Travel · January 8, 2022

Hell, how was I going to drive a manual van around Australia?

Photo By Michael Scheller

Five months ago, it was very difficult for me to believe the reality that I live today. I had no driving practice, I didn’t have a car.

I often thought, driving is not for me, I’m not capable, I don’t have a sense of direction, of space; I’m afraid.

But, nobody is born knowing how to drive. Although I got my driver’s license in Brazil when I was 18 years old and I was very excited about being able to drive, I kept creating obstacles and fears and never practiced again, I never set the goal of having a car.

For years, I have been limiting myself from the freedom that knowing how to drive gives you. 

Several times, different people told me that I would not be a good driver. I accepted that same sentence as true.

This remained until I started to mentalize how much I would like to drive and have the benefits that driving could provide me. And then people around me began to appear, or I began to pay attention only to those around me who were aligned with the realization of that yearning.

At the end of August 2021, a Honda Legend 1996 appeared in my life, pearly white and automatic, it practically came as a divine call saying: You need to learn to drive.

Photo By Michael Scheller

I had no idea how to do it, but I would. So — being extremely helpful — Michael, my partner, made himself available to teach me how to drive. With more than 15 years of driving experience and extraordinary patience (most of the time), my first class was on the 6th of September 2021 and it continued every day, until de 27th of September when I had to drive alone on the car for the first time and from that day onwards, so I followed, between ups and downs, learning every day with myself and with him. 

First time driving the Honda Legend

Living in Australia for over two years, permanently and since I arrived in Melbourne and Sydney, my dream was to travel this country, to know its corners.

With my freedom expanded, thanks to knowing how to drive, I found myself fulfilling the dream of living in a van and traveling around Australia, but for that, all factors indicated that I would have to drive a manual car.

Hell, how am I supposed to drive a manual van around Australia?

Michael and I have been in a relationship for over a year, one step at a time. Our realities, until then, were very different. We met thanks to fate and Covid-19 who made us stay in the same city at this time. Me, Brazilian, living in Melbourne while studying and working. Him, German and on an adventure, riding his motorcycle – Julia, a BMW R100 – around the world for the past three years.

This time, for him, as a call and again for me as the lifeguards the universe has always sent me, we ride this trip around Australia inside Rufus, a 1997 Ford Transit, which we call home. 

Photo by Michael Scheller

That’s how I started to drive a manual van around Australia, Michael teaching me how to drive, and me, not letting myself give up.


Driving Rufus – The Ford Transit around Australia.

There is no time to learn.
Nobody is born knowing how to drive.
Never tell someone they’re not capable.
Be by the side of those who encourage you.
You can. 

Photo by Michael Scheller