The Dream Becomes a Reality
In 2005 we took a step of faith
Booked a campervan and plane tickets
Venturing into the unknown with minimal planning
With our two young daughters, we embarked on a dream holiday. The internet back then was limited and our dialup connection was useless anyway. So not knowing what to expect, armed with a rough route and some printed guides, but otherwise totally unprepared, we ventured into the unknown.
There was no cell phone or GPS, we had to rely on a German map book we bought, my wife doing her best to navigate foreign language street names and me trying to drive the very bulky van on the wrong side of the road. We wasted many hours driving around in circles and getting lost.
It was a truly amazing adventure with daily challenges, from leaving my drivers license in SA, to losing each other for hours without a means to communicate and to getting stuck with the van in an underground parking area. We made many more amazing memories, including driving the full Monza Grand Prix in a campervan.
The trip was Life Changing for each of us!
We knew we were on the right track. Since then we have planned extensively before each trip. This included a detailed route with all distances, time allocated for all traveling, and time allocated to each place we planned to visit. Overnight stops were predetermined and, in later trips, exact parking was found using Google street view. We made sure we found free parking for most stops and wild camped (free) a large majority of the nights.
We made sure we had a GPS loaded with all the waypoints for each trip. Local sim cards were purchased so that we could communicate with each other and make emergency calls. In earlier trips we relied on McDonalds free Wi-Fi for internet access and Skyping home. Recently we have been able to get Europe wide mobile internet.
With all this planning we still had the flexability to change or adjust the route. If we spent more time than expected in a place, or we drove through an interesting town, or a cool event was happening, we made adjusments. Either saving time elsewhere or cutting out somewhere, we were still the artists of our trip.