I was always a very curious person and felt, the more curious I was, the more I learnt about things in general. It was this curiosity that took me on my very first over landing trip to the outback of the land I grew up in - Africa.
Accompanied by a good friend who shared the same level of curiosity as I did, we were completely unprepared in terms of vehicle preparation and supplies. Putting it mildly it was a complete naïve attempt. In the 500 km (310miles) we covered, what was meant to be a three-day trip turned out to be an arduous six-day trek. We had to endure so many vehicle breakdowns (I would care not to remember) and ran out of food. Our 4x4 we had bought on a shoestring budget had seen better days and our utter ignorance of what terrains to expect in the outback did not do this old fourbie any favors.
If I was the type to go by first impressions then this was certainly unpleasant enough to have kept me well away from the outback for the rest of my life. Yet thanks to the old adage “it’s about the journey than the destination” turned my unpleasant first experience to a life changing moment that would keep me going back every opportunity I got.
Despite the troublesome first venture, the breathtaking landscapes, the wild life, flora & fauna, the history of the land I passed through, the generosity & humility of the people I met touched my heart deeply.
Over the past 25 years, since that first experience, I have done a countless number of over landing trips back in Africa. This continues since moving to my new home in South Australia seven years ago.
At first I recorded my travels in a personal hand written journal as this helped me to gather all my experiences in one place for me to reminisce over as my years passed by. These became talking points when friends and family gathered. The more I talked, those around me wanted to know more. With everyone now scattered all over the world, meeting to share these memories was not that easy, thus the birth of my youtube channel: http://www.youtube.com/c/DuncanUdawatta_overland_journals
To this day I continue to do my hand written journals as a personal keep sake, which one day I hope to pass down to the next generation. At the same time, through my Youtube channel I attempt to share my journeys and overlanding experience with not only my global friends and family, but also those who yearn to venture into the overlanding liferstyle.
Living in an age where our children spend more time in cyber space than the real world, I hope my art prints, apparel range and video journals will inspire you to spend more time experiencing this great planet we live in and gain an insight into the beauty that lies off the beaten path.
- Duncan Udawatta