Four years ago myself Leigh from Australia, together with my wife Steph from France made the decision to quit our jobs, leave everything behind and embark on the journey of a lifetime.
We are outdoor enthusiasts and rock climbers with a passion for adventure off the regular tourist paths and to countries less travelled.
Our pre requisite for this long term overland journey around the world was a set up that allowed us to have our living area separated from our vehicle along with being fully off-road capable.
With 20 years off-road and overland experience including full time roof top tenting for multiple years, long term ground tent adventures and living in a camping trailer for 2 years travelling outback Australia we knew exactly what we required to embark on this latest and largest undertaking.
Although no strangers to roughing it we decided that this long term open ended trip required a certain level of comfort that would ensure our commitment to see it through.
Our Four Wheel Camper Grizzly model was purchased in Germany from Wohnkabinencenter the European distributor.
The journey commenced with a farewell to Paris in front of the iconic Eiffel Tower.
We headed first south to northern Africa before slowly making our way east through Europe, Eastern Europe, Central Asia to far eastern Asia.
This massive undertaking has not been without challenges. Throughout it all Grizzly our beloved Four Wheel Camper and full time home has stood up to everything that travelling some of the most remote and toughest trails on the planet has thrown at us.
From broken axles at 3000m during a snow storm in the Tian Shan mountains, Kyrgyzstan to a disastrous frozen river crossing in remote eastern Mongolia we have never once regretted our choice of camper.
We feel so very fortunate to have the opportunity to travel this amazing world overland. On our quest for unique experiences, cultural understanding, natural adventure and of course incredible trails we have so far covered 70,000km and over 30 countries in our Four Wheel Camper.
The majority of our time has been spent travelling the spectacular regions of Central Asia with the Wakhan Corridor Afghanistan and Bartang Valley Tajikistan being absolutely life changing experiences. In our personal opinions possibly the most spectacular regions in the world for overland travel.
The 300km mountain trail through the Bartang Valley in Tajikistan is avoided by most Overlanders due to the high risk of avalanche, flooding, difficult driving terrain with no chance of recovery and even frequent earthquakes.
The compact size of our FWC enabled us to navigate this challenging trail over 5 days with confidence. The trail is high altitude taking you from 2000m to 4000m. Our Land Rover and Four Wheel Camper combination proved the perfect choice in traversing the tight passes of the Pamir Mountains.
The vast open planes of Kazakhstan and Mongolia, the lush high mountains and nomadic tribes of Kyrgyzstan, the ancient history and architecture of Uzbekistan are not to be missed.
Late 2019 saw our plans of travelling Iran disrupted due to tension in the political situation. This sudden change of events led to a massive route adjustment, east was our only option.
Crossing a freezing Siberia in late November was not part of our original plans but essential in reaching the far eastern Russian city of Vladivostok where we could then take a ferry to South Korea.
We spent a cold yet comfortable winter rock climbing in South Korea. Our newly installed diesel heater keeping us warm during the weeks of temperatures as low as -20C.
Proving to ourselves that contrary to some opinion a pop top truck camper can indeed be accommodating even during a harsh winter.
Fast forward to now and with the challenges that 2020 has brought with it to the entire world we count ourselves so very fortunate to be in the wonderful country of Japan.
Travelling Japan for 7 months in our Four Wheel Camper has rewarded us with a unique opportunity to learn about this beautiful culture whilst exploring the stunning landscapes in a country that is so very accessible to overlanders with free camping available throughout Japan.
Unfortunately due to the current situation in the world our recent plan to ship our vehicle and Four Wheel Camper to Australia was not to be.
For now we continue to travel and explore the beautiful country of Japan.
What the future has in store for us we have no idea. We do know that we will continue to travel this incredible planet in our Four Wheel Camper for as long as we possibly can.
Our next destination…? Well that is a mystery even to us. On a journey such as ours being prepared for anything is essential and all part of the adventure.
Want to see where our travels have taken us and the Four Wheel Camper in action. Please check out our YouTube channel, GrizzlyNbear Overland where we document the adventure through weekly videos.
Leigh and Steph
For more Four Wheel Camper Adventures check HERE