What inspired you to indulge in expedition travel?

Peter_n_Margaret

Adventurer
We always traveled and camped in the bush in Oz, but it is clear that major expeditions into remote areas was inspired by this particular expedition.
Cross Roads Alice Springs.
This is a 30 minute video of a figure eight trip across Australia in a Mini and an Austin 1800 in 1965.
We owned a 1963 Mini and for our honeymoon in 1967, we drove the N-S section of this expedition from Adelaide to Darwin, and back.
And we have been exploring the remotest corners of this vast land ever since.
1967 Darwin 1 019E.jpg1967 Darwin 1 022E.jpg1967 Darwin 1 024.jpg1967 Darwin 4 001.jpg1967 Darwin 5 014.jpg1967 Darwin 6 001.jpg1967 Mini Coober Pedy.jpg

What is your story?
Cheers,
Peter
OKA196 motorhome
 

Chugaster

New member
For me, the inspiration for expedition travel came from a deep-seated curiosity about the world and a desire to experience it in its rawest form. It all started when I stumbled upon this incredible site called https://tripsavannah.com/savannah-activities. Exploring the adventures it offered ignited a spark within me to venture beyond my comfort zone and seek out new experiences. Whether it's hiking through remote landscapes or immersing myself in different cultures, expedition travel allows me to truly connect with the world around me.
 
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Ozarker

Pontoon Admiral
I think it all started with a wrong turn in my VW bug, ending up in a river and floating down stream to a sandbar that was dry enough to sleep on. A Deputy Sherrif got stuck in a farmer's field the next morning trying to reach us to run us "kids" out of the area, we learned that a '65 Ford Galaxy should not attempt to traverse a corn field. We departed the area before the Deputy got to us, crossed the river and drove through the woods to a gravel road.
 

jim65wagon

Well-known member
Expedition Travel? I've never been on an actual expedition, however we do love to travel and we do love extended travel into the wilder areas.

Back in the late 80's (think 1988) my then girlfriend and I got into a photography class at the college we attended. She was from Pennsylvania and I was from Indiana. We met in Findlay Ohio. We began taking my 1982 Chevrolet Chevette out on the backroads of Ohio. we used an old Rand McNally Road Atlas for navigation, and a boombox set between the seats for music. We put a ton of miles on that car in search of cool photographs.

We married in 1991 and bought a 100+ year old house in Pennsylvania near to where she grew up. We began a slow rebuilding of the farmhouse which, by the way is really difficult while you are living in it and raising two children and working full-time. Her job especially took up most of her time. She worked long hours through the week and was on call every other night and every other weekend. I drove a beater of a 1980 Ford pickup with a 300 cubic inch straight six and a penchant for eating the locking hub on the front drivers side (Warn lifetime warranty for the win). I discovered a website called 4WDTRIPS and was amazed reading about people who would actually go out camping in the wild - no campgrounds needed! I never knew you could just camp anywhere!

Then in 2002 we bought a 2003 Toyota Tundra. 4wd with the Off Road package. It was amazing to drive compared to the old Ford. After years of vacations spent working on the house we needed a real vacation. Elizabeth discovered the 4WD beaches of Corolla NC and we rented a house on the beach. It was the first time I used a 4wd for anything but snow or occasional mud. It was awesome and we had a blast!

Then came along the Expedition Portal, I joined up when there was only like a hundred or so subscribers. I really enjoyed reading trip reports of people adventuring to places I would never get to see, like Australia, Africa, heck even Baja California was out of the question as an adventure for us.
Tundra 1st OBX trip 2.jpg
In 2005 we moved to the Fredericksburg Virginia area and bought a much newer house that did not require as much time investment as the old farmhouse. Elizabeth still only had 2 to 3 weeks of vacation a year (but no on call so she had a lot more free time) so doing those far away trips was out of the question for us. We bought tents, cots, and other camping equipment. I built a bed rack for the Tundra and our little family of four would venture out into the George Washington National Forest nearly every weekend. Our one week at a time vacations we would venture down to Cape Lookout National Seashore and spend a week driving up and down the beach on the island. We were bitten by an exploration bug, but time off work severely limited the distance and places we could travel. We set up some group trips on the Expedition Portal and ventured out to meet people we had only met online out in the woods of West Virginia. We met some of our best friends on that trip and we still get together at least once a year to camp.

At some point we decided that we loved our little adventures so much that we discussed how we could do a much longer trip. The idea of quitting our jobs and traveling for a year touring the United States was born. We called it our Ten Year Plan (this was about 2009 or 2010). Part of the plan was to get the kids raised and out on their own, that was the biggest reason for taking ten years to make the plan happen. We also decided that we'd use a teardrop trailer for the camp set up. The options for well built rough road teardrops at the time were few and pricey. This inspired my wife to design our own and in 2012 we finished building what is now the CrowsWing Teardrop. Since we still had 8 years to go we began using the teardrop for all of our weekend camping trips. The kids still used one of the tents, but we continued visiting National Forests in VA, WV, NC, and PA.
IMG_5673.JPG
Eventually our plan came to fruition, and if you did the math in your head a little bit ago you realized that 2020 was our launch year. We did not let a little thing like a global pandemic stop us. In June of 2020 we sold the house and took off on a year long tour of the backroads of the United States. We had more fun than we'd ever had in our lives! We saw so many amazing places! We camped in epic campsites! We did not want it to end!
20201106_172544.jpg
It was during that trip sitting in a dispersed campsite outside of Kingman Arizona that we talked about how we might continue to travel. Neither of us wanted to settle back down, buy another house, get "real" jobs that would eat up so much of our time, and those two weeks a year of vacation time would absolutely kill us emotionally.

Again, we hatched a plan. Neither of us are skilled for remote work conditions. We are more "hands on" people. However, we did know that there were people called workampers (we discovered this while building the teardrop watching YouTube) who traveled full time and picked up temporary gigs to earn their money. We settled on this: We got our licenses to do Gate Guarding on Texas Oil Fields, we bought an EPro FD19 travel trailer to work out of and rented a storage unit in Texas. This would house either the teardrop or the Epro depending on what we were doing at the moment. As of right now, I am typing this while working a gate in Texas sitting on the couch of the work Camper. In three days we leave work. We'll head to the storage unit and drop off the EPro and pick up the CrowsWing. Then we'll be free to travel for three months, a reasonably long time for travel. We strive for a 3 on 3 off work cycle.
IMG_6061.jpg

20210721_202945.jpg
Our last vacation cycle found us in White Sands, Mojave and most recently all the way down in Baja. A trip that would never have been possible for us in our old lifestyle. We certainly don't do Expedition Travel, and we don't consider ourselves as Overlanders. We're more of a crossover between Overlanders and Full-Time RVers. I don't know what you'd call it but I call it fun.
19.jpg


TL;DR version:
4WDTRIPS.net and the Expedition Portal fueled our passion for exploring our world....
 
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Ozarker

Pontoon Admiral
I didn't answer the question did I?

"Expedition" travels, I don't, neither do 95% of the folks on this site, at least according to this site's definition. I'm not going on any scientific, military, geographical study, no formal educational purpose other than my own curiosity. :)

Full time campers, vagabonds, wealthy fun seeking adventurers, homeless folks, retirees, purposeful travelers and vacationers, weekend warriors and Fuller Brush salesmen, all traveling and parking under the stars.
 
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Markal

Active member
Expedition Travel? I've never been on an actual expedition, however we do love to travel and we do love extended travel into the wilder areas.

Back in the late 80's (think 1988) my then girlfriend and I got into a photography class at the college we attended. She was from Pennsylvania and I was from Indiana. We met in Findlay Ohio. We began taking my 1982 Chevrolet Chevette out on the backroads of Ohio. we used an old Rand McNally Road Atlas for navigation, and a boombox set between the seats for music. We put a ton of miles on that car in search of cool photographs.

We married in 1991 and bought a 100+ year old house in Pennsylvania near to where she grew up. We began a slow rebuilding of the farmhouse which, by the way is really difficult while you are living in it and raising two children and working full-time. Her job especially took up most of her time. She worked long hours through the week and was on call every other night and every other weekend. I drove a beater of a 1980 Ford pickup with a 300 cubic inch straight six and a penchant for eating the locking hub on the front drivers side (Warn lifetime warranty for the win). I discovered a website called 4WDTRIPS and was amazed reading about people who would actually go out camping in the wild - no campgrounds needed! I never knew you could just camp anywhere!

Then in 2002 we bought a 2003 Toyota Tundra. 4wd with the Off Road package. It was amazing to drive compared to the old Ford. After years of vacations spent working on the house we needed a real vacation. Elizabeth discovered the 4WD beaches of Corolla NC and we rented a house on the beach. It was the first time I used a 4wd for anything but snow or occasional mud. It was awesome and we had a blast!

Then came along the Expedition Portal, I joined up when there was only like a hundred or so subscribers. I really enjoyed reading trip reports of people adventuring to places I would never get to see, like Australia, Africa, heck even Baja California was out of the question as an adventure for us.
View attachment 826821
In 2005 we moved to the Fredericksburg Virginia area and bought a much newer house that did not require as much time investment as the old farmhouse. Elizabeth still only had 2 to 3 weeks of vacation a year (but no on call so she had a lot more free time) so doing those far away trips was out of the question for us. We bought tents, cots, and other camping equipment. I built a bed rack for the Tundra and our little family of four would venture out into the George Washington National Forest nearly every weekend. Our one week at a time vacations we would venture down to Cape Lookout National Seashore and spend a week driving up and down the beach on the island. We were bitten by an exploration bug, but time off work severely limited the distance and places we could travel. We set up some group trips on the Expedition Portal and ventured out to meet people we had only met online out in the woods of West Virginia. We met some of our best friends on that trip and we still get together at least once a year to camp.

At some point we decided that we loved our little adventures so much that we discussed how we could do a much longer trip. The idea of quitting our jobs and traveling for a year touring the United States was born. We called it our Ten Year Plan (this was about 2009 or 2010). Part of the plan was to get the kids raised and out on their own, that was the biggest reason for taking ten years to make the plan happen. We also decided that we'd use a teardrop trailer for the camp set up. The options for well built rough road teardrops at the time were few and pricey. This inspired my wife to design our own and in 2012 we finished building what is now the CrowsWing Teardrop. Since we still had 8 years to go we began using the teardrop for all of our weekend camping trips. The kids still used one of the tents, but we continued visiting National Forests in VA, WV, NC, and PA.
View attachment 826819
Eventually our plan came to fruition, and if you did the math in your head a little bit ago you realized that 2020 was our launch year. We did not let a little thing like a global pandemic stop us. In June of 2020 we sold the house and took off on a year long tour of the backroads of the United States. We had more fun than we'd ever had in our lives! We saw so many amazing places! We camped in epic campsites! We did not want it to end!
View attachment 826822
It was during that trip sitting in a dispersed campsite outside of Kingman Arizona that we talked about how we might continue to travel. Neither of us wanted to settle back down, buy another house, get "real" jobs that would eat up so much of our time, and those two weeks a year of vacation time would absolutely kill us emotionally.

Again, we hatched a plan. Neither of us are skilled for remote work conditions. We are more "hands on" people. However, we did know that there were people called workampers (we discovered this while building the teardrop watching YouTube) who traveled full time and picked up temporary gigs to earn their money. We settled on this: We got our licenses to do Gate Guarding on Texas Oil Fields, we bought an EPro FD19 travel trailer to work out of and rented a storage unit in Texas. This would house either the teardrop or the Epro depending on what we were doing at the moment. As of right now, I am typing this while working a gate in Texas sitting on the couch of the work Camper. In three days we leave work. We'll head to the storage unit and drop off the EPro and pick up the CrowsWing. Then we'll be free to travel for three months, a reasonably long time for travel. We strive for a 3 on 3 off work cycle.
View attachment 826824

View attachment 826823
Our last vacation cycle found us in White Sands, Mojave and most recently all the way down in Baja. A trip that would never have been possible for us in our old lifestyle. We certainly don't do Expedition Travel, and we don't consider ourselves as Overlanders. We're more of a crossover between Overlanders and Full-Time RVers. I don't know what you'd call it but I call it fun.
View attachment 826825


TL;DR version:
4WDTRIPS.net and the Expedition Portal fueled our passion for exploring our world....
This is a great story. Very glad you and your wife found a way to make exploration a central part of your lives. This is something we aspire to do as well.
 

Markal

Active member
Happy to see posts acknowledging that very little of the travel planned and described on this site is true "expedition travel." While I enjoy this site, I HATE that term. I have not done any expedition travel and probably never will. But I've always traveled, mostly road trips and mostly camping. We used to backpack a lot but grew tired of the discomforts and we mostly "car camp" now with a tear drop trailer (or occasionally tents). We hope to make travel a bigger part of lives as we progress toward an early retirement (or, more likely, early semi-retirement).

What inspired me? I traveled as a kid with my family, mostly road trips. And somehow in my college years I fell in love with wilderness and camping (we never camped when I was a kid). I seem to love the combination of novelty, landscape exploration, and spontaneity afforded by overland travel.
 

Ozarker

Pontoon Admiral
Happy to see posts acknowledging that very little of the travel planned and described on this site is true "expedition travel." While I enjoy this site, I HATE that term. I have not done any expedition travel and probably never will.

Gotta say, the site is probably named to make it as exciting for those seeking adventure from a recliner. When the goal is to drive your full mod vehicle over an area that thousands have traversed before you, you need to add something to get attention.

Selling the sizzle, not the bacon is the foundation of this "industry", from vehicles to equipment modifications, camping items to vacation destinations, it's all about the $.
 

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