A visit from another traveller

Yesterday we had a much appreciated visit from Nicklas Lautakoski, who together with two friends rode motorbikes from Nordkap in Norway to Cape Town in South Africa not very long ago. I heard about Nicklas in May when he was going to talk about his trip at the outdoor shop AddNature here in Stockholm. I went there and chatting to Nicklas afterwards I told him about our plans, but it took us until now to arrange a meeting. We realized we live in the same area of Stockholm so he came over, we had a look at the cruiser and then sat for hours talking about his trip and ours. We got some invaluable advice from Nicklas and it was crazily inspiring to sit with the huge map of Africa spread out on the table, listening to all his stories!


LucKey - November 19, 2014 - 12:56 pm

Parece que vai 2010 vai ser um ano muito difedcil para a maioria do povo Moe7ambicano. As eteils ficam pouco ou nada afectadas, em vez de se comprar um vestido de 2 mil USD, compra-se outro, um bocado mais barato, ou em vez de se comprar um carro de luxo, compra-se e0 mesma, mas de outra marca mais barata, etc.A crise vire1 afectar os que je1 vivem com grandes dificuldades financeiras.Infelizmente, e9 sempre assim.Maria Helena

Rewind: Making the decision

Early after Brian and I started dating we realized we both had the dream of making a longer trip. We talked about it off and on and started telling people we wanted to do it but I don’t think anybody took it too seriously. Neither did we, it was nothing more than a dream.

But something changed early this spring, in mid-February. We had come back from another family visit in Africa and it was tougher than usual being back. Brian was really struggling with the Swedish climate and everyday life here and we were both missing Africa a lot. We had now been talking more about moving down and making concrete plans around it, saying we’d go in 2-3 years from now, when we had saved up a lot of money and the political situation in Zimbabwe had hopefully improved a lot.

2-3 years is a long time though. Especially if you’re struggling to get up in the morning to go to work in the dark and get home in the dark and just… live in the dark. I left one weekend to see my parents. When I got back I found Brian on the couch reading a book I had given him almost a year earlier that hadn’t been opened until now: “Africa Overland”. He had gotten through almost the entire book over the weekend and when he looked up at me, I knew he had made a decision.

When Brian has his mind set on something, it should preferably happen within the next week. Or rather within the next 15 minutes. While I’m the type of person who’ll take a long time to decide, then ponder my options, then worry about the risks, then slowly make it happen and then worry about the risks some more. However, this time, I was with him from the beginning. If we were ever going to do this trip, this was the time and we both knew it. Nothing tying us down in Sweden, no kids or pets or other commitments. And we were anyway moving to Africa – so why not just drive there?

Oh my, the thrill! The mind boggling, butterfly filled adrenaline rush to make the decision to do this trip! We were going to drive to Africa!

With Brian as usual acting as the engine of the project I took on my usual part as the brakes. (We usually balance each other out pretty well, we just hit a few bumps along the way and then we get there. Not as soon as Brian would wish maybe, but sometimes the risks really need to be worried about, OKAY?!) So with Brian pushing us on, and with my enthusiasm strong enough to conquer the worrying, we soon had a rough plan and somewhat an idea of what we were getting ourselves into. We were aiming to leave on August 17th 2012 (the date he arrived in Sweden in 2007) and be on the road for six months.

We began the research, reading travelling books and other overlanders’ blogs. How much money would we need? Which countries were we going through? How do you travel with a car through all those countries? Brian also started browsing the Internet for a vehicle.

The first few weeks were like the honey moon phase. Everything was so exciting, we had more fun than we had had in a long time and suddenly something great to look forward to, to help us get through the darkness of the Swedish winter. Then, one morning, we were talking on the phone about what to do with the apartment and all our belongings. Brian made some drastic comment about getting rid of everything and before I knew it, I burst into tears. I had just entered phase 2, and it sure didn’t feel like a honey moon anymore. This was the phase when it dawns on you what a major project this is. The mere idea of getting rid of our bed just made me cry (don’t ask me why the bed in particular had this effect on me, but it did). Why couldn’t we just take a chartered trip to Gran Canaria instead!?

I slowly recovered, Brian kept me busy with research and with time I had digested the idea of leaving everything behind, cutting the strings with my country and getting rid of most of our belongings, even if it was hard to think about. A friend put it well, she said to me “You’re not cutting the strings. Those are just materialistic things that you’re getting rid of. Your friends and family will still be here, you know.”

Since then we’ve kept on with the research, started planning the trip more in detail and broken the news to all our friends. I found it quite difficult to tell my folks, whom I’ve already caused a bit of worrying throughout the years. But mom’s comment was “I was starting to wonder when you were going to do it!”


Here we go…

I started working on this website months and months ago. I spent weeks trying to design it the way I wanted it, just to eventually change it completely. More importantly, I strongly felt we were supposed to have more of a project going on, with sponsors and charities and things like that sorted, before publishing the website. But at the same time we were dying to show you guys what’s happening and just to tell you about our plans. So, nevermind not being entirely done with everything – we want to tell you about our trip!

Since we didn’t start blogging from the beginning I will have to go back in time a bit and tell you about everything that has already happened. I’m thinking I will simply create blog posts about the different chapters of the story of this project leading up to where we are today and eventually we will be in present time again and can keep you up to date with what’s happening.

Stay tuned, and don’t forget to occasionally also check out the other pages, which will be updated and filled with new information as we go along. Don’t hesitate to give us a shout if there’s anything you want to know.