Jade and Jaryd stripped life back to the basics, because they wanted to get away from material possessions and pressures – we think they are doing everything right when it comes to their travels with a Toyota Landcruiser 79 Series!
Hello you – before we talk about the van – tell us a bit about you first!
We’ve been together for almost 9 years. Jaryd (32) was working as an Electrician and had his own business for 6 years in Victoria, while Jade (28) was a teacher in a Victoria for the same amount of time. We had planned to do an Australia trip ever since we road tripped to the coral coast in WA during summer of 2014. Then we properly decided to travel throughout 2020 in 2018 as we knew the planning would take some time.
What drew you to travel and live in a van?
Stripping life back to the basics and living simply in the real world, away from the material possessions and pressures that consume many within modern society.
What kind of van do you own and why did you choose it?
We built our own camper trailer and tow it with our custom built Toyota Landcruiser. We love that our setup can go anywhere and doesn’t have to be treated too carefully- Landcruisers are built to tour!
Is the interior made by yourself or did you hire a carpenter?
Jaryd built the interior of the trailer as well as the inside of the canopy on the vehicle.
How long did you work on your Toyota Landcruiser 79 Series until it was finished and ready to travel with?
Approximately 6 months of weekends and time in between working a lot. It’s one of those things that never is completely finished but as long as it can take you to incredible places, the bells and whistles can always be added later!
Tell us your 3 most important camping gadgets of all time!
Our Engel fridge! This has kept food and drinks cold and even frozen during our time travelling in 50 degrees Celsius heat! It’s important to always have a cold beer in all weather.
Our solar panels! These have allowed us to run our own power and never have to pay or worry about finding electricity when we’re off the grid for weeks on end. Jaryd installed an inverter that runs off the solar power and charges our gadgets and even runs my blender for morning smoothies!
Our air compressor! Much needed if you want to drive on sand and need to put the tyre compression down and then air up before hitting the bitumen again.
How do you earn money while traveling?
I relief teach along the way and run my own personal training sessions, while Jaryd picks up work for electricians in towns.
Which countries have you seen already with your Toyota Landcruiser 79 Series?
Most of Australia! I (Jade) had done a lot of international travel in my late teens and early twenties, however when I met Jaryd, he shared with me his love for Australia which made me realise just how incredible our country is! The more smaller road-trips we did (Fraser island, east coast, south west coast) reassured us of how much we wanted and needed to see all that Australia has to offer.
How long are you on the road already and do you live in your vehicle full time?
1 year and yes, apart from when we visit friends or organise a house stay along the way – we need a shower every now and then!
Some people prefer campsites for the night, others love free camping somewhere in the middle of nowhere. What do you prefer and why?
100% middle of nowhere remote camping. For us camping doesn’t feel like camping if we are staying in a caravan park with power and all the facilities of a home.
How do you shower?
Either in the ocean, rivers, or with our solar bladder which we hang in a tree and the sun heats the water for us.
What kind of kitchen do you have in your Toyota Landcruiser 79 Series?
A basic gas cooker on a portable camping table, sink on the back of our trailer and fridge/freezer in the canopy.
What makes travelling and living in a van such a great experience?
Travelling around Aus is honestly what dreams are made of. Australia is a vast desert meeting wild waves. It is watching a full moon rise over a dune as the sun sets simultaneously behind the opposing horizon. It is one of the few locations on the planet in which one can find world-class waves simply minutes from a protected reef surrounded by water with visibility that is second to none. Australia is home to stars brighter and skies wider than most would ever dream of sleeping under. It grows the most flavoursome fresh produce and provides the country with exceptional, affordable fruit and vegetables. The marine life in and around the Ningaloo Reef are absolutely deserving of the world-heritage listed site that they call home. Never have we had such awe-inspiring and intimate interactions with Dugongs, Whales, Turtles, Whale Sharks, Rays and Sharks as we have throughout our time off the coast of Western Australia.
Nothing is perfect – what´s the down side of vanlife?
Missing family and close friends, and unexpected stresses that can come with driving a car throughout all elements.
What tips would you give new vanlifers?
Our advice is to avoid time frames as much as possible when planning a trip, as most of your experiences can be completely dependent on certain weather, swell conditions and animal behaviours. Allow yourself time to stray from an original plan if certain experiences and animal encounters become available. If you are travelling with pets, plan your time in National Parks ahead as all towns with a Visitor Centre in our experience have wonderful dog-sitters.
Do you sometimes make new friends on the road/meet other vanlifers?
Absolutely! It’s nice to socialise while on the road with likeminded people.
What are your future plans when it comes to traveling/living in your Toyota Landcruiser 79 Series?
We are going to continue travelling and working along the way around Australia to keep the good times rolling!
For more Toyota Landcruiser adventures, check out Jade and Jaryd’s Instagram account @_wherestheremote!
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