Escaping Coronavirus #VanLife

Part One – Finding Safety Within The Madness

What a week its been. There’s been highs, lows, good times and some pretty bad times too. 

It has always been my dream to buy a van and make it my full time home. I wanted to travel around the beautiful country of Australia, whilst working as I go. 

So, I bought a van. A beautiful van called Ultra Violet, and I made her a home. Everything was going exactly to plan until…

COVID-19!

I was so excited and ready to leave Melbourne on my next adventure before coronavirus struck. I had a plan, a great plan, but like many others around the world this plan was put on hold. 

I didn’t really understand the seriousness of this disease. 

This epidemic felt surreal. Fictional in fact. To be honest it still does.

It is starting to feel a lot more real now. This “deadly virus” that people spoke about, has now arrived on my doorstep and it is such a scary time.

I have lived in Australia for a year and a half now. Thousands of miles away from family and friends. But this is the first time I have felt so disconnected.

I can be pretty indecisive at times, and making the decision as to whether to leave Melbourne in my van, or to stay was a pretty tough decision. 

I had given up my flat already and wanted to start the next chapter of my life, so I decided to leave. 

I headed for Byron Bay, with a quick stop in Sydney to see friends. Even then bars and cafes were open as normal. I was hearing about the deviation occurring in China and Europe, but because things were running as normal, everything felt normal.

I arrived in beautiful Byron Bay, which is where everything really sunk in. 

I am a very social person, I thrive off of human connection.

But I had now arrived in a town, where I knew no one and due to self isolating there wasn’t going to be an opportunity for me to get to know anyone new. 

As luck has it, just as I was considering going back to Melbourne. I bumped into friends of mine, who were buying a van and hoping to travel up the East Coast. We decided to stick together as we knew the next couple of weeks were going to be tough. 

They announced that the state borders were going to close, so we needed to make a decision as to whether we stay in New South Wales, or cross the border to Queensland.

As all the shops, cafes and bars were closing I thought my best bet was to find a job on a farm, so Queensland seemed to be the best option.

We crossed the borders with no problem, we made it over just in time. As we both had friends in the Gold Coast we opted to stay there for a couple of nights whilst we came up with a plan of action.

I will be honest, like many other people from my generation I am not great at saving. I will save if I want to go travelling or if there is a festival I want to go too. But saving for the sake of security or the odd chance there’s a global pandemic… not really my thing.

So funds at the moment are scarce. Campsites are closing. Desperation is occurring.

The worst part of this whole situation is people are telling travellers to “go home.” This is easy to say for those who have a home to go too. What I have recently learned during this crisis, is a “home” as we know it, is something I lack. My van is my home.

We came across a gentleman advertising his land and home for us to camp on whilst Australia goes into lockdown. Let’s call this man Jeremy for privacy reasons. 

Everything sounded great and promising. An older gentleman, willing to help at such a tough time. I was in contact with another girl who is solo travelling and we decided to meet there, so no one was alone. 

We started our journey to Seventeen Seventy to Jeremy’s house. We wanted to be as quick as possible and stop as little as possible in order to prevent picking the virus up en route.

We were so lucky to have found somewhere in which we could all stick together, that looked nice and where we were safe… or so we thought.

To be continued….

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1 Comment

  1. Cathy Willee
    April 2, 2020 / 6:52 am

    Stay safe Charlotte.

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