If someone says they’re going on a trip, they might be off to the zoo for the day. Or they might be spending the weekend in Whitby.
If they’re lucky, they might be off to Tenerife for a fortnight. Once in a lifetime, they might be touring South East Asia for six months, or even back-packing round the world for a year.
In 1984, Swiss couple Emil and Liliana Schmidt decided to go on a trip. 35 years and nearly 500,000 miles later, they’re still going, still driving, still exploring and still loving every minute.
It’s a record!
Their exploits have landed them in the Guinness Book of World Records for Longest Driven Journey. But, more importantly, it’s taken them to every continent and to 190 countries – from Albania to Zimbabwe.
Perhaps most amazingly, they’re still driving the same 1982 Toyota Land Cruiser FJ 60 they set off in back in 1984.
At the time, Emil had persuaded Liliana that they should take two years out before settling down back home. Two years has become three-and-a-half decades and home has become that trusty Land Cruiser.
You can follow their progress here – although it does rather look as if the website was made not that long after the journey started.
A learning experience
The list of what they’ve seen and where they’ve been would be far too long to trot out here. Instead, here’s a list of what Liliana says she has learned from the ultimate road trip:
- I need less to be happy.
- I do not take everything for granted; I am more appreciative of things.
- I take more risks.
- I became more tolerant about other cultures and religions. Not, my culture is the only ‘right’ one. I am not a judge, I am a guest.
- I am more independent and self-confident.
- I am more optimistic that things will finally work out.
- I have learned to improvise and to adapt to always new situations.
- I feel closer to nature, enjoying immensely what Mother Nature produces.
This article was written courtesy of Dave Roberts, a games journalist with over 25 years of experience. He has written for a wide variety of consumer magazines and trade publications as well as providing consultancy for companies across the games industry.