Jesse and Cheyanne from @cruisingaust, with their furry friend Nalah just started travelling full-time for the Big Lap a few months ago. This Aussie couple worked hard for two years and saved up for their big lap adventure and now, they’re fully enjoying the rewards on their big lap trip without having to make any plans.
“Happiness is the real sense of fulfilment that comes from hard work.” ~Joseph Barbara
Check them out in this video as they share their latest experiences, a scary encounter, and the cool setup they’ve built for their travels around Australia.
How do you travel? Do you plan your schedule well in advance, or do you follow the flow? Or how about both?
Welcome to Aussie Travel Stories, the series where we ask Aussie travellers questions to help inspire and educate the Big Lap community to enjoy the greatest road trip of their lives.
What’s Your Travel Story?
Jesse: What’s up Big Lap Bible, my name’s Jesse
Cheyanne: I’m Cheyanne, and this is Nalah.
Jesse: We’re CruisingAust. We pretty much quit our jobs and we’re now full-time travelling in our Troopie
Why did you decide to do a Big Lap?
Cheyanne: We literally used to go away every single weekend for a couple of years, and then one weekend literally just said, let’s travel Australia!
Jesse: So just packed up we saved for a good year before we did it, and then we just took off and went for it.
Where are you currently?
Jesse: So we are currently on the Yorke Peninsula at Flaherty’s Beach, one of the best spots we’ve ever seen.
Jesse: And we’re making our way up the Yorke and then up to Coober Pedy
Cheyanne: Then back down the air and around Western Australia
Jesse: We plan on doing the whole loop but obviously we’re just going to take our time with it and see where the roads take us
What’s Your Set-Up?
Jesse: Current setup is a Troop Carrier and then we’ve got a tinnie on the back and we also carry a bike as well on the front of the tinnie but we’ll show you guys our whole setup.
Where do you generally stay?
Jesse: We try and stay out of the caravan parks as much as we can obviously because the price can get really high in these areas when you’re travelling Australia and we just enjoy free camps because you get so much more freedom because there’s no one around and it’s just awesome
Cheyanne: Nothing beats the spots that you find in free camps that’s for sure
Jesse: Yeah we definitely prefer free camps over caravan parks
What is the best camping spot you’ve stayed at?
Jesse: That’s bloody tough, we’ve stayed at so many nice places, but to narrow it down to one would have to be Rapid Bay in South Australia
Cheyanne: Rapid Bay is so far
Jesse: We got a couple of good days where there was no wind and it was just beautiful. Some awesome caves you can go see
Cheyanne: The water is just crystal clear
Jesse: If you like squidding you’d definitely find squid down that way. That was my favourite part.
Where is the best place you’ve ever been?
Cheyanne: The best place we’ve ever been to so far, we haven’t gone too far, but I would definitely say Rapid Bay and this spot Flaherty’s is amazing.
Jesse: This whole Yorke peninsula is just awesome. So many things to do and you could literally spend a couple of months just on the Yorke.
Where can’t you wait to go?
Jesse: The one spot that would be on my favourite list to see is probably Exmouth up the top of Australia and obviously Kimberley and stuff. What’s your pick?
Cheyanne: I can’t name one. I’m literally just excited to go everywhere, I don’t even have a “spot”. Every day is a good day
Jesse: We’ve got so many spots we wanna see so I’m sure we’ll show you guys all of them
Do you travel with a pet, does it restrict you?
Jesse: We do travel with a pet. We’ve got a 2-year-old bulldog. She’s awesome we definitely weren’t going to leave her at home and we love taking her with us. Her home is in the back of the Troopie here.
Cheyanne: She loves to travel. It restricts you to National Parks, but there are so many places that you can see that are so beautiful and allow pets.
Jesse: It doesn’t really bother us too much.
Cheyanne: We knew before we left that there are places that you can’t go but it’s definitely worth bringing her along.
Jesse: She loves the beach more than we do I think.
Any scary or funny moments on the road?
Jesse: I had plenty of, not so many scary moments son the road yet, but plenty of funny times but the scariest one lately would have to be me and one of the guys we’ve met, we were just walking down toward the beach, we had the boats anchored probably 15m off the beach and then,
Cheyanne: Where we’d been swimming in the past two days.
Jesse: We were there for like four or five days and we were just swimming around and whatnot. I kind of had my head down and Peter yelled out “SHARK!”, and this massive, I looked up and I just saw a big ring of water splash and apparently it was like a great white that jumped out of the water. South Wales down here is pretty bad for sharks, pretty sure
Cheyanne: It was right near the boats that they all just start to go speeding toward you.
Jesse: We were spearfishing and whatnot and that turned us off for
Cheyanne: A day
Jesse: I think I’m still pretty turned off about it. That’s definitely the scariest moment I’ve been around for sure.
Tell us about the item you can’t live without
Cheyanne: The item that we can’t live without is definitely the awning
Jesse: We’ve got two and I’m going to have to say that the awning is absolutely unreal. The Darche Awning just gives us full shade around the whole car when it’s hot.
The other one would have to be the Jet Boil. We use that for coffees, for noodles
Cheyanne: So quick and easy. It boils water in a minute. We use it every single day. It was actually a gift given to us too. It’s definitely been our most used item for sure.
Tell us how you fund your Big Lap and budget – did you save before you left? Do you work on the road?
Jesse: We literally worked our butts off for two years during Covid we didn’t do much at all, we just did little trips away here and there at the weekends and just saved a lot of money for the trip and for the car
Cheyanne: We actually just saved and we don’t really have any plans so if we run out of money earlier than we expected, then we’ll just get jobs on the road. We’re pretty easy to go with whatever happens.
Jesse: We don’t have any plans at all, that’s the best part about it.
How much do you spend and what is your biggest expense?
Cheyanne: Budget to spend is about 700 dollars a week. Every week it changes depending on how many spots you’re staying in or whether you’re in one spot for a week if you stop at caravan parks. Some weeks it’s blown up to 1500 when things have gone wrong, other weeks have been like 400, so it’s hard to have a budget.
Jesse: Things as in things gone wrong, I sort of stuffed the fridge so we had to get a whole new fridge but that’s pretty much it and we’ve had like car service and stuff which blows the budget out a little bit.
Cheyanne: Fuel is definitely the biggest expense, by far.
Jesse: I think it’s going to get a lot worse too, as we get sort of inland and whatnot but yeah, just take it as it comes I guess.
What’s something you know now but didn’t before you left?
Cheyanne: How much do we spend on food.
Jesse: It depends on how hungry we are I guess and what we want to eat
Cheyanne: And how much, like if you’re in small towns and you have to buy IgAs and stuff like that, you pretty much double your food expense for that week I reckon.
Jesse: Obviously, in the smaller towns, the price of food is through the roof. We didn’t really even think about that before we left.
What is your favourite thing about travelling?
Jesse: It’s going to have to be not getting up at 4:30 every day to go to work. Just the freedom that it brings up.
Cheyanne: Just waking up in a different spot every day is so good, and definitely all the people that you meet.
Jesse: We’ve only been travelling for like 8 weeks and we’ve met so many amazing people along the way and there are so many people travelling, it’s unreal.
What has been your biggest splurge? Was it worth it?
Cheyanne: Our biggest splurge would definitely have been my birthday. It was probably like a three-day splurge.
Jesse: Cheyanne got an Airbnb for her birthday from her family.
Cheyanne: Wineries and food in the city
Jesse: We lashed out a little bit, we went for dinner, and then I got her a big box of strawberries, chocolate, maybe have wine.
Cheyanne: Out for dinner, out for breakfast, it was definitely worth it.
Is there anything you bought but don’t use as much as you thought or it wasn’t worth the money?
Jesse: Something that we bought that we don’t really use and is not worth the money would probably have to be the hot water system I guess. At the moment when it’s so hot, we just use the cold shower. We don’t even use the hot at all, pretty much.
Cheyanne: It also caught on fire on us anyway
How were you affected by the lockdown?
Cheyanne: We were in lockdown on and off for about two years. I think our longest was like 6 months, but lockdown honestly probably helped us so much because it stopped us from going out and spending our money. We literally just spent all our time and money on the car and savings
Jesse: I was doing massive days of work and stuff and just literally when we bought the car it was just a shell so we spent every afternoon and every weekend just building it really, the whole year.
Cheyanne: We’re pretty lucky that we were both still working so we obviously still had money to save and do the car
Jesse: It kind of worked out in our favour I reckon.
What is your biggest tip to other big lappers?
Jesse: Biggest tip to other travellers and stuff, just get out there and do it. It was honestly the best thing that we’ve ever done
Cheyanne: No plans, just take every day as it comes
Jesse: Don’t plan anything, just save up your money, get your car ready and just literally hit the road. It’s the best.
BONUS – SETUP TOUR!
Cheyanne: it’s time to show them a bit of the setup
Jesse: Yeah give you guys a bit of a rundown. This is our switch panel setup, switches power points, that’s the battery and if we need to pull into a caravan park and charge up, we can turn that one and we’re getting better. On the side we’ve got a little pull-down table with a sink so that comes down, we’ve got speakers on the back, we’ve got some little bags up here that have got all our toothbrushes and soaps and all that sort of stuff so that’s handy.
Jesse: So this is the back of our Troopie, Cheyanne will give you guys a little bit of a rundown.
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Cheyanne: We have all our clothes drawers along here, a bench top and then this is a big storage box in here and we just keep spare extra clothes like jumpers, anything really, and then we also have another box under here, that lifts up.
Jesse: It’s got bits and pieces and camera gear and stuff like that. This whole thing here is like a couch but actually turns into a bed. We’ve got like a piece under here that just slides across and we can sleep in here when we stop at places where we’re just doing like a quick overnighter so that’s pretty handy. And then in here,
Cheyanne: This is our pullout kitchen
Jesse: It’s probably the best bit of the car, so that’s a full-size cupboard pantry, keep all that food on the top. We’ve got a cooker at the top here. So waters we’re running just two tiny 20L drums and then we’ve got a 40L underneath with a pump so 80L of water is all up. This is Big Black Betty, it’s 250 runs on the front. We’d get that off and now it sits on the back so we’d go into town and whatnot. This is a tinnie, for all that fishing and whatnot we’ve got an extra-long trailer so we can spin it around and see stuff in the car. The awning as you can see runs from the front and goes all the way around the back. We’ve got lights in here, so white lights and orange lights for nighttime, and then where we sleep is up on top. Up on top we’ve got the Bush Company rooftop tent just two clips on the back and it just pops straight up, and then we’ve got max tracks on top as well, and surfboard and solar, and then on the side we’ve got the 23zero shower tents that just clips out and that drops down as well.
That’s a quick little rundown on the car. It’s a Troop Carrier, we’ve got some bigger tyres and stuff on it. A bit of a lift kit, bullbar, lights, antenna. That’s our setup.
Cheyanne: You like this setup Nalah? Say “Thanks for watching. See you soon!
Jesse: Thanks for watching guys! This is Little Nalah, our little bulldog. See you guys on the road.
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