My names Jaz, I’m 22 and have an absolute passion for travel. I believe travelling is the most mind expanding, maturing, soul finding, friendship building and passion inspiring experience anyone can do. We are born into a culture, a language and a way of life that most of us stick to for our whole life. What about the 10’s of 1000’s of other authentic cultures, languages and ways of life on this planet? I decided to break free from the western social norm of life, and venture out to explore new horizons in an effort to fully experience life.
I guess my vigor for travel began a while before I started this van journey. I was travelling Cambodia and Vietnam for 3 weeks with my sister in December 2014 when an idea popped into my head, “I want to live in Bali”. I basically decided right then and there that when I returned to Australia I would return to my electrical job and save extremely hard for 3 months, then QUIT! I booked my flight months in advance so I had a set goal in sight. So I saved all my money, sold 95% of my belongings and set off to live in Indonesia.
I lived in Indonesia for 10 months, exploring, adventuring, surfing, learning Indonesian, eating and making great friendships. My whole adventure was fueled purely off the savings I had made in 3 months in Australia. I am still living off them savings to this day! People always ask me how I afford to travel so long, I always say that the best way to save money is to not spend it. Obviously I spend money, but if I can go without something I will. Indonesia is MUCH cheaper than Australia, so this is a big factor on why my money has lasted so long.
I am budgeting so that my savings can last me a 10 month trip in Indonesia, 3 months van trip in Australia, another month in Indonesia and then head to Europe (where I will probably have to pick up a job). I have recently started a travel blog, which is aimed to inspire fellow travellers or people that are thinking about travelling. I hope that in the near future I can gear this blog to earn an income to continue travelling and inspiring people. This way I can be a certified Digital Nomad and work anywhere in the world whilst travelling, which is all I want to do.
About my van
My van is a 98’ Mitsubishi express (Walkthrough) model. It was previously owned by my dad, which I bought from when I returned home from Indonesia. It has had a gas modification, which gives you the choice of running on Unleaded or Gas. This is super handy because gas is much cheaper to run, so travelling long distances is actually economically reasonable (although I wish I had an electric car!) I bought $50 of timber and built a bed frame in the back allowing for plenty of storage for my guitar, surfboard, skateboard, spare tire, tools, cooking equipment, dual battery and clothes.
I purchased a $20 queen mattress off Gumtree (Australian selling website), along with my $15 gas cooker. I bought the curtains, bed sheets, cooking equipment all from Op Shops (Thrift Stores). My awesome mum actually cut and sowed the curtains I bought to individually fit each window. I used cheap electrical wire for the curtains to run on (top and bottom). I wired the dual battery myself, which is very simple to do. I’m vegan so I don’t have too much of a need to refrigerate fruit or vegetables, but I do have an electric esky that I use sometimes that keeps things mildly cold. The best part is my pull out kitchen, which is literally an old wooden desktop under my mattress that slides in and slides out. I can cook even when it’s raining because my back door acts as a roof.
I plan to travel most of the East Coast of Australia during this trip. I started on the Sunshine Coast and am heading to Melbourne and the Great Ocean Road. I’m stopping in at most towns on the way in between, searching for good surf and beautiful beaches. Life on the road is EASY! I pay no rent, my car is economical, I eat simple but healthy and I have next to no expenses. These are the true benefits of living the minimalistic lifestyle, yes I own much less than most people but I experience much more! Nearly every single night I reverse up to a beach, crack the back door and let the cool ocean breeze roll in. On a clear night I stare up to the sky completely illuminated with stars and galaxies and smile knowing that I am where I’m supposed to be.
When living the simple life you realise you don’t need a whole lot to be happy. You begin to fully appreciate and cherish what few possessions you own, because you don’t have time or space to care about accumulating useless crap. Your whole life can be packed into a van, ready to go anywhere your wildest dreams take you. The Van lifestyle is a constant journey of the unknown, where you’re forever experiencing new faces, places and good vibrations. It’s the excitement of not knowing what the next place has to bring that keeps you on your toes and stoked on life!
I’ve been travelling full time living off savings for the last year. In that time I have received a lot of questions about travelling and how I do it. I am always willing to help and answer people’s questions, trying to inspire more people to travel. I just want you to recognize how truly powerful you are and how much potential you have to achieve anything you desire. You might be in a situation where your dreams might seem impossible, but it’s all a perspective and mindset. Banish those limited beliefs of self-doubt, befriend and surround yourself with positive like-minded people and work toward your dream a little bit each day.
You have to completely re-evaluate your life and change your priorities if you want to manifest what you truly desire. You have to put travel as your top priority, only second to health. Save every cent you can, stop spending your money on materialistic items or things that aren’t serving you. Follow and watch other inspiring people that are doing what you want to do, even make contact with them. Never stop knowing that you can achieve anything in your life, it’s just a matter of how bad you want to do it.