I thought it was an adventure,
in reality it was life.
Karlsruhe- Capetown – Cairo.
25 Countries, 2 Continents, 1 Couple, 1 Land Rover, 1 Year – that’s the plan in a nutshell.
But Why? Why on earth would either of you do this? Why 1 year? Why Africa?
For me (Loyal), the adventure itself is the reason. The experience to live with so many cultures. The ability to see a side of nature, which many “westerners” do not get a chance to see. After 7 years of punching (sometimes literally punching) the clock, working to bring a concept into production in the automotive industry, it is time for a change. Something completely different. This adventure is, for me, that change. A chance to broaden my horizons and experience another side of life. To step out of the safe cubicle walls and into the chaos and grit of unknown places and cultures. To meet people and hear their stories and share my stories with them. To see animals and landscapes of which I have only seen in pictures to date with my own eyes. That is the adventure I am looking for. A real life National Geographic experience!
For me (Astrid) the adventure began 12 years ago, with my first trip to Africa (Ghana). Directly upon my arrival in Ghana, I experienced an incredible feeling of “coming home“; as the warm humid air and infamous red dust blew across my face, welcomed me to a home I had never known I had. The feeling grew over the following weeks until I eventually cancelled my return flight to stay until I could no longer ignore reality and finally returned to Germany just in time for the fall semester of my university. Since then, the african continent has lured me year after year, for at least 6 weeks per visit, to its red sand, warm air, and slow pace. During these departures, I have travelled to Ghana, Togo, Benin, Burkina Faso, Niger and Mali in West Africa as well as Tanzania, Kenya, Uganda and Rwanda in East Africa. Every country and every visit has been very unique; however there has always been one constant: In Africa, I feel great. Here I feel „at home“.
For the past 12 years, I have dreamt of driving around the continent in a Land Rover. For the past 12 years, people have told me time over time: „This is crazy!“, “How are you going to do that?“, „Aren’t you afraid? That seems so dangerous!“ Concerning Africa, I have never been afraid. I have all necessary vaccinations; I have a prophylaxis against malaria; I have the ability to take care of myself. African life isn’t more dangerous or risky than our life here – the perception of the danger is only amplified by “western” media. African life is not per definition more dangerous than our (western) life. African life is, however, different from our life here, and that´s why it is important to prepare for and adapt yourself to the local conditions. You will need a good dose of patience (everything seems to take 10 times as long as here), plus an openness for new and unknown mentalities, tastes and of course sanitary standards. The former can be a seemingly insurmountable hurdle to overcome!
Now I am so happy that my dream will become a reality and I cannot wait to start the voyage. My only hesitation is that after this year of travelling around Africa, I will not want to return to my „old life“. Is this crazy? That’s for you to decide.
For us the adventure is our honeymoon. A time for us to strengthen our bond. 1 year in a small car is a long time. Over this year we will share many experiences. Through these experiences we hope to become even closer and to grow together as individuals as well as a pair.