Over Yonda Adventures discuss how travel changed them, their #1 tip for newbies, and the kindness of strangers
We are Chantelle and Todd of Over Yonda Adventures. We decided to buck the system and ditch what is seen to be the traditional lifestyle for one full of adventure and experiences. We sold everything bar what would fit onto the backs of two very small motorcycles and said goodbye to our jobs and our families. We have never looked back and have absolutely zero regrets!
Chantelle and Todd answered three questions for us that we thought would be helpful, insightful, or entertaining for fellow RTW travelers as part of a series of guest posts!
How has travel changed you?
Travel is an amazing thing and has created huge change in our lives.
We all get comfortable in our daily lives because we know no different. We wake up, go to the gym, drive our latest car to work where we then spend 9-12 hours hanging out with people we generally don’t like before heading home to bed and then rinse and repeat. We lived this life for years.
Then one day we decided we might try a trip overseas to Canada. And that changed everything. Here was a world we barely knew existed beyond Australia and now it lay at our fingertips. Canada was just the beginning.
As we travelled to more remote countries and increasingly poorer ones we started to realise how lucky we are seen to be in the west. People in remote villages in Malawi would tell us how much they wanted to be like the USA or Canada or Australia. To have a big fancy house jam packed with all the latest electronics and the fanciest car parked in the driveway. What struck us was how saddened we felt. For they never realised how much debt most of us carried to own these things. When we told them of how many people could owe the banks $500 000 or more they were gob smacked. Most of them owed nothing to anyone.
Interactions like this have shown us that we are not as lucky as we think. Many of the people living a much simpler style of life are the lucky ones.
They are happy with their lot. They may dream for more, but they accept what they have. On the other hand, Australians do not. We want more, bigger, brighter and expensive items to justify our existence.
Travel has changed our way of thinking regarding consumerism. It has lead us to seek the simpler life ourselves. Travel has ultimately driven us to ditch our house and mortgage. Sell the cars and pay back the loans and cut up our credit cards. We have seen that while ‘things’ are nice to have, they aren’t necessary for our happiness. In fact, I would go as far as to say our lives have become much happier for NOT having those ‘things’. We are firm believers in minimising stuff to maximise life.
Have you been the recipient of an unexpected act of kindness?
In 2016 we flew our little motorbikes from Sydney to Vancouver, so we could complete a dream motorcycle trip. To ride up to Alaska and then all the way south to Tierra Del Fuego in Argentina. On our first day in Vancouver we had to unpack our motorcycles from their shipping crates. Part of the shipping process for the bikes was to drain all the fuel from the tanks. This meant we had to go in search for a couple of litres of fuel to get us started.
Directly across the road from the place where we unpacked our bikes was a gas station. I stood patiently in line and waited for the man in front of me to finish fueling up. Straight away he offered to fill my little gas can as a welcome to Canada. That was on our first day.
From that day on we experienced random acts of kindness every single day.
People would invite us into their homes and have us stay for a night or even five. They would feed us, tell us stories and show us around their town. One family in Smithers BC became our extended family and we found it hard to leave them.
In Alaska we were given food, free gas, free coffee and free lodgings. Americans are a very kind people who look out for strangers that pass through their country and we would frequently have people approach us to give us $10, $20 or a kind word to help us along our way.
As we headed south into Mexico and beyond the kindness continued. Mechanics would stop to help us with breakdowns, we were still invited into homes and out for dinner. This kindness from total strangers continued right through to the end of our trip, even through those countries that are generally displayed in the media as being dangerous.
Throughout our travels we have found that people in general are kind and interested in what you are doing and where you are going. The percentage of people who are out to harm you are so small that it doesn’t even register when you are on the road. In 18 months of continuous travel we were never met with anything but kindness.
What is your number ONE tip for newbie RTW or international travelers?
For any new travellers out there we have just one tip for you. The hardest part of your future adventure isn’t the planning, the money, or booking the flights. It’s just taking the first step to committing to going. That’s it. That is as hard as it will get.
There are plenty of tour guides out there to point you in the direction of hotels and bus routes and all that stuff. But no guide will ever give you the push to just go. That’s all on you. And it’s not that scary!
Once you have that seed planted in your brain for your next trip you need to act on it. Jump straight in with both feet and everything else will just come easy. Saying you will go and saying you are going can make the biggest difference. Turn that pipe dream into a reality right now.
While the idea is hot in your mind and you are trembling with uncertainty at the thought of heading off on your adventure, jump online and book that flight or bus ticket. That’s it. You are now going. By committing to it and setting your take off date you are three quarters of the way there already. Now you know where you are going and when!
We promise you that this is the most difficult step and is the reason why so many people never end up travelling. There is always a million what-if’s but in the end, there are only two words that will overcome all of those what-ifs. Those magic words?
Thank you, Chantelle and Todd, for such great info! Be sure to check out their YouTube channel, web site, and social media channels!