Frequently Asked Questions

“Curiosity will conquer fear even more than bravery will.”

~James Stephens

Have you ever been robbed or encountered other violence?

During our 16-years on the road we got robbed once, in Brazil.

The robbery didn’t stop us from staying and enjoying Brazil. In fact, it is our favorite country in South America. The media will have you believe the world is full of dangers and, yes, shit does happen. However, the reality is that we live in a world full of wonderful, hospitable people. We have met them everywhere.

How do you pay for your travels?

“We rob banks,” Coen will answer. The reality, however, is a different matter.


The first 3 years we lived on our savings, having sold our belongings.


We write and photograph for print and online magazines.


We design and sell T-shirts, stickers, mugs, tote bags, and more.


Followers fuel our adventure in different ways.

How long will you be traveling for?

We don’t have an end date. This is our way of life. When we tire of it, we’ll take it from there.

What’s your favorite country?

There isn’t an overall #1, but we do have favorites.


North Pakistan, Patagonia, Pamirs in Tajikistan


Iran, Brazil, & Venezuela


South Korea & Japan


Coen: Thailand & India. KM: Iran & South Korea

Car Repairs

Japan 😉


Turkey, Argentina, Mongolia

16 years, 24 hours a day together in a car – Don’t you ever fight?

Of course we do.

We niggle over changing gears or folding the map in the right creases. It gets more serious when we are stressed. Because of heavy traffic, breakdowns of the Land Cruiser or bureaucratic hassle we can both become snappy with anxiety. Because we have no escape (in work, social life, sports – wherever you can avoid each other for a while), misunderstandings don’t have time to evolve into major conflicts and are generally solved quickly.

One time my mother noticed a recurring remark in our blog posts, which characterizes our relationship.

“After having spent some wonderful weeks with fellow overlanders (or local people) we can say from the bottom of our hearts, ‘How wonderful to be together again, just the two of us’.”

That pretty much sums up how we feel about living together so intensely.

If you’re looking for tips on how we live together without killing each other, here’s the story

Where do you shower?


Our favorite: bathing in rivers, lakes, waterfalls and the ocean.


We shower at people’s homes, an occasional hotel or campsite.

Hot Spring

We love hot springs (Andes Mountains, South Korea, Japan).

Cat Wash

Since 2012 we have a water tank, so even a quick shower is an option.

Don’t you miss home?

Yes. Which means we don’t have a perfect life, 100% of the time.

No matter what choice you make in life, it has consequences. A nomadic lifestyle means missing out on sharing and connecting with family and close friends. And yes, sometimes that hurts.

We return to the Netherlands every year for a number of weeks and make up for lost time as best as possible.

How Many Countries
Have You Visited?

Uhm, start counting, because we never do.

3,5 years





China (backpack)







Myanmar (backpack)




9 years













French Guiana

Since 2016

Philippines (backpack)


South Korea

Taiwan (backpack)

Jordan Trail (thru-hike)



China (backpack)



Turkey (thru-hike)






Do you have other questions? Fire away in the comment section below and we’ll answer them asap!


46 thoughts on “Frequently Asked Questions”

  1. Thank you for sharing all these wonderful stories and insightful information. I have been reading for hours!

    Would you choose Diesel or Gasoline for your vehicle fuel, if you had to pick.

    Thank you.

    • Hi Glen, That’s a no brainer to me. Diesel of course. First of all, you get better milage. Second, it will give you more torque. Third and not insignificant, I think it is much saver to handle diesel than gasoline. As we have just witnessed a Land Cruiser with a rebuild head trying to start and the whole thing was on fire. But also the jerrycans your carry or any leaks. Fourth it doesn’t need the electrics to run, in the worse case scenario, when you are without battery and alternator, you could just roll-start it and be done. Fifth, your water-crossings will be no problem anymore, if outfitted with a snorkel that is.

      Does that answer your question? Adventurous greetings,

      • muy asertado diesel es lo mejor tengo miles de kilometros recorridos por caminos como esos mucho ripio guadal barro y pavimento

        • Hi. Toilets ⁉️🤔
          We are dreaming of our overland trip in 8yrs when the kids are no longer at school (we have previously traveled for 2yrs with them) and I’m wondering how the toilet thing gets sorted. Do you need one or can u survive without?

          • In nature: dig a hole
            In urban areas: find a toilet at a gas station / restaurant / etc, or some countries (e.g. Peru/Kyrgyzstan) have public toilets in towns.
            In the car, e.g. for at night: tupperware box for me and bottle with big opening for Coen.
            Has worked perfectly for 16 years.
            Hope that helps!

  2. Great website and thank you for sharing your journey to date with us. I am sure you have been asked and you may have the details in the website but i am yet to find them about the cameras and workflow required to get the site up to date.

    I would love to know who takes the pictures, what gear you use/have found most use full and is it pro line equipment (cannon, nikon, sony etc) or just a point and shoot.

    Do you back up everyday how do you keep all your photos and video do you use the cloud or physical storage and all the bits and pieces in between.

    I take it you have a laptop or tablet to get online and edit the website or is it uploaded and a third party look after it for you?

    Many thanks and many happy miles with smiles.


    • Hello Warren, thank you for your detailed questions. Photography is a very personal thing and I don’t think the brand or model is of particular interest. You just have to find the gear that fills your needs and fits your pocket [costs]. And more important you must choose the gear that fits your style of photography. I mean: Are you a shy person that is afraid to connect with people, then you shouldn’t get a wide angle for people shots.

      I do most of the shooting and I use anything within my reach, meaning a full frame or a point and shoot or an iPhone. It doesn’t matter to me, as long as I get the shot that I want. Asking a photographer about its gear for me is equal about asking the cook in the restaurant what kind of pans he is using…

      Back-ups go in 3 different physical places. While on the road I have not come across a viable way of getting that much GB’s over the crooked internet connections, so storing in the cloud is off for now.

      I’m using Lightroom to touch-up and make light edits before sending images to editors and for using it on our websites.

      I think that sums it up, if you have more questions, please don’t hesitate to ask.

      Adventurous greetings,

  3. Maybe is a very personal question but: do you have sons/daughter?? Or any kid?? How old are you??

    Greetings from Antofagasta, Chile.

      • Thank you ! for my nomadic life that begins, I’m looking vehicle. I am among Land Rover Defender or Toyota Bandeirantes. What do you think?

        • Where are you planning to go? I mean if you are staying in Brazil, a Bandeirante makes sense, otherwise it is not a good option. It will be an exotic car and difficult to maintain or repair when no parts are available. Why a 4×4 and not a Combi?

          • Start by Brazil, Uruguay, Argentina and Chile and later other countries of this continent. After Spain and rest of Europe.
            4×4 to access all types of terrain. And I need a space slightly larger than Vw Combi vehicle. Working with my audio platform as a broadcaster and journalist via the Internet. And there is only Combi gasoline, not diesel.
            Your Toyota Bandeirante or Japanese? that year is …. Mercedes OM352 engine?

          • Heya Freddy, sorry I never got around to answer your question. Our Toyota is a Japanese BJ45 with the original Japanese 3B engine. I think you must be looking for something bigger, more like a Sprinter or old Mercedes bus.

  4. Hey guys been following you on facebook for a while love thebstorys and pics have you got any plans to come out to Australia at all

    • Hey Justin, Australia? Who knows, one day… We don’t have a full round-the-world type of plan. For now we’re focused on Korea, Japan, Russia, Mongolia and the Stans. That’ll take 2 years… Glad you’re enjoying the stories!

  5. Hi Coen-Karin,

    I’ll like to thank you for sharing your experiences! I’m starting a 5 years plan to kick off a similar adventure as yours, hopefully my kids will be flying alone! I hope 🙁 .

    That said, my question relates to the Engine, I’ve started to follow some second hand Toyotas or Land Rover, most of them are +120k – 150km. so far I can’t afford a new one. Would you recommend to buy a 120km -150k km engine? Is true that there are factors, not just the engine. Given I live in Spain, (but born in Argentina), most of the people get rid off their cars when they reach 200k km, and to me 200km is not always a valid reason. I’ve seen cars like toyotas, mercedes with almost 800k km and still around in Portugal, Marruecos, etc… that is why I may consider to buy a 120k-150k km engine.

    Whould you please give your opinion?

    • Hello Juan Pablo, when we bought our Land Cruiser, it had 175.000 kms on the clock. I’d say, 120-150K on a good diesel engine should be okay. Check around what is considered a good diesel engine… some are really indestructible if treated well. Buena suerte, and let us know what you ended up buying.

  6. Hi Guys

    Your travel life looks great! the website is awesome for the amount of info and overview of countries and has helped us no end in our trip planning.
    I have a question regarding vehicle insurance. We will be shipping our VW Westfalia in about two weeks hence our mild panic 🙂
    The insurance company we were going with suddenly stopped insuring foreign vehicles, as did our backup company. Can I ask what company you guys went with or how you got insurance for Argentina? We have to have it in order to leave the port in Argentina, we don not speak spanish yet so it is proving harder to get an answer from anyone.

    Any help or any others reading this that could recommend anything would be so appreciated!

    Thanks a lot
    Maybe see you on the road 🙂


  7. Hello travellers,

    I’m in love with your story and your photos. I will be happy to use some of your great photos in my website. Can you tell me, please, what are the terms of using your images?

    Best regards,

  8. Hi Karin-Marijke en Coen,

    Ik las dat jullie jaarlijks een paar weken terugkeren naar Nederland. Ik neem aan dat jullie de Landcruiser dan achterlaten. Ik vraag me af of jullie kunnen aangeven hoe jullie eea geregeld hebben met de verplichte jaarlijkse apk en de verzekeringen. In onze voorbereidingen voor onze reis kom ik er maar niet achter hoe dat probleem op te lossen..

    Heel graag jullie reactie.

    Met vriendelijke groet,


      • Hi Karin-Marijke,

        Wij zijn een gezin van 4 (1 baby van 0 en 1 van 2 jaar oud). Wij willen volgend jaar op reis gaan, vanuit Europa naar Azië, en hebben vergelijkbare vragen omtrent auto en zorgverzekering, APK, wegenbelasting, etc.
        Zou je mij misschien ook van wat waardevolle informatie kunnen voorzien?

        Oh, en je zult het wel continu horen, maar wat een gewelidige avondturen en registratie ervan. Erg inspirerend.


  9. Hi Karin en Coen,
    Mijn naam is Jeroen en samen met mijn vriendin Lisa wil ik reizen tussen Europa naar Azië. Goa om precies te zijn (voorlopig dan). Ik heb veel vragen over visa en de mogelijkheid om van Goa naar Nederland te rijden. Liefst in een bus die ik in India koop. Ik besef me dat het misschien voor erg veel problemen gaat zorgen daar een auto te kopen. Hoe hebben jullie de papierwinkel aangepakt? Is het te doen en wat gaat het aanvragen van de juiste papieren qua visa en auto ongeveer kosten?

  10. Hi Karin en Coen,
    Superleuk om over al jullie reizen te lezen, echt een mooi avontuur! Mijn man en ik willen graag een mooie avontuurlijke roadtrip in Zuid Amerika maken in november van 2 á 3 weken. we vliegen vanuit Nederland en willen ter plekke een (4WD) camper of auto huren. Welke bestemming/route zouden jullie hiervoor aanraden? Er zijn zoveel mogelijkheden dat wij het heel moeilijk vinden om een keuze te maken!

    • Lastig te zeggen. Argentinië en Chili zijn gangbare landen om een auto te huren maar afstanden zijn enorm om in 2 of 3 weken te rijden. Je moet je afvragen of je niet beter van A naar B kunt vliegen en te richten op de highlights, tenzij je lange dagen wilt rijden. Wat wellicht een optie is, is b.v. een auto in Bariloche te huren, en je te richten op dat gedeelte van de Andes, waarbij je heen en weer steekt naar Chili. Succes, en veel plezier!

  11. Hoi!

    I am bound to Mongolia in my Sprinter 316 4×4 (yes CPU / ECU).
    It’s a wonderful machine. It got me to places I didn’t expect it to get me to.

    As I am a dutch citizen, and my camper is registered in NL, my camper needs an annual technical check, called APK.
    That is a pita, because it limits my range and time.

    So I am wondering how you guys solve the paperwork (APK, road tax etc) specifically for NL.

    Big thanks,


    • Hoi, als je Nederlands leest, dan is de FB groep Nederlandse Overlanders de beste bron met recente informatie. (We just sent you an email too).

  12. Dear Karin-Marijke and Coen,
    I’m finding your blog really helpful and inspiring. I’m particularly interested in your crossing from South Korea to Russia. I am actually interested in crossing from Vladivostok to Sakaiminato in the opposite direction by motorbike. I know DBS run a ferry service direct and via South Korea, from what I can tell online, however, these trips can only be done by foot. your blog, and just one other I have found, have referenced travelling with a vehicle, but both of these are via south Korea. Do you have any tips for where to look/get started/ what’s needed to make this crossing (could we take the bikes as freight instead?). I am happy to go via south Korea if this means getting the bikes across in one piece to Japan. Any help or direction would be greatly appreciated.
    Many thanks,

    • Hi Denise,
      I’m not sure if I understand your question correctly, but DBS is a ferry service for vehicles as well. So you can just put your motorcycle on the ferry in Vladivostok and go on the same ferry to Japan. It will make a stop in South Korea but you (nor your motorcycle) not to get off if you don’t want to.
      Does this answer your question?
      If you have more, please email us via the contact page. We’re on a thru hike and it’s easier to check our email than comment section. Thanks.
      Have a great trip!

  13. Hi Karin and Coen,
    I was wondering what month you hiked the Baekdu Daejan, I’m very in to fungi and saw the pictures of the mushrooms in your blog post and am hoping to tie my hike in with when there are mushrooms present.

    Thank you,

    • Hi Matt, the hike was in summer until late autumn, but we found most mushrooms in summer – second half July. Hope that helps. Have a good hike!

  14. Hi Karin & Coen,

    My partner, Eddy is a German Citizen who has been working and staying in Malaysia for 3 years. So basically next year, after marriage we are planning to travel back to Germany via overland from Kuala Lumpur. As far as I’m concerned, most Malaysians who travel overland driving from Malaysia to Europe has applied a Carnet de passage from AAM, and this carnet works as a passport for the car to ship back to Malaysia and also as a approval for the car to cross each countries.

    So our problem here is, we want to drive our car (a Pajero bought in Malaysia) from Malaysia to Germany and we want the car to be remained with us in Germany once we arrive. Since we are going to settle down in Germany for good, we will not ship back the car to Malaysia. The question here is how can we cross the countries without carnet? As mentioned, we could not apply Carnet de Passage as the deposit (70% of the car value) will be forfeited if we did not ship back the car to Malaysia (I have called AAM and confirmed that they could not provide carnet to us).

    If we do permanent export, how can we cross the country? Can you help me on this procedure?

    I am really appreciate if you could response and help us on this matter.

    • Sorry, only seeing this now. If it’s a German car, you get the Carnet from the ADAC in Germany. Then there is no issue. If it’s a Malaysian car and you don’t return it to Malaysia, you can’t use a Carnet. You’ll then have to travel through the countries where you don’t need a carnet (e.g. ship to Russia and from there drive home, via Mongolia and Central Asia if you like as none of these countries require a Carnet). India, Pakistan, and Iran all require a Carnet.
      These 2 Facebook groups may have additional info: Overland to Asia and Overland Experience.

      Hope that helps. Have a great trip!

  15. Hej Karin en Coen,

    Helaas is de Overland Reunion door de corona-crisis niet door kunnen gaan, dus stel ik mijn vragen maar op deze manier:
    Hebben jullie tips wat betreft verzekeringen mbt ziektekosten (overlijden en repatriëring; geen leuk onderwerp, maar misschien wel belangrijk om iets over te weten), ‘reis’verzekering en autoverzekering en APK oplossingen als je voor lange tijd uit Nederland weggaat? Geen huis meer in Nederland, dus iets met postadres ofzo…
    Er is zoveel over te lezen dat we de weg hierin een beetje kwijt raken, misschien hebben jullie wel fijne ervaring met bepaalde verzekeringsmaatschappijen.
    Groet, Martin en Jose

  16. Hi there !

    I admire you guys traveling all around the world. It’s a wonderful way to live and work at the same time !
    I am planning to travel South America with a 80 series diesel and wondering if it’s a good idea for repairs and shipment. If you guys have any tips to give me, it would be amazing !
    Drive safe

    • Heya Max,
      That’s a nearly indestructible combo the 80 in the diesel version. Depending on whereabouths you are heading in South America, you will see the 80 series is not that common apart from Bolivia and Venezuela. But with some patience you will get parts shipped everywhere. Keep your head cool and you can solve any problem. If you are not in a hurry and take your time, that will save you a heap of problems. Just go out there and enjoy. Make sure that you leave your country with the car in a good shape, well balanced suspension and you are good to go.
      Hope to meet you out there one day!

  17. Hallo Karin-Marijke en Coen,
    Bedankt voor het plezier dat ik heb mogen beleven bij het lezen van jullie boeken.
    Wij, Cees Louw (72) en Marjon van Santen (68) staan op het punt van vertrekken naar Zuid Amerika voor een reis van ongeveer 1 jaar met een door ons gekochte camper.
    Jullie schreven in Omwegen over een goedkope manier om geld op te nemen en/of betalingen te verrichten. kunnen jullie daar informatie over verstrekken.


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