A Wagga couple is packing up their bags, trailer and getting ready to live their dream of travelling around Australia.
Ellee Stedman and Jonathon Scanu, known to most as Joss, have spent months saving and building their camper set-up in preparation for their big trip.
"It's about getting out there and exploring everything this country has to offer," Joss said.
"I have never even been to Queensland, South Australia or Northern Territory.
"We would also like to make a move next year potentially, so this is a way to look around a few different places."
The duo has planned to spend at least three to four months on the road in a ute Joss has designed and built to allow themselves to live off the grid and be fully self-sufficient.
First up is South Australia, but they hope to be in Western Australia within a week or two.
"We do not have a plan," Ellee said.
"We are already close to Victoria and Tasmania from here, so that's why we wanted to make our way straight to South Australia.
"We have nothing booked or set in stone, so we will see how we go."
Ellee and Joss are ready to live the dream, but it's primarily due to their hard work and dedication to the goal.
About a year ago, when the pandemic forced many eager travellers to give up their overseas plans, the couple decided they would explore their backyard.
Initially, they had been saving up for a house, but the more they thought about it, the more they realised they did not want to be "grounded".
"So, we put our minds to it and got it done," Ellee said.
"It's something we have always wanted to do it, but we finally locked it in," Joss added.
"We wanted to show people that anyone can do it, it doesn't matter how."
Joss has saved the couple thousands of dollars by buying an aluminium tray from a wrecker and doing all the work on it, fitting a canopy as well as all of the electrical fitout himself.
Their vehicle now boasts a rooftop tent, fridge, storage, oven, a bed for the dogs and of course, a coffee machine.
"I just wanted to make sure we were comfortable while having everything organised and easy to access," Joss said.
"We will be sleeping in the rooftop tent and living out of it every day, which makes it easier financially.
"I get a lot of satisfaction out of making things, and building so this was almost like the ultimate project."
Joss managed to do all of that in his spare time while working as a casual school teacher, and even made the decision to sacrifice a permanent position.
"As much as I enjoyed my job, the want to travel really outweighed that," he said.
"If I took a permanent job, then I would have been locked in and we would not be able to do this now."
Meanwhile, Ellee worked as a photographer and graphic designer while also working casual shifts at a local cafe and homewares store.
Joss and Ellee said there is so much pressure on young people to tick off all the boxes from finishing education, getting a full-time job, getting married, buying a house, and having children.
But, they added, there can be so many different ways to live your life.
"We're living in an ever-evolving world, and we need to change with it," Ellee said.
"It's 2021, and there are different ways of earning money to the traditional 9am to 5pm office job."
The couple know there will be some challenges along the way, especially as they are taking dogs Louie and Darla with them.
They will also be doing some remote work on the way, to help cover the costs of living.
"We are willing to make it work for us," Joss said.
"I will be doing some photography and graphic design work on the road, but we have also started our online business as well," Ellee said.
"We started it in August last year after talking to this couple who had been travelling for two years.
"It was through affiliate marketing, so we have been doing that since last year."
Joss and Ellee are both incredibly excited to see the Kimberley in Western Australia known for it's gorges and spectacular waterfalls.
But, Ellee cannot wait to also snap a picture in Broome.
"My grandma has always wanted to go there, so I want to go there for her," she said.
The couple said if they can do this, anyone can - it's just about setting your mind to it and working hard to make your dreams happens.
"We have learnt already that we are more capable than we thought," Joss said.
"You just have to back yourself, and you will surprise yourself," Ellee added.
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