on a rather tight budget. (the next day we saved money again by eating beans...just kidding!)

Buzzword beans - another thing that we both are happy to give a miss for a while! after 6 months of a (almost) daily ration of baked beans we are more than happy to swap it against some nice Argentinan Steak!
(you can imagine that eating beans on a daily basis was not the best thing either considering we lived in a car 24hours a day!)

What else was painful? Ah yes, having an argument with your love and not being able to slam the door behind you (well in fact that was possible) and walk into another room (aahm...rather difficult if you live in a car)

so what do you learn? to communicate! to discuss disagreements and not to pout! what other options do you have?

To summarise:We have many great memories about our road trip in our vans/car in both OZ and NZ! Posh, Tony and Norman all did a great job! However, we both wouldnt recommend anybody to rent or buy a station wagon if you wanna spend more than 1 month in it.....go for a van instead. Sleeping in Norman (our car in NZ) was literally a real pain! repacking twice a day, sleeping on a 3 inch 'thick' mattress and getting changed with Zero space was a rather tiring and painful experience!

© marc and nora L., 2005
You are here : Overview Australia & Pacific New Zealand Reflections of travelling in a van/car
The trip
Hello - 5 more days!!! On the 12th of September we are setting off! Our plan is to travel round the world for a period of 10 months. 1st stop: Thailand (1 month) and cambodia 2nd stop: Via Singapore (overland) to Australia where we plan to stay for approximately 4-5 months. 3rd stop: New Zealand (2 months) (north and south island) 4th stop: South America (approx. 3 months) (Chile, Argentina, Brazil, Peru, Ecuador and if time and money allows we might visit costa rica)
Start of journey: Sep 12, 2005
Duration: 11 months
End of journey: Jul 31, 2006
Travelled countries: world-wide
United Kingdom
Australia & Pacific
New Zealand
South America
The Author
marc and nora L. is an active author on break-fresh-ground. since 19 years.
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