I found myself thinking about the three students travelling into the heart of Asia.
The Albania road trip was a great success. But as travellers often do we soon started planning for the next trip. It would take place in late May to early June of 2018. This time we’d visit Georgia (the one near Russia).
I, however, found myself thinking about the three student and their adventure. I was combing through the article in search of some additional clues. With my Columbo like detective skills I soon found one. The Adventurists. A surprisingly short search of the internet resulted in quite a lot of events found. They were all organized by this potentially magnificent but still somewhat silly organization. The three students were taking on one of said events.
The Mongol Rally! The what? Rally?
I immediately fell in love with it. You see, I really like to travel and it seems Mateja also got infected by this marvellous bug. It looked like she really enjoys roaming around our planet. I also like rally. And I like cars. A lot. Mateja seems to share my passion.
The Mongol Rally is an adventure, not a competition. It’s an organized event, which doesn’t seem to be very well organized. It’s a simple idea, but a complicated one. Each team can plan it’s own route. There’s no support from the organizer. The car must be on it’s way to the junkyard and the engine size is limited to a maximum of 1.2l. It must be a true old shed. Something you wouldn’t buy even for your enemy.
And to top it all of there is an obligatory charity involvement. Each team must raise a minimum of 1000£. Half of it must go to Cool Earth, the other half to a charity of our choice.
As this was 2018 I opened my favourite internet search engine and have started to comb through some still and moving images. I must say everything looked spectacular. River crossings, wobbly disintegrating bridges, endless landscapes and breathtaking views. Parties, stupidity, problem solving and friendship.
That’s all fine but I still didn’t grasp the organizers role. I mean, they made some short videos, create an appealing article, send out some t-shirts and stickers. And they organize some parties. It all sound great, but every team pays a hefty entrance fee. Around 600£ fee. I can get a lot of shirts and stickers for the money and I’d still have enough money for a decent party left.
There was a lot of doubt arising while I was actively considering taking part in this event. I have a job, as a lot of people do these days, and have limited vacation time. My mind immediately swerved off to the three students. I must say I envied them their freedom to take so much time off.
There was also a question of my teammate(s). I’d go alone, but the whole trip would be a lot more comfortable with a teammate. That kind of means I’d spend a lot of time with someone in a shed of a car in some situation which could lead to tension. Let’s just say some deserts are big enough that even a large search party wouldn’t be able to find such teammate. I also imagined it would be quite hard to find a person with time, adventures spirit and enough money.
Oh, money and budget. How can one even start with budgeting this kind of adventure? Even the internet wasn’t of much assistance this time. There are numerous blogs available, unfortunately the numbers vary a lot. Every team is embarking on an unique journey. Some stay in hotels, others only sleep in tents. Some party a lot, other drink tea around a camp fire. Some travel to a handful of countries and some just collect visas in bulk. And some drive like maniacs and others are trying to make their grandma (and their driving instructor) proud. I could calculate the visa, entry fee, security deposits, car and other gear cost. I, however, had no idea how much would the gas, food and sleeping accommodations cost. I had no idea how I could ever figure it out.
I didn’t even take the charity into account. I can’t really send my own money I’d need to raise it from people and companies (emphasis on companies). I’m not really that great with asking other people for help.
The challenge seemed enormous.
Maybe too big. There were too many unknowns, too much adaptation. Maybe I just can’t get that far out of my comfort zone.
I still opened a “Vacation 2018/2019” section in my budget and have stared to trickle the founds there. I was a long way from any form of definitive decision, and I could spend the founds for some other type of vacation.
The Mongol Rally thoughts were dormant for now. Mainly because of our Georgia road trip.
But I was still thinking about the breathtaking landscapes, dangerous and demanding roads and an old wreck of a car. A true adventure.