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I get asked a huge number of questions on social media, via email and of course in person (mostly in country pubs around the island). Among these is always the odd question regarding planning a big trip; how to plan a hot lap of the country, a year on the road? Honestly, the hardest part without doubt, is committing.
See we all love the idea of an extended road trip in our 4WDs, exploring the country with no fixed address agenda but for the majority of us, that’s about as far as it gets. The single hardest part of turning that idea into reality is committing 100% to doing it and that involves picking a go date. Circling a date on the calendar at some point in the future is without doubt the most daunting aspect. Most people never even get this far.
The way I did this was to sit down and put pen to paper, grab a calculator and determine every expense I thought a trip would cost for a period of one month. I’m talking, fuel, food, beer, accom, repairs, clothes, entertainment…heck anything I could think of I wrote down an approximate cost. I then multiplied that by 12 to give me a figure for a year on the road. I then went and had a l down thanks to the shock…it was a surprising figure.
When Id regained my composure I had a look at my current rate of savings and determined that in exactly 18 months, with 2 months extra as safety, I’d have saved enough to cover all costs and a year on the road. There it was, a date. I remember it like it was yesterday; January 3rd 2016…24 months to go.
The feeling of excitement that washed over me was incredible. I had a goal and a way to work toward my dream trip. The rest from there was certainly no picnic, I’ve never saved harder in my life (not to mention packing all my belongings and putting them in storage, which was horrid) but honestly, the hardest part was done; picking a date!
So when asked just how you plan a big lap or even an extended 4WD journey, without a doubt I answer that above all else you have to be willing to commit, to plan and pick a date. Once you’ve done this, the only person you are letting down is yourself and in doing so, your dreams, if you fail to make it happen. However every single person I’ve talked to who has made this step has gone on to realise the trip of their dreams. I think that if you’ve got what it takes to grab a red a and put a dirty big circle around a date in the calendar, then the rest is easy.
Trust me when I say, making the effort to get a huge trip planned and underway is a must do event. The feeling of pulling out onto the road on day 1 of 365 cannot be beaten; it may just be the best feeling in the world. So how about cracking a beer tonight, grabbing a pen and a calculator and get ready to draw your own circle around a number in the calendar! I hope I see you out there.
As a presenter and photojournalist, Graham Cahill is regarded as one of the luckiest men in Australia. Currently part of the 4WD Action Magazine team, Graham is known for his outrageous personality and passion for the bush.