Every conceivable thing in this ever expanding universe of ours is constructed of the same materials. You and I, along with the mountains, the trees and the infinitesimal array of distant stars are nothing more than a collection of atoms. Bound together by that one single constant, gravity.
We are all just tourists upon this earth. Granted a visa at birth to enable us (if lucky) to live a full and complete life upon the planet. Then sooner or later that stubborn man (or woman) behind that great immigration desk in the sky. Will stamp your life’s passport as expired and your time is done, period!
Death is commonly referred to as ‘The great equalizer’. For in the end, no matter wether born into wealth or poverty. We will all return from where we once came. It’s just simply inevitable, and that time will come upon each and everyone of of us. For that unlucky few that calling will also be sooner rather than later.
As the years, minutes and seconds become more and more precious to us all. As that unstoppable clock, minute by minute and second by second continues it’s count forever downwards in this crazy game called life. The modern world is constantly reminding, pushing and brainwashing us to conform to the norm.
Even someone such as myself, who has used travel to keep my mind fresh and for ever free has at times been backed into a corner and forced into bondage by the chains of general society. A slave to the system, and just another cog that keeps those big wheels turning. Well enough I say! It’s time to break those shackles. Flush the system and bound for freedom, and to a life that I once knew so well.
The Most Meaningful Quote I Have Ever Read
There have been many famous quotes and sayings that I’ve read throughout my life. Quotes that have brought focus and meaning to the task at hand. But for myself, in this time and place and for what Liza and I are about to embrace. It’s the infamous Mark Twain passage of yesteryear that strikes a chord with me most. It certainly puts my mind at ease for what lies ahead.
Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did so. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.
My greatest pleasure in life has always been my travels and it’s the exploration of the unknown that has been the pinnacle of all my journeys. Twains simple to read words speak to me like no other that I have read or heard, in all my days.
You May Be Wondering Why DigiDrift Has Been A Little Quiet of Late
Am I slowly fading away into the electronic ether, never to be heard again. No more posts, stories & photos from far away places. To those that have enjoyed my musings and photography over the past couple of years. ‘Fear not’, as I’m just about to turn that proverbial volume knob up to 11. Spinal Tap style.
I am finally pleased to make public the grand travel plans that Liza and I have been feverishly working on for quite some time. In fact this plan was hashed out around a friends kitchen table (where ever you are Mick. I hope your doing well mate) washed down with a number of cold beverages many years ago. Well that plan and it is now slowly beginning to come to fruition.
The Continent of Africa is Calling Once Again
During my younger years of exploring the world I ventured far and wide. An endless wander across six continents and through a vast many countries and cultures in pursuit of the two greatest things that drive me.
These two things are simply discovering the unknown and the challenge it takes to get there. I have always been curious as to what lies around that next bend. Over that next hill on the horizon, or across that next border. Although I do like to listen to and read others stories. I’ve never been one to let these opinions or information form my own judgement. I need to find my own answers.
Back in June of 2011. I wrote a post asking the question of many travelers as to ‘Why haven’t you been to Africa?’ It seemed to me (and still does) that travelers are continually being drawn to the honey pots of South East Asia and the now popular continent of South America.
In the early nineties there was barely a soul to be found in the mountains of Peru or the streets of Bogota!. It was only the truly adventurous or incredibly naive that would be found in those destinations during that time.
So I simply asked the question as to why people don’t travel to Africa in the same numbers as other destinations. The question still puzzles me as it is Africa that is the continent that I am most drawn to after 20 years of world travel across almost 100 countries. As I explained in my writing. I couldn’t quite put a finger on why I was drawn to this extremely poor, at times dangerous, but most of all fascinating and exciting of all travel destinations.
To Experience Africa In All Its Glory You Need To Leave The Beaten Path
The continent of Africa is huge. In fact its massive. Just check out the graphical representation below that shows many large nations squeezed into Africa. Including China, the USA & India amongst many others. They all fit into continental Africa and give you an indication as to just how big it is in comparison to other parts of the world.
For those that find it hard to believe. I suggest you do a quick google search on map projections and you may understand why certain parts of the world appear bigger than they actually are on certain maps.
As you can see and understand from this image. Traveling this large and diverse continent can take a great deal of time (and at times the patience of a Saint). The time attribute is one that our recent travels have lacked. Over the past few years our travels have been relatively time poor.
Well thats all about to change, as Liza and I have both quit or jobs. Boxing up our current lives and in the spirit of Mark Twain. Are about to throw caution to the wind and hit the road for our biggest travel adventure yet. But this time we wont be alone and will be traveling with a new member of the family.
Introducing Our Newest Travel Companion ‘Smokey The Bear’
I’d like to introduce you to. ‘The Bear’ a.k.a. ‘Smokey The Bear’. Our new travel companion for our long an arduous African journey. Old Smokey (there’s a story behind the name and I’ll eventually get to share that with you at some point in the future) is a Toyota Land Cruiser Troop Carrier. One of the most simple, but toughest and reliable 4×4 vehicles ever produced.
The photo above is basically the vehicle as we bought it and stock standard. Over the past few months the vehicle has been getting a make over and kitted out to become our new home for the foreseeable future. It’s not quite there yet, with many modifications still to be done.
When it’s finally ready, ‘The Bear’ will be loaded into a shipping container and sent on a 35 day journey at sea from Australia to South Africa. From where we shall start our grand adventure and the mother of all road trips.
In days gone by. For myself, planning for a particular journey was a simple as packing a bag (in all of 10 minutes), grabbing my passport and wallet and off to the airport. Well I’m afraid that this time things aren’t quite that simple. You see with the freedom of your own vehicle comes a multitude of red tape and bureaucracy. I wont bore you with the details, but lets say its not something I enjoy sorting through but none the less has to be done.
Where To In Africa? Whats The Plan Man?
This journey is all about re-discovering life. We’re not part of a team or convoy of vehicles, covered in sponsors stickers flying across the continent in world record time. We don’t have an office full of people obtaining visa’s and other documentation. As well as acquiring a multitude of local help to cross borders with the vehicle. It’s is purely and simply a dream that has spawned from many years of hard work.
This grand plan has only recently become public. Since that time, many people have asked us what our exact plan is. What countries are we going to visit and what will our route be, ect…? The answers to these questions are quite honestly, ‘I don’t really know?’ We will obviously be starting in South Africa and the basic plan is to eventually make our way across the whole continent and drive to Europe and then who knows?
The political and security situation is a moving target for much of Africa. Due to visa issues and civil war and the like. We are not really 100% sure of our route. One thing’s for sure. We shall be taking the vehicle to some of the more remote regions of Africa and the West African route is definitely our main goal with (a very basic route is outlined in the image below). Time only knows where we will end up and we don’t want to fix our plans in any real way. One things for certain, it will be one great adventure thats for sure.
So as you can see by the above there’s going to be plenty of fresh content on DigiDrift for some time to come. Just bare with me over the next couple of months whilst I put the final stages of the journey together. In the mean time, please enjoy some of my photography that will still be posted at a regular basis.
On this trip, along with my usual travel photography. I hope to bring you a great incite into life in Africa. The people, the cultures and plenty of wildlife as well. I also hope to bring you some great video footage of the journey as I begin to dip my toes into the world of the moving image. Who knows, I may even be able to get Liza to write a few posts from time to time (you will enjoy here writing, and in many ways will far surpass mine).
One of the many issue’s we will face on our African adventure is a constant internet connection. There may be times when we are out of range. On the dark side of the moon so to speak, but I will do my best to keep things moving along as best I can.