Emma Barr explains why she's left her comfortable life behind to road trip around Australia with her hubby and 1 year old baby.
Why are we road tripping around Australia with a 1 year old? The question we get asked all the time!
Honestly, for us it all came down to timing. The timing of my business getting to a point where it would replace both our incomes, the timing of Cam’s (hubby) contract finishing, the timing of Flynn being born and simply the timing of us wanting a new adventure!
Ever since Cam and I met, over 10 years ago, we've always had a passion for travel and for living life experiences that are slightly out of the ordinary. I mean we met on a tropical island in the Whitsundays, then went sailing through Asia on a 52 metre superyacht, and have lived in three states in Australia together. Life for us has always been about finding the next adventure.
The idea of #vanlife was something that we stumbled upon in November 2017 and by Christmas Day we had brought a 2009 Mercedes Sprinter that Cam was going to convert into our very own tiny home on wheels. The idea of a van really appealed to us and I believe gave us the freedom to pursue life on the road.
The idea of being able to sleep wherever we want, adventure whenever we feel like it and always have our food, beds and office space available to us no matter where we are is a huge benefit.
Life on the road has been amazing so far and watching Flynn explore and experience all these new things has definitely made all the hard work to get here worth it! Balancing being a wife, mum, business owner and blogger on the road has definitely not been easy and I am still getting into the swing of things and finding what works best for all of us.
However, the biggest thing has been having the unconditional support from Cam who will take Flynn out for a few hours in the morning so I can work or go off on an adventure if I have to do a spontaneous meeting during the day. Then structuring our days and communicating everything the night before has also been so important.
So when I wake up I know where we are and when we will have reception so I am able to fit meetings around that time. Again it is mostly about balancing everything but also being open to change and working around that.
I have been running my business, iLEADS, for almost two years now and have been able to expand my team to include some amazing staff that help me run things when I am potentially out of contact for a couple of days. Putting systems and structures in place from the start has been a massive pinnacle to allowing me the freedom to work from the road.
I would say to anyone that this thinking of living on the road and that is thinking of running their business while doing it to make sure you put structures in place before you leave. This will make a huge difference to your business and to everyone else involved in your trip.
My top tips for running a business on the road are:
Make sure you get an awesome internet provider - We are with Telstra and have a wifi booster in the van to make sure we get the best possible coverage wherever we are.
Put systems and processes in place - If this includes other staff then great but even if it is just you make sure you have structure around what you do and when you do it. That way even if you just have a free hour or so during a busy day you are able to maximise your time.
Communicate with your partner - Make sure they are aware what times you have meetings and when you need to be in wifi range. There is nothing worse than if they have something planned for you to turn around and say that you have a meeting.
We definitely are not perfect and we know that traveling around Australia with a 1 year old will not always be easy, let alone all living within a converted tradie van!
However, we also know that the trade off will be worth it. There is so much of this amazing country that we are yet to see and we can't wait to explore it.
If anyone is thinking of taking the plunge we say just do it! Its the best decision we have ever made!