An Overland Odyssey
Alita & Colby Otero
“An overland odyssey of dust, snow, and distant shorelines, capturing moments of life and landscapes, cameras, prime lenses, weathered journals and rain soaked musings, inspirations, lyrics and poetry. Head and heart given to the road, the mysterious and ever unfolding unknown.”
Alita and Colby are on a journey down through the Americas, sharing images of their life on the road at Wander With Me. They take some time out to tell Sidetracked about their recent travels, day to day life on the road and living life as an expedition.
After a good spell living from backpacks and moving at the mercy of what was available – whether by bus, motorcycle, horse, tuk-tuk, or on foot, a dream was born in the spirit and wonder of a childhood road trip. Ideas and questions came in a fury: is it possible to drive down through the Americas at our own pace? What about Africa and beyond? How can we reach the hard to get to places, handling all types of terrain such as mud, snow and sand? Could we be self sufficient enough to stay a week or two at a time? Most importantly, what would we give up to wander about in nature, immerse ourselves in creativity, and live more in the moment and the unknown?
For the last year now, our 32 year old Toyota Troopy has been our home and the road has since become a wonderful new way of life. ‘Sheila the Green Beast’ did her first 100,000 miles in Australia and so kept her hard-earned name from the previous owner. We outfitted her with a roof top tent, solar panel, water filtration system and sink, refrigerator, awning, some getting unstuck gear, and room for our well loved, yet worn, cameras and surfboards.
It’s hard to describe a typical day, but we usually start with the light of the sun. Eating in the morning doesn’t take much prep work and is easy on the stomach – sliced fruit, oatmeal, or a veggie smoothie from whatever was found earlier in local stands or markets. Our staple foods (rice, lentils, beans, dried fruit, nuts, etc) and spices are housed in glass jars, and cooking is done over a two burner stove pulled out from behind the truck. As food reflects so much of each culture and its availability changes with the seasons, it’s often the running theme of many a conversation.
Our bedroom is a roof top tent with the mosquito netting parked towards the breeze and a view to the night sky. Our bathroom is often the bush. The shower is a 5 gallon solar water bag that can get surprisingly hot. We’ll hang it from a tree or the truck in the midst of birds and insects, often remarking this is the best shower anyone could hope for!
There has been so much to learn: to maintain and improve an old truck, to keep a small space organised, to live outdoors more confidently while practicing simple living, to eat more consciously for health and energy, and to learn from the wisdom of the many colourful people we’ve been fortunate enough to cross paths with. Life is truly an expedition!