Weekly Feature: Emily of Two Dusty Travelers

"There is no passion to be found in playing small - in settling for a life that is less than the one you are capable of living." - Nelson Mandela

I'm a Registered Nurse with incurable wanderlust. I write a blog with my husband about ethical and off the beaten path travel, and overlanding is a big part of that! I just returned from a women-only expedition across Southern Africa, and spent last summer overlanding through national parks in the Western US. At home I travel in my Subaru Forester (named Forrest) and rooftop tent, and abroad I've rented a variety of vehicles to get me around!

Favorite country?

Kenya is my favorite country. It's special to me because it was my first big solo trip abroad, and because I spent a summer living with a host family there who I'm still close with. I did an overland trip from Mombasa to Nairobi a couple years ago in a beat-up old Land Rover Defender 110.  It was a challenge but I loved seeing Kenya under my own steam!

Who or what inspired you to choose independent vehicle travel as your mode of transportation? 

On safari years ago, I met some overlanders traveling through Tanzania with a rooftop tent on their Land Rover. I knew immediately that was the dream for me!

Traveling has taught me…

not to be afraid of places that get labeled "dangerous." I love traveling in developing countries and getting off the tourist track - on the ground you'll find it's just regular people living their lives, not the stereotypes we see in the news. As long as you practice common sense, you can make friends and have an amazing time just about anywhere.

I’m a badass woman because…

I'm married but I still travel solo. I don't think being married makes us one entity, and it always surprises me when people are shocked that my husband "lets me go" (like he gets to decide??)

Best overlanding hack?

Baby powder as dry shampoo! I put it on my roots before bed and wake up with clean(ish) hair. And then everyone I travel with makes fun of me for how long I'll go without washing my hair ;)

Overlanding sucks sometimes because…

sometimes you just want to order takeout and the thought of breaking out the stove and cooking after a long day on the road is too much!

What do you think is the biggest challenge for women overlanders?

Being taken seriously. I just went on an overland expedition through Namibia, Botswana, and South Africa with 4 other women, and every time we stopped someone would ask us "Where are the men?" Seeing women overlanding alone is still unusual enough that people think we can't do it. That will change as more of us get out there!

You can find Emily and Two Dusty Travelers online at:

Two Dusty Travelers Website



For more information on Emily’s all-women overland journey in Southern Africa with Rise of the Matriarch, click here!

For more daily inspiration, follow Women Overlanding the World on Instagram:

Taylor Pawley