How are we going to travel around? How are we going to afford it? How can we make living, working and travelling function in practical terms?
What we've thought about so far is to travel by motorhome / converted bus / rv etc. I can not see us travelling with a baby, backpacks and no idea where we are going to sleep at night, let alone the baby sleeping during the day. Yes, other folks have probably done it, but what is right for one family isn't necessarily right for another. We may grow into that lifestyle as the children mature, but for now there needs to be a little bit of stability and 'comfort'.
Our van does not have a tow bar nor would it be able to tow a caravan of the size that would sleep 7. We could still take it in convoy if we need the seating and transportation over whatever we end up with though.
Atlas & I will undoubtedly have to sit our Class 2 licenses. At $800-$1000 each I expect it will just be him for the moment until our plans reach fruition and we are ready to launch.
So how are we going to afford 'it'? Yeah, that's just it – I don't know. I have looked at the figures over and over and over again, and I think I can squeeze what I need to out of them to cover the pre-trip expenses but nothing else.
One estimate from a motorhome rental company was that 9-12 months of travel would cost $20-$30,000 for a 6-berth. This is a fraction of the quotes online. Perhaps we could take a portacot, get tethering straps fitted for the child restraint as the 7th seat; and fold out seating at night as the children's beds.
What isn't optimal in this situation is that we need to work while we are on the road. When you are on holiday, it is okay for the children to stay up a little later and all the family go to bed at a similar time; or for the parents to turn in for the night a little closer to the children's normal bedtime.
I figure that Atlas will need to work in 'chunks' throughout the day and dependent upon when and where he can get internet access. So 2 hours in the morning after breakfast, a couple after lunch and then the rest after dinner when the children are in bed. At home we can get about 4 hours in the evenings and this is often the most productive. Or if we are both able to dedicate 4 hours each evening, then that would take care of the other 2 sessions during the day and allow us to explore.
This is where we are gravitating towards a bus that is converted for living in (read that as having permanent beds so you don't have to convert seats, and the buffet table every night!).
Looking around Trademe, the Motor Caravanner and the MCD reveals no 7-berth sleep/seat vehicles out there, unless you look at the 2 ex B&B buses purposed for backpackers that only have a kitchen area for breakfast, bunks and seats.
Searches overseas in say, Great Britain net quite a wide range of motorhomes (as opposed to converted buses) at reasonable prices, but you have the 'hassle' of importing them.
We can't economically look at bringing a vehicle in from a country that is left hand drive as it would need to be converted to right hand drive for our roads. This also raises the question, IF and it is a big IF, we continue our nomadic journey to Germany and Europe, would we take any sleep-drive vehicle with us, being that 85% of their transport systems drive on the right side of the road?
There is also the far-reaching possibility that we will find someone who owns a converted bus that sleeps 7, who is willing to loan/rent it to us. The one concern I would have in this situation is for the wear and tear that we may cause.
Although another equally viable idea would be to spend 3-4 weeks at various holiday homes throughout the country. They wouldn't need to be at the beach - just wherever. Then we could easily travel in our van, not have to get HT licenses, and have some of the creature comforts of somebody else's home. I wonder if there are people out there willing to rent their places in exchange for a fair and honest review? Hmm....worth thinking some more about I reckon.
So short of a miracle I am not sure what we are to do.