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One of the biggest advantages of creating a mobile lifestyle with the ability to live and work from anywhere is that it opens up the potential (and desire) for even more travel and freedom. As long as we have decent WIFI, we can work from almost anywhere in the world. So this month, we are going location independent in Australia!
Working global and mobile is a concept I (Julie) am familiar with – being self employed for many years and experienced in working while traveling in Australia and the USA – but it’s definitely new for Marc who works a 40 hour workweek at his regular 8-5 job. Our last visit to Australia was in December 2012 (3 years and 3 months ago) and I’d been feeling the pull to go back home for a bit and while Marc was open to the idea, it remained a thought for several months as we didn’t take any action right away.
Fortunately, not only has the recent plunge in oil prices made a lot of RVers like us happy with much lower pump prices, but it’s also resulted in an abundance of cheap airfares. When Australian airline Qantas had a sale in September 2015 offering round trip fares to Australia (DFW to Sydney, Melbourne or Brisbane) for just USD$1,097 we couldn’t resist the opportunity to snap them up. Coupling cheap fares with a favorable prevailing exchange rate meant we’d be able to do a trip Down Under very affordably – and potentially for not a whole lot more than we would spend in our regular full-time RV life in the USA.
So, with it being such a long flight (8,000+ miles and 18+ hours of flying time) rather than rush our visit, we decided to stay a little longer (4 weeks) and take things at a more relaxed pace. Ultimately, our goals for this trip are to:
- Take advantage of the cheap airfares and strong US dollar versus a weaker Aussie dollar for a more affordable adventure
- Put to the test our options for ‘international living and working in another country and timezone’ and share the pros and cons of our experience for the benefit of other location independent professionals/digital nomads interested in expanding beyond their existing borders
- Visit the Tiffin Motorhomes dealer in Australia, develop some industry relationships and do some research on the various RVing and camping options in Australia
- Explore some more of Australia and share the beauty of down under with our audience to educate, inspire and encourage more of you to take the plunge and do that ‘bucket list trip to Australia’ so many of you fantasize and talk about
- Naturally, visit family and friends, including other experienced RVers
Serendipitously, we recently learned that our fellow full-time USA RVers the RVGeeks are also undertaking their own Aussie adventure right now and sharing their experiences – you can keep up with them here. We’re not sure if our paths will cross, but how fun would it be if we finally got to meet those guys for a beer somewhere in Byron Bay or by Sydney Harbour? I guess we will see if that’s meant to be! Stranger things have happened… after all we randomly met Chris and Cherie of Technomadia in the middle of the desert near Yuma, AZ this time last year – you can read about that chance encounter here.
We figure you will probably have plenty of questions about our working/traveling/Aussie adventure which we’re happy to answer! Hopefully we’ve covered a few of them for you below. If there is anything else you’d like to know, please feel free to comment below or email us with and we’ll answer them.
AUSTRALIA TRIP FAQs
How long will you be spending in Australia?
In total, about 4 weeks. We left Dallas-Forth Worth International Airport on the evening of Wednesday March 16 and landed in Australia on the morning of Friday March 18 (it’s about a day of travel and Australia is a day ahead of the USA). We return to the USA on April 13.
How are you traveling? Where are you staying? Are there any RVs involved?
We won’t be traveling by RV this time but we will definitely be researching our options for future RV travels down under, with a visit to the local Australian Tiffin Motorhomes dealer. We’ll be doing one domestic flight and driving a rental car the rest of the time. Accommodation wise, we are fortunate to have plenty of Julie’s family and friends who have generously offered us their stick and brick homes to stay in, which means a nice saving for us.
How will you work effectively?
As someone who places a high value on a consistent routine, sleep and a comfortable/ergonomic work environment Marc in particular has been nervous about having sufficient connectivity, being able to work productively and the timezone – the 16 hour time difference meant we’d have to work midnight – 8am, a graveyard shift. We made sure to keep our schedule very light at the beginning of our trip to get plenty of sleep, recover from jetlag and get used to our new routine and work hours. For connectivity, we are staying at stick and brick homes that have high speed internet and of course, we brought all our technology equipment with us.
Are you taking any vacation time?
Yes, we are taking a day or two off here and there initially to give us a chance to get into our groove, and we’ll be taking a whole week off (which ends up being 9 days with weekends) at the end of our visit. The rest of our travel and exploring we’ll do during our workweek, much like we do in our regular RV lifestyle.
Where are you going? What’s your itinerary?
Week 1-ish: Gold Coast area, Queensland
We’re staying at the home of Julie’s Dad and his wife Helen, taking it easy while we rest up, settle into a new timezone and get into a groove working the graveyard shift!
Week 2-ish: Driving the Pacific Coast Highway from QLD to Sydney, NSW
We pick up a rental car and commence our 865km drive (538 miles) south, stopping off to spend a night at and explore the easternmost point of Australia – the famous and picturesque Byron Bay and surrounding areas. We’ll continue on the next day to Coffs Harbour, Port Macquarie (staying the night with a friend) and then continue onto Sydney where we arrive on Good Friday/Easter Weekend.
Week 3-ish: Sydney’s Northern Beaches and Eastern Suburbs, NSW
We’ll spend the first part of our Sydney stay in the lovely northern beaches town of Curl Curl, at the home of one of Julie’s dear friends Nicki and her husband Fritz, both avid world travelers who are heading off to Bali while we housesit for 6 days. We then move closer into the city sights and action staying at Bellevue Hill in the eastern suburbs, walking distance to world-famous Bondi Beach, where we’ll stay for 4 nights, at a gorgeous studio garden apartment offered up by Julie’s dear friend Jane. While in Sydney, we’ll be working a good portion of the time.
Week 4-ish: Cairn, Port Douglas, and the Great Barrier Reef, QLD
Vacation time! We’re logging off our computers and on the morning of April 4, fly from Sydney to Cairns and Port Douglas, to explore the stunning far north eastern region of Queensland, including the Daintree Rainforest and spectacular Great Barrier Reef, one of the seven natural wonders of the world. This is the only leg of our trip that we need to pay for any accommodation – being 2 nights in Cairns and 4 nights in Port Douglas. We fly back to Brisbane on April 10 for 3 nights before returning to the USA.
What did you do with your coach Rocky and MINI, Juice?
We got lucky! Some RVing friends that we met in Maine have a Dallas-based business that has a large parking lot and an RV hookup, so they generously offered for us to leave the coach and MINI at their business for the duration of our trip, with electricity to keep the fridge and aircon running! Very grateful for good friends. If this had not been an option, we’d have either stored our coach at a Thousand Trails campground or a local storage facility.
Will you be sharing your travel adventures with us?
Yes, we’re still working (except for the last week) so keep an eye on the blog, YouTube, Facebook and Instagram to see where we are and what we are doing on a daily basis.
Will you still be sharing RV-related blog posts and videos while you are down under?
Yes, we’ll be sharing RV and Australia-travel related content, so you can expect to see quite a mix.
Do they speak English in Australia?
That’s debatable. Technically yes, but the Aussies have a whole language of their own that only the locals can really understand. Watch our Aussie Words and American Translations video to get what we mean.. and to familiarize yourself with the lingo. You might need it to understand some of our future content!
Got more questions?
Please share them in the comments below or shoot us an email and we’ll be happy to answer them.
5 thoughts on “Australian Adventure: Work & Travel Down Under”
No wucking furries, I like that. Won’t tell you my husband’s translation. I’m fascinated by all types of languages. Used to be a high school foreign language teacher. So ta for the words n phrases.
G’day Julie & Marc,
That’s a bonza picture of you with the Sydney Opera House in the background. Enjoy your time with friends and family in Straya. Oh and ta for the packdown checklist. Will come in handy when we set out in our rv soon.
G’day Sonia, Aw strike a light, thanks. Yeah we’ll have a cracker of a time, should be a ripper. Good onya with the RV list – no wucking furries mate Avagoodweegend 😉