At the end of 2011 we quit our jobs and set off in our 1984 Volkswagen Vanagon, "Nacho". Our plan? To circumnavigate the globe, slowly, while discovering culture, food, recreation, and emergency roadside Volkswagen maintenance. We are Brad and Sheena. Just wingin' it.
Lately we’ve been almost altogether absent from all forms of online activity; Facebook left unattended, blog without update. I imagine the world has pretty much forgotten that we exist. So what’s the deal? Retraction from society? Playing the hermit? Having so much fun that there’s no time to stop and post a selfie to Instagram? Impossible! We don’t even have Instagram! Truth is the tell-worthy tales are piling up but I’m systematically suppressing them in order to stay focused; we hope to release our next book at the Overland Expo, and so every spare moment that I’m not working or eating or sleeping or giving Sheena a back rub, I’ve been writing new content for our book. Eye on the prize! (more…)
Way back in the far off distant beginning, I wrote about the day that I quit my job. After I had broken the news that I would be leaving to the CEO of my company, he invited me to lunch and did his best to convince me not to go, and in the end suggested I see a shrink. For the sake of simplicity, in that story I opted not to mention that the company’s former CEO was also at lunch with us that day. Thus, it was both the former and current CEOs teaming up to try to convince me not to quit my perfectly good job to move into my van and drive around the world. But something funny happened at lunch that day. (more…)
With our foam mattress cover folded out of the way, I laid out the last of our contraband on the bed. I leaned back, wiped the sweat from my forehead, and inspected my work. I carefully rolled the mattress cover out over the bed, concealing the bounty in a foam sandwich. I smoothed the yak hair blanket over the whole mess and crawled down into Nacho’s living quarters where Sheena had just finished stuffing the rest of our contraband under the couch. Using the power drill I ran two screws through the bottom of the seat and tested it to be sure it couldn’t be opened. I got out, picked up the ugly chicken wire cage that I had built on the bank of the canal and slid it into place behind the front seats.
“Let’s just hope they don’t find any of this,” I said. Sheena nodded, nervously wringing her hands. A rower sliced through the dark water of the canal, barely taking notice of us inspecting our work. Scraps of chicken wire and wood littered the ground around the van. (more…)
We reached Varanasi terribly late on the fourth day of our drive to Nepal. Varanasi was to be our much needed intermission point; a place to stretch our legs, build back our endurance, and wash off the caked dirt plastered on our skin. At some point in the evening the plan was to reconnect with Regina and David at a hotel in the city where past overlanders had supposedly camped. We had lost contact with them earlier in the day, but given the state of the roads and their higher clearance vehicle, we were pretty sure they’d beat us to Varanasi. (more…)