Overlanding has gained popularity over the last few years. It seems everyone with a 4 wheel drive adds a few do-thingys to their rig and goes camping for the weekend and calls it overlanding. That is all well and good because in my mind the more people who get out exploring the natural world the better. However, recently I found The Overlanding Podcast by Andy Smith and through listening to the folks he has interviewed, I’ve gained a new appreciation for those “real” overlanders. Our weekend holidays camping or two week treks exploring local national parks does not compare.
In his campfire chats with others that have taken extended trips traveling all around the globe, I feel I have gained a better understanding of those who take to the overland road. From the 50 year old woman who embarked on a 7-year adventure riding her 500cc Enfield Bullet to the guys here in the US who retraced the Oregon Trail for 44 days, a common thread with all those interviewed is the spirit of adventure and the giving up of the “normal” stuff in life.
Each of the Overlanding Podcasts are about an hour in length. Each story of travel is unique in experiences but each story has many common themes. A smile and friendliness is universal and understood in all languages. People of foreign countries are friendlier and nicer than what those reporting the nightly news would lead you to believe. Stuff, is just that stuff, and we can do without most of what we clamer too in our normal 9 to 5 lives. Quality trumps quantity every time. The best experiences come from unexpected turns in the road. And if you really have the desire to go exploring the world for months or years, who will and can find a way to make it happen.
One of the interesting things I learned from several of the podcasts was the fact that often those who took to the road often did not know about the commercial world of overlanding, the numerous overlanding groups or that overlanding was really a thing. They just wanted to go explore. They did it for themselves and for the experiences.
So, I guess my take away from listening to the many hours of overlanding podcasts is that I can take the trip I’m currently planning, I can give up the fun stuff of today and do with less in my current life in order to save the funds and prepare for my upcoming trip.
If you want to learn more about overlanding across foreign countries, what it really takes, and just as important, what’s not required to embark on such an adventure, and who are these people who take years traveling the world, I advise you to check out The Overlanding Podcast.