Anyone who grew up in the 1970’s in North America or Europe will know that van life is nothing new.
Months after meeting, Gay and Jack Reineck outfitted a VW van in London and set out on an adventure. Living in the van for the next 12 months, and 25,000 miles, they travelled through Europe, Turkey, Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan, to India, and back.
Available from Rufus Guides, the couple have written about their adventure.
A travel diary, journey of discovery, and personal memoir, VAN LIVING 1971 is the story of two young designers beginning a life together.
Along the way they created an enduring love that would last for more than 50 years.
How do you choose your next adventure when there are so many options available?
Wizarding up ideas for adventures is one of my favourite things to do. I find it enjoyable, exciting, but also easy. If I was a specialist I would need to search for something higher, harder and faster within my niche every time I wanted a new challenge. But because I am a generalist, I make the next adventure more challenging by making it differently challenging to previous projects. It is an important part of keeping adventure fresh for me.
I am surprised how often people tell me that they really want to do an adventure but don’t know what to do. Hopefully this walk-through of the way I come up with ideas might get your own adventure cogs whirring…
It is a road of mountain passes and India’s access to the roof of the world – the Himalayas. This 475-kilometre long route at the northernmost tip of the Indian subcontinent connects the cities of Manali and Leh at the heart of the Ladakh region.
The term “highway” applies quite literally, since the route traverses five of the highest drivable mountain passes in the world – among these the Lohtang La at 3,978 metres above sea level, the Lachulung La at 5,059 metres and the Tanglang La at 5,325 metres.
Crossing these passes is a challenge for both vehicle and man. The mountain peaks, still snow-capped even in the depths of summer, wide variety of vegetation and the fantastic and craggy landscape turn any journey into a captivating adventure.
Each of the 150 cyclists got three votes to cast, and I simply tallied up the results. In the end, 80 different countries were favourited, which is pretty cool because that means most corners of the world have something, for somebody.
These are their top picks for the best countries for long-distance cycling »
10. 🇰🇬 Kyrgyzstan
9. 🇨🇱 Chile
8. 🇲🇽 Mexico
7. 🇦🇺 Australian
6. 🇮🇷 Iran
5. 🇮🇳 India
4. 🇨🇳 China
3. 🇹🇯 Tajikistan
2. 🇺🇸 USA
1. 🇹🇷 Turkey
A morning shot of Fairy Meadows and Nanga Parbat. » Photography by Imrankhakwani
» 8,848 metres (29,029 ft) above sea level
» Located on the border between Nepal and the autonomous region of Tibet (OpenStreetMap / Google Maps)
» First summitted by Sir Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay in 1953
» Also known as Mount Godwin-Austen or Chhogori
» 8,611 metres (28,251 ft) above sea level
» Located on the border between China and Pakistan (OpenStreetMap / Google Maps)
» First summitted gy Lino Lacedelli and Achille Compagnoni in 1954
» Located on the border between Nepal and India, approximately 125 kilometres from Everest (OpenStreetMap / Google Maps)
» At elevation of 8,586 metres (28,169 ft), it is the second highest mountain in the Himalayas
» First summitted by Joe Brown and George Brand in 1955 Continue reading
Many little girls dream of one day being on top of the world, but Mexican climber Viridiana Álvarez Chávez grew up and actually did so.
In an incredible one year and 364 days, she scaled three peaks to achieve an adventurous Guinness World Records title.
In an admirable display of strength and determination, she has broken the record for the fastest ascent of the top three highest mountains with supplementary oxygen (female).
Viridiana’s journey started with Everest (8,848 meters; 29,029 feet high) on May 16, 2017, followed by K2 (8,611 meters; 28,251 feet) on July 21, 2018, and finished at Kangchenjunga (8,856 meters; 28,169 feet) on May 15, 2019.
This video documents the 3,000 km ride that cyclists took in 2019 from Leh in Ladakh, India to Kathmandu in Nepal.
Along the way they pedalled over passes as high as 5,000 meters, spun past remote forts and Gompas (Buddhist Monasteries), visited heavenly Himalayan hill stations, and marvelled at the snow-capped mountain views.
For Switzerland, the 2020 ranking is the the fourth consecutive yearhas been judged No. 1 by residents of 36 countries. Canada was chosen second, overtaking Japan in the U.S. News’ fifth annual survey.
The Best Countries report, produced from an annual global survey of more than 20,000 people in 36 countries including the United States, reflects increasingly negative views of the world and within countries. Nearly half of survey respondents say conditions around the world have worsened in the past year. Likewise, an increased percentage of people say the gap between the rich and poor has grown and that nationalism is increasing.
According to the ranking, here are the Top 25 Countries in the World
United Arab Emirates
The Bottom 5 of the U.S. News 2020 Best Countries rankings are
In a span of seven years, he paddled a series of 15-foot kayaks more than 30,000 miles from the Danube River in Europe to the tropical shores of far northern Australia. Even better, when he first set out, he was “merely” planning to paddle to Cyprus for work, with no intention of traveling by kayak to the other side of the world. But the paddling proved irresistible and Speck did not stop once he reached Cyprus.
Speck was 25 years old when he set out on his incredible journey. He was an unemployed electrician living in Hamburg. Work was scarce and prospects were dim after the 1929 stock market crash ripped through Germany, so Speck decided to seek work in the copper mines of Cyprus. With no other means to get there, and as a proud member of a kayaking club since his youth, Speck decided to paddle his way to, hopefully, a job.
In May, 1932, Speck shoved off from banks of the Danube in a collapsible and very much not seaworthy 15-foot kayak, and began paddling south. He arrived in the Balkans several weeks later and, lulled to boredom by the languid waters of the Danube, Speck made for the Vardar River, where soon fierce rapids dashed his boat nearly to splinters. While awaiting repairs, winter set in and the Vardar froze over, locking Speck in place for months.