Amy from Athlone travels the world in a Land Rover!

Amy Donoghue from Baylin and her partner, Daniel Wlazlak from Wexford, are currently on an adventure around the world in a converted Land Rover.

“We wanted to take risks and live our dreams, no matter how scary they were.”

Those are the words of Athlone’s Amy Donoghue as she explained why she and her partner Daniel Wlazlak decided to embark on a remarkable adventure in which they currently traverse much of the globe, from Ireland to Singapore, in a self-converted land. Vagabond.

The couple began their epic journey on February 4, after planning it for nearly three years.

“So far, we have traveled 12,000 kilometers, visited 11 countries, 3 hospitals, 4 mechanics and trained Brazilian Jiu Jitsu in 10 different academies, while creating priceless memories and meeting people from all walks of life”, we Amy said. the week.

Daniel, Amy and the Land Rover in which they have traveled more than 12,000 kilometers since February.

A Baylin native and former student of Our Lady’s Bower, Amy previously represented Ireland in international powerlifting competitions. In 2016, aged 18, she was named an ambassador for the Athlone Regional Sports Centre.

She and Daniel, who is from Gorey in Wexford, have been together for three and a half years. On Monday, having just arrived in Montenegro, Amy took part in an email interview about their travels to date.

Asked about the background of their trip, she said that after graduating from university in 2019, they wanted to live meaningful lives and “explore different cultures and visit places outside of your usual vacation destination”.

Their life “on the road” began two days before Christmas 2020, when they moved into a self-converted sprinter van.

“We lived there for a year which saved us some money on rent. We eventually sold the van and bought our Land Rover Defender as it was more suited to our lifestyle and our demands,” she said.

Planning their long-term adventure to travel to Southeast Asia involved three years of research, saving money and coordinating logistics. Preparing the vehicle itself, a 2008 Defender 110, “took us seven months and was probably the most demanding part,” Amy said.

A look inside the couple’s converted Land Rover.

Since leaving Ireland in February, she and Daniel have traveled through Spain, Portugal, Gibraltar, France, Italy, Switzerland, Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Montenegro.

“It’s been a very difficult six months, but also very educational and memorable. The adversity of life on the road has taught both of us a lot,” she said.

The hardest part of the trip came in northern Spain, when an accident left Amy with second-degree burns to her feet from boiling water. It was a tough time for the couple, both physically and mentally, as Amy had to go to the hospital every other day and was in severe pain for a month.

On the road, they sleep in their vehicle and help manage costs by avoiding hotels. “If we’re lucky enough to be invited into a local’s house, we take the opportunity to shower and wash our clothes,” Amy explained.

“For the food, we cook everything ourselves, either on a small gas stove or over the fire. The budget depends on the country we are in, as prices vary, but we are very strict with our money and do not participate in any tourist attractions or unnecessary expenses.

“We are currently in Montenegro, and we are already seeing a huge difference in the cost of living, so we expect this month to be much cheaper than previous ones, which means we can travel longer. “

They said the best part of their trip so far has been meeting people along the way.

“Living an ordinary life can be quite monotonous and limit your exposure to different people. We’ve met some really good, kind, and inspiring people on our travels,” Amy said.

“They gave us hope that there is a lot of love in this world and showed us that humans can be kind to each other.

“The help we receive, even if it’s just an invitation for a cold beer or a coffee, gives us the opportunity to learn about different cultures and ways of life. For us , it is very important and we are very grateful for it. ”

Amy prepares to surf during a stop along their journey.

Asked about the next leg of the trip, they said Albania, North Macedonia, Greece, Turkey, Georgia, Azerbaijan, Armenia and Iran were on the itinerary.

“From there, we will assess the current political situation in neighboring countries, but we hope to cross the Middle East and descend to Cambodia, Vietnam and Thailand,” before finally ending the trip in Malaysia and Singapore.

As for how long it will take, Amy said they didn’t set a time limit.

“If it takes us a year, or two years, we don’t know. We want to enjoy every moment of the journey, and not rush through it,” she said. “If we have to stop and work along the way, we will. We look forward to the Middle East and Asia.

She said she and Daniel are looking forward to the next leg of their expedition, and they document their journeys online, at instagram and Youtube (The adventure).

About Derrick Hill

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