I figured today was a good time to stop and assess the progress so far. I launched the website at the beginning of January but I have, in fact been working on this project since September / October 2011 in earnest.

Inspiration

Over the recent months I’ve found inspiration in a number of places. The following adventurers, some who I have met, and some who I only follow, have been a great source of entertainment, information and insight. I recommend you check out their amazing contributions, each presented in their own unique way.

Adventurers:

Adventurous events have also been a great way to meet people, conduct research, hear other adventurers stories, support great causes and find out about new and amazing adventures being planned.

Social Media

This has been both a pleasant surprise and a big challenge. Following other bloggers and overland travellers has not only been interesting and inspiring but also a fantastic source of information. The overland community especially, are a friendly bunch and more than happy to share their travels, experiences and information. I’ve been following the following sites for a while now and they have proved to be a great source of information for my planned trip.

In December I made the leap into social media signing up for Facebook and Twitter. While Facebook has been useful for following friends and family, it’s been Twitter that has really surprised me. It is an information highway in short concise pieces that allow you to tap in to a huge amount very quickly. I mostly follow other adventure related people and it’s through these people, that I have seen stories presented in a new way. It’s like creating a filter for your news content. Now, don’t get me wrong, there is a lot of rubbish on twitter but every now and then you find some gems that prove very insightful.

Planning

Team mates

The search has begun to find some like-minded and adventurous souls to join me on the expedition. I’ve had a great response from ads on the following websites. Explorers Connect is a great adventure focused portal for connecting people in the adventure world. Escape the City is a fantastic resource for those wanting to escape their jobs and try something new. They are both worth checking out.

Route and Resource Planning

The following sources of information have been brilliant. I would recommend anybody thinking about doing an overland trip to start with these.

Vehicle

The search for the best overland vehicle has been a focus from the beginning. Living in the UK means that a large part of the overlanding community is either Landrover vs Toyota Landcruiser. There are a number of other options but these are the first two names off most ‘ lips. They both have a loyal and devoted fan base and a great reputation. As I’m going through Central Asia all fingers point in the direction of the Toyota Landcruiser. And to be specific the 80 or 90 series vehicle. Pre-1997 is another guide as this is before the vehicles started to become computerised and hence more complicated to fix. At this current time the leading candidate is a VX  or GX 1993 – 1997 model. Ebay has become a daily feature as I watch and learn the pricing of the vehicles.

Price is important for more than just getting a good deal. One of the challenges of the route is driving through India, Pakistan and Iran. These countries require a vehicle carnet. In other words vehicle insurance 5 times the value of the cost of your vehicle. Buying a cheaper vehicle and spending money to upgrade it will save cash compared to buying a full expedition ready vehicle, in insurance terms.

Entering into China is the other big cost for a vehicle. As well as the of permits from what seems like every Chinese Government department, you also need to pay for a personal guide to accompany you while in China.

Yes Man Challenge

As a way to keep active, practice my filming making and have a little fun, I’ve been asking for outdoor challenges. So far I have received 3 challenges and completed one. The next challenge is a triathlon and in the summer I’ll be attempting to make some new friends with a balloon hat.

  • Stand Up Paddleboarding (SUP)
  • Triathlon
  • Make a new friend with a ballon hat

Looking back on this list it’s been an eventful few months. Somehow though, it feels like I’m just getting started.

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