Yup, travelling can give you lemons from time to time. Things can and WILL go wrong when you hit the road. And for us, life gave us a $8,300 worth of lemons! I don’t know about your travel budget, but this sort of money could really ruin a families trip.

What was $8,300?

It was a variety of things that went wrong


Lemon 1: Alternator and Battery troubles

The day we went to leave Alice Springs we were so excited to be heading north. Sitting in the car, we turn the key and nothing! Nothing from both batteries. We managed to find a fantastic Auto Electrician that squeezed us in on a busy Saturday morning to work out what our issue was. Turned out our battery was dead and our alternator was slowly dying and not charging our batteries.

$1,000 and we moved on

Lemon 2: Car Air Conditioner died

There is nothing worse than driving in the Northern Territory heat and wondering why everyone is sweating up a storm even though our air con was on. It was working for an hour every day and then it would die. When we arrived in Darwin we got it looked at and found the compressor was freezing over and dying a slow death.

$1,200 later and we were feeling cool again.

Lemon 3: Our car got sick

Before heading into Western Australia we wanted to get the Blue Beast checked out. We knew there was a little oil leak in the front so it was best to get seen now than break down later. We found a fantastic 4WD mechanic in Darwin and he gave us the bad news that the old girl needed a bit more work than we expected.

$2,000 our budget was starting to hurt

Lemon 4: The Top End killed our Caravan Air Conditioner

Now we have had a fair share of “bad luck” in the past 3 weeks but who knew it could get worse. But it did! One innocent day, we noticed our caravan didn’t feel so cool. Turns out the caravan air conditioner packed it in and we got to enjoy the Darwin heat in the build up πŸ™

$3,300 we are still in shock.

Lemon 5: The hardest lemon of all

When we visit a major town we like to get all our checkups done. So we visited the doctor, optometrist and then the dentist. Our eldest daughter had lost a lot of her baby teeth and we wanted to get them checked to make sure everything was ok. Unfortunately, we found out that she has overcrowding and required 4 teeth removed. If you have had a tooth removed you’ll understand how awful it was, but she had to endure 4 teeth being pulled out.

$800 and my daughter is still upset from the big needles

$8,300 just like that, gone!

What do you do when life gives you $8,300 worth of lemons?

You add vodka and soda and embraced the chaos!

Lemon with vodka pool side
Enjoying my Lemons with vodka

Sure, it was a bitter lemon to swallow but what can you do? We just finished a long working stop in Mount Isa and we are so grateful to be in Darwin when these things did go wrong. It means that we have the opportunity to stop and work in Darwin for a few weeks to recoup the money that’s gone.

We are sharing these disasters with you to show you that unpredictable things happen on the road. And I would love to say we had a “back up kitty” to take the money from, but we don’t! We travel and work our way around Australia and unfortunately these things happen.

What’s next?

For now, we have no idea what direction we are heading. We could either:
1. Heading across the top into Western Australia but it won’t be until November/December. Being so late in the year means the weather will be really hot and the chance of the Wet season closing roads on us is a possibility.
2. Heading south for Christmas into South Australia. However, we would be crossing the Nullarbor early next year which means intense heat and strong headwinds.

So if you have any advice we would love to hear from you. If you were in our position what do you think you would do? Get out of Darwin and head West or head south?

Decisions, Decisions

P.S as I go to post this blog our WASHING MACHINE just blew up πŸ™ we must of ran over a black cat with all this bad luck!



4 Replies to “When travelling gives you lemons…..”

  1. Best to follow the seasons, as northern WA is absolutely amazing during the dry, I would recommend heading south for Christmas as the Eyre Peninsula, Nullabor and south WA are soooo good as well and best explored during nice weather (we were there during September and whilst we still loved it the cold wet weather dampened our experience). Given your luck with air cons I’d say go south where the heat is not as bad. We ended up spending 6 months in northern WA, therefore we then had to work in Darwin to ‘wait out’ the wet and continue on to Cape York early this year. Unfortunately, we still missed things in FNQ as they were still closed from the wet season (Lawn Hill in particular).
    Look forward to your future travels regardless where you go!! πŸ™‚

    1. Thanks Amy. I appreciate the advice. Yes it’s looking like a better option to head south and enjoy some summer weather. Enjoy your adventures too!

  2. Sitting here reading this on the other side of the world – with no luggage! Hoping it turns up soon and it’s not the start of a string of disasters like you have faced. Good luck with choosing either SA or WA – I’m not sure which I would choose either!

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