Wednesday, June 07, 2006


I ended my last post with the statement that buying this Landy could change our lives forever (beside the obvious satisfaction of driving a very cool car and getting into the local Landy club). Let me elaborate a bit:

We're not just planning a Trip. We're planning a Lifestyle. This will truly be "chucking in life as we know it".

You see, we may not come back to South Africa anytime soon once we start to travel. Not because we're millionnaires, but because there really is nothing keeping us here, except family - and we don't see much of them anyway.

There's a strong possibility that I could end up volunteering for a stipend somewhere, or using one of my many skills/qualifications to help out a community that needs it. The kid could end up working or studying in any country. We could sit and count birds for a year, in exchange for food and lodging! (or just food - the Landy's pretty self-contained...) (then again... there are plenty of edible plants and things out there, perhaps we'll just need space to park? a sufficiently-extended visa?)

I've started to develop a mind-set of living with open hands. Possessions are becoming less and less important, and the question of whether to sell or store is starting to become a non-issue. Granted, there are mementos (photos, things from my mom given to me after she died, my piano) and such - but really, we don't need everything we've collected over the years to have a happy life. We can leave the mementos with a relative who will appreciate them.

I have no house to pay off, nor do I have a car to pay off. I have no responsibilities to fulfil for years to come, nor do I have a career plan that involves working my butt off in one area to climb some imaginary corporate ladder. I can live on little, I can always find a way to make whatever money we need.


We could do a brief foray into the wilds, and return to the expected rut we currently tread. Which is definitely not very appealing, but would probably be more profitable.

So those are our options. I'm leaning toward the nomadic, the unexpected, the remarkable.

As I said, buying a Landy could change our lives.

Monday, June 05, 2006


I know women are supposed to be "emotional shoppers", but this is ridiculous! I'm in love with a Landy.

I'm not usually given to shows of affection for inanimate objects, nor shopping with my heart, nor any of that sort of nonsense. But there's something that connected completely and deeply with me when I saw this particular vehicle. It may not be the best-looking, smartest, shiniest, most colourful one - but it's simply perfect. It's everything I've wanted in an overland companion. It's got some of the overland essentials already installed, having done the through-Africa trip that I'm aiming for. And it's the right age (a 1970's Landy - which is what I've been after for many reasons).

Before I even knew it had a name, I'd decided it was a "she" - and it turns out it is.

I've got all the info from the current owner. I'm in the process of consulting those who know about these things, and then will put in an offer on her. I really hope it's accepted. She's just perfect.

Wish me luck! This could be THE turning point that determines the rest of our lives...

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Eco-African Dream

I was chatting online to a friend yesterday, who is off to the Zambezi valley in June. No jolly fair... Between that and running into those overland vehicles in traffic recently, I've restarted my wild daydreams. Yup, that "take off through Africa" thing. Again.

Unfortunately, this time round my kid is totally non-enthusiastic. But I'm hoping to "cure" him with a camping trip or adventure holiday near the end of the year, once it's safe to sleep outdoors without freezing.

Then this morning's e-news says petrol's going up again. Like WAY up. And, being who I am, I got thinking...

I've been going on about using traditional means to cross the continent - a petrol or diesel Landy, which requires long-range tanks and regular juice-ups.


What if I could combine my itchy feet with my treehugger tendancies? What if I could find a way to convert an offroad vehicle into one that runs mostly on solar or electric power? Granted, there may not be many places to plug into a baobab to recharge.. but what if it used a combination of various fuel sources, and could switch between them when necessary?

Like this New Zealand bloke who runs a vehicle on water and a splash of petrol? Or any one of the myriad other options? Sure, solar cars are no speedsters, but which offroad vehicles actually speed along?

You know, I'll bet that if I got some strange hybrid vehicle going for an extra-long trip through Africa, I'd garner a bit of sponsorship to cover the costs.

Thinking. Brain steaming... :) It could actually work!

(cross-posted to my regular blog)