So what is the Collective? Since finishing the expedition in 2009, we’ve been working on several other projects ranging from a documentary television series about the original expedition to experiential travel guides. The original expedition website served its purpose well, so we’ve decided to keep it as an archive, memorializing the project that started everything. Our hope is that it will continue to be a great resource for people who want to learn more about the original expedition, serving as a blueprint for a successful expedition people can use in planning their own adventures. Read more
One of our exciting new projects is the 42 Years Later documentary project. After the original expedition was stopped in its tracks and forced to divert down the west coast of Africa, we had a personal vendetta against Gaddafi and his unofficial policy of banning Americans from entering Libya. We still made some contacts in the process and have now launched a project to answer the question: What does it take to spark a rebellion?
People often ask me why my idea of fun consists of going up into the mountains and running for several hours at a time. In part, I enjoy the physical challenge and the sense of accomplishment, but another significant motivational factor is that when I escape into the depths of the forest, it’s quiet. Technological advances have made it easier and faster for us to access information, but a barrage of information is now projected in our direction in a bandwidth that’s deafening. In these modern times, it seems as though quiet has become a luxury.
I recently came across an interesting article by author Pico Iyer in the New York Times entitled The Joy of Quiet. Iyer has noticed a similar trend, citing internet rescue camps in South Korea and China for kids addicted to the web, and how he finds refuge in a Benedictine hermitage where he periodically retreats to drown out the excessive noise of the information age. In his own words, “nothing makes me feel better – calmer, clearer and happier – than being in one place, absorbed in a book, a conversation, a piece of music.”
Bulgaria. Whenever I mention I’ve been to Bulgaria, I’m surprised by a common response: “Wow, I’ve always wanted to go to South America, it must be nice.” Bulgaria, not to be confused with Bolivia, is tucked away in the southeast corner of Europe and easily makes up for what it may lack in name recognition with a deep and fascinating history, diverse landscapes and a culture rich in tradition and hospitality.
My first exposure to Bulgaria came in 2007. On The World by Road, Bulgaria represented the gateway to Europe. The newly inducted member of the European Union offered a change of pace, culturally, from months spent driving through the Muslim oriented countries of Central Asia. It wasn’t until I saw a Christmas tree in Bulgaria that I realized what time of year it was. Unfortunately, our stay in Bulgaria was short, but my curiosity had been sparked and I vowed to return one day to explore more of this intriguing country. Three years later, I fulfilled that vow and Bulgaria didn’t disappoint. Read more
For many, driving a big SUV is the root of all climate change evils. For others it is a means for their job, a lifestyle, or a way to get the soccer team to the game. During the expedition we called our trucks home for two and a half years. Whatever your reason for owning a gas guzzler, ToyTec Lifts will turn your giant vehicle into a smooth ride.
Before The World by Road Expedition began, ToyTec was one of the earliest sponsors for the trucks. Unlike many other sponsors, ToyTec jumped right on board. They did not worry about the long winded pitches or raise concerns about the probability of success of the expedition. Doug, the owner of ToyTec, had different motivations than other sponsors. Read more
When traveling, vacationing or just going on a short trip somewhere, one of the first considerations that needs to be made after the plane tickets have been bought is what luggage to bring. In an age where people duke it out for premium overhead bin space and checked bags can set you back as much as the actual ticket, deciding what to bring and what to bring it in can be challenging. One versatile piece of luggage that has proven to be one of my go to bags is The North Face Base Camp Duffel. Read more
Muammar Gaddafi waves goodbye (photo from PressTV)
2011 was a year of unprecedented change around the world. Grassroots protests topped longstanding dictatorships while others succumbed to natural causes. Time magazine selected The Protester as its person of the year for 2011 and with all the change protesters helped bring about in the world in 2011, 2012 is shaping up to be a year for travelers. In 2008, The World by Road was stopped dead in its tracks; barred entry to Libya because we were Americans. Three years later, the Arab Spring saw the forced resignations of long serving authoritarians in Tunisia and Egypt. Libya’s Col. Muammar Gaddafi didn’t go as willingly and was later captured and killed by rebel forces ending a bloody six month civil war. Protests have also gained momentum in Yemen, Bahrain, Syria, and most recently Russia, and if the events of North Africa are any indication, change is on the horizon in those countries as well. Read more