In 2009 we were inspired to take a leap into the unknown and pilot our Land Rover to far flung places. Eventually we decided to commit completely, sold our business and most of our possessions and shipped the truck to Uruguay from where we launched headfirst into a brave new world and lifestyle as long term travelers. We had so much to learn! After 100 000 miles we found that we had driven through 29 countries, across Southern and East Africa, circumnavigated South America and driven from Argentina to Alaska and back down to Mexico.That's #vanlife on steroids!
We have reinvented ourselves from corporate entrepreneurs and students to writers, photographers, artists, educators and mechanics and now we are using the Kickstarter platform to launch our second book.
“How the heck did you get your wife to agree to this, how can you afford to travel the world with children, do you all sleep in that one tent, isn’t it dangerous to live like you do, simply - how?”. We have been asked these and many other questions so often, that we eventually decided to share the knowledge we have earned through blood, sweat and tears.
The purpose of this book is to inspire others to explore this magnificent rock we all call home and the core message is simply that anyone sufficiently inspired can travel the planet overland. We take the readers hand and walk them through the long term world travelers reality, introducing the different types of overland travelers and the vehicles they prefer based on the fluidity of their cash flow. We then guide readers through the financial and emotional preparations for overland travel and provide the tools for overland travel success!
Here are your funding options for the project.
1. The Book, glorious, inspiring and good fun
A 50,000 word, 200 page, 11" x 8.5" (280mm x 210mm) hardcover book containing over 100 beautiful photos printed on gloss paper will captivate the imagination and inspire. It's a beauty!
2. Postcards from the edge
These beautiful high gloss postcards will probably never see another postbox once they reach your door. You will want to stick them on the fridge or use them as bookmarks or frame them to sit on your desk, the motivation you need to get out there and explore.
3. Funky Travel Stickers
There is no life like vanlife. Indeed. With these stickers on your rig, people will know that you are the real deal, the girls will swoon and the boys will want to shake your hand. Never again will the Russian gas station attendant fill your fuel tank with incorrect fuel. Varying in sizes from 2.5 to 6 inches.
4. We Will Be Free, a declaration of independence - print book
We Will Be Free chronicles the challenges faced by the Bell family as they extract themselves from the “real” world and set off to explore Africa and circumnavigate the South American continent in a Land Rover. Written with passion and from the heart, We Will Be Free is more than just another travel book, it is a modern manifesto, a declaration of independence and self sufficiency. “From the title to the very last page of the book, I was intrigued and entertained! It is full of unabashedly honest and hilarious metaphors describing life on the road and what it's like to be a part of the "overlanding tribe".
5. The wooden Land Rover bracelet, handmade for you by our family
When people ask, "So, how is the Land Rover holding up, I hear those things are really unreliable?", I rub the wooden bracelet on my wrist, a superstitious token, "No, she is all good man, runs like a dream, toca madeira, touch wood". It has worked so far! The wooden bracelet protects the Land Rover from those little gremlins, especially those sent by Lucas, the Prince of Darkness.
6. Leather passport pouch with African beads, hand stitched by our family
This pouch of hand stitched, premium grade leather, is the perfect size to carry your passport or other important stuff. You could even use it as a wallet. The beads are imported from Africa and no two bead combinations are the same, ensuring that you receive an unique product. A variety of colors available for the leather.
Where does the money go?
Printing costs - 60%
Shipping costs - 12%
Rewards - 8%
Kickstarter fees - 10%
Taxes - 10%
The book has been written, the photos taken and the layout laid out. What remains are the final touches of content and editing.
If we reach our goal, we will be able to have the book printed and on your doorstep by August 2016.
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An excerpt from the book
The Introduction and Disclaimer
This book will inspire you. And while we are giving you all the crucial information you need to get out there and live the dream it is very important that you understand a few things:
1. Perhaps the most important question you have to ask yourself before setting off to travel the planet is – why? Why do you want to leave behind the daily comforts of modern civilization, your friends, family and career for a path less traveled? Do you feel that you absolutely have to travel, do you want to make an impression on your friends, family and colleagues? Do you want to live a life less ordinary and educate yourself, do you want to escape? Obviously you will have to spend many hours in deep contemplation if you are to clearly understand your motivation. The success of your journey may depend on a clear understanding of your own desires, wants and needs.
2. Overlanding is addictive. Once you get through the first few months on the road and into the rhythm you may find that all other ambitions and long term plans become secondary to the goal of achieving a long term Overlander lifestyle,
3. Not everyone will be happy living the Overlander lifestyle. You may read this book and think “yes! I am going to do it” then begin unraveling the life you have worked so hard to build. Stop! Take a month off and go on a road trip somewhere near but far. Live in a tent, count every penny. You might love the road or loathe it, the same might apply to your companions (if any),
4. #VanLife is becoming very popular, even fashionable, as is it’s less mobile cousin, the #TinyHouseMovement. Both of these movements are certainly a reaction to the exorbitant costs of living particularly in the North Western Hemisphere. Your social media accounts are no doubt full of beautiful images of little cabins in the country and VW Kombis on the beach. The reality is most likely a cluttered little house in a not so great neighborhood or permanently being harassed by the cops for trying to sleep in your van by the beach or overheating trying to get up into the hills where you can camp for free. Wherever there is a trend there will be people trying to cash in on the hype. Hipsters with beards down to their vegetables riding retro bicycles while eating a gluten free croissant on the way back to their little van where they live and work and will make 100 grand a year selling handmade axes, do not exist in the real world.
5. Though much of the advice and information contained in this book is geared towards long term travel, the principles for short term travel are essentially identical.
6. Overlanding full time is one of the greatest and most rewarding challenges you will ever take on in life.
Our travels have been featured in print and online media, you can read about it here.
Risks and challenges
As this is our first Kickstarter campaign but our second self-published book, we realize that the cost and quality of the final product can vary significantly from printer to printer. We have gained experience with this first hand and will strive to ensure the best quality product is delivered to the backer within a reasonable time period. As we are travelers and have no fixed abode we will need to ensure that once all products are manufactured, to the highest possible standards, that they will be dispatched by us personally, using a reputable, affordable and reliable mail carrier or courier.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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