Josh and Elise

Posted by Meg Nolan on

Tell us about how you met and what inspired you to get on the road?
We met at work, we were both lifeguards at the time and hit it off pretty much instantly. We realized we both had genuinely similar interests and goals so it was too easy to chat endlessly and forget to actually watch the pool….
I was brought up bush camping, my main school holiday trips meant packing the bare essentials and dropping off the grid for a while, so what we are doing now feels like I’m just reconnecting with my roots. Even before I met Josh I really wanted to go on an extended road trip, with no predetermined destination, and once I realized it was achievable, and that we both wanted to do a similar trip, we put our heads down and worked hard, finished university and made it all happen!
I have always wanted to do van-life, in some form or another, no real idea on length or destination, it was just a regular day dream. Being a surfer at heart and not living extremely close to waves I would always dream of saving enough money, buying a van and hitting the road for endless surf trips. I brought a van for after I felt I had done my fair slog of cold weeks away during winter on the Yorke Peninsula in just a swag.  We had sort of discussed the ol’ classic road trip for 6 months or so, on the east coast. During University, developing a relationship with Elise and learning more about life and its endless possibilities, we discussed more long term travels plans, we cant remember when or how but our plans eventuated and we have ended up where we are today, 13 months on the road and thinking life isn’t even long enough for our continuous travel plan.

How long would you like to do van life for?
We don’t really plan much as our the favourite moments usually come from spontaneous decisions, but our current plan is to get up to Darwin before it gets too cold and spend the dry season up around the top end! We usually know what direction we’re heading but the minor details are decided on a day-to-day basis. When we left we thought we would complete ‘the loop’ in a year and a half, but a year has already passed and we’ve only really seen WA and a bit of SA, there’s still so much to see! So now when someone asks how long I plan to keep living this lifestyle I say we’ll wrap it up we don’t enjoy it anymore or find another path to head down. But at the moment I still can’t get enough of van life.
How longs a piece of string? haha. I’m not totally sure, we have been on the road for 13 months and haven’t needed to work yet. I’ve enjoyed this holiday lifestyle but I’m ready to experiment with living the van-life while also working to save money. The Nomadic lifestyle of leaving a place when you feel you’ve fully explored and ready for a new adventure has been one of the best elements about van-life. That period of time will extend our stays at a place from a week to a month or so instead. So with those extended stays at places and the whole of Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria and Tasmania yet to explore - I think I have 3-4 years left in Dono! I can’t picture how or when our travels will finish, so for now ill just enjoy the ride.

Tell us about each other…
Josh is my rock - he’s caring, thoughtful, gentle, down to earth and he always knows how to put a smile on my dial. I could go on forever - I always was a happy lone soul and never thought one relationship could be so extraordinary, but now I can’t imagine life without Josh and cannot wait for what the rest of our life brings us, if its anything like the past five years, then we are in for one hell of a ride!
If I had to sum Elise in a few words I would say, caring, compassionate, blasé and funny. Seeing Elise spending time with her family makes it easy to see why she is such a loving and compassionate person. Elise is one of the most relaxed and casual person I have ever known, sometimes its hard to gather what she is thinking about or planning because she is so relaxed. But best of all, she knows exactly what to say and when to make me laugh.

Do you ever get sick of each other living in such a small home – how do you cope with it if so? 
We’re both quite laid back and it reflects in our relationship, I don’t remember the last time we had an argument, maybe never? There are times where sometimes we get a bit short tempered or annoyed but usually its because we haven’t showered in a while (…cleanliness is an overlooked key ingredient to happiness!), or we’re hungry, or we’ve been cramped up inside the van for a few days waiting for some extreme weather to pass.  I think the biggest tip is to come prepared, bring activities or things you really enjoy doing, I like reading or going off on my own walks, Josh usually goes off for a surf or listens to a podcast, a bit of alone time works wonders.


We have had the great pleasure of working with Josh and Elise and absolutely love watching their journey – to see their adventures in Dono follow @elisehalina and @goldykilner

Wearing ➵ Dream Girl Tee 
➵ Freedom Flower Tee


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1 comment

  • These two make my days happier when I read their latest posts. They are good for my soul. I love them.

    Jan on

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