Getting on the bus to ride is one of the most traditional forms of transport.
Bussing about Europe has proved literally to be the trip of a lifetime in air-conditioned comfort for Australians.
Aboard a nine-month coach trip from London to Australia with 29 others ranging in aged from 25 to 60, Anna Stancombe travelled from London to Australia visiting over 20 countries including Iran, Pakistan, Tibet and China.
Anna said when she first took to the coach there were many new experiences she didn’t expect to happen.
The man she sat next to on the first day is now her husband and they are now the proud parents of 18-month-old Ava.
“It was very intense and lots of fun,” she said.
“We left London and travelled with the same people the whole way…You could hop on and off the trip whenever you wanted and stay longer if you wanted, but the ‘truck’ would not wait for you.”
“At first most people stayed together and travelled to sights together, but as time went on, some people got fed up and left.
Two people left in Turkey as they did not want to travel through Iran and China, the hardest parts. But they rejoined us later.
As the trip left, some people left permanently and some spent extended periods away from the truck, but then rejoined…some spent extended period away from the truck, but then rejoined.”
Anna said nine months was certainly a long time on the road, especially with virtual strangers, with the hardest part of travelling in the tour was the relationship with her fellow travellers.
“I was always travel independently and found it hard to do the ‘group’ thing. It turned into a big brother scenario which I really hated and ‘groups’ were formed and a lot of bitching went on,” she said.
“It is the luck of the draw who you get, but we had a lot of people that hadn’t travelled before and everyone was on different budgets."
“Spending literally 24 hours together in some instances with the same people day after day can be difficult.
The conditions were harsh.
Lots of people got sick from food poisoning, altitude sickness etc,” she said.
“Sometimes we did not showering for some time for more than seven days. We were camping in rubbish sites on the side of the road in the middle of nowhere and having nothing good to eat. My partner and I both lost 15 kilos each. So it was a good trip for weight loss,” she joked.
Despite the challenges, Anna said such trips offer travellers unique experiences.
“But we got to travel to place I don’t think I would have ever gone to by myself, such as Iran and Pakistan,” she said.
“Iran is still the highlight for me, its people are amazing. Actually, the people everywhere were fantastic.”
There are countless companies who offer bus tours ranging from a weekend trips to more extensive trips and read our further guide for more stories.
Read our stories here about what is offered with Oz-Bus, Contiki, Topdeck and Radical Travel.