Weekly Feature: Ann of @annandlotusthetruck
I’m originally British, grew up in Mexico and I’ve been living in Costa Rica for over 36 years. My mixed culture and having lived abroad has given me a different outlook on life compared to others in my home country. As a single empty-nester I re-discovered my love for the outdoors, for beaches, mountains, just being outside. Although I’ve road tripped many parts of the United States my main focus lately has been Costa Rica. It’s such a diverse combination of unreal landscapes, amazing volcanos, rainforests, waterfalls, flora and fauna that I made it my mission to explore every corner of it before crossing borders and exploring further.
Who or what inspired you to choose independent vehicle travel as your mode or transportation?
I spent about 2 years in Western Colorado, and when I was back for good I felt really out of place. I had an itch to get out of the city all the time. I needed to find a way to explore more but keep it simple and budget friendly. I started camping in an old Xterra until I started seeing trucks on the road rigged with roof tents, outdoor showers and awnings. I knew then that’s what I had to do and I made it my mission until it was done!
Everyone always asks a traveller what their favourite country is. Do you have a favourite country?
Having lived in the tropics for most of my life I’ve always been drawn to cooler climates, canyons, deserts and rock formations. It’s amazing how we take beautiful places for granted when we live in them! Western United States and Western Canada both top my list, there’s so much out there to see, trails to hike, backroads to explore, spots to camp. There’s also a lot of tiny beaches in Central Pacific Costa Rica that I hold close to my heart, just a short drive from home I can setup for the night and feel like I’m miles away from the city.
I’m a badass woman because ....
I’m not scared to do what makes me happy despite judgement, criticism or people who don’t understand the life I choose to live. A lot of women get caught into what society thinks they should be doing, it takes a badass woman and courage to pursue the life you want.
What do you think is the biggest challenge for women overlanders?
I think the biggest challenge for women is overall safety. Living in Central America certainly has its obstacles when it comes to being a woman and traveling alone. The constant fear and wondering if it’s safe to drive down that road, or setup camp on that beach, or hike that trail.
Traveling has taught me ....
to celebrate everything! We can get so caught up sometimes with dumb little issues, allow a bad moment to ruin the day or shift our mood. I’ve learned to look at the bigger picture, observe my surroundings, count my blessings and realize that I live a life that some can only dream of.
Overlanding sucks sometimes because...
it can get lonely, although some of us hate to admit it! But then, you wake up on a beautiful beach, take a dip in the ocean. The sun it out, the breeze is cool and you find yourself having coffee with howler monkeys climbing all over your tent. And suddenly it’s all worth it and that feeling goes away.
What is a simple life hack that you’ve discovered while on the road?
Keep it simple, with everything! When I started camping I would take so much stuff with me, I was proud to be over prepared. But little by little I started simplifying everything, from the kitchen to the food, the clothes I packed, gadgets, etc. Keeping life simple gives me more time to enjoy the little things, locations, people and moments.