It has taken Roy Flynn, 36, and Nicole Denise Schreiter, 31,500 days to travel by car from Switzerland to Thailand. Leaving their old lives as a technical businessman and nurse in Switzerland behind without any doubts in March last year, thanks to a sense of wanderlust, the couple has travelled through 23 countries, four world religions, and many plateaus and climates after saving for the trip for seven years. Their route on land has led them to Eastern Europe, the Middle East, Central Asia, Siberia, Mongolia, Western China, the Himalayas, India, and finally to Southeast Asia.
Roy and Nicole in Iran.
Their snug team consists of three, with Gandalf the White (a Toyota Land Cruiser) serving as their protector and trusty steed, but now a fourth member, baby Kevin, has joined the crew. Nicole found out that she was pregnant while in Goa eight months ago and from there, much meticulous planning went in to ensure that she would be able to give birth on Koh Samui. The little island down in the South is surely one of the milestones for the couple as they finally kicked back to recharge and relax a little longer than usual while Nicole gave birth to their first son.
Back on the road again and currently in Bangkok after a blissful break on Samui, we caught up with the team before they continue on their journey towards Chiang Mai and onwards to Myanmar or Laos.
What advice do you have regarding money management for people who want to travel the world the way you did, both before and during the journey?
This was the most difficult question we asked ourselves a long time ago. The amount depends on many different factors such as time, countries, diesel/petrol consumption, condition of the vehicle, how much comfort you want, accommodation, food and much more. We made a budget plan and saved money for many years before we started our journey. While travelling we advise people to keep the costs under control by writing down all the expenses, because we live from our savings only.
What do you do in a typical day, other than travelling and visiting places?
Kevin joins the team on Koh Samui.
On a typical non-travelling day we plan and organise upcoming trips, get visas, organise shippings, write emails, sort photos, maintain and repair the vehicle, read books, cook in our car which has been remodelled into a mobile flat and update our website, www.globexplorer.ch, which is how we keep in touch and share our experiences with our families and friends.
What has been the weirdest cultural experience you've encountered during your journey?
There was the Indian driving style which is totally weird in the way that people just used loud horns instead of following any rules. Also, in Mongolia we had our weirdest food experience drinking fermented horse milk and eating horse-hair soup.
What has been the best moment during your trip?
Our charity project, where we collected US$4,000 [126,500 baht] on the way from Switzerland to Mongolia and delivered the money to the childhood organisation Bayasgalant in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia. It was a great moment for us to visit the organisation and see the thankful eyes of the children.
What do you enjoy most about Thailand?
The friendly people and excellent food. We've experienced real warmth from local people, even though they don't speak a word of English. We also explored some very beautiful beaches. As we will be travelling around Thailand until the end of the year, we are sure to explore much more.
Where do you see your travels heading now that you have a child?
Travelling with our son is a totally new experience for us. We've just only felt the effects of the difference from what we've had before, but we believe that travelling with a baby is possible.
Any valuable lessons you'd like to share with people who want to journey the way you did?
"Don't dream your life, live your dream" was our slogan, which helped us to leave our past life behind us and give up our existence in Switzerland.
We have never regretted or hesitated making this journey. It's the best thing we've ever did.
What does this journey mean to you?
"See the world with your own eyes" is our own slogan, which we follow every day on our trip. In the media, we hear bad news every day about other countries and people.
On our journey we've experienced a totally different picture of the world. It's about humanity, love and peace, health and luck which is the same dream for every one of us.
You can check out Roy, Nicole and Kevin's adventures on www.globexplorer.ch.