So the question to myself as I sat here on the sofa at the weekend, with my dog cuddled up next to me, was; what could I do that would make me a happier person?
I sat and pondered this for a while and I came to two conclusions. Those two combined would give me one epic idea. I'd like to know your thoughts on this.
I've always been one to enjoy travelling, its a passion of mine, exploring new cities, new landscapes, sampling new food and experiencing completely new cultures. Our planet is so so vast and there is so much to see, too much in a life time but I'd like to see as much as I can!
Another passion of mine is cars, I've always loved cars, road trips, the feeling of being able to go anywhere. I think this all stemmed from when I was a baby and my mum used to regularly travel from our home to see her mother and back which was around a 5 hour round trip and she said that I always seemed happy in the car just watching out the window.
So this got me thinking.. if I love travelling and I love cars - maybe the best thing to do is one epic road trip. This bought me on to where? Where was I going to travel on this road trip? What was I going to do it in? How long would it take to complete? What would it cost me?
I settled on the idea of a road trip that would take in some of the most amazing countries and landscapes in the world and I wasn't going to start small. My chosen idea was a return road trip from the UK to Cape Town in South Africa. A round trip that would be over 17,000 miles long.
The route down would take in scenery from France, Spain, Algeria, Niger, Nigeria, Cameroon, Gabon, Republic of the Congo, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Angolia, Namibia and then South Africa. The route back up taking in the eastern african countries, italy, Austira or Switzerland and Germany.
So that its it, I was set on the route (at least the route to Cape Town) and now.. what vehicle to do it in? I had two choices in my mind, whatever I went with, it would be fitted with a roof tent, winch, awning and any other modifications to allow for easy camping along the route. My two car choices were as follows:
Choice 1) Land Rover Defender, 110, TDCI, 2007 onwards. I used to own a Defender before (2010, Black, 110) and I loved that car, it could go anywhere and do anything you wanted as well as it being ideal for when it comes to being modified for road trips.
Choice 2) Range Rover Sport. I currently drive a Range Rover Sport and initially I thought that it wouldn't be possible to fit the necessary items to this car for the road trip, however a quick google show that a lot of people have and it works quite well!
I think since I've got the car already my initial choice would be the Range Rover Sport as it is much comfier for long journeys, and 17,000 miles is a long journey. Its also slightly more efficient, faster and at the same time a pretty capable off-roader should that be needed.
So how long was this going to take me? Well that is a good question - Google Maps said you could drive to Cape Town in 7 days, however I wanted to stop along the way, enjoy the scenery, sample the food, so I decided that 2months would be the amount of time needed to get the full experience.
One thing I hadn't considered too much at this point is that I have a springer spaniel called Darcey and she is so amazing that I'd want her to come with me, I couldn't leave her behind. Has anyone got expereince in this? I guess I need to do some googling to see what I can and can't do with her and how to avoid long quarantine stays.
So finally it was down to costs, I estimated £3k for the extras on the car (winch, roof tent, roof rack, awning etc) and I estimated that 17,000 miles would cost getting on for £4k in diesel - that is £7k. There are the ferries, toll roads and food on top of that so easily pushing £10k for the trip at least I imagine a lot more.
My idea would be to blog, vlog, tweet and Instagram the whole thing from planning, to car modifications to the trip itself. So I would be hoping everyone would follow me on the way we could arrange meet ups and more.
Let me know what you think - maybe you might know some obstacles I will need to overcome? I would like to hear your comments?
We have one life, lets live it.