Sunday, 3 May 2015

Overlanding: 24:7. What's it like?

When you go overlanding with someone (for most people it's their spouse/partner), you are mostly with that person 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Maybe you'll go to the shop alone, or go for a walk, but still the companionship is fairly constant.

The constant companionship can be difficult for some people. Imagine the couple who retire and go overlanding. They were probably apart for at least 50 hours a week prior to retirement: working hours, plus commute time, plus some other club or social activities that didn't involve 'the other half'. As well as this they possibly lived in a comfortable house with multiple rooms... one in the kitchen while the other watched television or did something else. Then in overlanding they find that they are always together: the kitchen space is the social space, and the bathroom isn't big enough to retreat to.

When H and I met he was already overlanding and I joined him. Luckily we got along. Our space in Blac is just 5 metres by 2, and we were heading to the bottom of South America. On some days the weather was so bad that we'd only leave the vehicle if we had to: there was nowhere else to go and escape the weather.

Also, in some parts of the world you mightn't be meeting other travellers very often. This means that you mightn't really have any other companionship aside from the constant stray dogs that come begging for scraps to eat. Sure there will be locals around, but you mightn't get to 'know' them unless you stick around for a while.

I took a risk flying to South America to meet this guy I'd just met briefly online, but it was a risk I wanted to take. For couples wanting to set off on a big adventure: I recommend doing some long term overlanding closer to home before you spend money on shipping and find out that it's not for one of you or not for the 2 of you together. 

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