I’ve been on the road for a whole three months. Three months! Where the flip did that go? Who’d have thought after years contemplating my corporate existence, I would find myself house/pet-sitting two snoring dogs, two feuding ducks and an aviary full of chirpy cockatiels in Brisbane’s north-west. Some change from office life, eh?

Despite the obvious lifestyle and geographical differences, the biggest transformation I’ve experienced is my general outlook. The world, and my place in it, seem more open to a wider variety of possibilities and solutions. I guess that’s the continuing influence of travel and the long-term impact of ‘rat-race-less freedom’.

Alas, that ‘freedom’ comes a cost. The cost, if you will, of living. Australia is by no means a cheap country. In fact, according to MoveHub, a company dedicated to helping people relocate abroad, Australia is the twelfth most expensive country in the world to set up (and sustain) camp. TWELFTH! It’s more costly than Japan, the US, Denmark, Ireland, New Zealand, the list goes on! So, as a full-time traveller on part-time wages, I’ve needed to remain thrifty.

So, what have I spent?

Well, the figures are a little skewed. I’ve had an abnormal amount of weddings, funerals and interstate business opportunities, so you’ll have to bear that in mind.

Flights = $1,325

I squeezed in nine flights during that period. From the Gold Coast to Melbourne to Adelaide to Melbourne to Adelaide to Melbourne to Adelaide to Melbourne to Adelaide to Brisbane. Yes, I’m getting to know the South Australian, Victorian and Queensland flight routes very well.

Accommodation = $579.94

‘What?’ ‘How?’ ‘Are you living on the street?’ All valid exclamations. But not even close. I’m able to average $6.45 a day for accommodation by organising long-term house-sits in and around where I want to travel. In between sits I’ve bunked in at hostels and shouted myself an Airbnb in Melbourne’s Southbank for a week.

Food = $1,414.61

If you’d said I could spend $15.71 on three square meals a day in Australia, I’d say you were dreaming. But the stats don’t lie! Other than the odd meal at the house of a relative, everything else has come out of my pocket. The further breakdown reveals that I spend similarly on takeaway/restaurants ($719.47) and home cooked ($695.14) meals. It will be interesting to see if these figures remain given my ever-growing addiction to money-sapping avocados.

Activities/Events = $2

Alright. So I visit a lot of free attractions. I did blow a gold coin donation on going to the Collingwood Farmer’s Market with my nephew. That’s it! I was given a ticket to the Brazil vs. Argentina football game at the MCG, for which I will owe several rounds of drinks down the track, but for now, this remains a freebie.

Public Transport = $383.30

Life without ready access to a car has taken a bit of getting used to. But trams, trains, ferries, buses and the odd Uber journey have more than sufficiently transported me from A to B and all the way through to Z.

Miscellaneous = $299

This is made up from assorted purchases. A pair of shoes, body wash, deodorant. Random stuff.

Equalling = $4,004 AUD (or $48.44 AUD a day)

Is this a lot? Not much? I don’t really know. We’ll see how much I burn through for the rest of the year. Granted, there are a few ‘non-travel’ related items I haven’t included.

What’s not included in this tally?

  • A five-year-in-the-making dental check up (this wasn’t pretty)
  • Various camera accessory purchases
  • A gym membership I forgot to cancel (idiot!)
  • Health insurance
  • Mobile phone bills (continuing contra deal with my contracted place of work)
  • Travel Bootcamp Conference ticket price

So how much do you think you would spend travelling full-time for 3 months? Given that your rent or mortgage repayments over a 3 month period will likely absorb most, if not all, of that four thousand dollars, it doesn’t sound like much on reflection. The trick is finding, or creating, a source of income you can sustain on the road.