bmw88rider GRM+ Memberand UberDork
4/28/22 2:09 p.m.

Hey Y'all. I've been thinking a lot about taking an adult gap year from work. It's a thing right? I think it's actually called a mid-life crisis but I digress. I'm 47 and single with no kids and very little family left after the last 2 years. 

Anyways, I'm in a very comfortable situation financially to do it. That part is all squared away. I was actually looking to do it prior to covid starting but all that got delayed of course. 

The idea would be to spend 3-4 months in each location. South America, Africa, SE Asia, and Eastern Europe. Basically the part of the world I've never spent a lot of time in. Do some volunteering, some exploring, and seeing if there is a place that just says you need to stay. 

I've traveled a lot for work so I am comfortable with being overseas. 

My biggest thing is transportation once I get to each place. That has been the stumbling block. For the Americas, it's pretty easy. Drive truck or bike to Houston and pick it up in what ever port I decide. The bigger issue is when I get overseas. I could rent something but the costs will be up there. I could ship from location to location. Would have to look at the costs there. I could buy something on landing. But not sure on the registration and insurance. 

Any Ideas on places to research this and get some ideas or any first hand experiences? Also, Does the hive think motorcycle or car is the better option? I'm comfortable on both.

My target date is February 2023 as that is when the lease on the property I'm in expires. 


Datsun310Guy MegaDork
4/28/22 2:23 p.m.
stuart in mn
stuart in mn MegaDork
4/28/22 2:57 p.m.

As for motorcycle travel, check out the Itchy Boots channel on YouTube.  It's a young Dutch woman who's been traveling the globe on bikes for several years.  There are many others to choose from as well.  When she goes to a new continent, she buys a motorcycle when she gets there.

John Welsh
John Welsh Mod Squad
4/28/22 3:11 p.m.

If motorcycle, I'd reasearch or pose the question in the forums over at

RX Reven'
RX Reven' GRM+ Memberand UltraDork
4/28/22 3:14 p.m.

am I the only one that was expecting an amphibious motorhome build thread?

Pete Gossett (Forum Supporter)
Pete Gossett (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
4/28/22 3:27 p.m.

In reply to bmw88rider :

I've watched a couple vanlife-type videos over the past couple years where people have shipped their rig between continents. No idea on the cost, or how that would work out with the current global logistics situation, but at least it seems like a somewhat common & fairly recent occurrence. 

pinchvalve (Forum Supporter)
pinchvalve (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
4/28/22 4:07 p.m.

I would be inspired by Top Gear and buy something for each leg of the journey, then sell it. Why deal with shipping? 

Start a South American-market car, something that is already set up for rough roads and bad gas.

In Europe, something like an old Benz E-Class diesel.

A scooter in Vietnam.

A knock-off of something across China...


Paul_VR6 (Forum Supporter)
Paul_VR6 (Forum Supporter) SuperDork
4/28/22 4:13 p.m.

I'd skip eastern Europe for a hot minute... otherwise sounds like a great plan.

Mr_Asa GRM+ Memberand PowerDork
4/28/22 4:22 p.m.

Sometime last year David Tracy did a buttload of miles around Europe in a 30 year old Dodge Minivan.  He went through hell getting it registered in Germany, but once he did it was a solid vehicle.

Not sure I'd recommend him as any sort of role model though. 

I think you could probably get away with just driving down to South America from here, and then get one vehicle in that big blob on the other side of the Prime Meridian. 

BoxheadTim GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
4/28/22 4:24 p.m.

Don't forget that Top Gear et al have local fixers to handle vehicle registration, insurance and so on. That can make a big difference - I occasionally looked into buying something interesting somewhere in Europe, driving it for a vacation and then shipping it over here. That's a pain in the posterior even if I do this in Germany, where I know how to do it and speak the language.

I'd be tempted to use a motorcycle - one issue with an overlanding vehicle is that you usually have to ship cars by boat, and that takes a while (and then you have to rush it through customs at the other end). Motorcycles can usually be shipped by air freight, although you still need a shipping agent to handle that. But it's generally quicker (a few days rather than a few weeks in a port city waiting for a ship to arrive). Less issue with stuff getting stolen compared to RoRo shipping, too.

bmw88rider GRM+ Memberand UberDork
4/28/22 4:50 p.m.

In reply to John Welsh :

I am looking there too John. I have done some small adventures into Mexico but nothing of this sort. I've been to the tip of baja and back in my old Xterra and a few other places. Been on a motorcycle from St. Louis to Fairbanks and back. Good thing is I've got a bit of time to get things set. It's fun planning. 

bmw88rider GRM+ Memberand UberDork
4/28/22 4:53 p.m.

In reply to Paul_VR6 (Forum Supporter) :

I was just in Slovakia 2 weeks ago. It's not bad outside of the Ukraine. Of course, I'll be monitoring the situation as needed. 

californiamilleghia UltraDork
4/28/22 5:11 p.m.

I have done Europe too many times , mostly VW buses , 

I would probably get a diesel van , Mercedes or Ford that  has parts available all over Europe , 

light camper inside , bed , camp stove , water eTc , enough room for a couple of push bikes that can be stored inside.

Move with the seasons , Spanish coast or Portugal in the winter , or Greece , 

We did 17,000 miles in 9 months

stuart in mn
stuart in mn MegaDork
4/28/22 7:48 p.m.

I'd think a Toyota diesel pickup would be a good choice.

Fueled by Caffeine
Fueled by Caffeine MegaDork
4/28/22 8:04 p.m.

I'd say around the world a Toyota, a Mercedes, a  Nissan or a ford would be best. 

ford is the best for domestic brands that does well world wide for parts etc.   Nissan patrols are a 2nd to lancruisers and Toyota/Mercedes seem to be everywhere 

bmw88rider GRM+ Memberand UberDork
4/28/22 10:28 p.m.

Thanks for the ideas. Lot to think about. My first thought is registration and insurance issues especially if I buy in region. That is definitely something I'll need to research. 

I have a Honda CB500x so if I decide to do the motorcycle route, that will work well for that. The idea would be less constant travel like say Itchy Boots, more hub and spoke where I spend a few weeks in a town and explore the surrounding area. 

The whole situation in the Ukraine will make travel to Asia from Europe difficult. My Russian visa expires this year and I'm not sure if I'll be able to renew easily especially since my company discontinued operations there.  

californiamilleghia UltraDork
4/28/22 10:53 p.m.

I drove my California registered VW bus around Europe without problems , l was able to get "green card" international insurance from AAA

KyAllroad MegaDork
4/29/22 7:22 a.m.

Sabbatical is the term for "adult gap year" I believe.  And that sounds like an awesome adventure, consider me jealous.

I think I'd buy and resell whatever felt right for the area.  That way when you decide it's time for a new continent, you only have to get yourself there and aren't tied down while waiting for your wheels to arrive.

bmw88rider GRM+ Memberand UberDork
4/29/22 8:10 a.m.

Ahh, Yes Sabbatical. Got to use the right terms here. 

So I had an email in my box this morning from a friend in France with the solution for Europe I do believe. I can only stay in the continent 90 days out of every 180 days since my Polish citizenship application is still pending after a year and a half.

Renault has a program for short term leases. It looks like about 1500 euro for 3 months. I've requested an official quote. No mileage limits, full insurance, registration, etc. It's nothing fancy but it is a brand new Clio with a manual.  Overall it sounds cheaper than shipping something and less of a pain than trying to find something on the ground. I guess I'll have to drive a Clio the next time I'm in Europe in June to see if that'll work. 

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