My mother likes to recount memories of my childhood. One always gives me a chuckle…at a little over two years old I would come up to her and say excitedly, “mummy, mummy, mummy, I just gotta run!” and then off I’d go at full speed running around my parents rural property in the Gold Coast Hinterland. That feeling of freedom, a search for adventure and deep longing for a connection with nature is something I grew up with.

Fast forward a few years and I’m still running around exploring, this time in tropical Papua New Guinea with a score of other pikininis (children in Tok Pisin). Climbing coconuts, rain trees (Albizia saman) and racing around like crazy animals till we dropped exhausted! Riding in the back tray of trucks on roads that had more potholes than pavement, feeling the hot tropical sun beat down on me while the wind rushed through my hair. The feeling of both excitement and fear coming home at night to find a New Guinea Death Adder or getting held up at knife and spear point by raskols (criminals). Life for me in PNG was one of total adventure, of freedom and its associated risks – 10 years of some of the best childhood a boy could ask for. Thanks mum and dad!

Children the world over are the same – possessing a natural curiosity, thirst for adventure, care for nature and love of freedom.

But as we grow up, somehow we start to loose it – from spending years in school/university to partying and social lives in our late teens and early 20’s, and then pursuing careers that leave most of us desk bound. We’re too busy now to stop and feel the pulse of nature, too educated to stare at the night sky in awe and wonder. If we have a question we google the answer. Smart devices and social media have us seeking another “fix” every few minutes like the addicts we are.

I’m not pointing the finger here. As a creative professional I spend 10-12 hours a day immersed in technology – a MacBook Pro, iPhone and iPad are the tools of my trade. After 12 years of hard work I’m one of the best in my field and love what I do. I should be ecstatic. But to be honest I feel enslaved to emails, social media and the expectation of 24/7 availability they bring.

“Thousands of tired, nerve-shaken, over-civilized people are beginning to find out that going to the mountains is going home; that wildness is a necessity” – John Muir

At 28, I’m claiming my life back. No, I’m not leaving the world behind and becoming a hermit. Rather choosing to intentionally focus on overlanding in remote and wild places to recharge creativity, look in wonder at nature again, focus on quality undivided time with my wife and seek greater self-awareness.

“We need the tonic of wildness…At the same time that we are earnest to explore and learn all things, we require that all things be mysterious and unexplorable, that land and sea be indefinitely wild, unsurveyed and unfathomed by us because unfathomable. We can never have enough of nature.” – Henry David Thoreau

“Men go back to the mountains, as they go back to sailing ships at sea, because in the mountains and on the sea they must face up, as did men of another age, to the challenge of nature. Modern man lives in a highly synthetic kind of existence. He specializes in this and that. Rarely does he test all his powers or find himself whole. But in the hills and on the water the character of a man comes out.” — Abram T. Collier

I invite you to join us on this journey. A longing for wild places. A thirst for adventure. A search for connection to humanity and the earth. A telling of stories.

The Overlanding Company
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