This blog tracks our adventures on our journey from Madrid to Asia and back. We have Vladivostok as the most eastern point of our trip, but this is not just about driving to Vladivostok. This adventure is about seeing some 30 countries on 2 continents (in the end it was 40 countries), getting to know the people, their cultures and habits. For us snobbish, spoilt and decadent Westerners it is also a very healthy chance to get down, get real, disconnect from our current lives. We blog here on http://www.eurasia2013.com. We upload pictures here and videos here. And we have a Facebook Page and track our route here.
Our adventure is the product of combining many different travel plans, some dating back to my high school years. In Madrid we had a map of the world on the wall, similar to how I had a map of Europe on the wall at my parent’s home in Rome as a kid. I spent countless hours studying these maps, and in my imagination I travelled to the places I found on them. While Europe is known territory by now, the rest of the world is much less so. We had been putting Post-Its to the map for places of interest, and there was a particular density in Asia. It was time to explore it. At the beginning of 2012 it became clear that I would not continue working for my last company for much longer and would need quite some time off to digest the experience. I started to check if a trip to Asia was feasible. Combining the many places in Asia made it clear quickly that we would need a car to see them all, and ultimately the idea of a car trip was born. When I then left my company much quicker then expected, I suddenly had a lot of time to devote to the trip, to validate feasibility and start putting it into reality. And so I did, and here we are on the road.
When the idea of a car trip came up, I quickly realised that it was not feasible in my Mini. A bigger car was needed, and we started screening, gathering information and testing several. We liked the VW Tiguan a lot, and the people at Castellana Wagen in Madrid were very friendly. It is a very comfortable car, has many little features that are useful for long distance travelling, is big enough for us, and can be used also after we return. Problem: 12 weeks waiting time. We also liked the Jeep Wrangler Unlimited, both because of the robustness of the car and the helpful people at Quickmotor. But it seemed too big and would draw too much attention. Then we found the Range Rover Evoque. Initially we didn’t consider it because the brand was too luxurious (aka risk of theft too high). But the moment we sat in the Evoque, we fell in love. Amazing rooftop window on the full length of the car, super-comfortable, good 4×4 driving capacities, and not as huge as the big Range Rover. At Adventure Center they found one available that fit our requirements with 2-3 weeks delivery time. And that was it.
During the few vacations we had done in the past, we always wanted to stay in touch with friends and family. Since snail mail died, we looked for another communication channel. Email is too complicated, since you have to write the same stories to several people in dedicated emails. And then you need internet connectivity to send all mails (incl. the attachments), download the responses – not too practical. FB is too impersonal. You can’t spend the entire day on Skype. SMS costs are prohibitive. So a blog was a great solution to this dilemma. You keep a log of every day, like in a diary. You can write offline across devices (laptop, iPads, phones), add many features (map, blogroll) and archive all posts. And connecting a Flickr account for the pics and a Youtube account for the videos you only need to upload everything once. Readers can comment and rate posts, and we received great feedback and suggestions on how to add functionalities and make the whole thing more user friendly. Should you have more of these suggestions, send us an email.
Our post change over time, as we add pics, videos, correct inaccuracies. So you might want to check back from time to time.