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Change your Business Outfit into Dirty Clothes!

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I always loved flying around Europe for business reasons. I love travelling and this was a great way to see different places and meet people. Always in high heels and a business costume. But after five years I got bored. I had seen most of the European cities and I was desperately seeking for new challenges. But should I really dare to leave a well paid job with all its security? Leaving all my friends behind? But eventually my feeling “this cannot be all in life” got bigger and so I talked my boss into a six months sabbatical so that I had the chance to go back.

A few months later I found myself on a plane to Cameroon: six months of travelling ahead. I never felt so free before in my life. It was an overwhelming, amazing experience. And far too addictive. I could not see myself working in an office job anymore. But how to afford that? So I applied for a tourleading/driver job for a big adventure overlanding company. Putting all my energy into it, I amazingly got the job – without any experiences in the tourism industry, without any mechanical knowledge and with no license to drive a big truck. And a few months later after completing a crash-course in mechanics and doing my license I was back in Africa again: Driving big overland trucks from Cairo to Capetown. I had changed my business outfit into dirty pants – for indefinite. And it was the best feeling in the world to drive a big truck.

Most African men had never seen a woman driving a big truck before. Whenever I came into a workshop nobody would believe me I had any clue of mechanics and you start feeling invincible when you figure out how to repair the reverse gear on your truck when all the local mechanics failed before! Yes, it can be a great challenge and sometimes you get desperate as you won’t find the right spare parts or you broke down in the middle of nowhere with a broken injector pipe. You start dreaming about all kinds of horrible things and you get seriously stressed when you have to tell your passengers that we have to bush camp in front of the border to Zimbambwe: We got here too late due to numerous breakdowns on our way down and due to no electricity the border shut down earlier than expected. But at the same time you will be never bored, no day is like another and you challenge yourself everyday.

I fell in love with my dirty pants. So much that I am currently building my own overland vehicle together with Dave, who I met working together in Africa. We are remodelling an old yellow school bus and we started our own tour company Infinite Adventures. We will be going up to Alaska taking our passengers into the wilderness. I cannot wait to be out on the road again seeing bears and exploring another part of the world! If your dreams don’t scare you they are not big enough!

Dave and Natalie in front of their newly restored bus

Dave and I in front of the bus we are restoring

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