Do you like to travel? Have you ever asked yourself why you travel and which way would be the best for you? Planning a multiple month long trip, we have discussed those topics several times. We want to let you know how we have answered those questions for ourselves.
Why travel at all?
As a starting point it is important to realize that being able to travel is a privilege on this planet. Most humans are bound by financial, time or governmental constraints that make leaving their homes impossible.
Other people just don’t want to leave their homes and love their daily routines. But most people need a break from their everyday’s lives every once in a while. The word “to travel” contains an action, a movement, overcoming distances in all possible meanings, no matter how much time you have, whether it’s a long or short time travel. Sometimes it’s a way of living, sometimes a way of getting your mind free and collecting memories. Traveling offers you new experiences, maybe it changes the perspectives, the priorities. It makes you richer without a fat purse.
What to expect from traveling?
When you go on a trip, what are you looking for? Nature? Sports? Party? Cultural history? Convenience? Exploring other cultures? We are clearly looking for all of it but convenience. On one hand, our motivation in life is to see as much of this beautiful planet as possible. Get to know all the different kinds of people, landscapes, climates etc. On the other hand, we just love the right balance between outdoor activities, sightseeing and deep dives into local street food and night life.
Our mode of transportation
For Heiner it was clear that this was going to be an overland trip from the second, he received that text message. He had fallen in love with this way of traveling on his previous motorcycle trips. Initially the motorcycle was just a way to save some money and proof his badassery. But as the miles went by, he started loving the upsides.
Once, during an internship in Switzerland, Anna had a conversation with her colleagues about traveling. One of them had just returned from a business trip and said that she always feels like flying is too complicated for her brain. It cannot cope with that sudden change of climate, culture and just lags behind that airplane’s speed. We noticed that she was right! We prefer noticing the small changes, granting our brains the time they need to adapt.
Speed and comfort
Although we like it slow, there is a lower limit as well. We were shortly thinking about doing this trip on bikes, but since it is not mainly the challenge that motivates us, we gladly go with that extra convenience a motorized vehicle has to offer. Since Anna is not the biggest fan of motorcycles and we are both not into sailing, we went for a car, our Landcruiser. In our new little home we have everything we need. Bed, living room, kitchen, bathroom – plus it has wheels!
Compared to the combined use of planes, trains, buses and rental cars, driving your own car is inexpensive. Diesel is pretty cheap in Eastern Europe and Central Asia. The other big items on a traveler’s list of expenses are food an accommodation. Outside of Europe we plan to sleep on the back roads and mostly cook our meals with local products. Which is pretty straightforward when you carry your own bed and kitchen. Of course, sometimes there will be days when we need a fresh shower and a cold beer!
We do not have to rely on routes and timetables. We can just drive anywhere, anytime (as long there is something like a back road and open borders).
This is one big factor of this whole trip. We do not want to commit ourselves to bookings we have made months ago. We want to be able to make day by day decisions, stay in a place as long as we like it there and leave when we feel like going somewhere else. Only the visa related maximum length of stay will force us to keep a time table in mind from time to time.
The romance of sitting by the campfire beneath a million stars just warms our hearts. We are looking forward to exploring all those back roads, always in search for the perfect campsite. We will struggle with bad roads, border crossings, organizing spare parts and filterable water – adventures, we are ready for!
The back roads are the places where you see authenticity in people and landscape. This is where people are happy to meet travelers coming down that lonesome road, invite you to their homes and make you part of their families. We are looking forward to living a vagrant life on the back roads of this world.