A Home on (almost) Every Continent

In July 2019 we are camped in a field in Boom Belgium attending the mother of all electronic music festivals, Tomorrowland. Checking out news via internet, we happen across a sales listing for a funny looking but well priced camper-van named “Savannah”…. in Australia. Knowing the European summer is rapidly coming to an end, we are considering extending this year’s warm weather by moving to the southern hemisphere. Australia fits the bill.

A few chats with the current owner, a little legal and logistical research, and a small deposit later, we buy a 2003 Toyota Hiace camper-van with 430,000 odometer kilometers… sight unseen…. 9000 miles away. We agree to fly to Australia, make payment, and take possession in mid-September. That leaves us 6 weeks to enjoy the tail end of European summer, apply for a one year Australian Visa, make plans for long term storage of Eldo, and figure out just what we are going to do once in Australia.

In the meantime, all we can do is learn about the history of our new-old van. As best we can tell, she started life as a for hire tourist camper van for one of the major Aussie rental companies, Britz.com. At some point she wound up being sold to a succession of temporary private owners, continuing her life as a “backpacker” van. As the kilometers rack up, she collects scratches, dents, cracked windscreens, grungy wear and tear, interior modifications, and exterior decoration. Through it all, despite her looks, she maintains strong mechanical integrity and becomes a veteran of the amazing variety of Australian landscapes… from outback to beach… from rain forest to desert… from modern big city to long forgotten dusty blip town.

What happens when we arrive in Australia? Do we hit it off with Savannah? The craziness of this move hits us as we board our 24+ hours of flights from Dublin to Perth… ready to move to a new continent and into our new home on wheels. What have we gotten ourselves into?

Picture Captions:

Tomorrowland, Boom Belgium… where it all started

“Savannah” we bought her sight unseen.. 9000 miles away