‘Oh, you’re so lucky to be able to travel around Australia as a family’. I’ve heard this so many times, in person, or online and usually just brush it off as a harmless comment without much real depth, but when I stop and really think about it, this comment irks me as its so far from the truth its almost comical.
There is nothing lucky about the fact that we are travelling Australia. We worked our backsides off, made massive sacrifices along the way and decided on calculated decisions to make it possible. Its as simple as that.
We didn’t get a huge inheritance, fall into some magical online income, win the lotto, or take out a huge loan to fund it. We made it happen with blood, sweat and tears, and had no real luck. To prove a point, do you know we’ve been doing it on under $800 a week?!
You see, its so easy to judge a book by its cover, and when you see a young family out and about its easy to assume they’re lucky, without knowing the back story.
Travelling Australia has been a dream of ours since well before Sarah and I were married, and it was more about when, and not if. We’ve been chasing this for more than a decade, and that takes a lot more than luck.
We’re completely independent
I’m immensely proud of the fact that we did this on our own, and continue to do so. We aren’t sponsored by any car or caravan manufacturers (in fact we aren’t sponsored by anyone at all), and we paid for everything we own, and travel with.
We are 100% self funded, and there’s nothing amazing, or special about how that came to pass. It’s pure grit, some smart decisions and that is it.
We both busted ourselves to get here
I’ve mentioned a few of the ways that we funded our trip in the past, but no words can really express it.
I did more overtime in the first decade of my full time work than a lot of people would do in many decades, and Sarah had hugely difficult days in childcare, which is one of the worst industries I’ve had anything to do with.
We put as much money away as we could, knowing we wanted to use it to travel. I earnt good money, but it wasn’t corporate level high, and Sarah’s wage was pitifully low for what she was expected to do.
I worked on this blog for more hours leading up to this trip than I can express, and would get up at 4:30AM to do an hours work before heading to my day job, and then I’d spend time on it in the afternoon and evenings as well.
My weekends were often spent writing articles, editing photos and sorting out issues on the website, even when I could see amazing sun shine and perfect weather outside.
It takes real commitment
A lap of Australia doesn’t just happen. I literally walked into work one day, after 13 years of service and said to my manager ‘In 12 weeks, we are packing up and leaving to go around Australia. Thanks for the opportunity, but its time to move on and I’m happy to help you find a replacement for my role’.
Despite knowing this was going to happen for months (years even) in advance, I was still surprised at the number of people who were genuinely shell shocked at my decision.
To give up a good, secure role in a management position, pack our family up and leave everything we’ve ever known isn’t something you do lightly. It takes a lot of thought, and consideration unless you just like to blow with the wind (which we don’t!).
We were prepared to sell all of our possessions, except the absolute minimum and rent our home out for a year or two, with no where to return to in a hurry if we needed to. As it turns out we ended up with family living in our house which was the ultimate win and made life easier, but we committed to getting rid of everything.
Life on the road isn’t a holiday
Often people assume that life on the road is one big fairy tale, with magical sunsets, incredible meals, stunning attractions and everything else that goes with a great holiday. I can tell you that there are times where it is this, and there are 100% times that it is not.
If you have kids, you’ll pull your hair out at least a few times a day, I guarantee it, and then there’s a heap of other things that make life on the road challenging, and sometimes unpleasant.
It’s easy to envy those travelling when you only see their perfect Instagram photos, and not the sandstorms blowing sand into their meals, or kids having meltdowns, or the battles to find somewhere to empty your rubbish!
The Lap of Australia is harder than it looks, I guarantee it.
We’re not lucky
There’s no luck in our lap of Australia. We’re on it because we had a goal in mind and set our hearts to it, and dealt with the effects of it for a really long time prior to departing.
If you are reading this, hopefully its given you some idea of how we feel about our lap of Australia. If you are also keen on doing a lap, know that its entirely possible, and you don’t have to do anything fancy, or amazing to make it happen.
It’s literally up to you to grind away, make smart choices and put things in place. We wrote a post on how to save money to travel Australia that goes into this in a lot more detail, which you should find helpful.
So, next time you hear the phrase ‘you’re so lucky’, have a think about the fact that there’s a lot that goes unseen, and whilst some people certainly can get lucky, its pretty rare.