Lawrence is originally from London (Whetstone in Barnet) but now lives in Liverpool with Rachel, Rachel is from Liverpool.
We both began doing a lot of independent travel during our time at university. Rachel spent several months in Ghana & Mexico. Lawrence began his interest in road tripping with multiple solo trips to the USA.
We are very lucky with our jobs that we have had the opportunity to work and live abroad. Since graduating we have both worked in New Zealand for several years. Rachel has also worked in Fiji and Sri Lanka. In the years following graduation Lawrence has backpacked through India and Vietnam. These experiences in part spurred us onto future, grander and more far flung exploration.
We have both attended university to study veterinary medicine in the UK. Rachel went to Girton College at Cambridge University and Lawrence studied at the University of Liverpool. Rachel was a keen rugby player pre university, but injuries whilst playing at Cambridge meant she needed to stop and her focus changed to other outdoor pursuits.
Lawrence's father died at 55 whilst he was at university. This has formed a strong ethos in Lawrence since then to travel now rather than waiting till retirement.
Our love of working in new places has encouraged travel to new jobs both within the UK and abroad as small animal veterinary surgeons. Rachel has a particular interest in surgery and would like this to be her future career path. Whilst Lawrence is looking to focus on vetting for TV and film.
We are both veterinary surgeons so our 'specialist skill' would have to be medical training. Though it is for animals, there is a lot of crossover with people.
Lawrence through nearly a decade in the cadets is fairly handy with navigation.
Though we aren't 'experts' in mechanics or other skill sets, we have made steps to familiarise ourselves with many different aspects helpful with exploration and travel. We have tried to learn at least a little bit of the languages used in the countries we will be passing through. Rachel is definitely the best with languages. We have also done training to have a basic understanding of mechanics to keep us on the road and upskilled ourselves with off road driving.
On our current expedition we have so far only travelled through the UK from Liverpool to London.
Previously we have travelled together in New Zealand and Fiji, and separately Rachel has travelled in Ghana, Sri Lanka and Mexico and Lawrence has travelled through the USA, Vietnam and India.
With regards to our current adventure, on 2nd October 2021, we left the Royal Albert Dock in Liverpool UK with a plan to circumnavigate the globe in our Landrover defender ambulance to Liverpool F.C. in Uruguay, South America. So far we have travelled south through the UK to London and have taken theEuroTunnel crossing to France to begin the European leg of our trip.
We expect to be travelling for the next 2-3 years, driving through Europe, Central Asia, Australia/New Zealand and South America.
Lawrence - Mongolia due to the genuine sense of remoteness
Rachel - The Pamir Highway travelling 1200km through Uzbekistan, Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan to travel a portion of the original Silk Road
French Guiana - to see the amazing wildlife. We would both love to see sloths and nesting turtles in the wild
New Zealand - we both lived there for several years. It is such a beautiful, varied country (beaches, mountains, volcanoes, forests) and if you are not a seasoned traveller, it is very easy to explore.
We drive in a modified 2010 Land Rover Defender 110 ambulance called 'Amber'. We have made lots of modifications to increase its functionality, as a vehicle that can circumnavigate around the world and yet retain the appearance of an ambulance.
Extensive mechanics tool kit, a device to document our travels (mostly an iPhone), Peggy Sue (our 4 legged travel companion), hiking boots (we love walking) and spare glasses (Lawrence is blind without them!)
Lawrence's father unfortunately passed away in his 50s before he reached retirement, and this has encouraged us both to live for the moment. Life is too short to not seize the moment and do what you are passionate about.
We try our best to learn at least a little of the language when we travel to another country to allow us to travel to less touristy areas and speak to people. Rachel speaks French and Spanish and is currently trying to learn Russian (with difficulty!). Lawrence is learning Italian.
We are all one people on this planet. To best appreciate this you must experience life with other people and sample their cultures. This is why we love overlanding between places, as it makes that connection with locals much stronger and easier.
We love to get out into nature, particularly hiking and climbing. We also really enjoy experiencing different cultures, particularly through food and meeting people.
We had initially planned to begin our current adventure in May 2020. However, with the global Covid-19 pandemic, we have had to delay our planned departure date until October 2021. Although international travel is now more open, we are still going to need to remain up to date with restrictions and requirements for travel when moving between different countries.
Similarly, the change in European travel rules associated with Brexit has forced us to alter the planned route of our European leg as we are now only allowed to spend 3 months out of a 6 month period in the EU.
Finally setting off on our expedition. We left from The Royal Albert Dock, Liverpool on 2nd October 2021, almost 18 months later than initially planned. We have been planning our trip since 2017, and quit our jobs in early 2020 to head off travelling. Unfortunately the covid-19 pandemic meant we had to put our plans on hold, so it was brilliant to finally be able to start what we had been planning for so long.
For us travel is addictive - the more we travel the more places we want to visit and explore. Exploration has made us change our priorities in life - we are keen to travel as much as possible while we are young rather than waiting till retirement to have our adventures.
People in general are extremely friendly and helpful, particularly if you make an effort to engage by learning a little of the language and local customs. I think watching the news can create the feeling that the world is a dangerous place. However, we have met some genuinely lovely people while travelling.
We both love hiking so once we have arrived at a destination in our ambulance, we prefer to explore on foot. This allows us to meet local people and get out into nature.
Travel, Adventure, Exploration, Challenge, Reward
Simply - just do it. There are always excuses and obstacles to not do something. Set yourself a goal then make a plan of what you need to do to achieve it. Speak to other like minded people who will hopefully give you the support and advice to go forward.