Disoriented and jet lagged, we stepped off the bullet train and into the streets of Tokyo. It was our first time abroad, and the next three weeks of backpacking opened our eyes to so many new things – the cultural practices of the Japanese people, bowls of ramen with flavourful umami broth, how to bathe in an onsen, how NOT to eat noodles, and how to navigate public transportation in a foreign country.

This is where our travel obsession started. The bug hit us hard.


At the time we were working at desk jobs (Ashley: Paralegal, Richard: Mechanical Engineering Technologist).

Every year we pushed for as much vacation time as possible and used the time off to jet off to Cuba, South East Asia, Turkey, Jordan and Isreal.

Each time we travelled to these faraway lands so different from our own, we dreaded coming home. Combine this love for travel with feeling so-so about where our careers were headed, then add on a side job for each of us (Ashley: Registered Holistic Nutritionist, Richard: Wedding Photographer) and the perfect storm was created. We were burnt out and yearning for a change. A big change.

All of a sudden we found ourselves in the midst of a major life chat at our local coffee haunt. Scribbling notes on a paper napkin about a travel budget, listing things we could sell, and brainstorming about destinations that wouldn’t break the bank.

That life chat meant that it was time to mix up our life a bit. We originally planned on backpacking long-term, but picked up a little red 1990 Toyota Pickup truck instead. Saving as much money as we could, we packed up our downtown Vancouver life, quit our desk jobs, rented out our apartment and hit the road. This road trip turned into a 65,000 kilometre drive to Argentina (with a working year in the middle to refill the bank account).

On the zig-zag route south we hiked in the Andes, field our tummies with spicy ceviche, Baja fish tacos and Argentinian Malbec. We slept in our rooftop tent for over 400 nights, met new friends and learned about the world.

Check out our blog for the full story – we’ve written over 140 posts about our Pan-American adventure.


“This is why we travel. To learn about others, listen to stories and experience unfamiliar cultures and landscapes. There is a whole world out there that is messy and complicated and beautiful, and our favourite places are those that are wildly different from our own.”



Ashley is a Paralegal turned travel writer, social media coordinator, and co-owner and guide at Women Overlanding the World. She is also a crew member of Expedition Overland.

Ashley can be found buried in a pile of travel books, poring over maps, studying herbal medicine or hiking the craggy peaks of the Canadian Rockies.

She writes about overland travel and the great outdoors for Tread Magazine, Overland Journal and Expedition Portal.

Favourite Quote:

“I hope you will go out and let stories, that is life, happen to you, and that you will work with these stories… water them with your blood and tears and your laughter till they bloom, till you yourself burst into bloom.” – Clarissa Pinkola Estés

Current Fave Road Snack:

Dried Mango

Follow Ashley on Instagram:



After leaving a ten-year career as a Mechanical Engineering Technologist, Richard completed a 48,800-kilometer overland journey from Vancouver, Canada to Ushuaia, Argentina with his wife Ashley in their well-loved but antiquated 1990 Toyota Pickup.

On the zig-zag route south they hiked the Andes, discovered diverse cultures in 15 different countries, and filled their tummies with spicy ceviche, Baja fish tacos and Argentinian Malbec.

That trip catapulted Richard into a career as a freelance video producer, photographer, and writer. He has created commercials for Toyota Canada, is the lead photographer and social media manager for Expedition Overland, and is always itching to hit the road and share his own adventures. If you see Richard out in the wild, he’ll most likely have a coffee in one hand and a camera in the other.

Fave Road Snack:


Follow Richard on Instagram:


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