Road Trips Around the World

This post, based on the theme “drive,”  is written for the Kidspot Top Bloggers for 2011 competition.

Driving is not just an act of getting from A to B. It is an adventure, a story to tell, and the creation of memories that will last forever.

“Let’s go for a drive around the island, it is so beautiful here I want to discover what lies amongst the emerald valleys.”

My two girlfriends and I had been backpacking through Indonesia now for almost a month when we arrived on Samosir Island, Sumatra.

Samosir Island Lake Toba Sumatra Indonesia

Samosir Island, Indonesia

We decided to hire motorbikes from a few local boys we had sat and chatted with on the street the night before as they strummed their guitars and sang Indonesian love songs.

I had never driven a motorbike before, and my first attempt was a bunny hop about three feet in the air and my best friend Bec crashed hers into a sign.

“Maybe it is better if you let us drive,” Rosco said. “We can give you a tour of the island as we go.”

As it was our first trip abroad,  we were keen to explore as much of Indonesia as we could and quickly agreed.

Elements of Danger

A week later, I lay across my friends’ laps in the back of a minivan that was overtaking slower drivers around sharp mountainous bends. We were squashed in with about 25 locals. I was stunned when the driver stopped to pick up even more and tapped the ticket tout on the leg…

“Um excuse me? I don’t think there is any more room in the Inn.”

“Yes. Yes. No problem,” he dismissively waved me off with his hand as he lifted up the newest passengers onto the roof to take their seat. Further passengers were made to stand on the window sill outside holding onto the roof as we continued our treacherous journey.  I thought of how much I preferred this form of driving than my day of terror on the back of those bikes.

“Hey Bec? Would you rather be here or back on those bikes with the psychos right now?”

“Lovin this van Caz. Lovin it.”

Motorbikes lost their thrill for me after that day. Even when Craig sits in front to drive me, I feel a slight tremor of fear and extreme vulnerability and we have spent many days together exploring the back roads of South East Asia.

Motorbike ride in Thailand

Exploring the back roads of Thailand

There was this one time we had to get separate motor bike taxis to go out to dinner in Phonm Phenh, Cambodia. His bike raced off; I sat perched on mine and watched in terror from behind as his driver made a sharp left turn.

At that instant, they were T-boned from behind by another motor bike, thrown to the ground and skidded along the busy main road.

Fears for my own safety were left behind as I hollered at my driver to stop and jumped off the bike mid-air to run towards him. Luckily, Craig lost only the pocket on his pants, but the bike however, was a tangled mess and his driver was scraped up and bleeding from head to foot.

An all in brawl erupted on the street as blame was thrown around. Craig and I knew how this mess could easily be turned on the foreigners who would be made to pay for all repairs, so we quietly slipped away and returned to our driver in the morning to give him some money to help recover the loss of his income.

The money we gave our Indonesian motorbike drivers were not enough to satisfy them. They wanted to make us pay through fear.

The trip started out pleasant enough around Samosir. Our drivers took us to many beautiful viewing spots high upon the rolling hills. I enjoyed the exhilarating freedom that came from sitting on the back of a motorbike; it felt like the perfect union of the fresh air, nature’s surroundings and myself.

Riding on the back of a motorbike

Exhilarating freedom

Our drivers, Rosco, Roy and “Crazy Man,” were excited to take us to the famous natural hot springs. Bec’s driver, Crazy Man, had been making her get off the bike and walk up the hills, while he hid in the bushes and jumped out at her in a game of hide and seek only he found amusing.

Find your own way home

Bec was spooked and we politely asked the boys if they could drive us home.

They laughed in our face and tossed us the keys.

“You wanna go home,  drive the bikes yourself. Otherwise wait for us. We want to enjoy the hot springs.”

Of course when you are being driven around a foreign land, you are too interested in the life that moves about you outside then staring at a map or noting landmarks to know where you are and how you can get back.

At least the time Craig and I had been forced to ditch our transportation in the middle of rural Malawi Africa, we had our drivers pointing the way for us to walk to the next village. A walk that was conducted in stony silence for an hour, the anger in our hearts separating us to deal with our heavy backpack load alone under the sweltering sun.

Fights happen when you spend so longliving out of each other’s pockets, especially after the gruelling journeys on the roads of Africa. We knew this one was going to be unlike any other the moment the driver pointed for us to jump in his vehicle that would take us to Monkey Bay. We walked towards the mini-van and he hollered for us to come back…

“Not that one, this one”

Drive a new Ford Territory

Yes, we travelled in the back of this for hours

Our raised eyes moved from each other to him. As the passengers began to pile in with their baskets of goods, sacks of potatoes, and bicycles, we knew this was not a joke.

So we did what we had been doing for the last couple of months. We threw our backpacks in the Ute, and hustled for some space on a bicycle handle.

I was actually quite relieved a few hours later when the car jolted to a sudden halt on the dirt road, and to our left we could all see the wheel of our rusty, beat up Ute go rolling down into the ravine below.

At least now I could find some of the Tin Man’s magic oil to unhinge my legs, take the bike out of my butt, and go for a walk to find a more reliable vehicle. The frustration and tiredness got the better of Craig and I and we unleashed it out on each other in a fire torrent of worn out abuse.

There was that moment with Rosco on the back of that bike on Samosir Island when I let the fear get the better of me, and I learned then that uncontrolled outbursts of emotions never do anyone any good.

Win a new Ford Territory

Just before he wigged out, Rosco grabbed me for a photo.

Rosco turned psychotic once we had left the hot springs. He raced ahead of the others on the bike and I had to beg him to pull over and wait for the others to catch up. He beckoned for me to join him on the grass and look at the pretty pictures the clouds were making in the sky.

That is when alarm bells started to ring. Samosir Island is famous for magic mushrooms. There wasn’t a guesthouse or restaurant in the small tourist town that wasn’t advertising mushroom shakes or mushroom pizzas on their menus. Lake Toba was widely spoken about on the backpacking route as the place to go if you wanted to trip out.

I didn’t need to ingest the mushrooms to feel the side effects of its psychedelic world. I was trapped in the reality of someone else’s.

The others soon caught up, and the ride of terror began. We were taken to look out points whose magnificent views were lost on us as we spoke in hushed voices to each other to do whatever it took to keep together.

Helping Hands

There was one thing about our communal village pick up and mini-van drives in Asia and Africa. We always had so many comforting hands and friendly voices protecting us and keeping us safe.

travel around the world

A friendly place to hang out in Cambodia

My Ugandan friend Benson decided to take his Muzungu (white person) under his wing on our drive through the mountainous passes in the back of a pick up on the way to see the gorillas.

Our 97 km journey took over 9 hours as we battled with muddy roads and torrential rain. Of course the thirty of us, with all village possessions packed into the back did nothing to speed the journey along.

Several of the villagers had to stand in the middle of the tray, on the potato sacks, holding on to each other for support while we sat perched on the edge of the Ute, legs dangling over the side.

A couple of stops before, we had picked up two prisoners, handcuffed together, and they now danced delicately with each other battling to stay upright. One of them could not help but balance on my shoulder.

I tried my best to remain quiet, but eventually a small “Ow” slipped out from underneath the pressure of his backside.

Benson turned immediately to the prisoners behind me and started beating them.

“Get off my Muzungu. Get off her”

“No Benson, it is okay. They didn’t mean it.”

They were trying to kill you man! No one is going to hurt my Muzungu.”

I was really grateful for Benson’s support further along the journey when I almost came face to face with the treacherous valley below. We were hiding under a blue tarp from the torrential rain, Craig and I in hysterics about the driving predicament we now found ourselves in. The laughter caused me to weaken me grip and I began sliding.

“Help,” I screamed out. “I’m falling.”

Benson turned and began pounding on the roof of the driver’s cab. “Stop driving! Stop driving.” The car screeched to a halt and Benson hoisted me back up into the tray.

Uncontrolled Bursts of Emotion

For all the crazy driving adventures I have had before, I never once actually thought I was seriously going to die. I feared for it, and felt it’s icy breath threatening the skin on my neck, but there has only been one time in my life where I actually resigned myself to death.

Rosco was doing his very best to play cat and mouse games with the others as we made our way back home. He would speed up and away from them, and then slow right down to a crawl once they caught up. His antics were really starting to fray my nerves.

I was worried for Bec and we soon passed her standing outside a ramshackle pub where her driver had demanded they stop for a drink. Her eyes pleaded with me to stop and help her but Rosco would not have any of it and he sped away.

A new ford territory

Helpless on the back

We now found ourselves alone. The road had begun to crumble, and the incessant pot holes made it difficult for straight safe driving. This was when Rosco decided that the best kind of driving is that which is done fast.

Terror, exacerbated by the needle swinging up to 100 on the gauge below him, gripped my body. I could not hold it in and I began belting his arm, the sobs exploding from my body as I screamed,

“Slow Down. Slow Down.”

“Why, are you frightened? Do you think I am going to hurt you? he sounded so hurt and misunderstood.

And then….

“Slow down slow down,” he taunted, squealing into the wind, mimicking my terror.

He turned to me, mouth wide open, teeth bared and laughed, a maniacal ear-piercing laugh that now, 14 years later, I can still hear vividly in my mind; a laugh that quickly dried up my sobs and made me focus intently on this present moment and what I was going to do to be free of it.

Darkness Falls

Of course no driving adventure would be any fun without music. Rosco decided it was time that he let the tunes roll out and began singing my Bob Marley favourite, “I shot the Sheriff.”

His unique version of the song turned my blood to ice.

“I killed the tourist and then I stole her passport.”

And then there was that laugh again that would do the joker proud...”Slow Down Slow Down…

Over and over again.

I could barely breathe and had no logical thoughts as to what I could do.

He slowed down, turned off the speedo, sped up again, and later dimmed the lights as we drove around bend after bend on the mountainous road.  I searched desperately ahead for any sign of the sparkling lights of the town where we were staying.

Nothing.

“You know Caroline,” he eventually broke the silence. “We could have an accident here and no one would ever know what happened. Your body would be lost in the jungle and no one would ever find it. Your parents would never know what happened to their missing daughter.”

I begged myself not to cry or show any sort of emotion.

“But, we are not going to have an accident are we?” was my quiet, monotone reply.

“Well how do I know? These are dangerous roads. It’s very easy to have an accident.”

Resignation

And that was when I gave up. That was when I realized there was nothing I could do. I was at the mercy of this man; it was up to him and some other powers that existed outside of myself, to decide whether I would live or die.

I sat quietly on the back of the bike,  the fear slithered out from within me, and I waited.

It wasn’t long before the lights of our village appeared in the distance. As we rounded the last bend back into town an overwhelming feeling of gratitude and relief flooded my body.  I will never know why he left it at that, maybe the magic mushies had worn off and the fun of the game left him.

My nightmare was now over

By the time we pulled up out the front of our guesthouse, my friends had caught up. Bec and I jumped off the bikes and embraced each other.

Rosco then asked me the most bizarre question of all, “Would you like to go out for a drink?”

I cannot repeat here the vile vernacular that erupted out of my mouth as I grabbed Bec’s hand and raced to the bar to order straight shots of vodka. A drink I never drink.

We spent the remainder of the evening with a chair jammed up against the door of our room sharing our tales from our day of driving terror. We left early the next morning on the first ferry out of there.

The Fun of the Drive

While I might be less inclined to jump on the back of a motorbike or sit in the back of pickups along the dusty roads of Africa and Asia now that I have a family, the thrill of the drive and the adventures that can be had along the way have never left me.

Even those scary ones have left me with a story to tell.

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Driving on the salt plains in Etosha National Park, Namibia

Road trips are now fun in their adventures, instead of uncomfortable and frightening (except maybe when I am forgetting which side of the road I should be driving on, but that’s a whole other story).

Kalyra insists that we play Carrie Underwood on repeat for eight hours so she can sing her heart out and munch out on chips in between songs.

She often remarks how much she misses her white car in America, the road tripping van that took us on adventures exploring the delightful cultures of the South.

Road Tripping

The white car is ready to take us for a drive USA style

Before that, it was Winnie, our brown mini van, who helped us outrun tornadoes in Oklahoma, protected us from electrifying lightning bolts in Arizona, and drove us to new Rocky Mountain highs in Colorado before delivering us safely to the Pacific Ocean in California for our journey home.

Win a new Ford Territory

Winnie driving alongside the Colorado river in SouthWest USA

It is not just the tales of danger and terror that the word “drive” conjures up for me, but of times searching the Savanna for cheetahs on the chase, giraffes loping by, and elephant tribes bathing in the mud.

Driving in Africa

Our drive through the wilds of the Savanna in Kenya

Of drives along some of the world’s most well known and magnificent routes– the Great Ocean Road, Pacific Hwy 1 in California, the Legendary Pacific Coast Drive along the East Coast of Australia, The Ring of Kerry and Dingle Peninsula in Ireland, and the stunning Chapman’s Peak Drive and Garden Route in South Africa.

The Garden Route South Africa

The breathtaking Garden Route South Africa

Kalyra is already talking to me of the New Ford Territory and how she would like it to be pink.

The last colourful car I had was my Eurovan. The campervan my girlfriends and I had bought for our three month European driving tour.

The first one, Bert, was proclaimed dead by a Portuguese mechanic who received our desperate pleas to come fix our broken van.

Driving tour of Europe

Bert is proclaimed dead in Portugal

“Bert dead. Better off in the ocean.”

We were heartbroken by the thought of our grand European adventure now being conducted by the schedules and limitations of public transport. We wanted to drive. We found a van for sale at the nearest traveller’s campground and bought it.

As was the tradition of the Eurovan tours, you had to name your van and paint it in a way that best reflected its’ name and personality.

And so Gurumerang was born…

Help me win a new Ford Territory

Isn't Gurumerang a beauty?

Can you imagine the looks on the faces of those sitting outside the upper class cafes of Monte Carlo as we drove around and around the roundabout in an attempt to outshine and outclass the Lamborghinis and Porsches parked out the front of the famous casino?

Maybe I might settle for a tamer look this time.

New Driving Adventures Await

One thing I know, My New Ford Territory- whose name I will christen once I am sitting in the comfort of its leather seats and caressing the steering wheel in my hands to learn more about who you are-you will never be considered just that piece of metal that gets us from A to B and makes us look good.

You will be our portal to adventure and new discoveries; you will help mould the stories of our future travelling and family lives. I know how important you are, as it is often the journey we remember the most.

I promise to make your life with me and my family an exciting one.

Where would you like to drive first?

The rugged coastline of the Great Ocean Road, the wilds of the far North Queensland rainforests, the heart of our red centred outback, or a trek across the Nullarbor Plain to cruise the splendour of untouched Western Australia?

I’m ready when you are.

It is all about the memories after all.

What are some of the driving memories that have never left you? Share your story in the comments below…


If you enjoy Mojito Mother and what I do then please share this post, write a comment below, and vote for me to win the New Ford Territory for a year and $5000.

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Comments
  • Anne Maree Peachey

    Wonderful decribtive words,can feel the tension in some of your journey and the wonder of your surrounds in others. Great reading :-)

    Reply

    • Caz

      Thanks Anne Maree. I’ve been wanting to tell this story for a long time, but just couldn’t find the right place and time.

      Reply

  • Chelsea

    My favourite driving memory is a road trip we took to Cairns early on in my relationship with my partner & a couple of his mates. I couldn’t tell you where we stayed or what we did while we were in Cairns overnight, but what I can tell you of the trip is:
    1) I will forever replace the word sex for socks in ‘Sex on Fire’ by Kings of Leon
    2) Spam will forever be known as ‘alien turkey meat’
    3) Playing celebrity heads is harder for some people than it is for others
    4) Cassowaries are a myth ;)
    5) You can fit a 6ft+ man into the back seat of a 3 door Honda Civic.
    Definitely a journey that has become more of a cherished memory than the destination :)

    Reply

    • Caz

      I love journeys like this that create such awesome memories. Sounds like lots of fun. You will always have something to laugh about and talk with your mates and partner who were on this road trip with you. It’s funny how small things like this impact us way more than the beauty of the destination we are going to. I can almost picture my 6ft 3 brother trying to get in the back of that civic. I can definitely hear his complaints anyway. Thanks so much for sharing Chelsea :)

      Reply

  • Paul

    Another great read from you Caz, however I won’t get started on my RoadTrip stories, I could be here a while! But you are certainly right, some of my best memories in life are from those Journeys. Good Luck, and keep belting out the great Blogs! PC

    Reply

    • Caz

      Thanks Paul, I really appreciate it. It’s great to know that so many of us have so many memorable road trip experiences. It certainly does take awhile to tell the stories!! This one took me ages :)

      Reply

  • David @ MalaysiaAsia

    Great article. Love how you shared the various modes of transport in your many adventures! I’m sure there are many more to come! Good luck and all the best Craig and Caz!

    Reply

    • Caz

      I hope there is many more to come David, just not as terrifying. I often think of travelling in Africa and Asia now with Kalyra and how I will go taking her on the public transport. I think I would be terrified beyond imagination. I would so love for her to experience it culturally but I don’t know if my heart could handle it.

      Reply

  • Jeremy Branham

    Wow, those were some crazy driving experiences! Glad to say that I didn’t have any like that. I don’t have a lot of memories of road trips and things like that. Interesting how driving can evoke so many feelings and memories. Hopefully, I will have some great memories of driving with my family.

    Reply

    • Caz

      You will have to come visit us Down Under Jeremy and we’ll take you on a road trip. We’ll make sure we fit in lots of sporting matches along the way to feed yours and Craig’s passions!

      Reply

  • Sophie

    Road trips are such fun. You’ve had some really good ones :)

    Reply

    • Caz

      Thanks Sophie. Pretty keen to go on some more now. What have been some of your favourite road trips?

      Reply

  • Cathy Sweeney

    I’ve been on a lot of road trips, but nothing like your Indonesia experience! Wow — glad it had a good and safe ending. Sounds like you’ve had a lot of great trips, too. I love being on the road — out in the desert, winding roads in the mountains, along the coast, everywhere! As you know, road trips are wonderful for getting to know people and places.

    Reply

    • Caz

      There is something really special about road trips isn’t there. It is quite relaxing and liberating. You do really get to know the people you are travelling with as you have nothing else to do but play games, talk, sing, dream and of course be in awe of the beautiful surroundings. Geez I feel like packing the car up now! I miss the open road. We absolutely loved our road trip across the US. I think that was the moment when I fell deeply in love with the States, especially after the Mountain states and Southwest areas- stunning!!

      Reply

  • Christy @ Technosyncratic

    Oh wow, that ride sounds so terrifying!!

    We’ve luckily never had anything that rivals that, but we did rent a little car in Italy (on the island of Cinque Terre) and repeatedly came very close to getting crushed by large buses zooming around blind corners!

    At one point two huge tour buses were passing each other around a tight corner (on a road I thought was barely big enough for even one of them) and came thisclose to hitting…. at which point a motorbike zoomed between them! Luckily we caught that one on camera. ;)

    Reply

    • Caz

      I would love to see that photo!! What a classic capture. You should post it on our fan page wall. Friday is fan photo sharing day.
      We were pretty terrified when we crossed the border into Italy. They are pretty crazy drivers hey? Sometimes I think it is better to fall asleep when you are being transported around in other countries and you have to choose your seat carefully.
      The front passenger seat in the mini vans in Kenya are known as the death seat. Did’t catch me sitting there.

      Reply

  • The Travel Chica

    I love being able to drive during a trip. You have so much more freedom. I have only attempted driving in a foreign country once in Greece, and my trip was not nearly as crazy and exciting as some of your stories. But I did fear for my life at a few points.

    Reply

    • Caz

      Driving in a foreign country can be really scary. I know how terrifying it was for me to drive in the States as it is obviously on the opposite side of the road. What’s worse now is that I am back in Australia, I sometimes have total brain freezes and can’t remember which country drives on what side of the road. I usually have to sit idle for a bit until I work it out. I now have a saying “In America they drive on the right side which is really the wrong side!!” That gets me back on track every time.

      Driving in Greece would be terrifying, especially after you see all the banged up foreigners who have tried to be heroes on scooters. I actually never drove in Europe as back then I didn’t know how to drive a manual (stick shift). I was head navigator instead!

      Reply

  • Lisa

    Your Indonesia experience sounded terrifying. I am so glad you were safe. I’ve been to Indonesia three times and am grateful I never had such an experience.

    Reply

    • Caz

      My friend Bec and I laugh about our terrifying experience a lot now. You can guarantee there is not a wine night we have together where we don’t talk about it. She went through a similar ordeal to me. We will never forget it but at least we can laugh about it now, and as long as we are okay then it is all good. Indonesia is such a magical place. I have so many wonderful memories from my time there, this is my only bad one!

      Reply

  • Michelle

    You definitely deserve to win this prize Caz after that story because not only will you be winning but Ford and the Ford Territory will be winning! It will be no boring A-B trips for that car it will get to go on exciting adventures as well and Ford will get some great advertising with people seeing it driven all around this beautiful country of ours! Now to think of a great name for this beauty of a car! Can’t wait to hear the stories from the new road trips you will be doing!

    Reply

    • Caz

      Thanks so much Michelle, I really appreciate that! It will be great to experience our beautiful country from behind the steering wheel of a Ford Territory. It will be our best road tripping car yet. No wheels falling of this one. And there is a DVD player which will excite Kalyra to no end!!

      Reply

  • Norbert | GloboTreks

    This is a great read Caz. It brought so many good memories and laughs while reading it, as moving around in a new country can be an interesting and even challenging experience. I agree, driving, or just transporting yourself from one place to the other is not just about going from point A to point B; it is part of the processional experience of going and entering a new place.

    I used to drive a lot while I lived in Puerto Rico, but now in NY I’m just a passenger in its public transportation system. Still, it makes for a good and interesting experience when I sit there and wander around to new places in the city.

    I think one of my most interesting experiences in wheels was a chicken bus ride in Honduras. The culture, the people, the craziness all came crashing at the same time to make that ride from San Pedro Sula to Tela one experience hard to forget.

    Reply

    • Caz

      I’ve heard so much about chicken buses in Central and South America. I think it sounds very similar to what you would experience in Africa. As uncomfortable and crazy as it is, it gives you some of your most colourful stories and really gives you an insight into how other cultures live. When you see the conditions that they live with every day, and the risks they take (for example cycling busy Vietnamese streets with young babies in the front basket) you can’t help but appreciate just how good we have it in the Western world.

      It is wonderful the connections you make with the locals as well. I’m sure you experience it on NY transportation- the cold aloofness, just like it is in London. No one talks or interacts, yet in places like Africa, Asia and I’m sure Central America there is much laughter, talking and sharing of food and of course the nursing of roosters and children. I just love it.
      Thanks for leaving a comment Norbert and sharing your thoughts.

      Reply

  • Toni

    good article

    Reply

  • Jillian

    Wow, I have to admit I was scared for you! I hope you win the prize, you deserve it, you’ve survived so many crazy road trips!!! Good luck!

    Reply

    • Caz

      I’m ready to just stick to the fun adventurous ones now. No more being uncomfortable and put in danger. Just give me some music, my own seat, and a DVD player for Kalyra!!

      Reply

  • Elise

    Who doesn’t love a good road trip!?
    You sure have had plenty of adventures while on the road!
    Made me think about all the different forms of transport we take as travellers-some good, some bad, but like you said-it’s not about getting you from A to B it is about an adventure and a story to tell! Well, you sure do have your stories! one for the grandkids for sure!!

    Reply

    • Caz

      I’m sure that you guys have lots of stories to tell as well from your driving adventures. As long as we can live to tell the tales then it doesn’t matter. You can laugh about it after awhile. Bec and I still talk about it after a few wines.

      Reply

  • Don Faust

    It’s amazing when you see the locals riding 4 on a scooter – 3 on the seat and a small kid between the handlebars.

    Awesome van – that would fit nicely out here on the US west coast.

    … hmmm – I have a craving all of a sudden for mushroom pizza :)

    Reply

    • Caz

      I know. I don’t know how they manage it. I feel really silly then because I can’t even balance just myself driving one. That is why Craig has to always drive me around. Just don’t make the mushroom pizza too happy!

      Reply

  • Michael Figueiredo

    Great narrative! I love road trips too! I used to have a Ford Explorer….it was an awesome car but I always ended up driving since I could fit so many people in it. :)

    Reply

    • Caz

      Thanks Michael! I can see the driving requests coming! I’ll just have to fill it with the kiddies so it puts people off

      Reply

  • Dave

    I think some of my best driving memories were family vacations in the form of road trips (not that I always appreciated them at the time).

    I can remember bits and pieces of drives through Pennsylvania Dutch country (lots of corn), Arizona (Painted Desert), and Hawaii (aloha). We’d play games of course, and I’d listen to my favorite mix tapes while trying not to get in fights with my brother.

    Looking back now though, they were all fun experiences.

    Reply

    • Caz

      As long as we can look back and see the fun now! I don’t have that many memories of road trips with my family, yours sound really cool. I’d love to do any sort of a trip through Hawaii. Have not been there yet!

      Reply

  • Nomadic Matt

    Great post Caz! I really loved it!

    also, nice other blog! Didn’t even know you had one!

    Reply

  • Kelly carpenter

    Caz I just loved your blog!!! We had always had wonderful road trips till sari was born !! She missed the memo! Now even a trip to forster ( 2 hour drive) is hard work!!! Can’t wait till she can request an artist!!!! He he !! Keep your gr8 writing coming caz ….truly a gift!!!

    Reply

    • Caz

      Thanks Kel!! So appreciate you! I can only imagine how hard it must be for you guys now with Sari. Hopefully she can work it out soon so you can start your road trips again. give her and Tane big cuddles from us. We hope to see you soon. Miss you guys!

      Reply

  • robin

    My god you’ve certainly done a lot of driving – some people will never have memories like that! Fantastic, inspirational stories…

    Reply

  • Melvin

    Nice post!

    I really love to drive abroad! Especially if it’s under different conditions than home! Here at home (Germany) we have the Autobahn & I’m allowed to drive as fast until I chicken out. So going with 180 – 200 is usual, if it’s all free and allowed. It’s not allowed everywhere, what some people think. ;-)

    But abroad I love to drive adventurous! My destinations are ones where I can rent a 4×4 & have some serious outdoor fun, like in Tanzania or Australia. Love it!

    Or I hire a dirt bike and use the chance to ride it abroad, as I’m not allowed to do that at home with my leisense! Am I allowed to write that here??? Let me misspell that word on purpose please, so nobody can tell me off! ;-)

    Reply

    • Caz

      Ah the Autobahn!! I must admit we were pretty terrified driving along it too. I think we felt a little naughty, and kept looking for police coming up behind us, not really believing it was allowed. a 4×4 around Australia or Africa is one of our dream trips. What an adventure.
      You can misspell as many words as you like Melvin! I am not worried about that at all, I am more interested in what you have to say! :)

      Reply

  • David Allred

    What a cool blog you have here. You’ve been to some amazing places. My favorite pic is of your husband next to the minivan here in the states! Reminds me of all my childhood adventures with my parents driving the Dodge Minivan.

    Traveling is such a passion of ours as well. You’ve gotta do it when you kids are still young otherwise, it may never happen.

    Good luck on the contest and here’s to many more adventures!

    Reply

    • Caz

      We loved our road trip through the States, it is just so beautiful! We can’t wait to be able to do it again this time with our girls.

      Reply

  • Jenny Fogarty

    These are great stories that motivate you to want to take to the roads and travel. I think it is evident in your colourful stories that the best adventure comes from the unknown. I love how you’ve had no fear or no hesitations in the journeys you have taken both as a traveller and as a travelling parent. Your pictures excite you to want to travel abroad with no planned itinerary just a car and a map and see who and what comes one’s way; all part of the fun. You deserve this for all the crazy, weird and wonderful trips you have endured on the road. Good luck for the contest. Im sure you will be great!

    Reply

    • Caz

      Thanks Jen! I think when you understand that the journey can be a fun adventure with so much to learn, the fear kind of melts away. Although I’d be more fearful now if Kalyra was sitting on my lap in the back of one of those pick ups!!

      Reply

  • Lash

    I drove across the entire USA twice, the second time solo. I visited relatives, friends, and many national Parks where I camped, hiked and cycled. I loved cruising super fast on mid-America’s straight-as-arrow roads through corn fields, my trance music blasting away… US is good for road trips! That was back when gas cost ~ $1.20 / gallon. Now it’s $4 / gallon, so driving long distances is wayyyy more expensive. I’m glad I got a few trips in beforehand!

    Reply

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  • Gail Artley

    A memorable trip we did by road, was the drive down the Florida Keys to Key West, passing through Key Largo. It was wonderful

    Reply

  • Ian C

    Loved it! What a read – and great photos! I’m too scared to ride bikes any more (after falling off one in Thailand and narrowly escaping injury) but you’ve inspired me to think about doing some more driving holidays, thanks! Keep up the good work – Ian

    Reply

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  • Nettie Brady

    I’ve been on a lot of road trips, but nothing like your Indonesia experience! At one point two huge tour buses were passing each other around a tight corner (on a road I thought was barely big enough for even one of them) and came thisclose to hitting….

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