Departure day

Utrecht Travel Blog

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Johan & his car before the accident

From the first moment I met Johan he was talking about his lifetime dream:  One day he was going to travel overland from Rotterdam to South Africa. He called it the Big One Five, after the roughly 15.000 kilometres he would have to travel from Rotterdam to Cape Town. A lot of people dream dreams, but not everyone is willing to pay the price to make them come true. Johan did. He started saving money; stopped going on holidays to save vacation days, found a travel buddy, bought a 4x4 and in the end quit his home and job. On January 2nd 2008 he started his journey. You can read about it on his website: (in Dutch), though his backlog in blogging is almost rivalling mine.

I donâ��t have the guts to quit my job and go travel like that, but we agreed that I would come and visit Johan for a couple of months while he was in Southern Africa. I had wanted to go for three to four months. My boss didnâ��t quite agree with that and said 6 weeks was the absolute maximum time off I could get; we settled on 2+ months.

As far as we had a plan it was something like this:  Starting from Johannesburg we would go down to Lesotho, then go north, either going left around Zimbabwe via Botswana/Zambia, or east via Mozambique to end up in Malawi. Not a very detailed plan, I admit. You could say Johan and I are not the best planners in the world, but maybe we just knew things donâ��t always go as planned: Two weeks before my departure date Johan had a serious car accident. Fortunately Johan was not seriously injured. He will proudly show you his 3mm sized scar on his arm, but after seeing pictures of his car I thinkt it was a miracle he came out unharmed like this. The car was wrecked; after surviving the bad roads in dozens of African countries  it reached its final destination on a highway in South Africa. The car was not just his means of transportation, the roof top tent also made it his home; for a moment his whole trip seemed up in the air, but Johan was determined not to let anything spoil his trip and do anything to keep travelling. Where thereâ��s a will thereâ��s a way, so everything worked out in the end.



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Johan & his car before the accident
Johan & his car before the accident
photo by: krysleigh