What would make two almost 50-year olds dive into the world of Overlanding? In a word...Adventure!
Technically, our jump into overlanding started 3 - 4 years ago with a serious investigation into the live-aboard lifestyle as a potential retirement option for Dean and me. We researched heavily, went to boat shows in Annapolis and Miami. I crunched numbers on purchase costs and attended webinars on tax options while Dean researched specs and equipment options. After two years of some serious research and consideration, we decided that 50' catamarans are an expensive retirement plan. Plus, we also wanted to have more travel options and the ability to spend time with family and friends where they are, versus forcing them to travel to us in the Caribbean. So we shelved that plan and started thinking about other options.
While the live-aboard option didn't seem to fit all our needs, the thought of an adventurous life at sea never really left the minds of either of us. Make no mistake...the thought of snorkeling in the Caribbean, exploring uninhabited tropical islands and meeting new cultures is right up my alley. But I was always just a little uneasy about the danger that comes with being in the middle of a vast ocean. Storms, pirates and injuries to name a few.
One day, Dean excitedly sent me a couple of YouTube links showing examples of people living the Overlanding lifestyle. This was a way to combine camping, which was a huge part of my life as a kid, with exploring the most beautiful parts of our country. This idea essentially ticked off so many of our retirement needs, with adventure being at the top. I cannot wait to explore our national parks and forests. Dean cannot wait to camp and fish at the edge of the ocean - any ocean! We both are eager to simplify our lives and learn to live in a much more self-sufficient manor. Plus, overlanding allows for a ton of flexibility in our lives, including working when we need to in order to supplement our retirement savings.
We still have a few years before we're ready to retire full time. But we'll spend the time between now and then exploring one long weekend or week (or two!) at a time. We'll test out our equipment and develop best practices for camping, cooking, routing, reparis, etc. What's even more exciting is that we know there is a whole community of overlanders waiting to welcome us and add to our education with their own learnings and best practices. Our first official overlanding adventure will be the Overland East Expo in Arrington, VA in October.
Hope to see you there!