Reason for taking this trip:
To enjoy each others company, and to raise our son together, as close to nature as possible while we can. We were both employed full-time, and could not find the time to have the experiences as a family that we hoped to have. Instead of trying to take longer weekends or more vacations, we decided to make a bigger lifestyle change.
Why did you decide to drive?:
Instead of flying to destinations, we wanted to see everything along the way, and be closer to the people in the communities we visit. Driving into a town, village, or city feels like the right way to enter and experience new places. If we could have hiked to Argentina, we may have opted to do so, but traveling with a toddler made that a bit unrealistic. We both also love a good road-trip, love to camp and hike, and this suits our style.
What type of car are you driving?:
2007 Dodge Ram 3500 & Hallmark Everest Pop-up Camper
Did you make any modifications to your car for this trip?:
- Installed Air Compressor tank under carriage
- Installed Air Springs
- Installed 2 locked Jerry cans
- Rear and front cameras
- Auxiliary transmission coolers
- Dampening layer throughout cabin and engine compartment
- New shocks
- Inverter and 110 outlets in cabin
- iPad mount on Dashboard
- Additional screens mounted for viewing front/rear cameras
- Scan Gauge install for reading metrics from Engine computer
- Security locking system for back seats
- Window film
- Really bright lights
- Rock guard
How did you save up or finance your trip?:
I had actually been saving for many years to purchase a house in San Francisco before meeting Okan. So that nest-egg was never spent once we met each other and moved to Singapore. While in Singapore, we made a concerted effort to live on just one salary, as we were planning on having a baby and thought I would stop working for a while when our son was born. We weren't specifically saving for an overlanding trip, but we were fortunate to have not used our savings for its original purpose, and decided this was where we wanted to spend it.
How long do you plan on traveling?:
Depending with which one of us you are speaking, it could range from 1 to 2 years, or longer should the stars align and we just can't stop. We are also open to the possibility that it could only be 6 months, but our money is on a longer trip.
Where do you plan on driving? :
A northern route eastward through the USA, and a southern route back to California. Baja Peninsula in Mexico, Guatemala, Costa Rica, Panama, Colombia, Venezuela, Brazil, Peru, Bolivia, Chili, Argentina
What were your family’s and friends’ reactions when you told them about your trip before you left?:
We've had mixed reactions. Many friends with children think we're a bit crazy, and worry about our son not having friends with whom to play, or structure in which to thrive. But those opinions seem to be in the minority. Then others are planning on living vicariously through us, and are drooling at the thought of doing what we are doing. Donna's family is much more enthusiastic about the journey, where as Okan's parent are much more worried.
What languages do you speak? Will you learn more on your trip?:
Okan speaks fluent Turkish and English, and a fair amount of Spanish. Donna speaks English, can construct some basic sentences in German, and can only count in Spanish. We are planning on finding a place to stay for a while, so that we can take lessons and become fluent in Spanish.
Do you have a favorite place that you've visited?:
Donna's favorite places are probably Bali, New Zealand, and Colorado. Okan is head over heels for Chaing Mai and always holds a special place in his heart for the southern coastline of Turkey.
What was the weirdest thing you experienced on your trip?:
What was the worst border crossing?:
Do you have any advice for others who may be considering driving the Americas?:
You can always turn back if it doesn't work out, don't let fear stop you.
Tuesday, September 13, 2016 - 20:53