KYLE, LOU, AND QUINN DOG: @COLLECTINGBLISS
By Paul Strubell of Dirt Orca’s – 5/21/18
For the seventy seventh installment in our ongoing interview series here at Dirt Orca’s, we are very pleased to share the story of Lou, Kyle, and Quinn. A wonderful Aussie couple on a global adventure with their adorable dog, Quinn. You may know them as @collectingbliss.
If you have ever spent any time daydreaming, planning, or even executing your ideal overland trip, it probably looks a lot like the Instagram account of @collectingbliss. Their gallery is nothing short of awesome in my eyes. They capture the charm of living and working on the road, exploring new places, getting to visit remote beaches and major cities alike. If that weren’t enough, they seamlessly meld those overlanding dreams by travelling with the people and animal that they care about.
There website, collectingbliss.com, is a terrific resource if you are interested in learning more about their travels, their vehicle, or Quinn (He’s an English Staffy by the way).
You can also follow them on Facebook if you prefer.
However, you follow the adventures of this wonderful team into your life, I highly recommend doing so. They are truly inspiring and I think a lot of that comes from creating the balance of embracing what they want and managing what they need to be able to sustain this lifestyle.
Please check out the interview below.
If you like this kind of interview, you might also like these from the Dirt Orca’s series.
What do you consider to be your place of work?
Lou runs her own web design business (www.humanised.com.au), so her work place is on the road wherever we are! Kyle’s a light vehicle mechanic, but he’s pretty handy at most things so we’re always busy finding projects to work on.
Tell me about your vehicle. What do you call it?
2000 Nissan Patrol GU Y61 4.2TD Ute, with our custom built camper that we built ourselves solid mounted. We fondly call our house on wheels “the camper”.
What other vehicles did you consider and what made you ultimately pull the trigger on the one you bought?
We’ve always driven patrols because they’re tough, rugged and up for an adventure! Kyle has always loved the 4.2 engines, having worked on so many engine rebuilds in his trade, he simply says “they’re the best!”. We’ve driven all over Australia, two laps of it – and we’ve driven some rough, extreme tracks! Our truck never lets us down. We’ve had many patrols over the years as Kyle has bought empty shells and built them into awesome trucks again, and we’re stoked to have our truck with us on this huge trip!
Have you made any upgrades or changes to it?
Honestly, the list is too long to write! Key features would be:
– TD05 16G Turbo upgrade
– HPD intercooler kit
– 4 inch HD tough dog springs and all arms upgraded to HD
– 6 inch fox adjustable remote res shocks
– 315/75 R16 Ko2 BFGoodrich tyres
– HID and LED lights, 4 inch stainless snorkel, dual battery, air compressor, coil tower brace, Couplertech electronic rust protection, 3.5 inch stainless air box, upgraded brakes, front air locker… list goes on and that’s just the car! The camper is 100% unique because we built it ourselves. Camper has solar power, 230AH house batteries, 1500W inverter, Dometic 75DZ fridge/freezer, Dometic Perfect Wall awning, gas oven and cooktop, hot and cold water by kitchen sink and outdoor shower 80L tank, Thule roofvent – and plenty of obvious things like our bed, storage, lighting, etc.
What is your favorite part about it living/working out of your vehicle?
The freedom! We are at home, everywhere we go.
What is your least favorite part about it?
Missing our loved ones, and saying goodbye to awesome people we meet along the way!
How many miles have you put on your vehicle?
On the new Ute, only 15,000 kms on the Ute but our camper would have at least 30,000 kms on it already from our previous truck.
What is the best place you have taken it?
There’s so many! Outback Australia, the Kimberley, Cape York of Far North QLD, the Old Tele Track, remote beaches all around Australia all to ourselves – but having it over here with us for this epic journey shipped from Australia > UK for European adventures and then who knows where to next… that’s pretty damn special!
Favorite road you’ve driven?
They’ve all been so different! Remote outback Australia is incredible, and tropical north QLD. Overseas so far on this trip we have loved cruising through the countryside, mountains and ocean winding cliff roads of Wales, England and France…
In one word, what describes your approach to life?
If you could give a person one piece of advice when thinking about living from a vehicle, what would you tell them?
Some days you’ll rough it, yeah, but you’ll live a unique life of adventure, meeting interesting people and seeing beautiful things that will change life forever for you!
It takes a special kind of person to recognize that the journey, not the destination, is the point of life. Travelers know this. Was there a point in your life where you became conscious that you were those people?
We lived in a van for 4 months in 2012 driving around Europe and we realized experiencing new things, cultures and gaining new perspectives on the world is more important to us than owning possessions. We’ve been moving around ever since.
You have found a strong place in the community of travelers. What values do you think your home or family instilled in you, that you take on the road?
Kindness and gratitude are rewarded by meeting great people and having life changing conversations.
I admire your outside the box approach to career and home. Do you see yourselves as people who took a leap of faith to live in an unconventional way or do you think it kind of just happened?
It was definitely a choice that we made. We believe that you should do what calls to you! Not what society thinks you’re supposed to do. We’re loving carving out this new lifestyle for ourselves, based on how WE feel. When some people hear how we live on the move and the things we do, like take our dog and car with us around the world, they think we’re crazy – but it’s just what we wanted to do, so we’ve done it.
Where do you want to go next?
We’re happy as long as we have the freedom to live how we want to. We don’t live around work and money, living life and having adventures is most important to us.