Why would a seemingly intelligent young professional couple sell all of their belongings and move out of their downtown Vancouver, B.C., condo to move into a truck? That answer’s obvious. The tougher one is, how to overcome the inertia and get on the road?
My husband Richard and I had steady jobs, a downtown condo, and great friends and family, but we realized that there was something missing in our lives and we weren’t happy about it. We felt like zombies stumbling through our 9-5 jobs, living for the weekends and holidays. We are goal oriented and the next logical step in our lives was to have kids. Since that idea scared us more than anything we decided on a second option: leave our jobs, hit the road, see the world, and find glory (whatever that means).
We rented out our condo, sold a bunch of our belongings, stored the rest at our parents’ house (thanks!) and saved as much money as we could before our self-proclaimed departure date. We hit the road on October 5, 2013, leaving from my hometown of Kelowna, B.C., and pointing our truck south. After a quick stop to BCAA for our travel insurance (see, we ARE responsible) we aimed for the first of many border crossings in Osoyoos, B.C. We will very vaguely follow the PanAmerican Highway with the eventual destination being the southern tip of Argentina – Ushuaia.
Depending on our location, we wake up each morning in our rooftop tent to the sound of crickets, waves crashing, roosters crowing, dogs barking, or church bells ringing. As the sun rises we climb down the ladder of our new bedroom (a rooftop tent), open the tailgate of the truck, and boil water in a pot on our Coleman stove for coffee. Our new home is a 1990 Toyota pickup truck adorned with a solar panel, rooftop tent, and electric fridge. The bed of the truck is filled with Rubbermaid containers housing bathroom items, kitchenware, dry food, and extra blankets. Our entire life is now easily contained within these seven containers.
For days, weeks, and months we have driven south. We passed through apple trees in Washington State, the coastal rain of Oregon, the stunning mountains of Yosemite National Park in California, and finally crossed the border into Baja, Mexico. On the Baja Peninsula we camped on the beach, visited the cactus-filled deserts, and watched the incredible Baja 1000 off-road desert race all with nary a conversation with any drug cartel. Crazy. We crossed the peninsula back and forth multiple times, meeting generous locals, eating copious amounts of tacos, and thankfully dispelling the stereotype that the entire country of Mexico is dangerous.
We recently shipped our truck from the Baja peninsula to mainland Mexico and are currently smack dab in the middle of the country in the colonial town of Guanajuato. 12,000 kilometers of pavement, washboard, and gravel roads have passed us by and we are happier, healthier, and more passionate about life than we ever have been. Life on the road suits us…that is a good thing because we expect to drive at least another 30,000km before reaching Ushuaia.
Overlandia is the art, science, and romance of driving in the dirt. To see more, visit the Overlandia channel page.