an update on the bus shopping

coaster-dreaming tweet shared by @zoe_annabel

coaster-dreaming tweet shared by @zoe_annabel

Since July everywhere I go, every convo I have in-person or on-the-internetz, starts with “So, have you got your bus yet?”. My answer is always the same. My eyes drop as I sheepishly have to admit, “No, I haven’t, not yet”. It makes me feel sad – partly because I feel like I’m letting everyone down by not having started this thing yet, but mainly because I REALLY WANT THIS BUS AND PROJECT TO GET ON THE ROAD!

So here, for a general public announcement, is what’s going on.

The not great news :(

The ‘official launch date’ for reallybigroadtrip was set to be the Regional Arts Australia conference in Goolwa, SA, Oct 18-21. I will still be there as a Keynote speaker (and doing a few other things) but I have finally accepted that sadly the bus will not be there with me.

I originally thought $50,000 would be a great start to the project. Then I figured that was way too much to ask, so set my crowdfunding goal to $25,000. I hoped that would help me get a reasonable bus which would handle the demands of a large national tour for the next few years. As the campaign went on I thought that even $25,000 was a stupidly large amount of money to be trying to raise on my own. And then all these people blew my mind and helped turn it into a reality anyway!

Having subsequently been looking around for this dream bus, it seems I’m just not going to be able to find a decent reliable one for that price. It’s not just the bus, it’s insurance and the modifications and a few bits of kit so that it can be a reasonable living / working / screening / making / workshopping environment too.

I have never expected the bus to be perfect right from the start, but I have it on the very best authority (the CEO of Toyota CMV Group, who is now helping me find one!) that I realistically need to be spending more like $35,000 to make sure I’m not lumbered with breakdowns as I traverse this wild desert.

The much better news :)

But fear not! All is most certainly not lost! I have been busily hunting down sources to add to the crowdfunding – which has made such a great start! Thanks to the gorgeous FabLab Adelaide folk at ANAT & DFEEST who are my partners in crime with the Nomadic FabLab) I have just secured an extra $9,000 to go towards the bus, so shopping is now able to step up a notch.

This all means that I’ve had to make a few choices. For a start I had to go and earn some money to live (and go towards some bus extras) for a while … not that I’m complaining, all the gigs (see here) have been huge fun and helped spread the reallybigroadtrip word!

Secondly I have decided that since most of the bookings I had until February were self-dictated or could just as easily be done without the bus, it makes sense to give myself and the renovations team more time to beg/borrow/hack everything we need to get this going. So I shall be sticking around South Australia until some time in February next year getting all this ready. There were a few things on here anyway (which you’ll be hearing about in due course) so it makes a lot of logistical sense.

The journey is about flow, and as long as it happens in the right way with the right people I am OK about making these changes. I hope you are too.

It also means I’ve been a bit behind on some of the rewards. Bear with me, I’m knitting as fast as I can!

I’ve also not been blogging as much as I would have liked with all these behind-the-scenes production developments. This extra time will help me get back on that too. There has been so much going on, I’m so excited to tell you about the depth and partnerships that the project has been building!

All in due course… keep in touch, and don’t forget you can follow things via twitterfacebook and my elist.

The crowdsourcing :D

Oh yeah! If any of you happens to see a Toyota Coaster or HINO around South Australia in the next couple of months that you think I should be aware of – contact me! And thanks to lovely folk like @aliak who already have been keeping an eye out around the country, it’s much appreciated.

NB: really big thanks to @zoe_annabel for the above photo which has frankly been open in my browser since she tweeted me on Sept 11th. It’s really helped me keep my spirits up as I’ve been pondering all this… living the dream will come in time, i know…

UPDATE: Nov 13th 2012. If you’ve read this post, you might also, possibly, be interested in this one: Houston, we have a bus!