An Overland journey through the Americas 2015-2020
Five years ago today, on May 5th 2015, after selling all our possessions and a long preparation, we were leaving Florida to embark on this amazing journey of driving from Alaska to Argentina a.k.a. the Pan-American Highway.
We had no clue what we were getting ourselves into, we had never camped, never owned an RV, let alone a rigged up expedition vehicle.
What motivated us was our desire to try a different way of life and to see the world.
We never expected that a Nomadic lifestyle would bring us so much happiness and a total different outlook on life.
Now that we have time to reflect, we just can’t believe everything we’ve seen, the countless experiences we had and all the amazing people we met along the way.
Here’s just a few of our highlights:
- The great National Parks of North America
- Alaska’s wilderness
- Swimming with whale sharks in Mexico
- The beaches and rainforests of Central America
- Sailing the San Blas Islands in Panama
- The Andes Mountains
- The Inca wonders of Peru
- The Moais of Easter Island
- Falling in love with the Colombian people
- Camping on the Salt Flats of Bolivia
- The magic of the Galapagos Islands
- An Expedition through the Amazon Basin
- Driving through the Brazilians wetlands
- Housesitting on a vineyard in Chile
- Having our grandchildren join us in 5 different countries
- Living like locals in Buenos Aires
- The wonders of Patagonia
- A Penguin Safari to Antartica
- Meeting locals and travelers who have become friends for life …
The list goes on and on …
What we’ve learned:
- A simple lifestyle with less stuff brought us freedom.
- Experiences are a lot more rewarding than things.
- Living in the moment and appreciating the small things has become our new normal.
- The best plan is no plan. Sure there is planning involved but being guided by our feelings determines how long we stay in one spot.
- People are fundamentally good and we ultimately all want the same things, being recognized and loved.
- Being close to nature keeps us healthy physically and emotionally.
- Learning about new cultures has made us more tolerant and aware.
- An open mind, lots of patience and a big smile is really all you need.
- There’s a lot of different travel styles, wether you prefer mountains, beaches, cities, tourists attractions, national parks, wild camping, paid campgrounds, airbnb, hostels … we’ve learned that there is no right or wrong way to travel, it just comes down to your personnel preference. We didn’t know this when we started but after 5 years we know that we like a mix of all that; after time spent in a city we crave solitude and wide open space, after being alone for a while we seek the company of other travelers in campgrounds or hostels, one thing we know for sure, is that slow travel is what we like the most.
- Just like there is no right or wrong style of travel, there is no right or wrong overland vehicle and what we’ve learned is that there is no perfect vehicle, there is always a compromise between comfort, size and performance. It comes down to your budget, what you feel comfortable in, how many people are traveling and for how long, do you need a 4×4 to go off the beaten path etc. Since we had no prior experience with Overlanding we’re happy that Silver turned out to be an excellent choice for us. We had the space and comfort we needed to be on the road for such a long time but also the capability to explore the backcountry and stay for as long as we wanted in total autonomy.
When this crazy pandemic started we were almost at the end of our trip, we had to come back to the US seven weeks before our planed date.
Now, like the rest of the world, we are learning to adapt to a different reality but are dreaming about our next adventure.
Silver is also in “quarantine” inside a container on a cargo ship somewhere in the Atlantic Ocean and should be arriving in Florida by the end of May.
It’s with a heavy heart that we are realizing that our journey with Silver is pretty much over, we already have a buyer 😢
At this point we’re not sure what will be next, but one thing we know is that our journey is far from over … Stay tuned!
A few funny statistics:
- Miles driven: 52,626
- Border crossings: 36
- Countries visited: 18
- Continents visited: 3
- Vehicle shippings: 2
- Trips back to the US: 3
- Flat tires: 5
- Set of tires: 2
- Car accident: 0
- Ears bitten off by a horse: 1
- Mechanical breakdown: 1
- Emotional breakdowns: a few
- Times we stepped out of our comfort zone: 578
- moments of pure happiness: 679
- Encounters with pups: 473
- Photos taken: 43,870
- New friends: countless
- memories: enough to last a life time
- Roberries: 0
- Shakedowns: 2
- Bribes paid: 0
For regular updates on our travels please follow our stories on Instagram @joeandjosee and Facebook Joe and Josée’s Journey
Happiness is not something ready made. It comes from your own actions.
24 thoughts on “2015-2020 5 years on the road”
Beautifully written as always and awesome pictures! They will look great in a book someday 😁
Thanks! Hopefully one of these days I’ll get to it, it would be nice to see all these images in print for sure.
Hi Joe and Josee
I know its nice to get recognition for the articles you write but loved reading this. We will be heading off in full retirement in March 2021. Was supposed to be this year but Covid hit and we think next year will be just as bad. Plan to use our GXV Patagonia around USA/Canada and Alaska for 2-3 years before heading to OZ and NZ to buy a camper. Good luck on stage 2 of your life adventure.
We are Overlandflow_eve on Insragram
Hi Richard and Diane,
Thanks for your comment. Ya this pandemic is making it hard for everyone including overlanders. Wow that GXV Patagonia is quite a vehicle, it’s so important to be comfortable when living in your vehicle full time. We also would like to go to NZ and Oz and buy something there, who knows maybe we’ll run in each other on the road, it’s a small world!
Thanks for letting me follow along. I was only about 3 months into my Americas trip when corona virus shut me down in Guatemala but in that short time I couldn’t agree more with your list of “What we’ve learned”. I now sit at home in California dreaming of restarting some day just as countless others. I have learned that maintaining blogs are an immense time suck so I appreciate what you’ve done for all of us to enjoy and look forward to following your future travels.
Thanks for your comment. I can just imagine how you must feel, after only 3 months, that’s a though one to swallow … One of these day, hopefully sooner rather than later, we will all be back on the road. As for the the blog, I still have a lot to catch up on, but i am determine to do it … stay tuned! Cheers! J&J
Hi Josee and Joe; always a little melancholy at journey’s end but the timing couldn’t have been much better with coronavirus. Good to hear you’re back in Florida safe and sound with time to recharge and plan the next adventure.
Only one mechanical break-down….and we were there for it!
Our truck is in storage in Mexico and we hope to be back there early next year but who knows.
Stay well and hope to catch up some time in the future.
Guy and Cheryl
So nice to hear from you, yes you’re right the timing could not have been better and we are so grateful for all your help and friendship during our breakdown, what could have been a terrible experience turned into a great memory! Hope to see you guys again somewhere down the road … Cheers 🍻 J&J
Good stuff! Thanks for summarizing.
Thanks 😊 now I have to catchup on the rest of the blog 🤪
Head to Africa next! I want to read about your slow pace of exploration on that exciting continent!
Thanks Matt, we’re looking into it but who knows when borders will open up again!
It’s been such a treat to ride along with you! I hope you keep posting photos and blogs of your future travels wherever they may be. I think you’ve inspired many others to follow their travelling dreams. If you find yourselves passing through London, there’s a spare room here for you…
Thank you so much Richard, we will definitely keep posting besides I still have 6 countries to write about 🤪 one of these days I will catch up! Thanks for the offer, be careful we might take you up on that 😂 cheers J&J
Please do! You’d be very welcome. I only wish we could have adopted Silver…
Haha! Thank you! I know mee too 😢 I’m sure we’ll find him a good family.
A very lovely summary.
I particularly liked the funny statistics at the end.
And, much of the ‘What we learned’ sounded familiar – I was mentally agreeing.
Wish you many more years creating memories on the road. 💜
Thanks so much Yasha,
Ya I’m sure a lot of full time travelers come to similar conclusions after spending a long time on the road.
Now the challenging part is what’s next? We’re all in the same boat with that one! Let’s hope for the best 🥰 Cheers J&J
Very nicely written Josee
Thanks a lot Greg 😊
What an adventure for you both. The things you learned and experienced are priceless. Thanks for letting me vicariously enjoy your journey. My lasting impression from every picture you posted was the smiles on your faces. I salute you both and thank you for being positive ambassadors for our country.
Thank you so much for following along, we really appreciate your kind words and your feedback ❤️
Joeandjosees u guys are so BLESS
To have traveled the world with little to NO problems says something about you guys.
I feel BLESS just knowing you guys.
Sorry you had too return too the states so Abruptly.
But GOD is good and he knows when its time too regroup.
And thats what your doing REGROUPING.
Continue too see the world & share your SIGHTS..
Thank you Linda, you’re right now is time to regroup and plan for our next journey, thanks for following along, we really appreciate it 😘