Weekly Feature: Lacey of Lost World Expedition
In 2009 my partner and I sold most of our worldly belongings and set out to drive from California to Ushuaia in our Landcruiser with the vague plan of accomplishing this in a year. We ended up spending 4 1/2 incredible years exploring Mexico, Central and South America, including the Amazon Region, Venezuela and Brazil. Upon shipping our truck back to the US we began plans for our next adventure. In 2015, we flew to Europe and bought a little Sprinter van named Wanda in Germany and spent the next two years exploring Europe, Eastern Europe, Turkey and Morocco. We have been on a two year hiatus taking care of life which unfortunately has a way of making its way in, but hope to be remedying that situation soon.
Who or what inspired you to choose independent vehicle travel as your mode or transportation?
During a backpacking trip in Guatemala we landed at our destination which was a finca/hotel in the middle of nowhere after enduring a multi hour bus ride with the unfortunate condition of diarrhea. During our stay at the finca we encountered three different couples who were currently driving themselves through Central America. Having never imagined that this kind of travel was possible (both long term travel and vehicle based travel), and after listening to their stories, we were immediately intrigued and fell in love with the idea. The idea that we could go where we wanted, when we wanted and stop anywhere along the way was so novel to us. After coming off the miserable bus ride with no ability to stop on our own the idea was especially appealing. Immediately upon our return home we started dreaming and planning...
Everyone always asks a traveller what their favourite country is. Do you have a favourite country? If not, what is a place that is special to you?
This question is always the hardest question to answer. I’ve loved all of the countries I’ve visited, although admittedly some stand out more than others. I think the one that stands out the most to me would be Turkey. Not necessarily because it was extra beautiful (although it was incredibly beautiful), but because it was probably the most unexpected for me. It was the first Muslim country I had ever visited which as a western woman gave me some discomfort and I felt like I knew the least about the country and its culture. I was so incredibly surprised by how open and friendly the people where. How accepting of me and welcoming and generous they were. Turkey is also incredibly beautiful and has amazing food which is also a huge bonus.
I’m a badass woman because ....
I honestly don’t really think of myself as a badass woman. I guess anybody who lives their life on their terms and has the courage to follow their dreams is a badass.
What do you think is the biggest challenge for women overlanders?
I think one of the biggest challenges can be having the confidence and guts to pursue travel especially if it is alone. Our culture is very fond of putting women in the “too delicate” box and telling us that the world is too dangerous or somehow more dangerous for us than men. Having the confidence to disregard the well meaning advice and follow your dreams is challenging for anybody but particular so for women. It’s a little bit more challenging to crawl out of that box that society has created for us than men.
Traveling has taught me ....
Traveling has taught me that the world is full of amazing kind hearted human beings. If ever I begin to doubt the goodness of my fellow human I have only to travel in order to be reminded. Everywhere I’ve been and in some of the best and worst circumstances there has always been somebody I didn’t know willing to step in and offer help and kindness and friendship.
Overlanding sucks sometimes because...
I think the thing people sometimes don’t realize is that life still happens when you are traveling long term, but it usually happens in a country you aren’t familiar with, in a language you aren’t familiar with and a system you aren’t familiar with. Sometimes the weather sucks, or a destination or plan falls through, or you have car trouble, or you start your period and can’t find a single tampon in the entire f@#!ing country, or any manner of thing happens and working through the solution to whatever the problem is can be complicated by all of the things above. Sometimes you simply have a bad day and everything seems more complicated and you think why am I doing this? Then you wake up the next day in a beautiful place, with the freedom of the road ahead and you remember, oh that’s why.
What is a simple life hack that you’ve discovered while on the road?
I’m really into showers. Like I just don’t feel right if I don’t shower daily or every other day. I talk to other travelers who say they can go days without a shower and feel fine. I’ve tried so hard to be okay with this but just can’t. So we recently bought a cool little shower head that fits onto any water bottle. Now I can heat up water on the stove and for the cost of a liter of water take a quick rinse. That combined with face cleaning towelettes I can feel clean everyday on the road even when not near campgrounds. An added bonus is that the shower head on a water bottle works really well for dishes too.