Now that the decision is made and Michel announced our plans to his employer, we can really get into the preparation stage of the journey. We are now facing the next challenge: decide what kind of car to drive around the world.
Over the past few weeks/months our plans have become more and more concrete. We decided that we want to drive around the world and bring Dunya with us. Dunya is part of our team and we couldn’t bare the idea of leaving her behind or to postpone the trip until she is no longer with is. Even though Michel’s parents are her second family, I don’t think we would do anyone a favour if we would leave Dunya with them, provided they would even want to take care of her…
We (sort of) decided on the route. Somewhere end of October/early November this year we will drive south, spend the winter in Portugal/Spain (and if it gets really cold, maybe cross over to Marocco). Then early spring we will head back north and spend early summer in Scandinavia and the Nordcape (really looking forward to midsummer night in the north!!), drive back south through Eastern Europe and try to cross Turkey, Iran and Pakistan in fall 2013. After that our plans are open. I would like to take an extensive yoga course in India or Nepal, we want to go to Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, Australia, New Zealand etc. How far we come will depend on our moods and our budget. By starting in Europe, we hope to have enough time to get used to the traveling with Dunya in easy countries so that we are a bit more “hard-core” when we have to cross Iran-Pakistan. (I plan to load a worldmap with our route sometime soon to this site, but first have to figure out how to do that… Any tips are very welcome….)
So now we have to decide on our transportation. If you look around for blogs of other overlanders, you’ll see that there are all kinds of cars people use to get around. There is landcruising.nl in a landrover, theworldisbeautiful.nl in a Toyota hiace, 2livethedream.com on their motorbikes, www.gritsch.at.tt in their Mercedes truck and many, many others. It seems that it does not really matter what you choose, you could travel the world in almost anything.
So why does this seem to be such a difficult decision for us? At first, we wanted to go for a landrover. This car is big, beautiful and would make us feel very safe on the busy roads in Asia. But what to do in cold weather? The inside of such a car does not have enough space to sleep the three of us + store all of our luggage. And how would Dunya get in and out of the car? Too high for her to jump with her old legs.. So the first NO was the Defender. After meeting with Frank and Martine of the worldisbeautiful, we started to see the practicallity of a campervan. It is like driving in our own little home. So, YES to a campervan. We soon found out that there are like 100 different types and sizes out there. All with their own pro’s and con’s of course.
Once we started looking around, we got even more confused than before.
Do we want to sleep in a roof tent? Do we want a bed inside the car? A fixed bed in the car? Two benches or just one? A toilet/shower inside or outside? How much space do we need for “stuff”? Speaking about “stuff”, what kinda stuff do we need? You should know that neither of us have ever camped after our 14th. All experience in camping we have is the vacations as children with our parents and their caravan (did we mention we are dutch?) in France and Spain. What kind of comfort do we want? What would be the minimum? Can we live with always having to “dig” a toilet somewhere outside in the woods? Cold showers or non at all? No large couch to hang out on? Only one gasburner to cook our meals on? What kind of heater do we need? Extra tanks for water/gasoil?
Over the past few weeks we spent every Saturday at campervan dealers and camping shops. As mentioned, we live in Holland, and since 90% of us go camping every year, there are lots and lots and lots of camping shops everywhere…
We narrowed down our choice to three possibilities. And so this is where you come in. We would like to know which one you would choose and why. Please have a look at the pictures below and let us know what u think. We are sure there are lots of issues that we have not even thought off and would be very grateful with any advise you would be willing to give us..
This Volkswagen Camper is quite small. One can sleep on the roof or inside. One bench to sit on + both front seats can be turned around. Including kitchen, no toilet.
This is the Fiat Ducato. Slightly bigger than the Volkswagen, but sleep only inside. Two benches to sit on. Turnable front seats. Including kitchen and toilet.
We did not find any electric campervans yet, but electric buses do excist. What about driving the world in an electrical car? We like the idea of “going green” and think we may even be able to find sponsors for that. Of course these cars can not yet drive any further than 100-150 km, which may cause problems when we want to cross the border between Iran and Pakistan, something one would like to do as quickly as possible. But it would force us to travel slowly, which is what we want anyway…
Let us know what you would choose!