IsDons articles and blog

Downunder Insurance

Deciding to travel around the country in a campervan

Category: My first slide-on campervan. Published: 23 Jun 2009

In 2005 I decided to give up my job and to travel around Australia in a campervan.

Why?

I'd never owned or hired a campervan, caravan or anything similar but I'd been staying in on-site caravans for many years -- at first because they were cheaper than motels, but then I found that I actually preferred staying in caravan parks; people are generally friendlier than those staying in motels and I prefer the open space of a caravan park.

Over the last few years I'd had a couple of lengthy trips around Tasmania, as well as shorter trips elsewhere, in an ordinary car, generally staying in caravan parks in on-site vans and cabins. I usually stayed in one place for 1-3 nights and got sick of constantly packing and unpacking the car. I also struggled to sleep in a different bed every couple of nights and the cooking facilities in each location varied in cleanliness and suitability.

Somewhere in the back of my head I'd always wanted to travel around the country in a campervan. Not quite sure where that idea came from; my family are pretty much all non-travellers -- I think they believe they're in danger of falling off the edge of the Earth if they go past their town limits.

But why now?

I had already decided I needed a change of job and location. I'd been working for the public service for 20 years and I'd lived in Canberra for nearly 10 years -- I needed a change.

I was 41 -- too young to retire. Arthritis was becoming a problem, making me realise that if I waited another 18 years until retirement I may not be able to get to the places I wanted to go or do the things I wanted to do.

My initial plan was to travel for a year, then move to Tasmania and try to find a job there -- I had six-months of long-service and annual leave due, so taking it all at half-pay would allow me to survive for a year. My 12-month trip is now into its fifth year and no closer to ending...

What to do with the house?

I had to decide whether to sell my house or rent it out, then I had to work out what to do with my furniture and contents.

Buying a van

Having decided to go, I then needed to decide on my new campervan.

1000s of travel guides and maps. Lonely Planet, Rough Guide, LUXE, Frommers, Michelin and many more.

First in series Moving from a house into a home-on-wheels >>

View complete list of articles.