Our trip wouldn't have happened without the inspiration and confidence we gleaned from other intrepid adventurers who went before us. The idea went from a dream to a reality after following Drive Nacho Drive on their VW odyssey around the world.
Below are links to those who are responsible for our choice to bail on the American Dream. People who we admire, study, and follow (both physically and via their blogs, videos, and books).
Drive Nacho Drive The original inspiration for our trip. I followed their trip around the world, first through Central and South America, then on to Asia, Europe, and Africa with wonder and a hint of jealousy. Brad is an engineer, with the expected attention to detail and organization. His breakdown of expenses for their 3 years travelling was the final push we needed to do something similar ourselves. Their writing is excellent. Entertaining, enlightening, educational. They'll even drag a few tears out of you. I had the honor of meeting Brad and Sheena at the 2015 Northwest Overland Rally. They were talking to Graeme and Luisa after their "Overlanding with Kids" presentation, and I could barely speak in my star-struck stupor. Please check out their books (now with audio options!) they could change your life.
Long Way Round You may know Ewen McGregor from such feature presentations as Star Wars, Train Spotting, and Moulin Rouge. Turns out, he and his childhood friend Charley Boorman are also pretty badass adventure bike riders. They got tired of being famous and successful and put together a ridiculous plan to ride from London to New York, the long way. I finally tricked Taylor into watching some adventure travel by telling her Ewen sings a bit.. We also watched their Long Way Down, documenting their trip to the Southern tip of Africa before our own trip there.
The Turtle Expedition Gary and Monika Wescott have been travelling the world since 1972. They've gone through a long line of vehicles, from a Series Land rover to state of the art Ford F-550 and composite camper. They even crossed Siberia in a Four Wheel Camper! I read of their adventures with wonder as a kid. Published in Four Wheeler Magazine, I drooled and dreamed over their travels and gear. They were the first people I had ever read about travelling this way, and are certainly responsible for planting the seed of possiblility in my heart and mind.
The current generation (on the road, or sea, right now!)-
Expedition Overland These guys shoot beautiful videos in far away places. They have quick paced adventures with lots of cool gear and planning. Their youtube channel is full of gorgeous cinematography and tons of planning/gear tips. PS, Rhonda and Rochelle are the ones responsible for Taylor's entry in the Rebelle..
Travel Amateurs We were reading the comments on another blog (Drive Nacho Drive) when we saw that Josh and Jenna were in our area. We sent them a message inviting them to our house. Then they showed up! It was a rainy and cold spring in Oregon, so they stayed a few days. We spent some long nights drinking good wine and talking camper charging systems.. They're currently on their way from Virginia to Argentina in a Toyota Tundra and four wheel camper.
The Globe Trol Jenn and Christian are travelling from Alaska to Argentina in a super sweet (seriously, it's awesome) Chevy Astro van. We haven't met them, but they caravaned with the Amateurs, and they only hang out with cool people.
Vagabroads Two lovely ladies on their way from Tennessee to Argentina as well. They quit great jobs in Nashville to live in a Land Cruiser strait from an adventure magazine. It's complete with roof-top tent. We "met" them online, and then they ended up travelling with Josh and Jenna as well. We feel a little like we missed the boat and should have left a year earlier..
Follow The Wind Cameron and Jacqui. We've never met these guys either, but it seem everyone else has. They're gregarious and definitely persistent. Their constant mechanical woes between two different vehicles would be enough to send anyone back home, but not these two. They're unbeatable!
Hasta Alaska Ben has been on the road for years, building a Peruvian VW Kombi out for his adventures, picking up an adorable dog (Alaska) and loads of hitch-hikers on his way to Alaska (and now back down). He films and produces great videos of all his adventures, including multiple engine replacements.
S.V. Delos Hailing from Seattle, Brian sold out of his successful software business, bought a boat, and took his brother Brady and a few friends for an epic sail from Mexico to New Zealand. Then they just kept sailing. They make beautiful and well edited videos and their own booze.. :)
Monday Never I think we first noticed Will and Cat because of our mutual interest in avoiding the first day of the week. They were on a sailboat in the Caribbean then. The sailing adventure was planned to last a year, but when it was over they went off the deep end and bought a Ural sidecar and mailed it to Europe. Because why not? They also make great videos about their adventures.
Here Until There Pete, Natasha, and Malta are on their way from Tennessee to Argentina as well. They're making their way down the Americas in a big Ford truck and a Four Wheel Camper. They're a little introverted, just like us and we've really been enjoying their blog. They've had a few adventures, including a traffic accident in Mexico and a multi day episode stuck in the no-mans-land between Mexico and Guatamala.
The Next Big Adventure Jim and Rhonda are just a couple kids from Portland in a Tundra and camper drifting around Mexico and Central America. After an epic round the world trip in 2007 they weren't finished travelling. We haven't met them yet, but are trying to schedule something soon..
The Pioneering Spirit Jen and Jared are a couple of fellow Pacific Northwesterners. Jared even learned his dirt driving and rig fixing skills on an Eastern Oregon wheat farm. They have the most badass jeep you'll ever see, complete with 1-ton axles and a Cummins Diesel engine. They're in Africa for as long as it takes to see anything they want to see.
A2A Expedition Graeme and Luisa are intrepid South Africans travelling the world with their two awesome kids Keelan and Jessica.. A weeks long vacation in their home continent of Africa inspired their permanent move into their Defender 110 and roof top tent. Frequent contributors to Overland Journal and Expedition portal, they're a wealth of adventure travel knowledge. Also beer.
Dancing Fireflies After seeing a handmade sign in Central Old Town Mazatlan advertising free stuff- look for the VW Bus, we tracked these two down. Mix irresponsible decisions like quitting your good job and moving into your car in a foreign country with a few beers and a little wine- life long friendships are formed.