Monthly Archives: June 2015

Meeting Overlanders: An Interview with Karin-Marijke Vis and Coen Wubbels from “Landcruising Adventure”

Eine deutschsprachige Version des Interviews findet Ihr hier ...

Karin-Marijke and Coen, Atacama Desert Chile

We got to know Karin-Marijke Vis and Coen Wubbels about one and a half year ago. For a long time their website Landcruising Adventure had been sparking our dreams to go overlanding. It was really great to meet them in person during the Overland Reunion 2014 and 2015.

This interview was conducted in June 2015.

4-wheel-nomads "What was the deciding reason to leave your former life behind and start traveling in this manner?"

 
 

Karin-Marijke and Coen "When we were in our early thirties, we both were at a crossroad in our lives. Our lives had taken twists and turns we hadn't expected (in terms of relationships, work, health) and it was time to make a drastic change. When we knew each other about eight months, seeing each other only in the weekends as we lived 200 kms apart, Coen decided to follow a dream he had carried with him for many years: to travel around the world. He asked me if I wanted to join him. The decision was easy and I said yes. It was a relief to sell our belongings, giving up everything we had, and start a new phase in our lives."

 

the Landcruiser BJ45 - Peninsula Valdes, Argentina

 

4-wheel-nomads "Since when or whereby did you decide to go on traveling for an indefinite period of time, or was that the plan right from the beginning?"

 
 

Karin-Marijke and Coen "We never gave the matter a thought and still we wouldn't say our journey is for an indefinite period of time. Time will tell. Our initial mention of two years was just to give the people around us something to hold on to. It was based on nothing. We had no plans other than to drive to Asia. We left with a map of Europe and guidebook of Greece and we were clueless as to what would country would be next."

"When after about three years we reached Thailand we concluded that we liked this way of life and wanted to continue it. That asked for some contemplation because thus far we had lived low-budget using our savings, and in order to continue traveling, we needed a source of income. We worked hard on our writing and photography to get that financial obstacle out of the way, in which we have succeeded."

1.000.000 stars hotel and a thunderstorm

1.000.000 stars hotel - Landcruising Adventure's camp at night

4-wheel-nomads "By now, you have traveled in Europe, Asia and South America. In South America you have been traveling for eight years now ... because of that you have become famous for being the slowest overlanders ever. Are you planning to stay in South America or do you plan to ship the Landcruiser to a different continent?"

 
 

Karin-Marijke and Coen "We'll be on this continent for another couple of months, focusing on areas in Venezuela and Colombia that we haven't seen yet. We do know that we will ship our vehicle to a new place after that, but where? We don't know yet. There are many options and we're currently looking in the pros and cons of them. We have learned that in general things work out somehow. If you're open to that kind of lifestyle, you'll find that you meet people for a reason. This may play a big part in deciding our next destination."

to Venezuela through the back door

4-wheel-nomads "For the last 12 years, you have been living your dream ... does traveling and thus this dream become a routine like any other "job" ... how do you manage to make sure it is not becoming just a different type of "job"?"

 
 

Karin-Marijke and Coen "Yes and no. There is no doubt that during the initial stage – which may stretch a couple of years – everything is new, exciting (and/or scary). I remember lots of thrills. There are many 'firsts' in that first period of traveling. Of course, that can't continue forever and I think that's why many people either return home after a year or two, or find a balance in traveling for a couple of months and going home for a couple of months. It makes perfect sense."

"In that respect, I'm happy that we need to work. Our work helps us, or sort of forces us out of our comfort zone. Instead of skipping that umpteenth historical church or gold museum, or eating rice and beans in Colombia after we've eaten them in Peru and Ecuador as well, wanting to write about these subjects helps us reflect on where we are. "He, wait. We think we know what this is about, but do we really?" In order to write about it, we need to dig deeper. In many cases that reignites the interest, and thus the joy in traveling and exploring."

"For that same reason our writing and photography has evolved. Whereas initially we focused on writing about our journey in 4WD magazines, we now also write for travel and food magazines. Just like in 'ordinary' life we have to be alert in not falling asleep and to just go with the flow. For life to be interesting and fulfilling you regularly need to ask yourself, "do I still want to do this." When the answer is 'no', it's time to change."

4-wheel-nomads "After all the distance you have created between you and what other people might call "normal society" or "normal life" - will returning be possible at all for you? Or do you plan not to come back anyway?"

 
 

relaxing in the camp and big scenery

 
 

Karin-Marijke and Coen "We lived in Suriname for a year (2011-2012) because we needed a break. It was a good year in which especially having a regular social life (being part of a running group, participating in local off-road events, spending evenings with new-made friends) played an important role. After that year, we were ready to hit the road again. It could very well be we will do something like that again. I don't know where or when as for now we enjoy the road too much."

"Returning to the Netherlands for an indefinite period of time is not an issue right now. And since we find it's useless to talk about the future we leave the subject alone."

4-wheel-nomads "Did you find a "place" where you could imagine settling down again during your travels so far?"

 
 

Karin-Marijke and Coen "There have been a few places that particularly appealed to us: Hanoi in Vietnam, south Brazil, and central Argentina. When we were there we felt we could live there but weren't ready to settle down. If we will ever return, stay on the road forever, or maybe settle down somewhere else - who knows. Time will tell."

 

Karin-Marijke, Scott Brady (owner and editor of Overland Journal), Coen and Mischa

 

all photos used in this blog-post © by Landcruising Adventure

Overland Reunion 2015 – Meeting up with other Overlanders in the Twente woods …

Eine deutschsprachige Version dieses Posts findet Ihr hier ...

All Overlanders know the situation: you are excited to go on your next overland trip to Whateverstan and so many people do not understand why you like this very basic way of traveling to places wild and remote instead of doing an "all inclusive trip" to a fashionable place everybody else just rhapsodizes on! ... Having to endure those situations makes it triple great and important to meet other overlanders.

Since a couple of years, Karin-Marijke and Coen from "Landcruising Adventure" (12 years on the road with no end in sight) have been organising their "Overland Reunion" in the Netherlands. Last year we were invited to join and, of course, this year that weekend was a fixed date in our calendar.

Especially impressive is the relaxed and amicable, nearly familistic togetherness at this overlander's meeting. It is the first real summer weekend after a very long, cold and windy winter - also in a literal sense. Last year we had made friends with many of the participants and this year our circle of friends is growing as well. And just like last year, we enjoy staying out boozing in Michelle's and Pieter's "rolling café" in their old Citroen and just like last year they again are our "neighbors" on the campsite.

 

Do you sell ice-cream?

 

We have the feeling to be right in the middle of the group without having been members for a long time. True cordiality!

In snuggly round cooking, feasting and drinking together, at the barbecue, having breakfast or just enjoying a coffee in between, travel tips and other important bits and pieces of information, routes and even contact persons in remote lands are shared between travelers of different experience. Scott and Robert provide us with handy tips concerning photography and travel writing.

Michelle and Pieter's "rolling café"

 

Karin-Marijke, Scott, Coen and Mischa (© Landcruising Adventure)

 

Apart from the cosy get-together people compare and discuss gear and vehicle-conversions and give "tours" of their eyecatcher overland vehicles.

Pinz Charming I - Pinzgauer

Hendrik and Ali's G-Wagen (http://thebelgianandtheaussie.blogspot.de)

Bremach T-Rex

Pinz Charming II - Pinzgauer

Michelle and Pieter's Citroen - the "rolling café"

Zuidkaper - Landcruiser

VW T 3 Syncro

Landcruiser BJ 45

 

Abuu the fifth nomad - our Land Rover

 

travelchair twins?

Kermit Chair tutorial by Coen

 

Kermit Chairs absolutely rock!

 

As usual, our children only need a short period to thaw and soon are somewhere on the wild and romantic campground frolicing, playing and socializing - without needing a common mother tongue.

hiding behind the curtains

a really large sandbox

friends

Oz-Tent children's room

Anouk with Kim & Tycho of "www.4amigosonadventure.com"

 

Already sharing overland adventures (© Jos Kemme)

 

For us, it simply is great and important to know that other people are as "crazy" as we are enjoying the overlander's lifestyle and supporting each other unselfishly. We are not alone with our ideas and dreams which at home are referred to by others as being insane and irresponsible. Especially if you are at the starting point of overlanding, it is so very important to meet other people who share the same dreams and live them, have been doing so for years even. That's what dreams are there for, right!? To be realized and lived! Again the "Overland Reunion" creates a lot of positive energy in us! Our dream job is clear as mud: traveler!

Overlanders are an international community in which nationality, origin, age, job history et cetera simply don't count ... in addition to that, it even doesn't count how long and far somebody has been traveling up to now ... there is no "higher, faster, further" showing off! Many participants have met Coen and Karin-Marijke on the road and are old travel companions, but even without that background, we never feel like outsiders.

For us, the "Overland Reunion" is an annual highlight and it is a bit sad that we can't be here next year!

the yoghurt monster

packing and breakfasting

 

nearly ready to leave

 

This year's Overland Reunion is also important because we want to check our gear, find out what's still missing, do some maintenance work, reduce, reduce and reduce ... to pack the Land Rover ready to leave for Africa, since our final countdown has already started: it's only one month and we will be on the road as well ... going down south to North-East-Africa, which we will hopefully reach in late September or October ... We are so very excited!

When saying "Goodbye" to Coen and Karin-Marijke and thanking them for organising this very special event, Coen replies humbly, "Why? I didn't do that much for it!" But that's exactly "it", the reason behind the very relaxed atmosphere here. I thought to myself, "I have great respect for this easygoingness ... I probably would have plan B, C and D in the back of my head in case it should rain ... way too organised! ... which would have stressed me! Would I have been able to chat as relaxed and easygoing with everybody here just like Karin-Marijke and Coen did it?" Traveling obviously also means traveling to one's "self" ... Thanks a lot for organising!

 

traveling makes happy (© Scott Brady)

 

sun helmet

old Feuerhand lantern