Oct 16, 2016

How To Keep Your Toyota Alive

So far I've found the best way to keep a Toyota alive is to create an unhealthy bond with it, sleep in it every night for a few years and treat it like your first born.

Of course that's not practical for most people, so another great option is to find a good service manual.  The other day I was talking about this incredible resource that every vintage Toyota owner should know about.   As part of the John Muir "Idiot Book" Auto Series, it has incredible illustrations by Joe Leahy and practical explanations by Larry Owens.  I was fortunate to pick up a copy just before prices skyrocketed, but you'd be hard pressed to get your hands on one now that it's out of print.  Not to worry though, someone has taken the liberty of creating a digital version for online reference.

This is not a direct substitution for the Factory Service Manual aka "Toyota Bible", though it's a great supplement and covers almost as much...also it's 10x better than a Haynes or Chiltons manual.

Aug 15, 2016

Feature by LC Engineering

Not long ago we did an interview with our friends at LC Engineering, who makes an impressive array of aftermarket performance parts for Toyotas like ours.  We were very honored to be considered for a feature in their publication and they asked some great questions.  If you'd like to read the interview, you can follow the link below.

LC Engineering 11-14 Newsletter
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May 22, 2014

Life After "The Big Adventure"

Wedding #2 in NC. Photo credit: http://honeyelash.tumblr.com
This winter we finished up our last remaining months in South America.  It was impossible not to fall in love with Patagonia, the southern region of Chile and Argentina.  In January we loaded up our 4Runner into a shipping container and sent it Miami where we will reunite with it soon.  Home is now in the mountains of North Carolina, where all of Shannon's family has migrated to over the years.  

We get a lot of questions from people about how life is after "The Big Adventure", so I'll elaborate...

Jul 10, 2013

Article featured in Toyota Trails Magazine

We may be far from Guatemala at this point, but we recently had an article published about our time in the Petén region of Guatemala.  The article was featured in the May/June 2013 issue of Toyota Trails Magazine, which is the official publication of the Toyota Landcruiser Association.  This was a pretty exciting opportunity for us, since we can now claim that we are published writers and photographers.  So what if it's only one article!  We're pretty darn stoked about it.  

While visiting family recently, we realized not everyone has seen the article and we had a few requests to send it to them.  Unfortunately the digital link to the article is no longer active, so if you absolutely want to read our writing you'll have to get your hands on the paper version.  

Jun 7, 2013

Questions from Kindergarteners

A while back, we were approached by a friend who teaches Kindergarten.  He told his students about our journey and they were very curious about the fine details.  He sent us this list of questions, and it was so much fun to think about our responses to a group of 5-6 year olds.

When we finally finished our answers, we decided the answers may actually clear things up for most of the grown-up questions that we've received from friends and family so far.  It's become very clear to us that no one will truly comprehend what our life has been like on the road.

Most of the "Western World" has so many misconceptions and strange notions about other cultures and places we have never been to...

Feb 13, 2013

365 Days On The Road!


Remember when we used to write a blog? 

Oh you forgot about our blog. That's cool, so did we...

Well much has happened since Guatemala and our last blog post. As a matter of fact, we've officially been on the road for over 365 days now. Yep, that's right.  We recently celebrated the 1 year anniversary of our nomadic lifestyle by visiting the ruins of Machu Picchu. An entire continent away from where we last wrote about. You know what the kicker is? THE 4RUNNER DROVE US HERE. I know, that's still a silly concept. Over 16,000 miles on the clock and we're still on the road to freedom.

Sure there was that stretch of the Darien Gap, where we had to pack our vehicle into a shipping container and sail to Colombia to avoid FARC guerillas and narcotraffickers, but really that only saved a few hundred miles. After dealing with port officials for several days, I couldn't help but wonder if we'd be better off driving across the gap. Sure it would have taken us over a year, but that almost sounds better than spending a day in Colon.

Sep 20, 2012

Fellow Travelers


Once we started searching, it was amazing how many similar stories we discovered online.  We're obviously not the only folks who decided it would be fun to drive the Americas...

We have found so much inspiration through their stories. Facing their fears and leaving it all behind, they've found the courage to explore the darkest corners of the earth and find out what is waiting over the horizon. Against inconceivable odds, these individuals have designed the life of their dreams...and for that we salute them.

There are hundreds more out there.  If you don't see your adventure listed below, please add it in a comment.  Don't be sad if we left you out, it's obviously a HUGE list...We hope to see you on the road!

Here's an ongoing list of Pan-Am travelers on the road in 2012

To find more past and current travelers, visit the PanAmerican Travelers Association

Sep 16, 2012

Our Wedding Day


We're married! 

Even though we had been engaged for a year, we didn't actually decide where our wedding was going to be until about three months before the actual event.  After seeing photographs of Lake Atitlan and getting confirmation from several others about how amazing the lake is, the decision was made to have our wedding there.  

Aug 19, 2012

Overland Advice: To Drive, Or Not To Drive


This post is the first in a series of advice, geared towards those of you who are preparing to embark on your first big trip.  There's obviously more than one way to see the world and I won't pretend we know much regarding each option but we'll do our best to touch bases.  We invite our friends in the overland community to please contribute to the discussion.  First of all, a big consideration is whether you want to travel among many countries that are connected on a string, for example exploring the African continent versus spending a year jumping among highlight destinations across the world like India, France, or Thailand.  If you chose Door #2 then your obvious choice would be an airplane...

Jul 10, 2012

Guanajuato Fred


Chances are, if you've spent any amount of time in Guanajuato, Mexico you've probably met our dear friend Fred.  You may not have realized it, and you probably don't even remember it, but I'm willing to bet you've bumped into him…it's possible he's even saved your life without your knowledge.  Fred is the rare breed that you hear about in legends…his tales are so impressive that the only reasonable explanation is that they've been embellished more and more over the years, but I guarantee you, it's all true.  There's a reason that Guanajuato has such a great reputation as a safe place to visit, and the credit all goes to Fred.