Ahhh…the Road Trip. It’s as American as apple pie, as Canadian as maple syrup and as Alaskan as…bears catching salmon? But if you’re wondering why North America will always be the Road Trip’s spiritual home, it all goes back to a guy named Henry Ford.
When Ford rolled his first Model T automobile off the production line in Detroit, Michigan, way back in the early 1900s, it changed the way regular Americans thought about travel. Sure, caravans, chariots and carriages (and even a few super-expensive cars) were already roaming around the continent well before Mr Ford came along. But these options were either too slow, or too expensive for most people. Ford’s Model T made the automobile affordable, and made travel accessible to all. Instead of catching a train or boarding a crowded boat – motorists can now begin to explore this massive continent on their own, and visit cities and National Parks that they had only read about in books.
When Charlie Grosso decided to challenge her own own boundaries, boy did she do it big and Intrepid was along for the ride! After 13,025 kilometres (8095 miles) across 14 countries in 38 days, she shares her incredible Mongol Rally experiences…
“The eighteenth-century Swiss author Madame de Stael once said, “travel is one of the saddest pleasures in life.” If travel is a lovely single malt Scotch, The Mongol Rally is akin to crack. It has been 3 months since I arrived at the finish line and yet not a day goes by where I don’t think about those 6 weeks spent driving across the world. I am beyond addicted and I constantly wonder how to get another fix.
We’re all familiar with photos of Victoria Falls or the Masai Mara migration, but Katrin Holmsten discovers that the vast continent of Africa also has its hidden gems…
“Seen the pyramids of Cairo and surfed the beaches of Cape Town? Been to Kenya, spotted the Big Five and ticked Africa off the list? But you missed Africa at its best. If eastern Africa is known for its wildlife and nature, then western Africa teems with culture. Countries from Senegal to Cameroon are all about festivals and traditions, singers and dancers, magicians, spirituality and the voodoo cult.
After weeks on the road we understand if you start to feel comfortable enough with your travel companions to let yourself go a little. But when the shaggy hair and holiday beard becomes too much, Intrepid’s Boris ‘Bob’ Golodets knows a local character who you’ll love to meet…
“Towards the end of a month-long Silk Road Journey I was in the ancient Uzbek city of Bukhara and badly in need of a haircut. I spotted a barber nearby our hotel and asked him for a trim. He was so skilled that then I asked him to shave me. To my surprise he did it with the traditional razor – being shaved the first time in my life by a big sharp blade was a little scary, but that’s what we call real life experiences, right?
The iconic Trans-Siberian Railway is on so many travel wish lists, and rightly so. Intrepid’s Chimene Barrett gives Intrepid’s new Classic Trans-Siberian trip the big thumbs up for anyone wanting to experience a fascinating overland adventure…
“Armed with packet noodles, bread, pickles and an obligatory bottle of vodka, we boarded the train out of Vladivostok with a little trepidation. Our Trans-Siberian journey would mean 3 nights non-stop to Irkutsk!
For most people choosing to travel to Africa means carefully planning the adventure of a lifetime. For lucky Express reader Barbara Reid that wasn’t quite how her Kenya safari came about, but she enjoyed it so much that it’s almost as if Africa chose her…
“To quote Little Miss Sunshine – “I won, I won, I won!” I received an email informing me I’d won a Kenya Wildlife Safari. After entering competitions for a very long time – it was my turn!
Meeting the proud Maasai people and learning more about their traditional village life in Kenya was all part of the amazing Africa experience for Intrepid’s Dyan Mckie…
“I can understand why most travellers are inspired to visit Africa to see the unbelievable animals. I too was extremely excited to see white and black rhinos, giraffes running across the road and a Masai Mara lion, who decided to check us out from only two feet away. Plus I will never forget the cheetah who stalked a gazelle, but made a last-minute decision to leave it alone only yards from our 4WD! The animals are primarily why people go to Africa, but with some surprise, my Africa journey was more about the people.
Intrepid trips always include as much local transport as possible, because half the fun of travel, is the travelling itself! Great Indochina Loop is a perfect example of this, as Zoe Rees discovered…
“The second day into my Great Indochina Loop trip and I was already immersed in local life on board an overnight train from Bangkok to Chiang Mai. It was great fun to be surrounded by men, women and families, all going about their everyday chatter and snacking on unusual food. You can sit back and soak in the experience, or if you are game like our group, just join in. I recommend practising your charades first and be prepared to laugh lots!
The Trans-Siberian Railway is hailed as one of the great train journeys of the world and Tina Gerets understands why it attracts thousands of enthusiasts every year…
“For some people the thought of spending close to 100 hours in a confined space is daunting. But having done the ‘Trans Sib’ (as it is affectionately known) 7 times already, I can assure you this is not a reason to stay at home. In fact, the 3-night journey between Ulan Ude and Kungur seems to fly by, and that’s Intrepid’s longest stretch on the train. I would plan to update my journal or catch up on sleep and reading, but that never happened because I simply didn’t have time!