Family Time in the Southwest

Lars and Katrin Schneider have a wonderful relationship with the American West. That’s not uncommon with Germans, but these outdoor photographers have twice bought a Volkswagen van (the same one, actually) and used it for extended tours of the left side of the country.

Their most recent one is the subject of this new short film, “Going East: A Family Adventure on Four Wheels.”

Oops, wait, I used a bad word. “Family.”

Kids are a funny thing in adventure media – they’re typically ignored, and if they aren’t they’re turned into subjects for “special editorial packages,” which are nothing but an excuse to sell advertising. The reason, I think, is that people without kids could care less about them (as well as not wanting to be reminded of the supposed shackles looming down the road). And people with kids still want to think of themselves as wild wolves, free to roam wherever and whenever they like.

But don’t be turned off by “family” in the title. The grom in question, eight-month-old Fietje, is kind of the star, and he “narrates” in clever voiceovers. Yeah, there’s lots of cute stuff that will tug the hearts of adventurous moms everywhere, but more to the point, and the reason it’s here, is that the Schneiders made a terrific on-road, off-road quest through the Southwest, and their foreign perspective on this country, which so many of us purport to know well, gives a freshened view on a familiar playground.

Overlandia is the art, science, and romance of driving in the dirt. To see more, visit the Overlandia channel page.

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