Life On The Road: Civilian Life

Sarah NelsonNovember 16, 2018

Life On The Road: Civilian Life

Kallie, Dylan, and Lincoln Bergamaschi take family vacations seriously: the trio is currently living the dream traveling in a converted bus, nicknamed Nelly, across Australia. And when they’re not surfing or taking in beachside views, they work to save up for another stint on the road, and then do it all over again. See where their next adventure takes them

Year, make, and model of your vehicle?

Kallie: “1984 Nissan Civilian”

Why did you choose a bus specifically?

K: “The bus is a perfect size for us: it allows four seats and does not compromise on living space—unlike a van—and we wanted an all-in-one option as we didn’t want to be setting up and packing down.”


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A post shared by Nelly The Bus ( on Nov 6, 2018 at 3:53am PST

What did you do to renovate it?

K: “We completely stripped the inside of the bus and started from the floor up. This included all things electrical and solar, new sub flooring, ceiling, walls installed, bed, lounge, wardrobe, kitchen, and everything in between. We also had to plumb up the kitchen sick, add a water tank to the outside of the bus and we also installed a metal frame to the roof of the bus which supports our solar panels and a deck has also been installed. So Nelly has been completely refitted out and we are proud to say we did it all ourselves.”


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A post shared by Nelly The Bus ( on Mar 18, 2018 at 3:27am PDT

Favorite place you’ve been thus far?

K: “Oh, there are way too many to mention, but for us we had never experienced a rainforest before and we have to say the Daintree Rainforest was something else, including visiting the Great Barrier Reef from the Daintree. And of course we enjoyed all the surf beaches along the coast.”

Why did you decide to start traveling full-time?

K: “We travelled to Canada and Hawaii on our honeymoon in November 2017. With Canada, we drove ourselves through the rocky mountains and started discussing how amazing it would be to do this in a van or motorhome. We were both thinking, ‘What can hold us back? Our parents have all worked so hard their entire life and not managed to travel.’ Although it’s not for everyone, we knew it was for us. So we got home from our honeymoon, and a month later we came across Nelly and purchased her.”


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A post shared by Nelly The Bus ( on Oct 26, 2018 at 6:02am PDT

What do you do for work?

K: “Currently, Dylan is using his holiday pay and I resigned from my job before we set off as we will have another baby due in a month. We will be returning to Adelaide for about six months for Dylan to work before heading off again and then we plan on stopping when needed in towns throughout Australia and picking up any work that is available.”

What does a typical day look like for you?

K: “Wake up wherever we may find ourselves parked up for the night—most of the time this is a free camp or low-cost camp with the rare occasion of a caravan park. We then head straight for the beach or somewhere we can swim and enjoy coffees and breakfast. Then, we mostly spend our days swimming, surfing, doing some walks, or relaxing in the bus taking in views or reading. We always make lunches, so we come back to the bus to enjoy lunch together. When dinner time comes around, we generally head for somewhere with views if possible and enjoy dinner while soaking it all in.”


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A post shared by Nelly The Bus ( on Oct 17, 2018 at 2:13am PDT

How do you balance work and traveling?

K: “The last three months we have not needed to work as we saved before leaving and used a few weeks of holiday pay Dylan had accumulated. And now with the new baby we will be settling in Adelaide for six months to work and save before setting off again. We noticed that working solid for a little while and saving up to then enjoy a few months uninterrupted on the road works for us.”


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A post shared by Nelly The Bus ( on Oct 12, 2018 at 3:00am PDT

Where are you headed next and why?

K: “Adelaide, as this is originally home for us and most of our family lives here. And to welcome the new baby. In six months time, we plan on hitting the West Coast.”

What is it like traveling as a family with a young son?

K: “It can be a challenge at times, but it’s all that more rewarding. He sees things from a different perspective to us and makes us open our eyes to things we may not otherwise.”


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A post shared by Nelly The Bus ( on Oct 6, 2018 at 1:53am PDT

What has been the biggest challenge with being on the road full-time?

K: “Some days, finding somewhere cost-effective to sleep. But nothing else really!”

Do you have any advice for fellow travelers hoping to start doing what you’re doing?

K: “Just do it and don’t overthink it. But our best advice is to find a nice solid, reliable vehicle. This may mean saving a little longer or delaying the start of your trip, but it’s all that more worth it.”


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A post shared by Nelly The Bus ( on Sep 22, 2018 at 1:31am PDT

Rapid Fire Q&A:

Favorite breakfast food?

“Toast and coffee”

Last movie you watched?

“Hotel Transylvania”

Best part of each day?


Favorite family activity?


Favorite smell?

“Coconut surf wax”

Sarah Nelson, Outdoorsy Author

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