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New Cruiser: Expeditions

The travels of an all aluminum Land Cruiser and its owners…

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How We Plan for Expeditions

Written by Raenelle on Saturday, March 1, 2008

I’ve always considered that Robin and I tend to do things by the ‘seat of our pants’ a lot of the time … and it always works out quite well. Of course, there are occasionally situations where we recognize we could have put more effort or research into planning something, but it usually only amounts to a mild inconvenience at the time. It’s important to us to NOT control every situation and outcome to the nth degree.

However, having said that, we most definitely ARE planners as well. We’re extremely driven and goal-oriented … almost borderline obsessive! This particularly relates to long-term (5-year) goals, which we are ALWAYS working towards. We always have something big on the horizon, and when we set our sights on something, we work hard to achieve it.

As individuals, I would classify myself as the Planner and Robin as the Spontaneous HITTAG (Hop-In-The-Truck-And-Go) guy. If I had my way completely, I would spend all the time in the world planning for this upcoming South America trip, including knowing everything about all the countries, places to go, best time of year to visit, all the unique ecosystems and species in those countries, all about the cultures, learn Spanish fluently – you get the picture. Basically, it would take me a very long time to actually Get-In-The-Truck-And-Go because I would never be perfectly prepared.

Robin, on the other hand, is not very interested in the things listed above, at least from an armchair in Canada. He is certainly not ready to HITTAG right now for a trip of this magnitude, but he is focusing his planning in an area where he is proficient.

This balance, between myself as the uber-planner and Robin as the HITTAG works quite well. We manage to get the necessary things done – to the point of having a safe and enjoyable trip, while keeping the spirit of true expedition travel alive.

We will never have it fully planned out – we have just over 4 months until our departure, and we’d better get cracking! We have divided the trip preparation tasks according to our interests & abilities. Here is the breakdown:

Robin:

  • Truck (maintenance, upgrades, equipment, storage, internal layout, construction)
  • Technology (laptop, camera, GPS, digital/paper maps, software, website, etc.)

Raenelle:

  • Paperwork Prep (passports, visas, vehicle/health insurance, copies of documents, etc.)
  • Research (country info, places to go, other traveller’s blogs, volunteer opportunities)
  • Resources (travel/natural history/pleasure reading books, emergency contact info, etc.)
  • Medical (vaccinations, medical kit, knowledge of potential illnesses & treatments)
  • Finances (traveller’s cheques, credit cards, bill payments at home while away)
Further Reading on South America 2008:

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