Colin and Ashley (Roaming Rupps)

Today's Explorers

Charles Forman
February 16, 2021
min read
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Where are you from?

Ashley and I are based out of Charlotte, NC USA

When did you start your interest in exploration?

We want to see as much of the world as we can with what time we have on it. The world seems almost endless in what you are able to see in a lifetime. We want to fill our minds with as many memories as possible.

What is a brief understanding of your background story up until you started seeking adventure?

Even before Ashley and I met, we both loved adventures and the outdoors. Colin grew up sailing in Charleston and off the coast of Charleston and Ashley grew up exploring South Carolina. When we met, our love for travel and adventure grew even more.

What special skills do you have to help with your explorations?

Colin has been overlanding for over 10 years now. He has attended several Overland Expos, which is where he first met Charles from explmore. Colin created an overlanding group of more than 3000 members from the Carolina’s in the USA. Given that we are constantly surrounded by overlanders, we have learned many many skills and tricks. Ashley is a true detective when it comes to what is available on the internet. When traveling internationally, we almost feel like locals when we get to a new place. This comes from Ashley having researched the places and having a very good understanding of where we are headed and what to expect when we get there.

Where have you explored so far?

United States, Mexico, French Polynesia, Great Britain, France, Italy,Iceland, Germany, The Netherlands, Spain, Portugal, Vatican City, Czech Republic, Honduras, Jamaica, Cayman Islands, Belize, China.

What is a brief understanding of your adventures so far?

We began traveling to more traditional destinations for Americans such as Europe, Mexico and Canada. After visiting Paris, we decided that we wanted to visit some lesser traveled locations such as China and Iceland. When COVID hit, and we were unable to fly, we decided to travel the United States in our self converted campervan.

What are the top three destinations you hope to explore next, and why?

Japan, Norway and South America. These have always been bucket list destinations that have been a little pricey to visit. But we feel that the post COVID era will lead to some discount flights and hotels.

Where would you recommend others visit?

Iceland. The natural beauty has been unmatched by anything we have yet to come across!

How do you primarily travel on your adventures today?

2005 Sprinter. Made it into a camper van, enough food and water for 2x weeks of living, lifted.

What are five pieces of equipment you always travel with?

Recovery Boards, 40 gallons of water, Sony Sigma A7II Camera, Drone, iPad with maps

What inspires you to explore more?

The drive to see as much of the Earth with what time we have on it.

How do you engage with others?

Whenever we visit a shop or cafe, we usually like to have a short conversation with the person working there. We usually ask what their favorite thing is that they offer and what their favorite part of town is. This way we get a locals perspective of what they like about the area and place that we are visiting.

Why is it important to embrace global cultures?

So that you realize that you and your beliefs are small in the global picture. If everyone can get along with everyone else, they would be in a much better place.

What are your goals when you explore?

To spend as much time as possible exploring. This usually means starting our day around 0700, which is great because a lot of the popular attractions don’t get busy until 0900 or 1000.

What are some challenges you have experienced?

Language barriers that have no relation to English. Chinese for example has an entirely different alphabet, so visual translation is very hard as well.

What has been your most meaningful moment so far?

When we visited Italy, it was special for more than just the culture. Colin proposed to Ashley on a little beach on the Amalfi Coast. Later that day, whilst we were at lunch, this little old Italian waitress overheard what had happened earlier that day and in very very broken english, insisted on doing limoncello shots with her to celebrate. :)

How has exploration changed you?

Traveling has opened up our mindset and we love learning more about the cultures and world around us.

What is the number one lesson that you have learnt through your exploration?

To be less stubborn and to work with local culture. Just because we are more comfortable doing something one way, the locals do it their way for a reason.

How do you explore locally?

We do try to get out and see what new shops and restaurants are out there. We usually will give any spot a chance regardless of what the ratings are and decide for ourselves if we like it or not.

What does the explmore mantra mean to you?

To use every chance you can get to get out and explore. Whether that means checking out a new restaurant in the city, a state park you’ve never been to, or even flying half way around the world to immerse yourself in a 3000 year old culture.

What advice would you give to others who are seeking life changing adventure?

Life changing adventure doesn't have to be epic. Take every chance you can get. Go to that hiking trail 20 mins away. If you are on a business trip, leave the hotel and go get dinner across town. Even if you take a taxi or uber, you get to meet the people that live there and hear their stories.

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Today's Explorers