Feature: Evelin from Overland Site
I’m Evelin, from Hungary and have been overlanding on and off since 2017. Along with Ferenc, we’re looking to overland pretty much full-time from next year (2020).
We’ve done several overland adventures in the past, with two major trips in 2018. At the beginning of the year we’ve taken part in an overland rally driving from Budapest to The Gambia and then we took off on a 20,000 mile trip driving from Budapest to Singapore. We’ve been travelling with a 2006 Toyota Land Cruiser Prado with a roof-top tent, and otherwise very basic gear. The biggest luxury we have is a 12v Engel Fridge. So far I’ve been overlanding on 3 continents (as I mentioned, with Ferenc) but looking to explore another 3! At the moment we’re looking to buy a 4x4 van and try the off-road van life for a while. It definitely needs to be a 4x4 van, not a regular one, as in my experience, the best places can be found far from the main roads.
Who or what inspired you to choose independent vehicle travel as your mode of transportation?
When we met, my boyfriend, Ferenc, kept talking about his recent experience driving from London to Mongolia in 2014 and how we on one day will set off on a long overland trip around the world. This became a reality in 2018 and I loved every single minute of it, even though I’ve never even slept in a tent before.
Everyone always asks a traveller what their favorite country is. Do you have a favorite country? If not, what is a place that is special to you?
In general, my favourite country is Japan. Ever since I was a kid, I was fascinated by its culture, the people, the language. From an overlanding point of view, my favourite has to be Mongolia. It’s such a unique place! You can really feel free in this great country, with its rivers, mountains, grasslands, deserts, and of course, people. It’s just fantastic!
Travelling has taught me…
To get stressed out less because of daily problems that aren’t really problems and that there is more to life than just getting a mortgage and settling down. The experiences that you gain from long term travelling are priceless. It has definitely taught me independence, self-reliance, problem-solving, open-mindedness, tolerance and how lucky we are in general.
Overlanding sucks sometimes because…
Overlanding sucks sometimes because I’m missing my family and friends, and in the case of a rooftop tent, because of the weather. We’re online a lot to speak to our family, but there is not much you can do in a roof-top tent when it rains, it’s windy and it’s cold!
I am a badass woman because…
I drove through the Sahara Desert twice, the Gobi Desert once and can’t wait to do it all over again.
One of the most common questions we get is about finances. Do you have any tips, tricks or advice on this topic?
Our first trips were financed by our savings, but now we’re looking to work on the road, kind of like digital nomads. I’m a marketing professional, a freelancer with a number of clients. I work on online marketing strategies, social media campaigns etc. Since my job can be done completely remotely, I can work on the road, so financing a trip is not an issue. Ferenc is also working on his online projects, and he also made some property investments in the past that help us generate income while on the road.
How has this experience changed you?
I can’t have enough of overland travel. Ferenc used to tease me that one day I might like travelling, but the truth is, I don’t think I will ever be able to stop now!
What do you think is the biggest challenge for women overlanders?
It’s probably comfort, hygiene and perhaps, danger. While we’ve never experienced truly dangerous situations, you always have to be careful and never let your guards down when it comes to safety.
What are your favorite overland resources (blogs, books, FB pages, etc.)?
I’m part of the Women Overlanding the World Facebook group which is an inspiring resource (and growing fast!). I’m also part of several other overlanding facebook groups that help with information and planning.
The best day-to-day resource that can’t be missed when overlanding is the iOverlander app. I don’t think I need to introduce it, it’s an incredibly useful tool.
What is a simple life hack you’ve discovered while on the road?
Don’t use bags for luggage in a vehicle. If and when we’ve used backpacks or suitcases when we were overlanding, the interior of the truck soon became a disorganized mess. Use simple, large organizers with a zip that you’d usually put under your bed at home and store your clothes that way. Do the same with every item and have dedicated boxes or organizers for everything. It makes life on the road a lot easier.
What advice would you give to someone with a dream to travel overland?
It’s a piece of very simple advice and probably overused, but it may be because it’s very true: just start it. If your dream is to travel overland, just go and hit the road. If your job and finances don’t allow it, start with small steps. You don’t need all the expensive gear to travel overland. Do it with your daily driver, initially at weekends maybe. Sleep in your car or purchase a cheap pop-up tent. You will then discover whether you truly love it and you can then continue from there. Explore further and one day you will realize you’re miles away from home!
Find Evelin online:
GHT Overland Podcast interview: https://ghtoverland.com/overlandsite