Glen, Andrea and their two young kids decided to pack up their life in Calliope, QLD and take 12 months off the modern 9-5 life to travel around this great country of ours. They quickly realised that 12 months would never be enough and changed their travelling setup to suit full-time living and travelling on the road.
Hi Glen, Andrea and kids. What made you want to go out on this journey?
We have always wanted to travel the country ever since we met each other 21 years ago. We have always been keen campers and off-road enthusiasts and enjoy the outdoors very much.
Life has a way of brainwashing you though. We fell into the trap that most hard-working families are in. The mind set of work hard, provide a better life for your family and the kids are used to not seeing dad for long periods of time.
Glen was made redundant days before our daughter was due to be born. It rocked us to the core and we began selling our belongings we worked so hard to buy.
The boat went, furniture, anything else deemed unnecessary. It was a very hard time for us as a family but having been through many financial hardships in our married life we did get through it.
Shortly after the birth of our daughter and getting over the redundancy, Glen’s father became seriously ill, then so did our baby daughter, Lillian. Catching a very rare non-contagious form of tuberculosis in the lymph nodes of her neck from our backyard chickens.
The next 6-12 months were a blur and the hardest of our family life. Lillian became much sicker and required numerous surgeries in her tiny neck and Glens father became gravely ill until we lost him. It was just one blow after another and we were really struggling. Thankfully Lillian is making a great recovery. The disease is still there but she has almost got it beat and doesn’t suffer anymore.
After getting through all of that we wondered how we would pick up our lives? What do we do now?
We put an offer in on a house we thought we could start a new life in, but it only felt half right. On a very rare spur of the moment decision we decided we’d just go! We’ll travel for 12 months then find the right place to buy. Shortly after we arrived at our first destination, we all (kids included) knew this was us. We can’t stop just after 12 months. There’s so much to see. Let’s spend our house money on a really cool 4x4 truck and a Kedron camper and not let anything stop us. Let’s be free and do what we want, where we want! Life is just so short.
Glen, you’re driving the adventure in a Hino 300 Series 4x4, tell us about the specs and the modifications you have made.
We ordered the truck with the All-Terrain Warriors Super Singles Conversion, Alloy Bullbar and winch, towbar and electric brake controller and some Hino Genuine goodies, like canvas seat covers, floor mats and stone guard.
It was then off to dynamic engineering and slide on campers in Hervey Bay who built our fantastic rear body which includes a sleeping compartment which is lined and insulated, a slide out kitchen, storage drawers, water tanks, a 145lt fridge and 65lt freezer, auto boat loader and more, so we can leave the van behind and camp remote for an extended period of time in safety and comfort. I’ve also done a little bit of work on the front suspension and changed the shocks to improve the ride and off-road capabilities and are very happy with the results, so is the wife so I must have done it right.
What’s the best thing your seen so far?
There’s so much already;
• The white-out blizzard that rolled in when we arrived at Selwyn for a play in the snow, then the snow capped mountains and old huts covered in snow along the snowy mountains highway
• The Barron Falls in full flood
• The Gregory River free camp and river
• The outback lush and green as the north after rain
• The Burdekin Dam
• The Daintree Rainforest
• Golden Beaches of the Sunshine Coast
• The beautiful random free camps we just seem to find (actually, some of them were pretty dodgy but not all!)
• And all the wonderful people we’ve met and shared a campfire or beer with
What is your itinerary and what’s on the bucket list?
No real bucket list, just hopes and desires.
At the moment our itinerary is to make our way to Lake Eyre for the amazing view of it in flood after the North QLD rains, then via a little bit of exploring we’ll head north to meet friends and make our way to Darwin. We will stay on there for a little while and work before heading back down south to board the spirit of Tasmania. We will spend a few months exploring Tassie. The truck will love it there – so much rugged terrain to explore!
Have you driven a Hino before?
I had driven the Hino 500 Series years ago for work in the electricity supply and distribution industry, and knew how reliable and well they went, and we gave them a hard time without issue.
What made you pick the Hino 4x4?
When we decided that a light truck was what we needed to carry all our gear and tow our van around this great land, we narrowed our search down to the big 3, Fuso, Isuzu, and Hino. The Hino won hands down with its included standard features, the strength of the chassis and drivetrain, and it was more competitively priced. But not just the price alone I think it’s a better all-round package offering increased safety, reliability and comfort, which is important to us as our family rely on it day in, day out.
What dealership did you buy it from?
We bought ours from Mike Grant at Pacific Hino in Cairns, some of the nicest guys to do business with, nothing was too much trouble for them.
Would you recommend this to anybody thinking about taking the leap?
So many people want to do the big leap but are afraid of leaving their comfort zone, my advice is bite the bullet and just do it, even if you only do a 12 month trip, or even shorter if that’s all you can manage, just do it, don’t wait because sometimes tomorrow never comes.
And if you want to do it and take everything with you including two kitchen sinks, you should seriously think about doing it in a Hino truck.
If you see us out there, come over for a yarn, or a beer or three, it’s always great to make new friends on the road.
How can people get in contact with you?
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