Our best guess is that our route will take us around 12 years, but there’s no rush and definitely no rules. Here’s what we think may happen in that time :
We’re starting in our favourite continent – Africa.
The scene of our wedding in 2014 – on top of a sand dune in Namibia – and my spiritual home since 1999.
We had difficulty working out an overland route from Europe to Southern Africa as none offered easy options.
After toying with the idea of shipping and getting knee deep in all the problems that brings, we were saved by an overland friend suggesting joining a convoy through West Africa.
The rest, as they say, is history! We’re joining a six-wheeler Mercedes truck complete with local knowledge and security and spending the first 6 months of our expedition experiencing the lands less explored.
We then head into Namibia and familiar territory so peel off from the convoy and start travelling solo – and more slowly.
We plan to spend as much time in each country as our visas and carnet allow, slowly working our way around southern and eastern Africa over the next 2 or 3 years
If we ever drag ourselves away from Africa we plan to ship the Defender to India and from there travel through Nepal and try to find a way into Far East Asia, Malaysia and Indonesia.
This route is likely to pose some challenges as there are a few countries with limited access and Thailand doesn’t allow foreigners to drive – and with only two seats in the Landrover that could make hiring a driver quite difficult!
But it’s all part of life’s rich tapestry and challenges to face nearer the time.
The next leg is Australia – a continent much anticipated for its beauty and remoteness and feared for its wildlife in equal measure!
Whilst Henry is making his way from Indonesia to Australia we hope to visit the Philippines on foot.
We await the results of recent trade negotiations and their impact on visas but if we are lucky enough to be able to secure long-term visas we would love to spend a couple of years in Australia.
Having waved goodbye to Austalia, Henry will then slowly make his way to Chile whilst we plan to spend some time in New Zealand.
Once reunited, we will slowly wind our way north through South America, Central America and into the USA.
Carrying on up into Canada we will eventually end up in Alaska – although not before stopping to stock up on warm clothes and check the diesel heater is working!
5. The East
The shipping from Alaska to Russia should be one of the shortest between continents, but may prove another challenge.
Russia is a huge country and we have no idea how long we will spend there – much depends on the political situation at the time.
Mongolia is high on our list of must-sees as are the Stans.
This leg could be quick but more likely will take us a few years to do it justice.
As we travel west we will naturally arrive back at the eastern borders of Europe. Where we will enter is anyone’s guess but it will no doubt seem very strange to be back so close to where we currently call home.
We intend to wind around Eastern Europe and slowly back towards the west. A return to Scandanavia will be on the list, spending more time in Sweden and Finland and getting much further north than we could on our 2018 Norway trip.
It would be a waste not to ship Henry to Iceland and explore the volcanoes and geysers more leisurely than we have been able to before but eventually we will have to come back to the UK to see what has been going on whilst we were away!