Hengelo, Oldenzaal, the Netherlands
When did you leave and from where?
We left Hengelo in 2003.
Expected return date home?
There is no plan.
Reason for taking this trip
An easy way out for the situation we were in. Living 200 km apart neither willing to sacrifice their location. Life on the road has its advantages.
Why did you decide to drive?
The freedom to stop anywhere you like and not forced to travel from city to city and hotel to hotel appealed to us.
What type of car are you driving?
An antique Toyota Landcruiser BJ45.
Did you make any modifications to your car for this trip?
It was used as a Overlanding car before, and in the two month preparation we made small additional modifications.
How did you save up or finance your trip?
We sold everything we had and started driving east.
What were your family’s and friends’ reactions when you told them about your trip before you left?
A few disliked the idea or did not understand why we would do such a foolish thing as to sell all our assets and destroy our future. But in the long run, more and more friends are getting proud of us and the things we accomplish.
Did you speak Spanish before you left your home country? How much Spanish? Are you taking more Spanish lessons as you travel? If so, where and for how long?
We did not speak Spanish before we left home. But we are quick learners and getting along just fine.
Do you have a favorite place or country that you have visited during your trip?
We have been on the road since 2003 and have visited so many places. Each place has it's own distinct attraction. Iran for its people, Pakistan for its rugged mountains, India for its cultural, religious and spiritual diversity. And we can keep on listing a lot of countries this way. We like to say we enjoy where we are, we live the now.
What was the weirdest thing you experienced on your trip?
An Iranian desk clerk paying our flights home after our father had a heart attack. Without knowing us
What was the worst border crossing?
Our longest border crossing was from Laos to Vietnam which took 48 hours and a lot of paperwork. In a sense it was nerve-wracking, because we split up. Karin-Marijke stayed our car, and I had to go by motorbike and bus 200 kilometers to the provincial capital to arrange: car insurance, road permit, Vietnamese license plates and a temporary import document.. With no money accept for a ATM card which did not function in the only machine I found in this city.
Do you have any advice for others who may be considering driving the Americas?
Put on you sunglasses and a hat, get behind your driving wheel and turn the key. But above all, don't be scared by here say stories. See for yourself.
Would you do it again?
Do you have a blog or a website describing your trip?