After traveling thirty-something countries together (including a four month trip in Africa and Asia in 2013 and 2014) we know we love traveling almost as much as we love each other. After getting married, moving into a family house, the birth of our son and some job changes we know we have to temper our wildest thoughts about backpacking through challenged countries – jumping off waterfalls – sleeping under the sky, covered in mosquitoes – ziplining through damply jungles – eating dry biscuits while bouncing up-and-down convincing yourself that this is the charm of ‘an African massage’. Or at least – we have to temper these wild thought until Thomas is old enough to be damaged in such an enriching way. For Thomas’ sake we will have to choose a mode of soothing our travel fever that is easier to comprehend for a three-year-old. He will have his fourth birthday in August and after that he will start his school career. So, if we want to take a little longer time off to travel than one summer holiday, this is the moment!
We chose an itinerary that is exiting for us, that will bring us to the end of the world (or at least the most northern part of the continent) and that stands a good chance of offering Thomas some nice playgrounds, safe restaurant options and perhaps even a toddler-acceptable-museum somewhere along the way. The map here shows a rough outline of the route we may choose to follow, we feel in no way committed to following it as a rulebook. That said, we are pretty serious about visiting North Cape. Not because we think of it as the most special place in the world, but because we are unfortunately receptive to the been-there-did-that-got-the-t-shirt-idea… Other pre-planned moments are some visits from family in Finland, Norway and perhaps also in Sweden. A great way for Thomas to see some his beloved family while away from home for so long…
What can we say about our wheels? We named them Wilbur (the truck) and Orville (the trailer) – after the albatross-airlines in Disney’s ‘The Rescuers’ movies. Like those white-and-blue albatrosses, Orville is oversized and somewhat blunt and clumsily looking, although he will bring you to places you could have never dreamt of. These travel minded albatross brothers are themselves named after the pioneering Wright brothers who changed the world of aviation (and therefore travel) in the beginning of the twentieth century. Both built in the earliest years of this century, they haven proven their durability and they have solemnly pledged us to provide them with a safe and comfortable three months.
Wilbur is a diesel driven Iveco truck that is allowed to be driven with a normal, passenger cars driver’s license ‘B’. When carrying a large trailer, such as Orville, a driver should have an extra driver’s license ‘E with B’ to prove you can handle the long and flexible combination. These obligations should be the same withing the EU, we are told. For us it meant that we had to take driving lessons and learn to drive with a) a large trailer behind the car and b) someone watching and judging you at everything you do. Let’s be frank: we needed these driving lessons and we are thankful to Rijschool Falke! We did get the hang of it quick enough and apart for an off-day-examiner we got our licenses without too much trouble.
Whereas Wilbur is somewhat special, as he has a double cabin, cruise control and other specifics you don’t meet every day in a simple truck, Orville is truly one-of-a-kind! The trailer itself was made by Kuiper Company, but at the start of his life, Orville was hand built by a loving sailing fanatic as a camping vehicle. His skin is entirely made of wood and almost completely without damage. The interior is spacious, practically furnished and equipped with an amazing amount of large and smaller cupboards, and a lot of other practical storage space. He is equipped with many truly practical solutions to prevent doors and cabinet drawers from opening when steering through curvy landscapes. Orville has a spacious double bed above the connecting pin, a dining area that can transform into a very large bed and a rooftop tent that can accommodate a mattress of 1.40 x 2 meters.
So far for now: an English summary of who we are. Might you be intrigued to learn more… (Why wouldn’t you?) We suggest you copy-paste the Dutch stuff and challenge Google Translate! Hope to see you on the road!