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My Life Needs an Enema (It’s Time For a New Chapter!)

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!

What Now?

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.

The True Size of Africa

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.

Our Vehicle - Smokey The Bear

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.

Our Planned Route Across Africa

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.

Safe travels….


A Little More About The Author

Jason has traveled the world extensively during the last 20 years, with overland journeys on six continents and across over 90 countries. This site serves as a chronicle of the images and tales from these journeys, as well as offering advice and general information for other like minded travelers.

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32 Great Comments So Far (Have Your Say)

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  1. Nate says:

    Fantastic adventure mate, good luck, I’m very jealous. Signed up for blog updates.

    • Jason says:

      Hey Nate, Thanks mate. Yeah it should be an epic journey. It’s been so long in the planning, we just want to get going. Safe travels mate…

  2. John says:

    Thanks for sharing your past journey’s through your blog. I can’t wait to follow your “Great African Adventure”! Best of luck and safe travels to you, Liza and The Bear.

    • Jason says:

      Hey John, Yes there’s a few stories their and also many that will remain untold. I hope to be able to share as much as possible of our Africa journey. Internet will be an issue but there will be times when we are bailed up in a city and waiting for visa’s ect. This is when I shall get most of the updates to DigiDrift uploaded. Thanks for the well wishing mate. We may need it…

  3. Drummo says:

    Nice photo of smokey. Think I recognize the background. Maybe you could take another photo all kitted out for Africa. I’m pumped that your journey is starting at my place at birregurra. I hope you can finish there too. I also hope to meet you in some far off destination. That would be fitting as our first meeting took place in India many years ago. I think it was you who told me that you could zig or zag and sometimes when you zig you should have zagged. But that is the risk and reward of travel. Good luck and I look forward to living a little through your blog while us mortals go about our daily lives. go hawks. Cheers Drummo

    • Jason says:

      Thanks mate, Appreciate the kind words and I am currently writing this reply from your comfortable couch at Birregurra. It would be great to see yourself and Jane come over to some far flung destination for a catch up. (Thats if we ever leave Birri!)……

  4. Wow, that sounds like an amazing trip. I did a camping trip across Africa and I loved it: the continent is just so diverse.
    Am loving your blog too and your philosophy. I will definitely be following your travels. Have an epic time!

    • Jason says:

      Hey Lisa, Yes it certainly is going to be one big adventure that’s for sure but it’s not going to be smooth sailing all the way. We are going to run up against some hard and frustrating times no doubt.

      Glad you like the site and I hope you enjoy the updates from our African adventure. It’s always great to connect with like minded travellers.

  5. A great journey ahead. You’ll love the West African leg – fascinating, remote, and fairly untouched by tourism. I still haven’t decided – but I might be in the south of the continent by March 2013(?)

    • Jason says:

      Hey Michael, It’s certainly going to be an adventure and West Africa is a region I am yet to visit so it is the main goal of our journey. Untouched by tourism is what we are looking for.

  6. Katy Mercer says:

    Hi Jason
    Wow! Your plans are amazing and I so agree with your favourite quote. I am at a crossroads too having just been made redundant from a job I was beginning to hate I feel like a window of opportunity has just been opened for me. I just have to take it…but there is some fear there. It’s great to read then at this particular point in my life inspiring blogs like yours. Keep posting I’ll love to hear about your adventures. Have fun and adventure but stay safe.
    Katy Sydney Australia

    • Jason says:

      Hey Katy, It’s amazing how some things in life seem to work out. As they say, ‘One door close’s, and another door opens’. We all seem to get trapped into the confines of the modern world at times and when something such as your redundancy pops up, it gives us a new perspective. Indeed it seems that you may also be at the cross roads.

      Stay tuned as there will be plenty of adventure going forward.

  7. Andy says:

    Jason, I really enjoyed reading this article. You have a unique perspective on life. What you say is so true, our time is limited. It is hard to see now, but it is. We should live every moment to the absolute fullest and reminders like your quote on letting go of the shore, helps us to do that. I have dreamed of traversing Africa in a manner as you and company are planning. In many ways, it is one of the last great frontiers for the traveling soul. On this trip you are going to have highs and lows, but you’ll never forget either of them. Travel on my friend, I’ll be following.

    • Jason says:

      Hey Andy, When I was younger I travelled the world with great vigour. Over the preceding years both Liza and I still traveled quite a bit but not in the same manor. They were shorter and more intense trips and we would always be have returning home on our minds. This takes away from the whole experience just a little and that intense feeling of freedom was not with us.

      I hope this next adventure lets my mind be truly free agin as we begin to explore many places in Africa I am yet to visit. Travel has always had it’s highs and lows for me. On a trip such as this in reality it will probably be about 50/50. It’s not going to be easy thats for sure. Thanks for stopping by mate and safe travels to you…

  8. Nyle Keith Walton says:

    Your map of Africa showing it’s proportionate size with a host of countries inside it is a geography lesson in it’s self. I congratulate you.

    • Jason says:

      Hey Nyle,

      I found the map a few years back whilst searching the web. It is freely available to download and it comes in larger sizes than what I have posted here. I think it’s important for people to understand just how big it really is.

      When looking at some map projections. I look at Scandinavia and it looks massive and about half the size of Australia due to it’s Northern latitude. When you look at it on a globe or properly projected for size it’s no where near that size.

  9. Risovic says:

    This trip will be very interesting! Sometimes a little dangerous .. I think in some countries of Africa! My vote goes to South Africa
    ! I was there! Beautiful country – full of controversy! You’ll see! But you’ll enjoy.! Pleasant journey! Can not wait impressions!

    • Jason says:

      Hey Risovic,

      Your certainly right. It will be interesting and at times will test our resolve but in the end it will be one great adventure. I’ve been to South Africa before and I enjoyed my time their. I was a younger lad then and hitched hiked all over the country. Now with my own vehicle I will be able to see many more remote places.

  10. Carly says:

    Sounds impressive, i’ve only been to Tanzania, it’s certainly a fascinating continent…maybe a little scary though!

    • Jason says:

      Hey Carly,

      Yes it’s certainly a fascinating continent and I’m getting a little excited about my up and coming adventure that’s for sure. I don’t think I will be back to Tanzania on this trip but you never know.

  11. J.Thal says:

    Good news, great plans, and high hopes for your daring feat. Once you both complete this great dream, you will equal or surpass my 123 countries, story appeared on the Guinness book of 1996 – 2000

    Hopefully it is false alarm… but to prevent the worst, be sure to take backpacks as well. Africa too has its desire to surprise the traveler unexpectedly. And once you keep the warning in mind nothing bad might really happened. Waiting for those thousands photos. Safe travels!!!

    • Jason says:

      Hi Jonathan,

      It certainly is a big dream and I can’t wait to get going. There is just so much to do before we actually head off though. We’ll certainly have the backpacks stowed away in the vehicle for use when required. On this trip, having the vehicle will allow me to take a fair bit of photography gear with me. I will be doing my best to capture as much as i can. Including video footage as well.

  12. Nyle Walton says:

    Jason: How I envy you for making such elaborate plans. If I were fifty years younger I could be doing the same. The wonderful thing about world travel nowadays is that you are never very far from home. With the Internet and mobile phones you could be thousands of miles away and still next door. Keep the good stuff coming.

    • Jason says:

      Hey Nyle,

      If I can achieve half as much as what you experienced throughout your travels i’ll be happy. I agree with the connection to home via modern technology and how it can take away a little from the experience at hand by being connected to home in some way.

      One things for sure though. Africa is still going to be tough to get connected to the net except for large cities and towns. So we will be out of range for many weeks at a time I guess.

  13. Ivy says:

    I certainly will follow your blog if you’re going to Africa ! I hope also that we are going to learn a lot about wildlife and how they manage to help endangered wild animals in this continent.

    • Jason says:

      Hey Ivy,

      Both Liza and I are great lovers of animals and both love our wildlife. I will no doubt be posting many images of wildlife during my time on the African content. I hope to have the time to really get some great images and traveling with our own vehicle should grant us that wish.

  14. Dean says:

    Good on ya Jason. This sounds like it is going to be an adventure of a lifetime. I’m looking forward to reading your stories from the road. Cheers mate.

    • Jason says:

      Hey Dean,

      Thanks mate. Yes it’s going to be one great adventure thats for sure. It will be long and slow, as we make our way across the continent thats for sure. We won’t be in any rush on this trip, and hopefully get into many adventures along the way that we will write about.

  15. I agree with James… Epic trip. That Bear is damn spanking top of the line! Good luck on your travels!

    • Jason says:

      Hey Christine,

      Thanks for that. Yes the bear is looking quite shiny in the picture. No doubt he will be getting nice and dirty when we arrive in Africa. He’s just about ready to make a test drive across Australia before we leave and now looks quite different that the image in this post.

  16. Now that is what I call an epic trip! I look forward to your upcoming posts.

    • Jason says:

      Hey James,

      Yeah mate it’s an epic journey thats for sure. Still a bit of work to do yet before we leave but it’s coming together slowly but surely. There’s just so much more to do on a trip like this than the travels I’ve been used to over the years.

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