By Mark McConville
MEET the travelling couple who packed up their life into a van and hit the road in a bid to find the ultimate work/life balance.
Haylie and Andrew Davies (27 and 28 respectively), both from Campbelltown, Australia, have always had a passion for travelling and backpacked for a year on their honeymoon before settling on a van as their ideal way of life.
The adventurous pair travelled in a van around Japan and America before deciding to tackle their home country of Australia.
When they couldn’t find a van to suit their needs they bought a 2005 313cdi Mercedes Sprinter for £5150 and completely refurbished it at a further cost of £5090.
Incredible images and video show the fun-loving duo converting the van and enjoying their travels around Australia.
“In 2016 we travelled to Japan,” said Andrew.
“We wanted it to be somewhat of a crazy trip though so we decided to hire a van and travel around for a month by ourselves. It was incredible and the concept of van life stuck.
“We did it again in the USA then decided it was time to tackle home in Australia to try and find a work/(van)life balance.
“We looked at buying a van that was already fitted out but there was nothing in our budget or set up the way we would ideally want it to be. So, we bought an empty van and designed it with what we thought would make us most comfortable and still be practical.
“We have been travelling for about eight weeks so far in the van. Starting from home in Port Stephens and out to Uluru in the outback, then back down through the Great Ocean Road and along the east coast.
“We have always been sun seekers. We just don’t function properly in the cold weather, so given its the Australian winter right now we’re heading as north as possible to soak in some tropical weather (Port Douglas).”
The couple, who have been together for 11 and a half years and married for one and a half, enjoy the slower pace of life that comes with living in a van and explained the benefits of it.
“Life is slower,” said Haylie. “Things take a little longer to do. And this is totally fine. It’s refreshing.
“Things that mattered when we lived in a house just don’t matter now and things that matter now never mattered before. Like showering.
“But it’s all amazing. It puts life into a whole new perspective. The van really does feel like home. If we are away from her for too long we get restless.
“Every day we see something unfamiliar and everyday we’re out of our comfort zone at least once. We take more risks, we are challenged often and we’re always experiencing new things.
“Going through these experiences has the benefit of seeing the world with a new perspective. It’s been amazing seeing one another grow and transform.
“Travelling and living in a van gives us all this plus the ability to retreat to our comfort zone when we need it. If we need down time off the grid to reset, we can. If we like a new place, we can stay little longer. If we want to detour to take those awesome photos, we can.”
The couple hope they can inspire people to chase their own dreams, by documenting themselves living out theirs.
“We want to inspire people to chase a dream and forget about being fearful,” added Andrew.
“Always have the attitude “Why can’t I?”. Every reality starts with a plan, and every plan starts with a dream. Your dream can never be too big or too silly.
“We live in a time where alternatives constantly challenge the conventional and social media bridges any isolation of living ‘alternatively’. The only people we have ever personally met with a similar lifestyle to us has been while we were travelling.
“No one that we grew up with, lived with, or worked with has a similar lifestyle, and so when you aren’t exposed to something you tend to fear the unknown.
“Our message would be that if you have a dream then make it happen piece by piece- chances are you aren’t alone.”
For more information see https://www.instagram.com/adventuringtwo/