why the long drive?

To square up on some of the questions our family and friends have been asking over the last few months with varying degrees of astonishment and/or mocking, we'll try and answer some of them here.

Q: What are you doing this for?

The aim of this year is not just to make it to the other end in reasonable time, with perfect photographic evidence and acceptable levels of personal hygiene in tact (but lets cross our fingers on that one). The aim is really to challenge ourselves to do something significant. Driving overland (as opposed to flying) makes for some considerable geographic and logistical trials – to the point where driving becomes as much a part of the challenge as it is defining. We both want to afford ourselves the time and space to see and experience the landscapes and cultures as they really are – good, bad and ugly - and driving will give us access to places and freedom in our schedule to do this.

Above all, a major goal is to ensure the experiences we have throughout the trip give us plenty of perspective to drive whatever it is we do with our lives afterwards. Just to be really clear, we’re both adamant we’re not going to end up wearing hemp, complaining about people using mobile phones and generally unable to integrate back into society.

Q: Why drive?

I know I take for granted how huge and varied the world is when it's so easy to circumnavigate it in less than 48 hrs on a plane. There is a huge, diverse and uncompromising world out there waiting to be explored, and whilst the world is still a relatively peaceful place for travelers (fingers crossed), whilst we have the freedom to go these places and the cash to pay for it, now is the time to get out there and live it.

This whole driving overland thing isn't about being alternative hemp wearing gypsies, or doing it on the cheap (it's definitely not), nor is it about putting ourselves in the danger zones (we'll be trying to do the opposite).  It's really just about being able to challenge our perspective on travel at a pace that lets us explore and absorb the places we come to like along the way, not just the places where everyone else goes.

Q: What is this in aid of?

There are so many things to get out of this year i think we're going to have to remind ourselves its meant to be a year to chill out and reset our priorities.

Whilst Joe is fulfilling the prophecy of becoming an apparition, (traveling from town to town in search of the perfect wave), I'm keen to do some writing about the people I meet, the local issues I come across, and of course the culinary delights as I eat my way through South East Asia.

We're both interested in understanding how global environmental issues are having local impacts in the areas we travel through. We're also keen to offset the carbon emissions of our diesel vehicle by donating to a carbon credits scheme www.carbonplanet.com.au

There's no doubt this year is going to be challenging, uncomfortable, awakening and brilliant. No work. No schedule. No hot water. A scarily decreasing need for things, technology, vanity and personal space (just kidding, Joe).

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