In about two weeks from writing this we will be leaving Brisbane on our great adventure. This is really answers to most of the most common questions we have been asked about our trip so far. But first, the plan.
A few months ago we worked out a way to combine two of our great passions, our jobs and our love of adventure. During our trip around the UK (see other blogs) we tested and proved the theory that we could sustain our business and travel at the same time. We are lucky in the respect that we can carry out out most of our operational duties if we have access to the internet. There were a few lessons that were learned on that trip and these have been applied to our plans. We also established a few ground rules. The following notes are our plans, lessons learned and our travelling guidelines.
- We are Working Cyber Nomads. We are not on holiday, we are still maintaining full time jobs. We just happen to be travelling while doing it. To that end we need to have significant periods during the day where we are static and in a place where we can work. This requires a comfortable desk to use the laptops, access to power and to the internet. Also if we need to make calls to staff or clients it has to be somewhere quiet. (See point number 9 below)
- We will be combining work and travel. Our travel destinations will be decided because there is a customer there we will visit or that it is an interesting place or both.
- We will Explore, Experience and Enjoy. We are not on a tight timetable, we will take time to explore and experience. While planning our initial itinerary there was a temptation to “drive all day” to get between places we wanted or needed to be in. For example, the drive between Sydney and Bendigo, two places we are visiting, takes just over 9 hours continuous driving. Whilst it’s possible, even reasonable, to do this in one days drive we will probably take 2-3 days to make the trip, stopping along the way to do some work and to explore, experience and enjoy the surroundings.
- We will enjoy the rest stops. On the UK trip one of the frustrations was when we only stayed one night in an interesting location. We got there, usually late afternoon, early evening, checked into our accommodation and then left early the next morning without having much time to see what delights and experiences that location had to offer. So we made a guideline that we would stay at least 2-3 nights at each stop along the way where as a preference and if possible and in a very interesting place, a few more than that.
- There is no end date. Our intention is to continue to work while we travel for as long as we enjoy it. As long as we can continue to earn a living while we are on the tour we will continue.
- We are on a budget. We have worked out a travel budget with allocations of funds for all the variables and unknowns such as petrol, overnight accommodation, food, drink, fun stuff etc. So we won’t be staying in 5 star hotels and dining in fancy restaurants every night, nor will we be camping and eating toast and beans. The reality is we will be doing both of those and everything in between.
- Prior Preparation Prevents Piss Poor Performance. We have travel insurance, car insurance, health insurance, RACQ nationwide Roadside Assistance. Before we have left we have had the car serviced, we both had check ups from the doctors, dentists and opticians and had anything that needed done attended to. Everything we could do to help ensure the trip goes well.
- We will travel light. We have a Mazda 3 which is very comfortable and very reliable. We decided not to change it. We don’t have a 4×4 or a Winnebago or a caravan. Initially we won’t be going off the main roads. If we do want to go explore somewhere the roads are difficult we will hire a 4×4 for that part of the journey. We do have a roof box. In the roof box we will keep most of our camping gear and any clothing and stuff we don’t need for the season we are in. For example all of our cold weather gear will stay in there until we need it. We will need to fold down the back seats to get all of our other gear in but we’ve tested this and it works great.
- We have the technology. We have a lot of technology. As well as our two laptops we have two mobile internet hotspots, one from Optus and one from Telstra and two mobile phones the same. The theory is we will be in a spot where there’s a greater chance of one or the other carrier getting a signal. We have a solar generator with a 300w pure sine wave inverter. Powerful enough to drive two laptops out in the wild and to keep charged as long as there is sunshine. We have a folding table and two folding chairs. With these accessories and a mobile signal we can work from almost anywhere indefinitely. We also have the in car GPS and an old mobile with off line topo maps GPS navigation installed. With these two devices we will be certain to never get lost. We even have an on board OBD2 computer in the car that talks to an app on our phone via Bluetooth and tells us if the car is OK or if there’s a problem.
- We are not alone. We have each other. An experience shared is an experience doubled. We will be together a lot on this trip and proved this was fun on our UK trip. We will also get some time to ourselves when we want to. We will be be there to support each other as we travel together on this great adventure.