Justin and Bec from a Trip In A Van speak with Ross Greenwood about spending life with two young kids and a dog on the road.
Introduction: A better way to spend your retirement.
Ross Greenwood: Last week I put it out there that I wanted to go and research caravaning. Because everybody knows that the grey nomads basically retire and then pick up a caravan and do a lap of Australia.
Sometimes at a two, three, say even six laps of Australia that I’ve often heard about but I’ve got mate of mine, for example, he, a little while ago, sabbatical from work, got himself a Caravan, went and took it to the north of Australia, left it there, came back home, then jumped on a plane, went and picked up the caravan, kept driving, took a plane back home, he just kept on doing this over a space of 12 months or so which was incredible but anyway, I’ve got all sorts of people.
Renee is in the basin in Victoria, she said, “Are you looking for people? We’re a couple in our mid-thirties with a young son, we’ve been traveling Australia fulltime since January 2016 in a camper trailer. I’m a registered nurse so I pick up short-term contracts as we travel.” There’s a great story for you.
Malcolm goes, and he’s in Mount Eliza in Victoria, “The economics of buying a caravan, a vehicle that’s on fuel, parking fees, depreciation, the pain of selling it at the end of the big lap, I don’t think that’ll stack up against a cabin or motel accommodation and you’ll use less fuel.” I thought I’d gather some people who actually know a bit about this. Let me take you to now, Bec and Justin Lorrimer.
What they did was that they quit their jobs two years ago, sold all their belongings, all of them, grabbed their kids in a caravan and headed around Australia. Since that time, they’ve clocked up more than 65,000 kilometers and now, decided to travel where the sun takes them. They’ve got two sons, Jack, five, Billy, three, and their daughter Charli who is two. How they’re managing to do this, I’m really quite uncertain, let’s try and find out. I’ve got Bec and Justin online right now. How are you?
Interview with Justin and Bec, Trip in a Van
Justin Lorrimer: Good thanks, mate. How are you?
Bec Lorrimer: Hello? How are you?
Ross Greenwood: All right, good, good. Lovely to have you on because I know you’re experts in this. Bec, whereabout are you physically right now?
Bec Lorrimer: We are in Cairns, Queensland. Amazing, beautiful weather, loving it.
Ross Greenwood: Explain to me Justin just exactly what took you to pick everything up and then to disappear and go into the wild blue yonder.
Justin Lorrimer: Look, originally it’s just the change in work circumstances. Out through a mining downturn where we were in Newcastle and we were always going to travel but we just needed that kick up the bum or thing to get cleaning and what better time to do it than when we had had a change in job and not really happy anymore. We’d lost that work-life balance that I had and then I got our plans sorted, got a van and we hit the roadway.
Ross Greenwood: Okay, as you’ve started to do this, you’ve started to blog under this title, Trip In A Van, and people can pick up their blog where they hear all of your experiences which then might give them some understanding of the experiences that they could have as they travel. Given the fact that you have been effectively homeless apart from your van, how has that managed in terms of the family life and all that type of stuff?
Justin Lorrimer: Look, it’s a lifestyle that’s probably not for everyone but it just works for us. We’re a tight little family unit, we all have fun together, on a year we live on top of each other but we love that along the way, it’s just insane to be able to see Australia and everything that it’s got to offer with our young kids, it’s just mind-blowing.
Ross Greenwood: I’m going to say it is now. Bec, just explain to me, because obviously the family, you’re all tight, we understand, I can hear the birds in the background for goodness sakes, that’s how good this is. It’s very, very scenic for us. But the whole point about this, a lot of people would say, “Kids need a firm base. They need to be at home.” All that type of thing. How do you respond to that because you’ve travelled with young kids largely?
Bec Lorrimer: We try and keep the kids in a bit of a routine, and they adjust so well to their life and they are becoming resilient, little outgoing kids and they really do love life on the road. It’s good fun for us all.
Ross Greenwood: Okay, what about the actual idea of trying to earn a living Bec? Has that been an easy thing or a difficult thing?
Bec Lorrimer: First year we were traveling, we were self-funded so we actually saved all the money to go traveling for that year. But this year, I could say we’re getting an income through our travel blog. Yes, we’re also making it an income and it keeps us on the road, keeps us traveling.
Ross Greenwood: I don’t understand. How’s the travel blog actually managed to make you money?
Justin Lorrimer: It’s more advertising in a way. We promote caravan parts in our way around. We make destination videos, we do product reviews for camping equipment and caravan equipment. Because of the amount of people we reach every day, every week through our blog and our social pages, it’s got great advertising potential for those companies looking to get their products and their brands out there.
Ross Greenwood: All right, and the other thing as well, the more that your videos are seen online, and some of your adventurous videos such as, a crocodile eating a cow in Kununurra, or a kangaroo jumping into your van in Jervis Bay, all of which would be a bit remarkable, the more views you get on those videos or quite clearly, the more advertising there is and the more people are going to watch that stuff.
Justin Lorrimer: Yes that’s right. Once you monetize those video where are people advertising on those videos and then each 10,000 views you also pick up royalties, so it’s another way to promote income while we travel.
Ross Greenwood: Okay, I’ve got a really important one for you Bec because of the question everybody asks. The question is, which direction around Australia should a person go if they are caravaning?
Bec Lorrimer: We start clockwise now, anticlockwise last year and we’re going clockwise this year. From our experience, we’re working clockwise. Clockwise is a way to go.
Ross Greenwood: Clockwise? That means you basically start north, go down south across through the west, up through that way or start in the west go up and then come back around. Okay, I’ve got that idea. Why is that? Is that because the sun is better for you?
Justin Lorrimer: You’ve got to follow in that weather as well. Clockwise, yes, but you’ve also got to follow the actual season.
Ross Greenwood: Justin, are you going back to the coal mines at all or not?
Justin Lorrimer: No mate, you can have that. I think I’ve had plenty of years there and it was never my favourite job in the world anyways so now I’ve found a bit of a market in a job that I love doing, I’m just going to keep push to become a bigger part of this industry and hopefully be around for a long time.
Ross Greenwood: I’ll tell you what, it’s a great story there’s no doubt about that and it’s just interesting to note for other people that there are different ways in which you can live your life and potentially scrape out a living. In this case, write about your experiences as you travel around the country, take the kids with you, work at how you school them and I’ve got to say, to Bec and Justin Lorrimer, to the both of you, thanks so much for your story and we appreciate it here on Work.Life.Money, today.
Justin Lorrimer: Thanks a lot, mate.
Bec Lorrimer: Awesome, thank you.
Ross Greenwood: Now, if you want to catch up with Justin and Bec, you can do so through their Facebook, YouTube or Instagram and online by simply searching on Google, Trip in a Van, and you’ll find all the details of that adventure. Is it for you or not? Send us an email here at worklifemoney.com.au.
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