Port Macquarie North Shore couple Bryan Hocker and Merinda Kyle are not your average travellers.
From living on a yacht travelling around the South China Sea for a decade, to being caught in a COVID-19-induced lockdown in Peru, the couple are well entrenched with the notion that travelling broadens your perspective.
They also know the sacrifices that can come with decisions about travelling for extended periods.
"Every period of your life has these things that stop you from travelling or limits what you want to do," Merinda says.
"But I think you just have to decide how much of it you want to give into it.
"You have to weight the benefits and decide what you want more.
"Bryan has a granddaughter that he's only seen a couple of times due to travelling restrictions and I know that can be a pull for people of our generation.
"But we've never be ones to be tied down to one spot."
But the adventurous spirit does come with some real-time experiences that would test the most patient of traveller.
Take the reason why their yachting experience was cut short: their 45 foot yacht burned to the water line off in one of the busiest shipping lanes in the world.
And despite the grave situation, the couple simply put the experience down to some bad luck.
In May 2019, the couple were heading to some remote islands in the South China Sea after sailing around waters off Indonesia, Vietnam and Malaysia.
As dawn broke, Bryan smelt plastic burning and before long the entire yacht was engulfed in flames.
"From the time we smelt the fire to the yacht being burnt to the water line was just 10 minutes," Bryan said.
"Because the boat was also our home, we lost everything - the boat wasn't insured because it was too expensive.
"Merinda was in the water and I was trying to get some flotation gear ready but it was faulty.
"So we both ended up in the water and eventually Merinda saw our tinny floating a few hundred metres away and we were able to get onboard.
"At the same time, there was a freighter about four or five miles away that had seen the explosion and fire and it was able to help us.
"We were eventually winched onto the freighter and had to make our way home."
While that experience may put some people off travelling again, Bryan and Merinda were completely opposite: they wanted to explore more.
They describe the lifestyle as "sensational" while they also pick up casual work to offset their costs.
Even when they were living on the yacht, the couple would travel back to Australia every few years to top up their finances before heading back to continue the adventure.
Merinda says she understands that travel is not for everyone and some people may choose a different way to explore the world.
"People have done the travel thing different wants. They may have taken the hippy trail through Afghanistan in the 70s or travelled and worked in London in the late teens and early 20s.
"Bryan and I believe that you don't need to spend a lot of money on five-star accommodation. We like to spend money on the experience of travelling.
"The world is a very big place and there are so many places to see."
The couple have sold their North Shore but still have an apartment in Noosa which will serve as their base in the future with the rent a revenue source to fund their holidays.
Bryan, who is a qualified hairdresser, is also keen to tap into the seasonal work now available because backpackers are not likely to be allowed to travel to Australia due to COVID-19.
"We have worked on a short term basis to help fund out next holiday or to top up our finances," he said.
"But we really don't need a lot of money to survive.
"With the sale of the North Shore house and the COVID-19 travel restrictions, we started thinking about our next adventure and the idea of the bus came up.
"That's always been a bit of dream for us to own our own bus - to travel around Australia. We are somewhat the gypsy when it comes down to it."
The couple were able to purchase a Coaster bus which they has been stripped back and being slowly rebuilt.
Bryan is doing the majority of the work with Merinda's assistance.
They plan to have the bus completed with kitchen, bedroom, lounge and shower and toilet by October.
Their original plan of heading to Tasmania has been scuppered and they are likely to detour Victoria and head to South Australia for the summer.
From here they will drive through to the Northern Territory and Kakadu.
One of the attractions of driving themselves is a desire to spend real time in a community they visit.
"We hate the idea of going somewhere and spending just a week - it doesn't give you a sense of the place," Merinda said.
"It doesn't feel satisfying to go there for 10 minutes or other for 10 minutes. The advantage of doing a tour yourself is that you get an idea of what the place is all about.
"You get a sense of the food and the culture.
"And in this environment, it is sensible that this is the way to travel.
"We have plenty of friends up and down the coast that we will visit but they may not necessarily want us sharing their own space."
The couple say they don't want to be tied down to a specific time frame.
"We won't ever stop travelling," Bryan said.
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