I have many people ask me about overlanding and want to know what the term “overlanding” means. So I would like to take some time and write about what overlanding means to me and as a woman why I enjoy such activities. When someone asks me about our family vacations and I tell them about what my family does, how we travel, eat and seek accommodations I often get that “well good for you” look that those who have traveled before me know all too well. Your family thinks you’re the crazy ones and even your close friends think you’re just a little too adventurous or active for their taste, but fun to talk about around the fire or at family gatherings. That family is us! We get the crazy looks for having our kids sleep in the back of our truck, packing up for long driving trips and spending long hours together in the car. I must say that I enjoy it! Why you ask? Well, here is what I think overlanding means to me and my family and why I love it so much.
In an age of cell phones, computers, laptops, TV’s, 3DS’s, amongst numerous other digital media it is hard to find actual quality time with each other as a family. I am a mother of four children and as my oldest turns 11 I find it hard to spend quality time with him as I really don’t play video games and he often wants time with his friends. My other children are also in many other activities such as swimming, gymnastics, band and girl scouts. When we plan a trip it is one of the few times we share adventures, talk, play car games and see new things as a family. We learn to problem solve together and my children learn that comfort is not always conducive to some of the best adventures. We have a common plan and goal and overall just enjoy time together. This time is also beneficial to my husband as he is very busy with his different roles (family, work and running his own business) and me with my job and the kids. Overlanding forces us to slow down, enjoy each other and the moment we are in. My husband and I have the best conversations and even read together while driving and I would not trade those slow-paced moments for anything!
There is no better moment than seeing or experiencing something new, things I will never forget. Like the first time I saw Moab, camped in Yellowstone National Park, slept under the stars, watched my children play in the creek, or cooked a new recipe over the fire. I love to travel and experience not only specific sites and national parks but also different people and their culture. The little things I often find enjoyable, such as eating at a local pancake house, hiking a local trail or talking to people from different towns are some of my favorite things. Overlanding isn’t just about 4-wheeling and camping, it’s also about seeing the world and experiencing how different people live, work, and play.
Overall, I do love taking the road less traveled. Camping has always been a peaceful oasis for me away from my busy lifestyle and endless responsibilities. I suppose overlanding may mean something different for everyone. If you ask my husband, or other members of the overlanding team, I am sure they will give totally different explanations of what overlanding means to them. Most of the men would mention their vehicles, their vehicle accessories, gear, trails, etc.. However for this wife and working mother of four it is much simpler: taking in the moment for what it is now, away from the normal restrictions and obligations. Overlanding for me means more than 4-wheeling or camping, it is seeking adventure and having new experiences together with the ones I love and cherish the most.