Why We Gave Up Everything to Travel in a Van – Our Story

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We’re Wade and Dani, an adventurous Ozzie + Brazilian couple. Our journey together began in 2013 when we met each other. Back then, we had no clue what the future would bring us, but right from the start, we knew we wanted to explore the world together and capture its beauty.

In 2014, we went on a trip to Brazil. It was our first time travelling together. We visited Dani’s friends and family and some of the beautiful places Brazil has to offer. I fell in love with the country and the people. Brazilians are all so friendly! After this trip, the travel bug started growing on us, we kept on exploring new places and creating beautiful memories whenever we could.

For the next few years, we continued working full-time, bought a unit, travelled to New Zealand twice, to Brazil another four times, and travelled around Australia when we had some time off work. We rented camper vans in both New Zealand and Australia, and we loved every bit of it. We could totally see ourselves living in one for some time.

It was always in the back of our minds; however, our life, at that time, was to work for 12 months to enjoy only 30 days of vacation. We would only have 30 days a year to see the world. That is just not enough time for us.

So, at the end of 2020 and after many years of talking about it, we took the leap and bought an empty 2017 Mercedes Sprinter LWB Van for AUD $38,000 that had 120,000 Km on it. We had the vision of transforming it into our dream tiny home on wheels and travel around Australia.

We chose a Long Wheel Base Spinter because we wanted to be able to stand up and have a full-size shower/toilet inside. One downside of its big size is finding parking in urban areas. It can be challenging, but we can take that for the additional space it provides.

The process of building our van took about six months. The cost to build it like we wanted it was around AUD$30,000. The most expensive parts of our build were the electrical system and the shower cubical.

We had to learn everything from scratch as we had not done anything like this before. We had lots of ups and downs, but we absolutely love that we decided to do this and start a new way of living our life.

We have lived in our van full time for five months while travelling Australia with our two cats. Before starting full-time travel in our van, we had a budget of AUD $500 a week and really thought this would be enough. Unfortunately, due to diesel prices and a few extra expenses that we missed during the budget, we are now working on AUD $700 a week. It can change depending on where we are and what activities we want to do.

We are constantly asked, “how do you make money on the road?”. I feel we were lucky as Dani could still work part-time for the company she worked at before moving full-time into the van. It has covered our weekly costs and allowed us to travel and slowly work on our blog and grow our Instagram account.

Recently, we have started creating content for brands and seeing money come in from the blog we created. Our goal is to build this up to cover 100% of our monthly expenses.

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A little more about us:

Dani
Hello!! I’m Daniela, but please call me Dani.

I was born and raised in Brazil. I graduated in Business Administration in 2013 and completed a Masters of Accounting in Australia in 2019.

My first major travel experience was in 2008 when I moved to California for one year to become fluent in English. I can easily say I was not the same person after that. I saw what the world outside of my Brazilian bubble could be like, and it was amazing!!

I had to go back home to finish my graduation, but as soon as I was done, I moved to Australia. That was 2013. My plan was to spend six months here and see if I would adapt, learn some more English, travel and get to know different cultures. Eight years later, I am still here.

In 2014 I met Wade, my soulmate who has said yes to all my crazy adventure ideas from the beginning and brought some new ones to the picture, which I have said yes to. We explore the most beautiful destinations together, and we share it all with our followers through our Instagram.

Wade

I was born and raised in the beautiful Northern Beaches, Australia. I grew up with salty hair and skin and would spend my days by the beach after school.

I had never travelled outside of the east coast of Australia as a kid, and only when I was 21 I went on my first trip with friends to the United States. That was the moment I caught the travel bug for life.

My love for the ocean led to this great passion, which is travelling. And when I met Dani, we connected in a way that I can’t put into words. I knew we both had this intense desire to see the world.

I have worked in the security industry for 15 years and have never liked my jobs. I was getting paid good money, so I never thought about leaving or doing something else.

However, when COVID hit, I was spending more time working from home and was not able to plan any long or short getaways, so I started going crazy.

I started realizing this was not the life I wanted for myself, and this is when Dani and I finally decided, after years of talking about it, to buy a van and convert it into a campervan. Not long after that, I quit my job.

We can honestly say that this was the best decision of our lives, and we can’t wait to start collecting some memorable experiences. I am chasing the life of my dreams, and I hope we can inspire you to do the same.

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