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A new direction for The Road Chose Me

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Coffe Table Photography book out now!

999 Days Around Africa: The Road Chose Me

Exactly eleven years ago today, on the 19th of May 2009, The Road Chose Me was born.
We’ve come a very long way in that time.

I vividly remember my brother Mike and I throwing possible names around, testing each one to see what stuck. Mike was on cloud nine having just returned from hiking the entire Appalachian Trail, and I was dreaming and saving for my upcoming expedition. We spent a few days hiking and camping around the Rockies in the first snows of the season, and of course visited many hot springs.

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Camping in the mountains in May 2020 – my happy place

I just found the email I sent to my friends and family asking for input on the possibles, listed here:

  • My life is a choice
  • My life as a choice
  • Living, my way
  • Living, a way
  • I don’t know but I’m doing it
  • Slow down and live
  • Slow down to live
  • Going my way?
  • Going, my way
  • Need a lift?
  • Life is a choice
  • Life as a choice
  • I choose life
  • I choose to live
  • The road chose me (I like this one)
  • Road of lessons
  • Driving south
  • Headed south
  • I choose my fate
  • Fate is a choice
  • ZenFun (My brother loved this one)

My Mum suggested:

  • One of life’s Journeys
  • Everyday’s a Choice

You can probably see I was feeling extremely trapped at my desk job, and I was desperate to escape!

In the eleven years since The Road Chose Me launched, I’ve posted exactly 600 blog entries and uploaded 4,102 photos from my two major expeditions. I’ve spent thousands of hours writing and editing photos, and fought more terrible wifi to get it all uploaded than I care to remember. Thanks to you this site has received 4,668 comments and has seen over 2.7 million page views.

I’ve thoroughly enjoyed sharing my passion with you all, and the challenge of creative writing and photography. I was extremely proud when my first articles were published in magazines, and holding the first printed copy of my published book was a feeling I’ll never forget.
Blogs were already “old news” when I started blogging in 2009, and now more than a decade later they’re a dying breed.

For a lot of reasons, I’ve decided to take The Road Chose Me in a new direction.
From now on, I’m focusing on video to document my expeditions, and share DIY articles, advice, tips and tricks with you.
My goal is to teach you everything I’ve learned, and continue to inspire and encourage you to get out there on your own adventures.

Yes, there are more continent-scale adventures on the horizon for me – and I will film and share them with you – but you want to get out there and have adventures of your own, and I’m going to teach you everything you need to know!

These videos will all be free, on my YouTube Channel creatively called The Road Chose Me
https://www.youtube.com/theroadchoseme

I’ll publish two videos a week, every Monday and Thursday.

If you’re not already, please head over and subscribe, it really helps my channel grow and get more attention.

I’ve also started a Patreon page where you can pledge a monthly dollar amount. For as little as $2 a month you’ll help me create videos with all the information you need to get out there. Of course I’ll throw in inspirational videos from my own adventures and vehicle builds too!

At the higher support tiers you’ll receive exclusive rewards, and you’ll be helping me get back on the road on even bigger expeditions.

https://www.patreon.com/theroadchoseme

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The Road Chose Me Patreon

There were many, many days I looked forward to getting online to see the comments from you, and I genuinely appreciate it.
This is not the end, simply the beginning of something new!

Thanks for all the support and encouragement over the years,

-Dan

Also, here’s the announcement video:


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9 Responses

  1. Hugh says:

    Hey Dan, I’ve been following your journey for years and I think what you’re doing is awesome, very inspirational. FYI, I tried to pledge on your Patreon page but my card was declined. I’m from Canada and use my card way to often so I don’t think the card is the problem (I tried to enter it a number of times). Just wondering if others have said anything? I will try again later but just thought I would let you know in case it had something to do with the site.

    • Dan Grec says:

      Hi Hugh,
      Thanks very much for your support, I really appreciate it, and please do let me know if there is a topic or topics you would like me to film videos about!

      -Dan

      • Hugh says:

        Will do thanks. My wife and I are planning to do a South American trip in 2 years (give or take) so I’m interested in just about everything :)

  2. Hugh says:

    Hi Dan, I do have one question. Just wondering what would have been the ideal vehicle for the travelling you have done. I know there are pros and cons to everything but what would your choice be. Assuming its for 2 people and can’t include the Jeep. As for the budget something in the used sportsmobile range, healthy but not crazy (no umimog/earthroamers etc). Some of the things I’m looking at are Tacoma/4 wheel camper, Defender 110, Land cruiser, sportsmobile, sprinter, van, abmulance etc etc. You can debate the merits of each all day but you’ve been around all kinds of people with all sorts of vehicles so just wondering what your choice would be? thanks

    • Dan Grec says:

      Hi Hugh,

      It depends entirely on where you live (meaning what’s available), where you’re going, what kind of travelling you want to do, if you want to sleep inside or outside, if you love to explore tiny tracks or stick to main routes, etc. etc.
      The reality is that everything will work, and it’s your personal choice what you go with.

      I’ll probably do a video about it soon.

      -Dan

  3. Mark says:

    Hi Dan,

    I have been following your travels and you have been a huge inspiration to me.

    I am planning to drive form the U.K. to South Africa along a similar route to yours. Having lived in East Africa and seen what’s most used on the continent, I plan to use 70 Series Toyota Land Cruiser.

    My question is this; Would it be a major disadvantage to use a right hand drive vehicle?

    I have a chance to buy a low mileage 2015 model in great condition at a good price. The only thing stopping me buying it is the driving configuration – so I’d be really grateful to know what you think!

    Many thanks,

    Mark

    • Dan Grec says:

      Hi Mark,

      You can drive a RHD vehicle through every country in Africa without a major problem. It’s legal for the temporary import process, or if you use a Carnet.
      The only thing you’ll want to think about is safety.. if you’re comfortable driving on the “wrong” side of the vehicle, then you’ll be fine.
      When going around Africa you can’t really make a perfect choice, as so many of the countries drive on different sides!

      Have a great trip!

      -Dan

  4. Daniel says:

    Hi Dan,

    Thanks for all the fantastic information in your videos. Invaluable!

    I love how you make traveling simple, and point out that getting out there is possible for most anyone.

    I am curious about the mechanical side of your overland trips. My own skills are limited to oil changes and replacing spark plugs/battery. Oh, and did bleed a clutch once! But taking apart a driveshaft like you did, is beyond me. Can you talk a little about what mechanical knowledge you have, and how useful it was?

    What kind of toolset did you bring? What spare parts did you bring?
    What maintenance did you do along the way? Did you ever leave the Jeep in a shop for a major check up and preventive maintenance?
    Due to the rough roads you chose, did you have to replace any suspension parts along the way?

    I must say that Jeep looks pretty resilient. The fact that you laid it on the side, and then could start it right back up is amazing! LOL!

    Again, thanks!

    Daniel.

    • Dan Grec says:

      Hi Daniel,

      Sorry for the slow reply, I waited until I had filmed some more videos.
      Checkout the video I have coming this week about tools and mechanical skill – it answers all your questions!

      For spares and maintenance I’ll do those videos soon!

      Cheers,
      -Dan

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