Travel the world in an expedition vehicle: Life on the road.
Dreams about exploring the world, but need that extra push?
Looking for more information about how-to?
Or do you want to know more about what overlanding and life on the road is all about?
Maybe you already have a few overland trips under your belt, but like to read about the adventures of others and want to find inspiration for your next road trip?
Then you are at the right place. Through Terratrotter we share stories & videos, ideas, know-how, ... in the hope it will give you the tools and inspirations to turn your dream into reality and will improve your next overland travel experience.
Prologue to a new life
Do you wonder what the turning point was to pursue our dream?
5-week road trip with a stranger -- It all started with living for 5 weeks in car with a stranger. It sounds like the premise of a TV show but it can happen in real time. For us at least it did and it let to this major adventure of traveling the world without a return date in mind.
It was the end of the summer 2014. We only recently met and we were leaving for a 5-week road trip through Turkey to Georgia (the country). Spending 24hrs a day with little comfort for more than one month, is there a better or quicker way to get to know someone? Ha, you probably think we were crazy. But to let you in on a secret, Nicole did tell people who were concerned that she could always take a flight back if it didn’t work out. Luckily no return flight had to be booked. It went better than we ever could have imagined. This trip was the katalysator to redesigning our life, starting with the purchase of a ex-army truck, remodeling it into an expedition vehicle / tiny house so we can travel and live all over the world. So what exactly happened? Here is a quick recap:
Overlanding the fast way -- Germany-Austria-Hungary-Romania-Bulgaria-Turkey-Georgia-Turkey-Greece-Bulgaria-Serbia-Hungary-Austria-Germany. We drove through 9 countries, covered at least 11.500km (approx. 7200 miles) in 35 days, and spend around 2000€ on diesel alone. This is overlanding the fast way. It entails that a lot of ground has to be covered and you have little time to stay at one place. There is always a kind of rush to reach the next destination. In return you gain some amazing off-road experiences and visit areas few tourists have been. But at some point your money-jar will run empty or it is simply time to return home, back to work. The closer we got to this return day, the more the question started to pop up: 'Is there not a way around this? Maybe we can find a way to stretch our vacation days even more'….hmmm the options of how to accomplish this did not appeal to us. We racked our brains about this conundrum and it eventually lead us to the conclusion that we needed to turn our lives around, making overlanding our daily reality instead of a once a year vacation.
A new expedition vehicle -- That we would continue our travels with an overland vehicle was not for debate. The luxury of having everything with you wherever you go is a freedom that becomes invaluable very quickly. However, we did discuss at length the type of vehicle we wanted to continue our travels with, what it should be capable of and which comforts were critical to us. This would be our home and our main transportation mode for ‘x’ years, so we couldn't afford hasty decisions.
On our tour to Georgia we drove a decent 4x4 car, had a pop-up roof as our sleeping quarter, 2 solar panels providing us electricity, a kitchen in the trunk with running hot/cold water and a gas burner, and a few clothes (our entire list of equipment: Preparing for a road trip). Aside from a few nights at a campsite, so we could enjoy a real shower, wild camping was preferred. The late night or early morning visitors, both human and animal, took some time to get used to, but nothing earplugs couldn’t solve if I wanted a good night sleep -- of course I counted on Elmer then to be vigilant about strange noises. But our set-up also had its downfalls. Especially the lack of bathroom privacy and enough interior space for multiple days of bad weather, made us rethink our vehicle choice. Eventually we switched to the Steyr 12M18 as our wheels and the Zeppelin-shelter as the frame of our tiny house. Choosing the right overland vehicle is a complex process and takes time. Therefore, we will cover this in more detail in specific posts (5 questions helping you choose the right overland vehicle).
Although it may seem to some of you that we made the decision to move into a truck rather quickly, in reality this resulted from both of us playing with similar ideas already for years. We just needed that extra push. Living and working on the road of adventure, traveling slowly, lets make that happen!