There are some trips that are truly once-in-a-lifetime.
In 2008, Steve Lorimer and Roxy Harvey left London on a 19-month adventure to circumnavigate Africa.
They recently got attention for their trip when Lorimer shared the adventure on Imgur, along with fantastic pictures of the countries they drove through.
While the trip may sound unrealistic, wanderlust-y and only for the ultra-rich, Lorimer says the trip is within the grasp of those willing to put in a lot of preparation.
“In the end it was a little over GBP 800 per month, which is definitely doable if you have a semi-decent salary and are willing to make sacrifices in order to save that amount each month,” Lorimer told Travel + Leisure.
Lorimer spent six years saving and 18 months actively planning before taking off.
He and Harvey bought a 4x4 Leyland DAF general service 10 tonne truck, previously used in British military service, at auction and spent months transforming it into a camper, complete with a bathroom (toilet and shower) and kitchen (oven, stove, sink and fridge). They also took a wilderness first aid course, a 4x4 driving mechanics course, passed truck driving license exams, planned the route, researched visas and got the appropriate vaccinations.
The trip began in Spain, on a ferry to Morocco, and from there the couple headed down the west coast of Africa. While they had expected the trip down the coast to be difficult, they had no idea just how difficult, Lorimer said.
“Conflict was a major cause of us having to change our plans and seek safer alternatives to get through various places,” Lorimer told T+L.
After changing routes and dealing with related visa issues, they then ran into mechanical trouble when they ran out of fuel and broke down in Northern Angola.
“The trip made us grow so much in terms of being able to face adversity, solve difficult problems and to not let a bad situation overwhelm us,” Lorimer told T+L. “I learnt Roxy is cool under pressure, whilst I am more prone to letting my emotion bubble over. Together we make a good team.”
After six very eventful months on the road, Lorimer proposed to Harvey in Namibia.
The pair then spent the next year traveling up the eastern side of Africa, meeting the Mursi people in Ethiopia, and also witnessing the wildebeest migration in Masai Mara and getting close with gorillas in Rwanda.
Six years after the trip, the pair hasn't slowed down. They got married and moved to Australia after their African adventure, intending to settle down. However, Lorimer’s company asked him to help set up a new office in the Cayman Islands, and that's where they have lived for the past year.
Next up on their bucket list is the Inca Trail in Peru.
“We're hoping for kids though, so if we are lucky in that department, we'll probably have to delay that,” Lorimer said.
The truck itself stayed in Africa, but the memories they made have stayed with them and changed their lives in a way that affects them daily, Lorimer said.
For those who are holding back from taking their once-in-a-lifetime trip, Lorimer doesn’t sugarcoat his advice: “Work hard for what you want. Take the plunge and follow your dreams. There will always be a reason why now is not the right time, so recognise that and make it happen, otherwise you'll always be waiting for the perfect time and won't end up doing it.”