We enjoy going places and spending our time in motion. Usually this means running and biking but also includes hiking, beach wandering, driving along the coast, and traveling. Living in the Bay Area is perfect for us. Within a few hours or minutes, we are either at the coast or in the mountains. And after growing up in Iowa (Nancy) and Pennsylvania (Darryl), the weather here makes it hard for us to stay indoors.
A few years ago we started a conversation about taking a very long and expansive trip around the world. I briefly looked into buying an “around-the-world” ticket but saw that it would be too constraining for what we would want to do. Plus, we are not planners and we don’t follow schedules very well. With around-the-world tickets, you have to keep moving (in one direction) and there are limits on the period for the trip. We would have to find a more flexible and less expensive travel option.
Darryl came across this concept of “Overlanding” during his research. It didn’t take much convincing for me to agree that this was the perfect way for us to travel. Some of our best weekends were days when we woke up, ate breakfast and jumped into the car to see which direction it would take us. This would be the perfect solution! Now we just needed to decide the little things like what vehicle, where to go, for how long and when.
We decided to go the Overlanding travel route sometime around mid-2012. At this time, we were both working in Silicon Valley but considering some major lifestyle changes in our careers and where we would call home. We also decided to get married, on the 16th anniversary of our first date! Our first “official” date was at the Half Moon Bay Pumpkin Festival so we decided to return to Half Moon Bay for our wedding. This is our wedding photo taken by our officiant, Judith Malear.
Our wedding party consisted of just Darryl and I with Judith officiating. We arrived about 30 minutes late due to the Pumpkin Festival traffic. I was a little disappointed, but not surprised, that it was another cloudy and overcast day heading into Half Moon Bay. As we drove into town, the skies cleared and we had a perfectly beautiful day for our wedding. A rare treat in Half Moon Bay and a good omen for our future together.
Now we needed to figure out “when” we should start our very extended trip throughout the world. My thinking was stuck along the more traditional route of after we retire. My wonderfully supportive husband painted a lovely travelogue for me of this option. It included us sitting in a bus with a group of 20 other senior citizens. We would descend en masse to each tour site, escorted by a tour guide holding a placard aloft so we wouldn’t get lost among the hordes of other tourists, all of us following the same, prepackaged travel itinerary. He then pointed out to me that we are healthy now; we are in our best shape now and that these are both temporary states since we aren’t getting any younger so why wait? That settled it. We would take off as soon as we figured out the other details of what vehicle, where to go, and for how long.
After much debate, we finally settled on an XP Camper for our home on wheels but it won’t be ready for us until mid-August. Instead of waiting, we decided to begin the first leg of our adventure in our FJ Cruiser. Some of the route details are planned but it’s mostly a rough draft. The details will be filled in as we go by locals, fellow travelers or wherever our interests take us.