A tale of infinite adventures
By Natalie M
Travelling was always a part of my life. Even when I was ten years old I was desperately waiting for school travels. I would pack my suitcase three weeks in advance just to foster my excitement about seeing new things and getting out and about.
Then the day came having “just” three weeks holiday wasn’t satisfying anymore. I always travelled to see the real world. It’s great seeing beautiful landscapes and I cannot get enough of seeing animals out in the wilderness but I also want to experience how people live their daily lives. Three weeks is often not long enough to truly absorb another culture. So, I decided to take half a year off from work and backpack through West Africa.
After two weeks on the road, feeling the freedom under my feet, I realised: There is no way of going back to my old office job. An overwhelming and captivating feeling of freedom was dragging me away and since then travelling has taken over my life.
I applied with a big adventure overlanding company as a tour leader and driver. I did my truck license and a learnt how to fix big 15-Ton Mercedes trucks. Soon I would be out in the middle of nowhere in Africa or South America and might have to fix a broken spring or changing a head gasket! Travelling the world driving a big truck actually means your life becomes travel and travel is life: I did not only see amazing places like Victoria or Iguaçu Falls, saw lions chasing gazelles or trekked up to Machu Picchu.
It also allowed me to spend most of my time “in daily lives around the world”. I fixed my truck many times in workshops in Tanzania, Kenya or Brazil while trying to communicate to the mechanics in broken Spanish or Swahili (and disturbing their world by being a female truck driver). I was invited for lunches, dinners and uncountable teas and coffees. I shopped at many markets in Ethiopia trying to find enough ingredients for cooking dinner. And I started getting to know the life stories of local guides, shop and camp ground owners. Seeing road blocks in South America, chasing for diesel in Malawi and Ethiopia due to fuel shortages or kids screaming for water bottles gives you a pretty good impression about the daily life: People struggling around the world facing challenges every day. But also people laughing their worries away: day by day!
I love being on the road so much that I went a step further and started together with Dave (who I met working in Africa with) our own tour company Infinite Adventures. We decided to remodel an old yellow school bus into an overland vehicle. The first season we want to go up to Alaska and the Western US. Being out in the wilderness and taking like-minded people with us on our adventures. I love the road. No day is like another and I cannot wait to see my first bear and experience how people live their daily lives up in Alaska! A place known as the last frontier: Man and Woman facing the wilderness and the roughness but also the beauty of nature most year round!
Check out my video on Alaska.
You can follow me on twitter at @InfiniteAdv.