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Changing Times | Is The Sense Of Adventure Not The Same ?

Overland Journals - Chobe National Park, Botswana

So here I am planning my next outback trip. Trying to decide on a route and match that with the number of days I will have to take off, what I need to carry and how self-sufficient my wife and I will have to be.

Living in the “information age” researching for pre-trip planning is so much easier compared to how it was when I first started overlanding. Today there is a wealth of information online as well as in print. From GPS aided digital maps to track conditions to facilities available (or the lack of), to what difficulties others have experienced in the past, to accurate weather forecasting, to an abundance of pictures of almost every single place I can think of travelling to. This applies to even the most remote of places in Australia (even other continents for that matter).

With crocs galore getting stuck was not an option.

As I do my research and trip planning a thought that came to my mind was how it was back in the day. I started overlanding back in the 80’s in Africa. On a shoestring budget, a friend and I had purchased a 4×4 that had seen better days, got our selves a map, spoke to some folks at the local pub (who had heard from someone else, who in turn had heard from someone else) of places to travel to (usually very remote) and thereafter away we went.

At times we had to make our own tracks

We had absolutely no clue what to expect, yet armed simply with a poorly detailed map and a compass we embarked on our trips. In fact, this was how we always did our Overlanding trips until GPSs and detailed maps came along about ten years later. It may sound as if we were complete naive idiots looking for a disaster to strike. However, it was the complete opposite. Whilst there are many times when we had breakdowns and got stranded in the middle of nowhere, we were always very sensible about what we were doing.

At times the road just ended. So had to backtrack and find an alternative route.

By the way, forgot to mention – back then there was no mobile phones or SAT phones (not even portable GPS aided emergency beacons), no fridges to keep our food fresh (or beverages cold) and certainly no driving aids such as traction control.

The lack of information on what lay ahead of me added to the euphoria of adventure. Every kilometre driven was an adventure. This gave true meaning to the saying “it’s about the journey rather than the destination.” Even if I did a trip to a place I had already been to the feeling was still the same because the level of uncertainties had not changed.

My mind now reverts back to the present and ask myself if we have we moved away from true adventure travel to “playing it safe?”

Live life to the fullest, it’s too short to procrastinate!
Duncan Udawatta

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