A NUMBER of citizens in Australia began to like to travel (roadtrip) by using a van. Not only for road trips, the car they drive is also their place of residence during the pandemic.

Stand-up comedian Matt Watson is one of them. When he arrived in Australia from Canada for travel and touring, he ended up “trapped” in the Aussie because of various travel policies during the pandemic.

“My goal for coming to Australia was to tour everywhere, but right now, my base is Melbourne,” joked Watson, quoted by ABC.

Watson is part of a growing “van life” community in Kangaroo Country. This community is a social movement of travelers, who ignore their dependence on homes and hotels for life on the road.

Rooted in the 1960s, the lifestyle that was once handed over to hippies and homeless people is now an industry in its own right, both for those who want to live in vans, as well as for travelers just looking for a new way to vacation.

One of the founders of Vanlife Diaries, Jonny Dustow, said this was influenced by a pandemic that suddenly changed people’s lifestyles. In addition to an increasing urge to vacation at home, there is a renewed interest in “van life.”

“Since you can’t travel overseas, we’re seeing more and more people decorating their vehicles with at least a camping bed,” says Dustow.

Electrician and cabinet maker Cam Johnson, who runs a small business that converts vans, said he had been inundated with work over the past few weeks.

“I think everyone has the same idea. They have saved money to go abroad and because that is no longer an option, they are using that money to make vans,” said Johnson.

“This is a very busy time (for me). The number of people stopping by has just doubled and the number of vans is actually already booked until February next year,” he added.

In Australia, millions of Sydneysiders are asked to limit their mobility during the Christmas holidays. The gathering is limited to 10 visitors in the room.

Australia’s most populous city is almost isolated from other parts of the country with state border closings or a mandatory 14-day quarantine for arrival in Sydney.

“Please limit your mobility. Apart from the close family gatherings we allow during the Christmas holidays, we don’t want people moving around unless you absolutely have to,” New South Wales (NSW) state Prime Minister Gladys Berejiklian told journalist in Sydney. [antaranews/photo special]