One Year On The Road – Right, About, Now – Time For a New Plan…

long term travel plan
The plan.

Exactly one year ago day, I left my home and commenced a new life. Before I left, Phillipa and I decided we should try and travel for a year, and then see how we felt. Well, today we both feel good. We’re happy, and more than capable of pressing on with it. At the moment, no end to this journey is in sight.

But there’s no point in making a song and dance about this milestone. It’s done – a year down, and onto the next.

After a year on the road travelling through more than twenty countries in three continents, some people have asked me if I feel like settling down, if I’m tired, or that perhaps I would prefer a more “stationary” life.

No, not really.

This morning I picked up a new car.

Actually, it’s an old car.

A nineteen year old French hatchback. It’s red, and I’ve already thrown the hub caps in the bin.

In a few days time, I’m going to attempt to drive it from Amsterdam (the Netherlands) to Bucharest (Romania), and then hopefully further, to the depths of the Balkans. Unfinished business, you see. Yes, my plan is to drive a decades old car that cost me 350 euro, more than 2000 miles, from one side of Europe to the other. I’ve got a spare tire, so I am assuming nothing else could possibly go wrong.

So that’s day one, of year two.

I don’t feel like settling down, and I’m not tired.



PS, thanks for reading this. Really – I’m humbled and amazed that some of you have been following since day one. I love reading your comments, if you ever have any questions, always feel free to ask.

PPS, about the map – the markers do not represent stops. They’re just there to help me plan the route. The entire journey is reasonably intense, and will take two, or maybe three months. There will be deviations. If the car dies, then the plan will change. If I’m heading anywhere near you, and you have a fire extinguisher or a tool set, let me know.

* all plans are subject to change on a whim



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22 thoughts on “One Year On The Road – Right, About, Now – Time For a New Plan…

  1. Ha – What could possibly go wrong with that plan? I just drove our AU$900 car from Brisbane to Victoria and back. All was perfectly fine. Be prepared for the comments from people…..”You drove all the way here in THAT????”

    Looking forward to your road trip posts!

    1. Nice work Tracey! I’ve already had the comments – first one was from the guy we bought the car from – when he heard I was going to take it to Romania, he just rolled his eyes! haha. We’ll show him! ;)

  2. Nate,

    This almost looks like a pilgrimmage. Like the one from france through spain. The compostela de santiago. But by car, and by desire. I understand the Balkans after seeing what you posted. I can see myself there after my sojourn to the Scottish Isles. I would probably use a vespa or some old beemer from the mid 60s, side car and all.

    Will be reading as you keep posting.

    Be well


    1. Hey Laurence – my life is starting to feel like one pilgrimage after another these days. IF you need any tips on the Balkans, always feel free to ask. And yes, I have a softspot for most vehicles made in the 60’s (cars and bikes), but I chickened out and went for something just a little more contemporary this time. Heading off tomorrow morning – we shall see how far a mid-90’s French hatchback can get Phillipa and myself.

  3. Glad to hear that you are still feeling full steam ahead! Traveling at your own pace and doing your own thing like that really makes a difference. When you are stuck on someone else’s schedule it’s a lot easier to get tired, rundown, or antsy, but when you’re setting your own course, it’s easier to keep motivated. I’m sending good vibes your way for the car trip! It sounds like an awesome adventure is about to begin!

  4. Onward to the next adventure my friend! One year on the road down, hopefully many more to go. This trip seems marked for some sort of shenanigans with that cheap of a car, but I wish you the best of luck, no mishaps, and can’t wait to read about it!

  5. I am hoping you’ll tell us its a soft-top Citroen 2CV!! Best wishes for year no.2, I’m looking forward to hearing about it!

  6. It will be interesting to see how the next year goes. I found a year was great but crashed at 18 months. Then again I was solo and was really starting to feel disconnected from people and just burned out. I think the key to surviving long term travel is finding someone who can do it with you, happy to hear you guys are doing well.

    1. Thanks Ayngelina.. really nice to hear from you. I think you’re absolutely right – a partner makes all the difference. Even so, we are aware of the potential of being “burned out”, and I feel a little bit that way at the moment. We know we need to slow down, and stop somewhere for a couple of months, just to feel a little more grounded and refreshed. We’re even talking about being somewhere for *gasp* six months, not immediately, but perhaps some time during 2014. I will keep your 18 months timeframe in mind, it would seem to be around that point I could see myself getting burned out, if I don’t balance out the fast travel/slow travel/stopping for a while lifestyle. Enjoy Spain, I’m yet to go there but it really is the number one country in Europe I would like to visit.

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