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Pipe dreams - Suffering From Elation
A Survivor's Tale
tania
tania
Pipe dreams
Why do they call them "pipe dreams"? Is it surfing-related? Something you do while gnawing thoughtfully on a pipe 1950's TV-dad style?

Anyway, Joe and I are saving for a van at the moment and so far we're up to a grand, with more to come very soon. By mid-March we'll be over $4k at this rate. And I'm thinking, if we get up to around the $5k mark, it'd be really nice to buy a full-on campervan. You know, stove, bed, mini-fridge, power, the lot. (I think $5k is our savings limit for the van, as we'll have to switch to saving for the US trip after that because once our vehicular woes are sorted out, plane tickets will be the first thing to purchase and I do not intend to put any of this on credit.)

Then my imagination went wild and I recalled the year I spent freelancing. I didn't make bucketloads, but I made enough to get by; enough to pay my rent at the time (which was a lot more than I'm paying now) and to cover food and fun. Back then I was using a desktop PC and a large tablet; these days I have a very small laptop and an even smaller tablet. And even though I haven't freelanced for over two years, old clients keep contacting me offering work - I got a call from one just last night.

So then I looked up a website that shows all the free wireless internet hotspots in Australia, then checked another website that compares pre-paid non-plan wireless internet access costs and coverage from the major providers, then I downloaded and read the National Harvest Guide PDF (guide for backpackers looking for seasonal fruit picking jobs across Australia), and I thought, I wonder if it's possible for two people to travel about the place if one of them is fruit picking and the other is freelancing, if the van is outfitted with the basics and their living costs are low? Because I've freelanced successfully before, and the job Joe's doing now is as hot and physically demanding to the point where fruit picking wouldn't be too much worse.

Because man, that'd be so cool. To travel indefinitely, self-supporting, getting to know the nooks and crannies of this country. I've heard of people doing less likely things.

Might be something to think about when we've done the US trip. If we try it in Australia and it works, I wonder how hard it would be to apply the same methods worldwide?
20 have fought ~ fight the power!
Comments
jenova_silver From: jenova_silver Date: February 19th, 2009 06:03 am (UTC) (Link)
A pipe dream is a fantastic hope or plan that is generally regarded as being nearly impossible to achieve. Originally a reference to opium smoking, the term implies that a given situation is not legitimately feasible, but is so fantastical that it can only be realized by smoking perception-altering drugs from a pipe. An approximate synonym is the phrase "pie in the sky."

from Wikipedia
tania From: tania Date: February 19th, 2009 06:13 am (UTC) (Link)
Ahaahaahaaa! That's a pretty awesome meaning. :D
c_eagle From: c_eagle Date: February 19th, 2009 06:38 am (UTC) (Link)
Sounds like a rather 1960s-1970s fun-retro kind of road trip thing.... 8>
earthminor From: earthminor Date: February 19th, 2009 07:44 am (UTC) (Link)
A very cool idea, being a travelling freelance artist!

Seumas thinks you should make sure you wouldn't have any upload problems; your artworks might be large and upload speeds on wireless are not that great I hear.
tania From: tania Date: February 19th, 2009 10:32 pm (UTC) (Link)
This concerns me too; we have wireless internet at home at the moment and frankly it's shithouse. I suppose when it came to uploading work, I could stop in at 'net cafes - generally anywhere backpackers go, internet cafes go too.
buttfacemakani From: buttfacemakani Date: February 19th, 2009 07:47 am (UTC) (Link)
I love that smoking something did not occur to you xD

Also I freaking love your icon x))
tania From: tania Date: February 19th, 2009 10:34 pm (UTC) (Link)
I know, me of all people. ;) And yeah, I love Birdgirl! I pretty much AM Birdgirl; she looks like me, talks like me, is occasionally delusional like me...

Haha, this is unrelated, but recently one of my coworkers and I got major laughs out of reading all the angry comments on that Twilight piece you did over at dA. Were you expecting that strong a response?
buttfacemakani From: buttfacemakani Date: February 19th, 2009 11:02 pm (UTC) (Link)
I was expecting to stir up shit with that picture, but I was not expecting it to get like THAT MUCH comments. It's the most commented on picture in my gallery xD.
jemshed From: jemshed Date: February 19th, 2009 08:37 am (UTC) (Link)
Way cool plans. And I reckon if it works in Australia it could work in Europe!
turbinerocks From: turbinerocks Date: February 19th, 2009 09:08 am (UTC) (Link)
I know people who moved to Portland because it was a cheap place to live (US$300 a month rent) where they could do art full time! It can be done. 8-)
master_haakon From: master_haakon Date: February 19th, 2009 10:58 am (UTC) (Link)
Living frugally and following the fruit picking work for a while seems quite feasible. Given that both of you are debt free outside of your mortgage.

It is possible to be mobile for reasonable amounts data, but if you are going to be going bush you need to be very picky with what wireless dongle you use and which telco you sign up with. You will need something that can do HSUPA.
stardustshine From: stardustshine Date: February 19th, 2009 02:33 pm (UTC) (Link)

Just one problem...

Unless I am very much mistaken in my memory, you hated freelancing.
tania From: tania Date: February 19th, 2009 10:31 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: Just one problem...

This is true, at least half the clients were grade-A pains-in-the-ass. At least in full-time work you've only got the one boss to deal with continuously, and once you learn how he/she ticks, you're fine (or if you're not fine, you know it's time to start looking for another job).

Still, last time I did it, there was no real tradeoff - I worked stuck at home and got less money than working full-time. If I did it while travelling, the advantages of waking up to a new horizon every week or two might outweigh the downsides.
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master_haakon From: master_haakon Date: February 19th, 2009 03:40 pm (UTC) (Link)
Blogging it wouldn't be a bad idea. I'm currently following a family that are riding bicycles from Alaska to Chile (sp?)
rahball From: rahball Date: February 19th, 2009 09:45 pm (UTC) (Link)
Oo, $300 a month off webcomic advertising?

Do you happen to have stats on what that involves? (ie. required readership, frequency of updates, source of advertising..?)
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rahball From: rahball Date: February 20th, 2009 10:14 pm (UTC) (Link)
*files info for future reference*

Ta! :)
tania From: tania Date: February 19th, 2009 10:38 pm (UTC) (Link)
I dunno, Crikey Duck got a big following, but numbers are one thing; PAYING numbers are entirely another.

The option of saving then travelling then repeating the process has occured to me. I once worked with a guy who worked six months every year and just saved every penny during that time, and travelled the other six using those funds. :) It's probably actually safer and more practical to do it that way. A combination of both would be ideal - the savings plus additional income from working as we went.

(Your icon is terrifying.)
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20 have fought ~ fight the power!