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Tanja and Armin (Travel South Bound)

Today's Explorers

Tanja and Armin (Travel South Bound)

November 23, 2021
5
min read
by
Charles Forman
Germany

Where are you from?

Germany

When did you start your interest in exploration?

2013

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

Before starting exploring together in 2013, we both already loved traveling. Tanja was more focused on long distance destinations such as New Zealand, Australia and Asia. Armin was traveling Europe in an old VW Bus. Traveling was basically limited to summer holidays as we both had been working in demanding jobs. Tanja as a Sales Manager and Armin as a Product Manager, both in mid-sized companies.

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

You learn everything necessary during your travels! However it helps, knowing a bit about car maintenance, photography and navigation beforehand. Speaking at least a good portion of English, some Spanish and a few fragments of French also helps. We are both fit and healthy and are therefore not too concerned about our health. Having some basic knowledge and bringing a good travel-pharmacy with you does help sometimes.

Where have you explored so far?

North- and South America along the Panamericana, Africa North to South along the eastern route, multiple other destinations worldwide

What is a brief understanding of your adventures so far?

We are what's nowadays called 'Overlanders'. This means we are exploring the world with our vehicle off the beaten track. This sometimes is a challenge as always something breaks, but it gives you the best flexibility choosing your route and brings you close to nature and the people, if you like.

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

Zimbabwe because we hear a lot about the beautiful landscape and the friendly people there, Indonesia with its lovely islands, Sicily with its volcanoes, beaches and historic sights.

Where would you recommend others visit?

Colombia, as this country gave us the most wonderful experiences in South America. Greece with its islands, crystal clear ocean and relaxed people.

How do you primarily travel on your adventures today?

Our travel vehicle is a Mitsubishi L200 4x4 Pickup with a camping cabin attached. It's a 2004 make and it is equipped with reinforced suspension, winch and a long-range diesel tank.

What are five pieces of equipment you always travel with?

LED headlamp, comfortable camping chairs, ebook-reader, spade, USB-charger

What inspires you to explore more?

Our own journeys and the experiences we gained from them.

How do you engage with others?

We are always friendly and respectful, with our interest to learn more about cultures and people.

Why is it important to embrace global cultures?

Traveling shows you how the world really is. It destroys prejudice and shows you that we all are equals - no matter where on this planet we live.

What are your goals when you explore?

To be as close to nature as possible.

What are some challenges you have experienced?

We experienced multiple problems with the vehicle and always got it back on the road with the help of friendly people along our way. We never got robbed or had any other bad experiences with people. Sometimes officials and bureaucracy give you a headache, but that's part of the adventure.

What has been your most meaningful moment so far?

Visiting the mountain gorillas in Virunga National Park in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Being close to these friendly creatures, they only want to live their lives in peace. Still they have to be protected from us humans every single day. They are a symbol for how badly we treat our planet, but that there still is hope.

How has exploration changed you?

We experienced that we do not need much to be happy. Money is important to a certain extent as we need it for exploration. But we are much less materialistic than we were before. Do we need shiny cars, a big house, expensive watches and the biggest TV? We don't think so.

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

For every challenge there is a solution!

How do you explore locally?

We like wandering around and in some areas it's helpful to have a local guide to show you around.

What does the explmore mantra mean to you?

Being close to nature and meeting different people with different cultural backgrounds changed our life forever. We can only recommend everybody to step out into this wonderful world.

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

Travel the African continent with your own camper - you will never regret it!


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