Weekly Feature: Steph of GrizzlynBear Overland
My name is Steph, I was born in France. I worked in a fancy department store in Paris. I had to wear lot of make-up, high-heels and pretty clothes.
In 2009, I went to Thailand with a way too heavy back-pack. Over there I met a very nice Australian guy , which 5 years later would become my husband. Not long after Thailand I moved to Australia, I started camping, rock-climbing, hiking and going off-road with him.
In 2012 we travelled around Australia with a Land Cruiser and roof-top tent. In 2014 / 2016 we drove around Europe in a Defender, staying in cheap Airbnb for long periods of time, focusing on rock-climbing. In 2017 we started our "Overlanding the world" trip with a bigger Defender and a pop-top camper.
Who or what inspired you to choose independent vehicle travel as your mode of transportation?
More than transportation it is our home, we carry everything we own in our car. It is a 4wd so we can get anywhere, and especially to the rock-climbing areas.
Louisa from A2A and Karin-Marijke from Landcruising Adventure are two very inspiring women to me, they are long-term Overlanders. It shows that it is a possible to live out of a car for a decade. That is what we plan to do.
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?
I really love Turkey. I love all the places we go to, as they all are very unique in a way. Turkey is a place that has it all : very friendly people, incredible hospitality, awesome rock-climbing, nice weather , beautiful landscape, good food .
I’m a badass woman because…
Am I? Okay... So maybe because I'm not only a woman overlanding the world but I'm also a rock climber.
I've slept on the side of a mountain cliff face, 200m off the ground.
What do you think is the biggest challenge for women overlanders?
Perhaps feeling feminine and pretty when you constantly wear practical clothes, hiking boots, no jewellery or when it's too cold to wash your hair or shave your legs.
Travelling has taught me…
So much !!! Being a better version of myself, being more open to people, learning so much from the incredible generosity and hospitality of the people across the world. The ones who have the least are giving the most. And also being more and more minimalist, which is an incredible feeling. Being simple is the key to happiness.
Overlanding sucks sometimes because…
Maybe the dust, or maybe when the laundry can not dry ...
What is a simple life hack that you’ve discovered while on the road?
My life changing pegless clothes line.
Tell us about some activities you enjoy doing while on the road (other than driving!).
I'm a busy lady and often find that there aren’t enough hours in a day. I love photography and filming. And also editing the videos for our YouTube channel. So that takes a very big part of the journey. We love to stay active : rock-climbing, hiking, running, training, stretching ... And I enjoy the 'house duties' such as hand-washing the clothes, tidying up the camper, going to the market, cooking ... I really do.