Russ discusses Overlanding’s impact on Overlanders and how it changes lives.
This impact was first noticed in an attitude shift of a younger couple who began their journey in Cape Town South Africa.
Like most of us newbies they started out with a conquering excitement as they designed and built their vehicle, aggressively planned their trip and put out a detailed blog to keep the world informed of their discoveries and achievements.
As the trip progressed their attitude seemed to soften and their posts came less often. I took it as boredom or maybe the trip was a disappointment. But it was something very different.
Recently we met a Hollander who had traversed Europe, the Middle East and most of Africa alone for the past year in a 1993 Land Cruiser and was working his way back home.
After he sent a quick email he simple sat with his sandwich dinner for what seemed hours staring into space. Again I thought he might be overwhelmed or terribly lonely. He turned out to be a fascinating, educated and gregarious guy content in his own thoughts.
Our last three visits to Africa have been intensely scheduled and exciting, full of meetings with many good people. This time after deciding to live here as OVERLANDERS for 6 months with no set schedule, I think we are starting to understand what OVERLANDING does to you.
Instead of filling time, time starts to fill you.
There is no stress to prove anything, just time to follow your immediate passion and feel peace in daily experiences.
Now you won’t have to join a hippy commune or sing Cumbaya every night around the campfire, unless those are your passions. But you will find you in the challenges and vast experiences as you couldn’t before among the chaos and expectations.
Time Filling Me at Sunrise in Namib Deseert
People become more important to you for who they are and not for what you can prove to them.
Finally you notice the intricate details of your surroundings; from vast landscapes to the industry and efficiency of termites. The miracle of life unfolds and you’re in it.
I have always been grateful for these miracles, but to slow down and listen for an extended period instead of fleetingly has been the great gift of OVERLANDING.
Having the luxury of being semi-retired we were pushed us into this beautiful circumstance but last week we met a couple our age from Germany who have come to Namibia twice a year for a total of 3 months for the last 14 years to OVERLAND in their Land Rover.
He first made videos and slide shows to show off their adventures. But as he says, “Nobody gets it, nobody cares, but we do!”
How do you share something like beauty, peace, and taking each day as a gift while letting it unfold? It’s like trying to explain chocolate to a bushman.
Although I wish we had started our OVERLANDING earlier, there is still lots of time ahead to fill us.
ENJOY THE DAY AND DO GOOD.
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