Inspiration for the New Year from PanAm Overlanders

Inspiration for the New Year from Overlanders: different countries, different vehicles, and different life stages, all on the PanAm for different reasons.

Inspiration for the New Year from Overlanders: different countries, different vehicles, and different life stages, all on the PanAm for different reasons.

A New Year is upon us. We thought it a good time to bring you the 3rd post in our series, where we share stories from overlanders. They answer the question: What inspired you to travel the Pan-American Highway?

Here are 6 new stories: North Americans, Argentineans and Dutch; in a variety of vehicles, including a ‘Beetle’; from retired couples to a young family. All have different reasons and different experiences that they share here.

We hope you will find inspiration from them to live your own dreams this year.


Llevados por el Viento – Guided by the Wind in a ‘Fusca’

Summer snow at Cotopaxi National Park.

Summer snow at Cotopaxi National Park.

We are Jor (Jorgelina, 31) and Gonza (Gonzalo, 38), a couple from Argentina, who decided three years ago to leave our comfortable lives in a small town in South Brazil to travel the Americas. Unlike many people, we had cool and fun jobs… but it just was not enough for us, to save some bucks every year and travel for a few weeks. Traveling became our absolute passion and so eventually we had to try out living constantly on the road.

We already had a VW Bug, a 1980 ‘Fusca’ (as they call it in Brazil) and the decision to travel in it was pretty quick and without much thought. To be honest, we did not want to spend more money on a newer but unknown car (we had the bug already for 10 years) and we also did not want to spend much more time, either saving money or preparing a new ride for our adventure.

A 1000 days have passed, and we are still rolling and living happily on board our Beetle. A few weeks after we began the trip, we already knew we wanted to keep going, so slowly we started to update our car with furniture, appliances, a roof top tent, etc… We learned by need, what we wanted and really needed.

Nothing bad has ever really happened to us, except many mechanic problems, due to the mileage and age of the Bug. But we have always learned from them, and it has usually brought a lot of friends into our lives. A classic VW will always attract attention; many good, kind people approach us and offer us meals, lodging, gas or just want to get a picture taken with us and the Fusca.

We left to the unfamiliar territory of Brazil to embark on an unlimited journey. Although, for now it is meant to be only in the Americas, time has stopped being a variable. The day was March 21st 10.00 am local time and the first 48 hours were essential, since it was then that our most important lessons of the trip already occurred.

On the highway, while Jor was driving and Gonza taking a nap, a strong bang was heard from the back left: our tire had literally left the car, with the screws and everything gone!!! It was Sunday afternoon, so our expectation of finding a tire shop open was low. Jor hitchhiked into the next town, found the home of the tire-man and came back with a used tire to replace our broken one. In two hours we were back on the road, and the lessons learned were vital. First: do not fear to ask for help, as most people are very willing to help out travelers. Second: you can never be too prepared; shit happens and you need to be prepared for exactly that.

Home is where you park it. Laguna Piquecocha. Yauyos National Park.

Home is where you park it. Laguna Piquecocha. Yauyos National Park.

Reaching the Mirador Olímpico at Huascaran National Park.

Reaching the Mirador Olímpico at Huascaran National Park.

 

Jor and Gonza don’t have blog, but they post regularly on Facebook and on Instagram .


Exploring the World – in a variety of ways

Exploring the World travels

Exploring the World travels

We, Betty and Gerard, are an “older” couple from the Netherlands. When we were young we didn’t have the opportunity to travel. We started a family and worked till we were around fifty. At last we had the possibility (time & money) to realize our travel dreams.

First we walked a long distance path (E2) from the Netherlands through the Alps to the Mediterranean (2.400 km). It changed our pace and orientation in life.

That went on while travelling in Europe with a VW-Camper and during our desert trips in Tunisia, Morocco and Mauritania in a Toyota Landcruiser HZJ78.

In 2002 we bought a Toyota Landcruiser HDJ100 and had it rebuilt into a tiny campervan. This way we had the ultimate combination of driving comfortably and an excellent off-road vehicle: TOY!

Since then we have been exploring the world: Libya; South America (Venezuela, Brasil, Peru, Bolivia, Chile, Argentina); more sand dune-trips in the most beautiful place of the world, the Sahara-desert; all around Africa (East down and West up); Mongolia (Ukraine, Russia, Kazakhstan); the Middle East (Turkey, Syria); Australia all over the place, and from there we drove back home via East Timor, Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, Cambodia, Laos, China, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Iran, Turkey & Europe; and last year we made a roundtrip on Iceland.

Now we’ll go back to South America. In 2002 we had an expedition-like driving experience. This trip, however, we want to take our time going up on the Pan Americana. Travel some months and go home some months to spend time with our children and grandchildren.

We love the encounters with people, as well as driving and being together in breathtaking places.

And the worst thing that happened to us? In East Timor a rat (on the ship from Australia to East Timor) had bitten all of the most important wires. It was a mess! But we had the luck of finding an excellent mechanic. After a week we could drive again.

To travel like we do, you have to be flexible and inventive. But being open and trustworthy leads to real deep moments of joy. It is fascinating to witness a tiny bit of other cultures. And most of all: we feel privileged to experience the beauty of our planet, but also to recognize her vulnerability…

In general, we do some very rough budgeting. Our expenses fluctuate between €25 and €60 pp/day.

Wild camp Wakhan Valley Tajikistan

Wild camp Wakhan Valley Tajikistan

White desert Egypt

White desert Egypt

 

Betty and Gerard maintain an extensive website in Dutch on ExploringTheWorld .


TerraTrekkers – a young family, adventuring around the globe

Our family on the Salar de Uyuni, Bolivia, Thanksgiving Day

Our family on the Salar de Uyuni, Bolivia, Thanksgiving Day

We are Sonja and Chris from Seattle (United States) and we’re traveling south to Ushuaia with our children Ben (age 6) and Emma (age 3) in our Toyota Tundra with Four Wheel (pop-up) Camper.

We’re doing the route fairly quickly: we left home in June, and joyfully raced south to meet up with family members who flew into Southern Chile for Christmas. We’ll then spend another month exploring Patagonia before selling our vehicle and then traveling on to Asia, the Middle East, and Europe by plane.

We broke our trip into two segments: In 2016 we drove from Seattle to Prudhoe Bay (Alaska) as a ‘test trip’ to see if we could tolerate being together (in such a small space!) for extended periods of time. We loved it, although it was definitely an easier adventure as Chris originally hails from Alaska and we have family in both Anchorage and Fairbanks. This year we pointed the truck south to finish the remainder of the journey.

Chris and I have always enjoyed adventurous travel and we’d talked about a trip like this for at least the last decade. But we were always busy with work, renovating an old house, and eventually having children. One day we looked at each other and said: “Are we going to make it a reality, or should we just table the discussion for the next 25 years until careers are waning and children grown?” That pushed us into active planning and saving mode, although we didn’t depart until more than three years later.

One thing that kept us going with planning and saving was reading about the adventures of other overlanders on their blogs. We particularly loved Flightless Kiwis (From Series 1!), not only because they have the same (excellent) names as our children, but also because they’re quite witty and take amazing photographs. Desk to Glory is another favorite, written by a fantastic Canadian couple.

Our savings plan, plus the fact that we rent our house on Airbnb, are what have funded the trip (and allowed for a ‘re-entry fund’ for when we return home). For a long time, during our preparation phase, I almost didn’t believe that our plans would reach fruition. We dubbed it “GA17” (The Grand Adventure of 2017) and talked about it in secret, late at night.

In hindsight, I wish we had longer for the Americas – 8 months seems criminally short. Our favorite times of the trip have been when we’ve been able to settle down and re-establish our comfortable daily routines. In Costa Rica we rented a house and the kids attended local schools for a few weeks. They loved having other peers around, and we enjoyed having a bit of child-free time! Naturally, a trip like this is all about compromises: we don’t do as much hiking as I’d like and my son really wishes we’d visit more water parks.

We’ve had our fair share of ups and downs (the camper can feel very small with four people, particularly when it’s hot and humid!), but by far my favorite part of this trip has been watching our two children really come together as buddies and confidants; I hope it continues after we return to Seattle. We feel very lucky to have been able to embark on this adventure and look forward to seeing what’s around the next curve in the road. Happy travelling!

We bought our truck and camper in 2015 and spent a year modifying the interior to sleep our family of 4. It’s been a fantastic workhorse. Location: Hidden Flamingo Lake, Lagunas Route, Bolivia

We bought our truck and camper in 2015 and spent a year modifying the interior to sleep our family of 4. It’s been a fantastic workhorse. Location: Hidden Flamingo Lake, Lagunas Route, Bolivia

My father (in the red shirt) and a few buddies did a similar trip in 1973 on motorcycles so we’ve enjoyed hearing his stories and following in his footsteps. Location: Huayna Picchu, Peru

My father (in the red shirt) and a few buddies did a similar trip in 1973 on motorcycles so we’ve enjoyed hearing his stories and following in his footsteps. Location: Huayna Picchu, Peru

 

You can read about this family trip on TerraTreckers and see their latest photos on Instagram .


John and Mandi – Us —> Van —> Overland

Standing atop a Mayan pyramid at Caracol, Belize June 2016

Standing atop a Mayan pyramid at Caracol, Belize June 2016

Like most U.S. citizens, Mandi and I (John) were wholeheartedly committed to achieving the American Dream until a business trip in 2008 altered our course, eventually landing us on the Pan-American Highway. It is a convoluted story, much like our route, which can be tracked back to a tiny cafe in the small town of Apalachicola, Florida, just outside of our former hometown of Tallahassee. Truth be told, when we first heard of Luis and Lacey (Lost World Expedition ) and their then current drive through the Americas, we thought they were nuts. Approximately four years later, 7 since the fateful business trip, we set off on our own journey along the Pan-American Highway on the 2nd of May, 2015.

Before this trip, our travel experience was non-existent, cruises being our predominant exposure to foreign lands. While we had camped for years, starting with a ground tent and progressing through several different RVs, the idea of full-time living out of a 4×4 vehicle had never been considered. Hell, our passports didn’t even have a single stamp, yet driving through multiple continents, and personally meeting our neighbors to the south, has proved to be the proper segue to changing the way we live.

Two and a half years into our journey, we can absolutely attest that a trip such as the Pan-American Highway has an immense impact, in many ways more profound than we could have ever imagined. Our desires became evident well before the first mile was driven and evolve as we progress. At first, like so many others, we felt the need to press on and to experience as much as we could. Now we refuse to forsake a place, or moment, for the sake of another. We also avoid big cities, much like back in the U.S., realizing we have never fully felt at home in them. Maybe it’s because both of our lives began rooted in small towns, nurture proving a lasting impression deep within our psyche. The many truths and agonies that have percolated up while we have been traveling are a testament to travel itself, possibly becoming one of the greatest benefits. Bearing witness to the lives of others has shaped our world view, the kindness we have received has touched us, unimaginably so.

There have been times that had us questioning our commitment to this endeavor, breakdowns being the biggest bane to our lifestyle. Living in almost perpetual motion may not be for everyone, but for those of us who have succumbed to its embrace, it’s hard to imagine any other. Not every sunset is phenomenal, or place remarkable, and we have witnessed strife between different groups of people while simultaneously receiving the utmost of care from both of those same groups. We have grown to fully trust our instincts and are slowly getting better at accepting kindness, an unexpected struggle. When asked which our favorite place is or what our favorite experience was, we have no answer. While there are many standouts, our journey is the sum of its parts.

Looking back, we too can see how absurd it may seem to sell all of your belongings to drive from Alaska to Argentina. Our estimated travel budget of $80 per day took a lot of sacrifices over the 7 years we saved. Working two jobs, paring down to one vehicle, no television, spending almost every night in our home…the eventuality of walking away from pretty much everything we’ve ever known. It cannot be articulated, the allure of overlanding, living in a rolling 66 square foot home.

Jungle campsite in Veracruz near Lake Catemaco, Mexico March 2016

Jungle campsite in Veracruz near Lake Catemaco, Mexico March 2016

Exploring logging roads outside Valdez, Alaska August 2015

Exploring logging roads outside Valdez, Alaska August 2015

 

John and Mandi have blog, simply called JohnAndMandi.com , and update regularly on Instagram .


Joe & Josée’s Journey – life’s too short…

Joe and Josée playing tourists in Colombia’s picturesque small town of Barichara (July 2017)

Joe and Josée playing tourists in Colombia’s picturesque small town of Barichara (July 2017)

We are Joe and Josée Parsons, retired US and Canadian couple. In 2014 we decided that life was too short and that we wanted to see the world while we were still “young” and healthy. But how, was the question! We had to find a way to travel, that we could afford and that was relatively comfortable.

It all came together when we saw a video of a German couple, who originally left on an 18 month overland trip to Africa and were still on the road 23 years later! We discovered a new word that opened the doors to a whole new world: OVERLAND. It was perfect for us.

Since Joe was already retired, Josée quit her job! We put our dream home up for sale, sold or gave away everything we owned, and registered for Overland Expo. We took a bunch of classes, met wonderful people, got inspired and confirmed that we were not crazy. Our house sold in January of 2015 and we put a deposit on our new home, a V1 XPCamper. There was no turning back!

Josée assessing the Chicamocha Canyon in Colombia, from the roof of the XPCamper, before going paragliding (June 2017)

Josée assessing the Chicamocha Canyon in Colombia, from the roof of the XPCamper, before going paragliding (June 2017)

We left Florida on May 5, 2015, in our truck; attended another Overland Expo; tent camped and stayed in Motels along the way until we picked up our XPCamper in Northern California. We have been enjoying the Camper Lifestyle ever since.

We figured that our first journey should be in our own backyard so the Pan-American Highway came as a natural choice. Not having to return, we travel very slowly with as many detours as possible, we are currently exploring Ecuador. After the Americas we will ship our rig, Silver, to another continent … we just don’t know which one yet!

We had no prior camping or overland experience besides Josée’s European road trip from Paris to the Greek islands and back in a Citroen 2CV in 1984!

The most surprising part of our new lifestyle, is the people! Joe’s law enforcement background conditioned him to expect security issues! We have since realized that 99% of people are kind, helpful and caring. On a social level, we never imagined that we would have more friends than we did before. Meeting other overlanders and people along the way has been extraordinary; we really feel like we are part of a big family!

Being away from friends and family is probably the hardest part, but we have our grandchildren visit us for a month during school breaks. We came to the conclusion that spending quality time with them in a different country every year would enrich their lives on a much deeper level in the long run… And we go home for the holidays.

We have found that a minimalist nomadic lifestyle, filled with adventures, is a lot cheaper than a conventional life in the US or Canada. Joe’s pension covers all our expenses. Another reason to keep going until we can’t or we get tired of it!

Until then … see you down the road!

Crossing one of the many single lane bridges on the scenic Hummingbird Highway in Belize (June 2016)

Crossing one of the many single lane bridges on the scenic Hummingbird Highway in Belize (June 2016)

You can read about Joe & Josée’s adventures on their blog or follow them on Facebook .


Down the Line – surf & travel

Grand Canyon National Park, cold and beautiful, still wearing our winter clothes.

Grand Canyon National Park, cold and beautiful, still wearing our winter clothes.

After traveling together throughout the years to various parts of the world, we came across the idea of driving to South America. The fact that there is a road that spans from the US to Argentina is a major incentive. Ingrid and I (Matty) both surf, and having been to Peru, mildly exploring the coastline, we knew the potential of what was in store for us. Both Central and South America have a high concentration of consistent and quality breaks, on par with the best in the world. Before we left, we were approaching a fork where it was either settle down and have kids, or set out on a great adventure in order to strengthen our bond and further our relationship. We both come from adventurous parents, certainly they were inspirations and great supporters of us then and now.

The inspiration changes, starting from what initially motivated us to pack the van, compared to what drives us on. Most withstand, but after 2 1/2 years, what you scheme up as various outcomes and dream scenarios are replaced by the real experience. I can tell you that whatever you imagine will be greatly exceeded.

One or two of many high points would be crossing the border into Mexico, finally looking at the US from the outside. Then crossing from Baja to Mazatlan and being in mainland Mexico for the first time. Our greatest low came early on in Baja when the overlanding community lost two great travelers and surfers from Australia as they were abducted, executed, and left for dead in their burnt out van. We had just met them and were on a similar route as were so many others at the time; it shook us to the core.

Thinking about it, there are 3 types of inspiration relative to our choice in lifestyle. What previous personal experiences aided us to go for it, what we came across while researching van life and long term travel, and what has happened along the way. As a teenager my father took me on a trip to Guatemala, it made a great impression on me. While we were researching, we came across world travelers, Gunther and Christine, and Otto, their G-class Mercedes Benz. Also Ben and his dog traveling from Chile to Alaska in a Kombi called Co’Pito. We are currently inspired by the culture and people of Colombia and the fact that we are in a country that borders Peru. Snow inspires us. Mountains inspire us. The local radio inspires us. Cheap menus inspire us. Nice hostels inspire us. The experience inspires us. 

The Beast parked in Malibu, California. One of the best surf spots and most ben friendly, we spent days surfing this epic wave!

The Beast parked in Malibu, California. One of the best surf spots and most ben friendly, we spent days surfing this epic wave!

Ingrid checking it in Witch’s Rock, Santa Rosa National Park in Costa Rica, after a treacherous drive in.

Ingrid checking it in Witch’s Rock, Santa Rosa National Park in Costa Rica, after a treacherous drive in.

 

Ingrid and Matty have a blog page “Down the Line” and you can follow them of Facebook !

ps: Ingrid and Matty were recently robbed of most of their electronics (computer, phone, cameras, external back-ups)! This creates real hardship for them. If you would like to offer them some financial support please head to their Facebook page; we know every small help will be appreciated!


This is the 3rd post in our series of Pan-Am overlander interviews:

Part 1 of this series: What inspired you to travel the Pan-American Highway?
Part 2 of this series: 6 More Overlanders Tell Us Their Pan-American Stories
This is Part 3 of this series
The final Part 4 of this series: Further Inspiration to Travel the Pan-American Highway


Please note: all photos as part of the individual overlander portraits were submitted by these travellers and are the intellectual COPYRIGHT of these individuals. Please never copy without their permission!


Has this series of overlander stories inspired you to plan your next trip?
Would you consider driving the PanAmerican Highway (or any other famous overland route) in your own vehicle?
Or do you prefer to travel in a more conventional way; by plane, bus, or cruise ship?

Are you on Pinterest?
Many people take the (initially) daring step and set out on a long-term overland trip down (or sometimes up) the Pan-American Highway. All these overlanders come from many different countries and different stages in their life. They also decide to use different vehicles and often don't stick to their original plan. But every one of their stories can be an inspiration to start something new, discover new places, and maybe a new way of life – travelling overland in/with your own vehicle. Read the stories and be inspired!

Enjoyed this? PIN THIS!

 

Yasha

dare2go's human navigator (we're not lost because there's nowhere particular we have to be) alongside our Nexus 7 tablet, writer and editor of our blog, first cook and loving wife. Teaching English as a second language when possible.

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38 Responses

  1. Leona says:

    I’ve not come across TerraTrekkers before but they are one I am very interested in as fellow family travellers

  2. Edoardo says:

    More I read those sort of story, more I get convinced that we human beings are not sedentary, but nomads. It happens at a certain moment on the life of some people we feel the need to start a journey, and if we come back to the place we usually call home, is just because we have too many things in that place, but we could feel home at any place. I loved the stories of Betty and Gerald that finally, after so long time doing things for the family, now they can live themselves as a couple, just enjoying life as they probably always desired, (without regretting the time spent for their children of course), but being free to enjoy the breeze of the incognito and the new places to visit.

  3. lizzie says:

    I really loved reading everyone’s story here. Travel is for sure about leaving your comfort zone & is also about the journey which you can really see in this article.

    • Yasha says:

      I’m glad you enjoyed the stories.
      You are so right. I think the overland way of travelling really emphasises that it really is about the journey.

  4. Carola says:

    How inspirational! Since I travel solo, I don’t know how viable an overland trip along the Pan Americana would be for me. But I loved to read how different the stories of these couples/families were and that most started without any prior experience. It goes to show: You can travel. You just have to take the first step out of your comfort zone :-)

    Happy continued travels!
    C

    • Yasha says:

      If you want to be really inspired to tackle this journey alone, take a look at the first story of our second post in this series: 6 More Overlanders Tell Us Their Pan-American Stories Joanie is an amazing young woman.

      • Carola says:

        Cool! Thanks! I’ll check it out.

        • Carola says:

          Hmpf, please delete my last comment – she hasn’t actually done anything other than dream of doing a long trip. That’s a bit of a let-down… :-(

        • Yasha says:

          I’m sorry you feel let down by Joanie’s story. I found it quite inspiring for a young girl, who had never done anything by herself. She has travelled in the comfort of her own country and then the USA. When people decide to overland, their first step is to get a vehicle. Only a small percentage decide to outfit it themselves. The fact that she chose to do that shows her commitment to the journey. I have no doubt that she will go.
          But if you need an inspiring woman who has done it on her own and chosen an unusual vehicle to do it in, look for Lucana in our first collection of overlanders stories right at the bottom.

        • Carola says:

          Thanks for your reply and sending another link!
          I guess as somebody who has already extensively traveled solo off the beaten path I was looking more for concrete experiences to help me evaluate whether doing South and Central America sections of the PanAmerica completely solo (regardless of gender) is viable. But maybe that isn’t the purpose of your series.
          After all I’ve read on your site, I have no doubts that many of your readers enjoy seeing the variety of people out there dreaming of the PanAmerica and might even discover themselves in one or the other of your stories.

          Kind regards & happy continued travels!
          C

  5. Leigh says:

    What a fun collection of stories – looks like South America is the hot spot for an adventurous road trip! I love the look of the VW bug, but driving a car that old would make me nervous!

    • Yasha says:

      It’s not just South America – people are overlanding like this all over the world. We are in South America so we concentrated on those who were inspired to drive the Pan-American. I’ve pleased you enjoyed the read.

  6. Lori says:

    Such inspiration!! All different stories from different life perspectives, but there’s a common thread running through them all…that sense of adventure and intrepid spirit at any age. Especially loved Joe and Josee’s story, and how they shipped Silver around the world. I could see myself rambling overland in a “Silver”…if only my hubby were more mechanically inclined! 😉

    • Yasha says:

      My husband is not mechanically inclined – but we usually find whatever help we need along the way. It’s a wonderful life.

  7. Medha says:

    Very inspirational stories from so many lovely globetrotters. I particularly love how Betty and Gerard started to travel after their children grew up, almost at the age of 50 and travelled around Europe in their campervan! I hope I can be like them when I am their age.

  8. I enjoyed so much reading about these couples and families setting off on their adventures together; making new discoveries every day. Very interesting to learn how they manage on the road and how much they enjoy it!! Thank you !

    • Yasha says:

      Thank you Marilyn, we’re glad you enjoyed it. We love showing people this rather unusual way of travelling that we so enjoy ourselves.

  9. Tom Bartel says:

    Well all these great stories make me feel even a bit guilty that I haven’t done the PanAm. One more thing for the list. Going to at least do a part of it in South America this year, I hope.

    • Yasha says:

      Never feel guilty about what you haven’t done, Tom. Just do what you want to do when you want to do it and be happy. That’s what travel is for – to bring us all joy in whatever way we choose to undertake it. South America is a wonderful place to visit. I’m sure that a part of it will bring you a lot of pleasant experiences and memories.

  10. This is so inspiring! I travel constantly and have been living out of a suitcase for most of the past 10 years but I have never done an overland trip like this. I really do want to plan for it though because it sounds like a great experience, and very different from just flying to a chosen destination and renting an Airbnb or hotel room…

    • Yasha says:

      Try it! You might just get hooked. We now find it difficult to imagine how to travel another way. In a few weeks we’ll ship our vehicle from South America back to Europe – and will have to pack suitcases! First we have to get some, and then we have to remember how to decide what we’ll need, while we travel by plane and use hotels until we are reunited with our home. We are so used to having everything at hand – just like at home.

  11. Jessica says:

    I have found this post so inspiring! I’ve always dreamed of walking away from the traditional life and traveling full time, but “overland” never occurred to me as the way to do it! The TerraTrekkers are most similar to us, since we have 2 kids, but I absolutely love the look of the tent on top of that VW.

  12. So very cool! Especially the family with the 2 young children. Those kids are SO lucky, and will surely develop a very open mind to travel and accepting other people and cultures for what they are.

    • Yasha says:

      We’ve met a lot of families travelling as overlanders. They are French, more often than not, because the French have a great set-up for distant education. I think it is a wonderful gift to give your kids.

  13. What a cool way to see the countryside. Being overlanders allows you all to get up close and personal with the people and truly blend with the culture. Thanks for showing this unique form of tourism.

    • Yasha says:

      Thanks Jeff – it’s not for everyone, but for those of us that choose this life, it certainly has a lot of advantages.

  14. Kemkem says:

    What amazing stories. Very awe inspiring. I love reading about peoples decision to make their own paths. We are slow travelers, but flying is a preference. Train rides are also fun. Thanks for sharing. I will check out some of these blogs.

    • Yasha says:

      It’s true – everyone has their own preferred ways to travel. I find as I get older that long haul flights are no longer such a pleasure as they once were. That’s why I like taking it a continent at a time with my own little house along with me.

  15. Laura Lynch says:

    These are all such fantastic and inspirational stories. I like that it was pointed out that not everyone who wants to quit their job to travel has a boring job they don’t like. Sometimes the road just calls us! Keep on traveling, everyone. You’re an inspiration.

    • Yasha says:

      Thanks Laura – I’m so happy to hear that you found them inspirational. So did we. Yes, sometimes the road just calls us.

  16. This is definitely inspiring! My husband and I have been thinking about what we’ll do once we retire — in 6 years for him, 11 for me. Certainly some major travel will be part of it. I hadn’t really thought about traveling in this way, with a van or camper, but I’ll certainly add it to the list of possible retirement plans! Thank you!

    • Yasha says:

      We are happy to hear you are inspired. We started to collect these stories for just that purpose – to give people the idea that almost anyone can travel as an overlander if they would really like to. We meet so many retired couples travelling here in South America; and we know many, either personally or online, who are travelling in other places. Age is no barrier – I guess health can be a concern. Many of these overlanders return to their home country, once a year for family visits and use the time to have regular health checks and to collect medications. Others don’t, and rely on local medical facilities.
      It really is quite lovely to be able to park your vehicle and climb into the house on the back – use the bathroom, make a snack, and continue on. Or park for the night and all the comforts of home are there – no packing and unpacking suitcases.
      You get the idea. I really love my nomadic life.

  17. Carol Colborn says:

    We were “overlanders” for a while, RVing through 10 Canadian provinces and territories, 49 American states (including Alaska), and 7 Mexican states in 8 years. But we thought it would be too difficult and risky to go to other continents in an RV or another. So we shifted gears and are now traveling the world not as overlanders. It was great reading these stories. Too bad we didn’t meet overlanders before or our lives may be totally different now!

    • Carol Colborn says:

      BTW, I wrote a book on those 8 years of RVing entitled Carolina: Cruising to an American Dream!

    • Yasha says:

      As long as you can travel, no regrets…
      I hope we can be overlanders for as long as possible – and in all our time in Central and South America we were never threatened by circumstance, thankfully.

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