Picture this, you and your significant other, driving a Toyota Land Cruiser for 31 years straight. Sounds like a challenge? Not for Emil and Liliana Schmid from Switzerland. The couple has travelled across 181 countries on a journey that started in October 1984 - and is still ongoing. In July 2014 they set the record for 'Longest driven journey' in the Guinness World Records book with 692,227km. Although it might not seem that way given where they are today, back in 1984, Emil and Liliana never got in their car with the intention to travel for 31 years. The plan was to road trip through North America for 2 years but their love for travel took over. 'Because we liked it we said, 'OK, we still have money, why should we go back home? Let's continue with another two years in South America, and then four years in Africa, then Australia and so it went, on and on' said Emil in December 2012 to The National.
Travelling around the world isn't as glamourous as one would imagine, Liliana revealed to Trekity. She has been living in her land Cruiser FJ 60, which the couple fitted so they could sleep inside, for 31 years. They use a 5 pound propane gas bottle to cook and store a 5 gallon jerry can of water on the roof rack for showers. Being experienced road trippers, they even carry 'sand ladders' to free themselves when they get stuck in the sand.Emile and Liliana seem to have tackled one of the biggest challenges for couples: being in the car together. Where most of us struggle to drive to the Gold Coast without getting worked up over a wrong turn or a map 'that doesn't have the street on it', the Swiss couple keep their heads cool. They recently told the South African Smithfield that they have a democracy inside the car and decide on their next destination together. They keep track of the weather ahead, avoid cold temperatures and know exactly what places they haven't seen and where they'd like to go. Perhaps not the best solution when you need to tackle the drive to Movie World, but the democracy element might bring some relief.
After 31 years, 703,283.328 kilometres and 181 countries, some countries have stolen Liliana's heart. Her favourite destinations include:
Papua New Guinea - I liked it for its different tribes with their unique costumes and paintings, highlighted at the Goroka and Mt. Hagen Shows.
Chile - I appreciate it because it offers everything: From desert, glaciers, volcanoes and coastal areas. I loved the solitude and untouched nature - a camper's paradise.
Oman - Oman offers deep Arabian tradition, great hospitality, a unique scenery and security. I had no worries at all to camp out in the wild.'But her road trip hasn't been all but fun; she had a scary confrontation in the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia: 'We had the most frightening encounter with bandits, equipped with knives, who blocked the road with their car. We finally escaped unharmed by ramming their car, it was pure luck.
After all this time, will they ever stop their journey, return to Switzerland and unpack their stored away furniture? Emil is not so sure about that: 'At a certain point you cannot stop. This is the life I like, I couldn't imagine another life. If I woke up tomorrow and I couldn't travel I wouldn't know what to do. I can't imagine just settling down, it would be too boring for me.'Emil and Liliana are currently travelling through South Africa, you can follow their adventures on their blog.
If you want to have your own road trip around the world as well, give our friendly reservations staff a call on 1300 656 601 or book online today on our search engine!