6 & 1/2 Months on the Road!

Heres a little bit on what we’ve learned & what we’ve spent to travel this beautiful country & compare it to what we were spending when living a stationary life.
Living on the road comes with many unexpected surprises. Some good, some bad. We’re learning to embrace them all.

Practical things learned: 
  • How to drive a 23ft manual bus. Quite nerve wracking at times but I’m really enjoying the challenge.
  • How to fish & recognise what we’ve caught + gut/scale.
  • Catch mud crabs & cook them to perfection –>
    1. get your crab pot set up.
    2. make sure your bait is fully secured using a bait clip in the center. (we’ve used mullet & chicken carcases)
    3. throw the crab pot downstream.
    4. make sure it landed with the bait on the bottom of the pot.
    5. check back every couple of hours.
    6. if its a jennie you must throw her back by law. If its a buck you can keep him if he is 6in or longer.
    7. Get your pot boiling with a handful of salt. Toss the crab in & from re-boiling point set the timer for 12-15 min.
    The only piece of advice I didn’t take was “toss em in live & slam the lid on quick!” Instead I chose to put him in the freezer for 30min & let him sleep. 
    Bon Appétit!
  • Pack up camp in under 2 hours. For the last 6 months I’ve been mainly alone with Migs working away so I’ve learned how to set up & pack up quite efficiently on my own.
  • Use & empty the porta potti correctly. I met another traveling mum who showed me some tricks & now we have a fully functioning bathroom in the bus. Quite a few people who are gearing up to do the lap ask if its really necessary to have a toilet & I would say absolutely!
  • Realising how little we can live without. We’ve always lived with less having grown up with parents who were missionaries & going onto volunteer for 7yrs but living in a small bus brings a whole new meaning to going without & we don’t miss a thing… Well except maybe our king size bed. 🙂
  • How to cook on an open fire. I’ve can make a fire, no problem.. but now I can cook over it! Pretty excited to have caught two big bream, get them ready then build a fire & cook em.Felt like a real hunter gatherer… haha! (along with potatoes, corn & 4 banana splits)
  • How to drive off road on Fraser Island (largest sand island in the world) in a 4×4. Quite a trick to it, but Migs picked it up real fast.
  • Miss P 3yrs taught herself to swim. 


Fishing in Howard, QLD

Fishing in Howard, QLD

  • Patience has always been a biggie for me. I’ve always wanted things to be done on time & efficiently & in places like India & Africa where I’ve spent a fair amount of time things were never going the way my schedule hoped. Having kids didn’t change that either… I stayed at my usual busy fast pace & they didn’t  mind.  It wasn’t until I hit the road in the bus that I’ve been forced to slow down. You cant find places to park & shop, you have to set up/pack up camp & that takes time, you have to accompany your kids to the toilet no matter the time, weather or distance (yes we have a porta potti but its really only for night or emergency use) deal with break downs, blown tyres, violently shaking steering wheel. You name it it seems to have happened.
    I’ve learned to let go… to just breath & take in the moment whatever it may be.
  • I overcame my fear of traveling alone with 2 small kids. Ok, so I’ve been doing it since I became a Mum but that doesn’t mean I dont take it seriously & get nervous every single time & this time on the road has given me a lot of faith in mankind & to not let fear stop me from trying new things & going to new destinations.
  • Not much internet, no telly & no friends/family close by means more time for reflection.
  •  I’ve been pretty hard on myself as a mum & am slowly accepting that I’m doing ok when I have people spanning 3 states complimenting me on the kids behaviour & manners.
This is a break down of the cost of living on the road compared to when we lived in a house. In AUD & calculated per week.
  •  Accommodation BUS: $98 HOUSE: $350. 
  • Electricity: BUS: NIL  HOUSE: $25
  • Gas: BUS: $1.50 HOUSE:  $5.50
  • Shopping: BUS:  $164 HOUSE:  $200-250
  • 2 Phones/Internet: BUS:  $30.00 HOUSE: $55.75
  • Bus Diesel: $80.70 Car Unleaded: $70
  • Laundry: $4
  • Take away/ice-cream/smoothies: $35 (pretty similar in the house)
  • Attractions for the whole 6 1/2 months: $425 (including 2 ferries)

We’ve set up camp 34 times & driven over 14,000km! Really excited about heading inland to Northern Territory & Western Australia for the first time! (when Migs job here in Orange is done)

So many more things were learned but I really have to hit post! Might add them at a later date.

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Amber Luna

I'm a long term traveller, dedicated mum of 2 & passionate about living life full of adventure. I love living my dreams & helping others live theirs as well. I hope you enjoy our informative journey!

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  1. Great post. I’ve missed your updates! Just out of curiosity… do either of those number comparisons include your Hubby’s expenses or just yours and the kids? Lotsa love to you and your family. Can’t tell you how much I enjoy reading about your adventures. xo

    • Amber Luna says:

      We are a one income family & as Migs works FIFO (fly in fly out) most companies takes care of his food, transport & accommodation.
      I track our overall spending whether or not he is home. I just took the entire 6 & 1/2 months costs & averaged them out weekly. So sometimes weeks were more/less than others but overall that was our spending.
      Really the only thing that goes up when he’s around is the food shopping & laundry! lol!
      Also the attraction costs were with him, as we wait to do all the fun stuff when he’s with us. Thanks for your questions & interaction!

  2. Love your blog. Laughed (and agreed!!) with toileting little kiddies is intense away from home and it’s good to know I will eventually (hopefully) get less freaked out camping with just the kiddies. I’ve only done a week here or there so far.

    I pulled up a crab net once (near Port Douglas) to find a six pack of beer in it – and no crabs. I wish it had been a bottle of wine and I would have been happy!

    Please keep us updated.

    • Amber Luna says:

      Thanks Susan! I heard about guys swapping crabs for beer while I was there as well! It didn’t happen to us tho & feel the same about the wine 🙂
      Enjoy your camping with the kids, I always tell myself there is more good than bad out there & so far its been true. More posts on locations coming soon!

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