Van Life Lessons

Our names are Jake and Jade and we are 20-year olds from South Australia. We love travelling, so early this year we have decided to buy a high top troop carrier to explore our beautiful country. We started our journey in March and we have been travelling ever since. We plan on heading through the middle of Australia, to the Northern Territory, then lastly explore the coastlines of Western Australia. We will eventually do a loop of the entire country, then move on to a road trip across America, New Zealand, and Europe. So far we have spent two months exploring the Eyre Peninsula and Flinders ranges in Southern Australia. We like to take it slow while travelling and try to experience as much as we can in every place we visit.


One of the biggest things that we’ve learned since we began living on the road is to pack only what you need. When living in such a small space, every tiny bit of room counts. If you have something that you don’t use, it just gets in the way and it needs to go. Same goes for clothes! Only pack what’s essential.


This leads onto the next thing that we’ve learned. ‘You don’t need much to be happy’. It’s crazy, I used to have more ‘stuff’ in my tiny bedroom, than we have in the whole troopy for two of us. This includes everything we need for cooking, cleaning, hiking, food, bedding, tools, clothes and more!  It has really opened my eyes as to how much we don’t need a lot of things to make us happy. It’s been a blessing in disguise to not have access to TV and other distractions too because we found ourselves having more time to create, to work on our business, and to do things that we genuinely love to do.

Talking to the people around you is one of the best things that you can do while travelling. You always come out of a conversation with more knowledge. We were privileged to have touched based with locals and other travellers who have given us insights about where their favourite surf spots, and what they reckon are the best things to do in the area are. The most important reason to talk to the people around you though, is the possibility of making lifelong friends.


We have come to realise that some of the best spots are the ones that aren’t outlined on the map. It’s best to go and explore and stumble across new places for yourself. There’s a certain feeling you get when you climb a mountain without a designated walking track. It feels as if no one’s ever been there before.

It’s the same feeling when you find an awesome camp spot. The best spots are never the ones that are advertised, but the ones that you find while exploring on your own.

Living on the road isn’t all what social media makes it out to be. There’s a lot more to it than sitting on the beach and watching the sunset. We often go days without a proper shower. Many camp spots don’t even have proper toilets! Rainy days mean that we have to stay inside the troopy for hours. We have also learned how to share our bed with dirt and sand. Having said all these however, we are certain that the good definitely outweighs the bad. Living this way has given us the biggest sense of freedom. It has opened our eyes to see things in a different light. We are blessed to have the option of exploring new destinations every day. Having pristine beaches as our backyard isn’t so bad too! Life on the road is not glamorous– it’s beautiful.


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