Border crossing days ~ no one relishes the chaos and confusion of attempting to exit one country and enter another. Now, we have done a lot of border crossings all around the world. But driving ourselves, and with black dog in tow, requires a bit more thought. And yet, we had somehow done almost zero research on what would become only our second country, but fourth border crossing in nine months. Finally, a mere 24 hours before the big day, we actually fired up the laptops to find out what the hell we were getting ourselves into.
Thursday was Thanksgiving in the United States, a day originally meant to focus on strengthening relationships across cultures, religions, and colors. While this isn’t the forum for political chatter, lets just say the “state of the union” is pretty damn dismal this year.
Overlanders depend on their gear. After all, most of us are homeless in the traditional sense. The road is our home, and the gear we travel with can make or break the trip. As very active campers even in our old life, we were quite certain what cooking gear was going to make the list for the PanAm. Although we quibbled over and considered a few items, one item never in doubt was our Lodge Dutch Oven.
Most travelers have a bucket list. I have been lucky enough to have checked quite a few off my personal list, but one place I have not yet reached is Jakarta. The 13,000 islands of Indonesia are astonishing, and having spent a month in serene Bali, my dreams now turn to city life. Enter Jakarta, the massive capital on Java, the mixes cultural influences from around the world.
I know I shouldn’t compare. I know I should live in the moment, focus on what is in front of me, not develop a “been there, done that” mentality. And yet, the more I travel, the more these inevitable comparisons raise their ugly head.
What drives us, we nomadic types? What causes us to leave stable jobs, lovely homes, friends and family, to throw ourselves out into the world? To force discomfort upon ourselves by the mere act of having no home base, no tribe to reach to for comfort? To live a life outside our comfort zone, both mentally and literally?
It’s that time again~ one more year on this trip around the sun. In past years, I have had the privilege of celebrating my birthday in some rather astonishing locations, both near and far; Paris, Mexico, Australia, and most often, the stunning beaches of Oregon. I have celebrated on a backpacker budget, and in high-style. I have celebrated with only Jim and the pups in attendance, with my dearest friends and family, and with virtual strangers.
I have never liked history. My dad was a history teacher. My brother is a history teacher. I got through the classes, but never embraced the subject. That all changed the moment I started traveling. Unencumbered by a parents authoritarian lectures and dry professors, I found myself relishing stepping back in time to see a world thousands of years in the past.
We have a sticker on our camper that reads “I camped at Overlander Oasis“. This is a lie. However, while the camping part is not technically true, we did spend enough time with Calvin and Leanne to feel as though we were part of their overlander family.