I remember the joy and excitement of my early traveling adventures with my family. We went to Itasca State Park once, where the Mississippi River starts. We had a yellow Chevy truck with a camper top where my parents slept. All the kids shared a very large army green tent. I remember waking up one morning and stepping outside the tent right onto a pile of bear poop! Then try sleeping in a tent for the next 3 days… We were catching fish to eat, hiking the trails and swimming in the river.
Another memorable trip was heading to Snowball Lake up in the Iron Range, traveling in a rented RV. We slept on top of it, under the stars. That’s when I learned how to cook on a campfire. I have many more memories, but these truly stick out the most.
As a hard-working small business owner, I understand the need to escape to new destinations and find ways to have an adventure – even close to home –. Once in a while, I like to venture to Western Maryland to Green Ridge State Forest, or spend a long weekend in Davis, West Virginia or drive up to Pennsylvania to meet up with some friends. That’s one great thing about our overland community: you can always find a group to meet up with! Do a quick post on social media asking if anyone is going out for the day or weekend. Sure, enough you’re onto your next adventure!
What I currently drive and my current set-up… She’s a 2015 stock AWD Honda Pilot with almost 200k miles on it. She works perfectly for what I enjoy doing: hitting the National and State Parks and doing some light water crossings! I have an ARB fridge, a large/small tote for my cooking and other gear. A Coleman 10×10 instant 60 second tent, that’s about 5 years old. An Aero queen air mattress with a Vector Maxx Power Inverter that plugs into my cigarette lighter to pump it up. My trusty propane buddy heater. AND the most important gear of all: my dog Bella – my travel buddy that is always up for an adventure! She gets more excited than I do pulling out all the camping gear!
My dream rig will always be that beautiful old classic FJ44 Toyota Land Cruiser with four doors and a pop-up tent in bright yellow! From the very first time I saw one, it was love at first sight!
My favorite destination so far? Definitely Davis, West Virginia. I went there for the first time in November 2019 to relax, after working non-stop for months on various large projects. It was colder than we thought, with a little snow on the ground and crisp fresh air. We camped at Red Run by the river and hit a couple trails there. Then, we went off to the West Fork Road & Trail. To some people, it’s not that spectacular of a place to go. It might seem like a simple little place, but to me, it will always be a special place to visit.
My dream overlanding trip would be heading to Ethiopia, to see the Oma Valley Tribes, as well as to Kenya and Namibia. There are many more places I dream of going to, but these are the top picks. I have met so many wonderful people around the world through the overland community that I would love to visit them all!
What I am trying to accomplish through this new endeavor – our magazine – is to connect regular people, share their adventures around the world, introduce you to places that might be in your backyard. And that you can put on your bucket list and say…I can actually do that!