Welcome to the wild west with our Bazaar Babe Alex. She's currently living out our daydreams and exploring Australia in her van and giving us complete wanderlust. We find out her tips and tricks for life on the road and on staying spontaneous and living in the moment.
TELL US A LITTLE ABOUT YOURSELF - WHO YOU ARE, WHERE YOU'RE FROM AND WHAT SETS YOUR SOUL ON FIRE?
Well you obviously know me as Alex, I’m 24 and originally from a smaller town inland NSW called Armidale which gets very cold, often snows, can be quite beautiful but not a whole lot to do there so my family packed us up in primary school and I have lived on the Gold Coast for the last 15 years! Until my partner, Kye and I bought our house a year ago in Northern NSW, which we absolutely love and nicknamed the Honey House, which is currently being rented to a lovely family while we travel.
Hmm what sets my soul on fire? So many things these days! My family and friends, laughter, surfing, our van, growing and catching my own food, sustainability, especially in the fashion industry, but most of all ADVENTURE. I spent most of my early adulthood working really hard at school to study nursing and I achieved a lot of my goals quite early. So after I had achieved them, had so many “things” I found myself wanting to be young and to take more risks and seek travel.
WHAT’S YOUR STAR SIGN?
My full star sign is Taurus sun, Aquarius moon and Pisces rising! I love learning about what the stars were doing when I entered the world and know a little too much about it all to admit haha!
YOU RECENTLY PRESSED PAUSE ON YOUR NURSING JOB TO TRAVEL AROUND AUSTRALIA AND LIVE OUT YOUR VAN LIFE DREAM. TELL US ABOUT YOUR JOURNEY SO FAR!
Yes, recently I said goodbye to my nursing friends. I worked as a Coronary Care nurse for a few years and loved it! Hoping to pick up some work nursing on the road next year though.
So far van-life has been different in a way than I would have expected but also better. I went into it thinking I would have so much more time to do things, like journal every week, pick up passion projects and meditate daily. When in reality your days go so much quicker then at home! You're often busy setting up, packing up, finding somewhere to stay, surfing all day, meeting up with people for hours talking, cooking and a lot of driving. Time seems to go just as quick (sometimes quicker) but the things you achieve or the people you meet or experiences you have are so much greater then I would have had at home in my comfy little realm.
WHAT INSPIRED YOU TO LIVE THE VANLIFE?
Since we bought our van in 2018 we have always traveled, whether it was weekends away, or two month trips to Tassie and back, or even that time in 2020 when we crossed the Nullabour to WA and COVID hit and we got stuck for a bit until having to turn around and come straight back home. We love that lifestyle. The ease of just pulling up and having a minimal set up and it’s home just like that, but with a new backyard most days.
WHAT ARE YOUR TOP 3 ESSENTIALS FOR ANYONE TRAVELLING?
WHERE HAS YOUR FAVOURITE PLACE THAT YOU HAVE VISITED SO FAR AND WHY?
It's so hard to pick but some highlight spots would be:
A favourite North QLD inland spot is a place called Kuranda. They have an awesome camp called The Billabong which we loved! All the waterfall circuits including Milla Milla were beautiful but very touristy! We camped at Lake Tinaroo for days and had fires every night and watched the stars. It was super cheap too and a place we plan to go back to!
Broome we loved, Cable Beach was awesome to park up for the day. Up the cape there is a free camp called Quondong Point which is right along these cliffs overlooking the beach. Great western sunsets, we even got some little waves which is unheard of for Broome!
And finally we just did Karijini. That place is out of this world beautiful. The amount of “wows” that came out of my mouth at that place is crazy. It is truly so stunning and I recommend everyone to see it
ARE YOU A BIG PLANNER WHEN IT COMES TO YOUR ITINERARY OR DO YOU GO WITH THE FLOW AND SEE WHERE YOU END UP?
I love to plan! But this trip I have gone with the flow a lot more. We had a slight idea of direction and some top spots to visit but otherwise we just follow the seasons, the weather, the wind and the surf haha. What keeps us in a place is usually when those above things align or if there is great free camp, we will stay longer! Some of the best places are the places we didn’t plan and just came across by Kye saying “left or right” and me picking one.
WHAT’S THE ONE ITEM IN YOUR VAN THAT YOU COULDN’T LIVE WITHOUT?
Hmmm one item we couldn’t live without, thats so hard! If I couldn’t pick Kye and it had to be an item I would say either our long board or our camera / film camera. I’m sure there are many practical items like our fan or our bed or a toothbrush haha but I love our days surfing and I love documenting and capturing moments on our cameras, and then sharing with others to encourage them to travel or do van-life!
WHAT’S THE BEST PART ABOUT LIVING ON THE ROAD?
The best part is freedom and the ability to meet new people who we may never have come across. I have loved stepping out of my comfort zone as I got older, and van-life challenges me while also giving me the security I need.
WHAT DESTINATION ARE YOU DYING TO TICK OFF YOUR BUCKET LIST?
Our bucket list destination was Exmouth. We actually just arrived and it’s already living up to our expectations. It has everything we love, surf, snorkelling, diving, wildlife, wilderness styled camping, great people (lots of young travellers) canyons and gorges. Just everything and we plan to stay here for 6 weeks just doing that on repeat.
DO YOU HAVE ANY DAILY RITUALS OR MANTRAS THAT KEEP YOU GROUNDED?
My ritual is Pilates or stretching or meditating in the mornings if I can. We try to regularly wake for sunrise and watch sunset. I often don’t look at my phone until after all of those things and turn it off before dinner so I can be present in my favourite times of day. And just talking regularly with Kye. We have a thing we do called our ‘suck and sweet’ of the day and we take turns going first and saying our best and worst part of the day. It’s a great way to reflect and also it’s fun when they are different because we learn what was important or not great about the others day (even though our days are often the same we can still take different things from it).
HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOUR PERSONAL STYLE?
My personal style, well on the road in all reality, it looks like wearing the same clothes on repeat for several days because nobody likes washing! But as for my style, it often depends on the season. What is consistent in my style is who I wear. About a year ago I stopped buying clothes that weren’t either sustainable or ethical or re-used or didn’t contribute to ethical fashion in a capacity. I felt that I often had people asking where this was from or where I got that and I wanted to be proud of the brands I was not only wearing but sharing. I feel this is essential and with so many incredible brands pushing for this, there is so much room for fashion to grow. I love to wear jumpsuits and cosy knits. I love to not only wear neutrals but heaps of colour. I like to have fun with my style. And just because I live in a van, I can still rock some sick outfits, any occasion is an occasion to spread creativity and flare and personality. But honestly one day I could look like a mermaid gypsy and the other I could look like the slob I am on the inside haha! My hair is always wild though, and I rarely wear any makeup except sunscreen, and it’s done wonders for my skin!
DOES YOUR STYLE CHANGE MUCH WHILE YOU’RE ON THE ROAD? AND WHAT IS YOUR GO TO TRAVEL OUTFIT?
My go to travel outfit is usually a jumpsuit of some kind as it’s simple, all in one and I feel like I can “get shit done” whenever I wear one haha. The only negative is when it’s cold and you need to do a bush pee and it requires you to get fully naked to do so haha! But I have never really had an issue with the naked body so it’s still my go to!
WHAT’S NEXT FOR ALEX?
What’s next! Isn’t that the question, and the answer is even better….
I have no idea! And once upon a time that scared me. Not having a plan or me always chasing the next exciting thing in my life. But life is the exciting thing now. Every day is different, the bad is good and the good can be bad, but it’s all part of the adventure and I can’t wait! Whatever it has in store I hope to see it as growth and a whole lot of fun! I do secretly hope it has years and years of travel and van-life but we will just have to wait and see.
Alex wears the Mustang Jumpsuit in Yellowstone
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