WanderWith.Me: A Roadtrip Across The World
"An overland odyssey, of dust, snow, and distant shorelines, capturing moments of life and landscapes, cameras, prime lenses, weathered journals and rain soaked musings, inspirations, lyrics and poetry. Head and heart given to the road, the mysterious and ever unfolding unknown." WanderWith.Me.
Our quick interview with Colby & Alita is all it takes to re-open our eyes to how little we need, and how much we are missing. Grab a car, great company and get going. They are truly inspiring, in the most unpretentious of ways; two world travellers living the dream in an HJ47.
What were your reason/s for getting an 'adventuremobile'?
The adventuremobile idea was an answer to questions about how to reach remote areas in the Americas and Africa, then stay awhile to experience and photograph them.
Why the Toyota, as opposed to any other off road campers and vehicles?
I'm a bit biased, but Toyota's were well loved and depended on growing up in Bend, Oregon and you still see many 50 & 60 series cruisers around town there today. I researched other rigs, but the list of possibles shortened when looking at reliability, spare parts and roadside repairs. The rest seemed pure serendipity, as I got a heads up on a rare Troopy for sale on the side of country road in Vermont. The photos are still up online here, amazingly! I fell in love at first sight and purchased on the spot and over the phone, then spent three wonderful days with the owner and her family on their gorgeous woodsy property in Stowe, Vermont. I took two weeks to drive and camp in the truck while moving across Canada and the States, that after changing the fluids and tires out in Montreal.
It seems like you've done some work to the 'Green Beast'. What customizations have you made? Any small luxuries added?
I had some years traveling abroad and living along the West Coast in an RV so had come to appreciate needing less and keeping life simple. This was Alita's experience in her travels abroad as well as it allows more time for the creative work we both love. The first decision on the Troopy was to build only below the window line to keep a light filled open space inside the truck. The rest of the work was about self sufficiency with an idea to live comfortably a couple weeks at a time. Here are some of the customizations...
· AutoHome graciously sponsored us with an incredibly comfortable and rugged roof top tent
· Cabinetry to contain our food, refrigerator, tools, clothes, and misc. storage needs while also allowing room for sleeping indoors.
· Fabrication work to better secure the rooftop area which keeps spare parts, recovery gear, and extra diesel.
· Solar powered energy system for charging cameras, computers and the refrigerator (140W solar panel, inverter, sun charger, 3 optima batteries)
· 15 Gal water system with sink allowing us to filter water from hoses and rivers, reducing bottled water use. Also, a very handy outdoor solar shower.
· Our getting unstuck gear includes Toyo MT tires with 2 spares and repair kit, Winch with Nylon cable, MaxTrax, Tow Rope, Shackles, Hi-Lift & bottle Jack, Shovel and wood cutting gear
· Surfboard rack, maybe the most important item!
We can't have helped but sensed a bias to travel in Mexico. Why Mexico? What other terrain do you guys conquer?
We're driving down to Argentina so Baja and mainland Mexico were some part of that but Mexico is also Alitas home country. As Alita has travelled here extensively, its been an incredible start to the journey in terms of getting to know people and places more deeply. It's also been a great way to further reduce the things we found weren't so needed, especially living in a smaller space.
Any good stories? Future travel plans?
Yes, and so many seem to start early in the morning! In Nayarit, Mexico, we awoke to a motorcycle outside the tent while camping miles down an extremely isolated beach. We climbed down to see a man hunched over, furiously digging in the sand. He then pulled a large leather satchel off his motor bike and started filling it with dozens of turtle eggs, to move them safely to an incubator. The sight of him - goggles on and motoring off down the beach on an antique motorcycle with a satchel full of eggs and his little dog hanging off the back was a movie-like sequence, but we weren't quick enough with the cameras!
As for future travel, we're looking to reach Panama by late Summer then fly back to Mexico and Oregon to spend time with family. We'll return to the truck and the adventure in South America later this Winter.
♥ Colby & Alita
Follow their blog and amazingly photographed story here: WanderWith.Me