By Scott Thompson
MEET THE inspirational couple who moved back in with their PARENTS to save money to convert an old church-bus and travel Australia with their two young children indefinitely – and one of them is only a few months old. Concreter, Dylan Robert Bergamaschi (23) and his wife, fulltime mum, Kallie Pauline Bergamaschi (25) from Adelaide, Australia, got married in October 2017.
They had an unusual honeymoon road tripping around the Canadian Rocky Mountains, before retreating to the beautiful beaches of Hawaii.
The couple enjoyed their trip so much that they decided to rent out their home and move back in with their parents to save up the funds needed to buy an ex-church bus.
They converted this ex-service vehicle into a modern, upscale eco-friendly home on wheels and now travel their beautiful home country fulltime in it.
Dylan and Kallie paid $13,500 (£7,528) for the vehicle and spent $9,000 (£5,018) on renovations. The bus has been set up to be totally off grid and runs completely on solar power.
After months of eagerly waiting and preparing their home, Dylan, Kallie and their son Lincoln (4) moved onto the bus in August 2018.
The three travelled for four months before returning home for the birth of their youngest son Zephyr on 4 December 2018. They stayed there for a few months before moving back onto their bus fulltime and have no set date to stop travelling.
“We’re a young family from South Australia that got a taste for adventure after our honeymoon road tripping through the Canadian Rocky Mountains and relaxing on the beaches of Hawaii,” Dylan said.
“Since then we’ve been chasing our next adventure which is a lap of our own beautiful country.
“So, when we got back from our amazing honeymoon, we decided to rent out our family home and we moved back into our parents for six months to pay for our bus and save money for the trip.
“We found our bus, Nelly, on Gumtree. She’s a 1984 Nissan Civilian ex 22-seater church bus and is seven metres long. We paid $13,500 for her and roughly $9,000 on the conversion.
“It took us five months to make our home and she is totally off grid, complete with 450 watts of solar power and a 360AH battery bank. We run completely off of solar power and have never plugged into mains power.
“In late December 2018 we moved back to our parents after four months on the road to give birth to our youngest son Zephyr. Within a few months we moved back onto the bus and have no set date to stop.”
The journey has given their son, Lincoln a unique opportunity to grow in many ways many other children won’t get a chance to. Only time will tell what benefits baby Zephyr will reap as he gets a bit older.
“Travelling on the bus has been great for the kids. We can’t quite tell with Zephyr yet because he’s a bit too young, but it’s been great for Lincoln. He’s such a versatile young man and has a heart of gold,” said Dylan.
“He learns so much on the road and has experienced things many people never will. Not only has he been able to do these exciting things but to our surprise he still remembers a lot of it.
“We often have people tell us about the stories he’s told them about when we went snorkelling on the Great Barrier Reef and the time we went surfing at Seals Rock in the freezing water.
“The journey has also been a time for me and Kallie to reconnect and get to know each other better. The nine to five work routine was pulling us away and our relationship on the road got to blossom again and we reconnected.
“Of course we have our bad days but that’s usually just down to trying to find a place to park our bus each night.
“A huge cost saver while on the road is staying in low cost or free camps, but the problem with this is they have no booking or hold system, so it’s first come first served. So, we either get there early and miss some of our day or get there late and chance it. Sometimes it’s a struggle finding something along the coastline and before you know it the caravan parks are closed.”
The family do not plan to end their journey and so long as they can continue to support themselves, they feel like they want to travel forever.
“We don’t know how long we will keep travelling for, we sometimes think about a place to settle and call our own, but honestly, if we can find a way to keep supporting this lifestyle, we don’t think we’ll ever stop,” Dylan said.
“Our family are so happy for us. They have all been so supportive and always welcomed us to their homes while renovating Nelly and saving to move onto the next adventure.
“We think van life is something everyone should try out at some point in their lives. Living in such a small space means that you have to minimise your possessions and it teaches us we don’t need so much stuff.
“It helped us to reconnect with each other and our environment. You wake up in the morning, make your coffee, step outside and take it all in.
“You spend your time adventuring and exploring what the world has to offer instead of sitting inside watching TV.
“The same goes for your kids, it’s the best thing watching them explore, learn and grow in nature.
“One of the best things about travelling on the road in our bus is that, although the scenery is constantly changing, we are always home.”
A link to the contributors Instagram.