The newspaper from my hometown, The Sunraysia Daily is printing the following article on Monday the 15th June:
DAN Grec has lived on the edge for years but is about to embark on an epic journey, even by his standards.
After road-tripping the entire east and west coast of the USA and spending the past years in the snowfields and mountains of Lake Tahoe, California, and Calgary in Alberta, Canada, the adventurer from Buronga is planning a transcontinental drive.
This weekend Dan, 27, will begin his road trip from the Arctic Ocean in Northern Alaska, the tip of North America, to Tierra Del Fuego, the southern-most point of South America.
He does not have sponsors, years of training or a lot of money – he admits to being just an average guy who isn’t afraid to try the road less travelled.
“I’m driving 50,000km on the world’s longest highway and will pass through more than 15 countries,” Dan said.
“The route is very tentative – if I was to meet someone who swore I had to see South Dakota, I’d probably go there.”
At 18 Dan moved from Buronga to Melbourne to study Computer Software Engineering at Swinburne University.
After university he got a taste for adventure and said goodbye to his parents in Buronga three years ago.
He hasn’t looked back since.“When I was at university I thought I would graduate, get a career and do that for the rest of my life.
“When I finished uni all of my friends were furiously applying for jobs and looking at a career – I was just too burnt out.“The only application I filled out was to work in the snowfields in Lake Tahoe, California.
“The friends I made there were amazing and their outlook on life was one I had never encountered before – ‘live as completely as you can’. Everything else will take care of itself.“I have been doing that ever since, and I still catch up with those friends regularly.“Anyone could do what I am doing if they wanted to.
“It really is a valid option to do something totally different to everybody else, all you have to do is try.”
Dan said there were challenges along the way and a downside to being away from Australian friends and family.
“There is lots of saving beforehand and picking up jobs as I go along.
“I also live a very simple lifestyle so my expenses are low.
“I’ve got no mobile, no phone, no TV, no flashy toys. Less is more.“Lately, I’ve been missing the little things from Australia – the smell of the dirt or a gum tree.
“I miss the Southern Cross and feel turned around when I look at the night sky with all the stars upside down.”
Despite the distance he said he had found people all over the world to have unifying qualities.“They want their families to be happy and to give their children every opportunity they can.“The people I connect the most with are always those who are living every single day and are not afraid to get off the beaten path.
“They are very positive, encouraging people who believe the next best thing to adventuring is to talk to someone else about their adventure.”
Dan said he had enjoyed his time in Canada but he still called Australia home.“When I left on this trip I said I would continue to travel until I found somewhere better than Australia to live.
“If I can’t find such a place, or I get sick of travelling, I’ll come back.“Often when I meet someone from small-town Canada I’m reminded of friends from Mildura.
“I really like Canada, the people are very much like home – very relaxed, easy going and friendly.
“Substitute ice hockey for beach cricket and a hot tub for a swimming pool and you’re good to go.“The country itself is by far the biggest difference – the mountains in the west are amazingly beautiful and like nothing we have in
“Having four complete seasons is also really fun – each season is completely different from the others and makes it feel like
a different place than it was a few months earlier.
“Winter is amazing and -48 degrees Celsius is so completely alien I really do feel like I’m on another planet.
“Walking to work in two feet of fresh snow puts a smile on my face every time.”
You can follow Dan’s adventures at his website and blog, www.dangrec.com.
by Jono Pech
Thanks Jono! – I’m grinning from ear to ear and now I’m excited for me!