Overlanding from Brussels to Kuala Lumpur: A few comments on interactions along the way, by Johanna Maccioni.
As a family with four children, we decided to travel for a year and a half from Brussels to Sydney with our own truck. Our first itinerary planned to cross Luxembourg, Germany, Austria, Slovenia, Croatia, Serbia, Bulgaria, Turkey, Iran, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan, part of Russia, Mongolia, China, Laos, Cambodia, Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore and finally Australia. However, we never managed to obtain Chinese visas, so we had to build a new itinerary. From Mongolia, we exited through Siberia again to reach Vladivostok where we took a ferry to South Korea and then to Japan. We then shipped our truck to Borneo planning to cross from Malaysia to Indonesia by land on that island, and then take ferries up to Dili in Timor for a last leg to Darwin. During the time our truck was being shipped from Japan to Borneo, we stopped in Taiwan, Hong Kong and Macao. But plans changed again as we were running out of time and money. So, we finally decided to travel to peninsular Malaysia from Borneo, made a loop in Thailand and Laos and sent our truck back home from Kuala Lumpur to sell it. The trip continues for us as we have now settled for a projected two years in New Caledonia, a French island in the Pacific, giving us time to visit part of Oceania.
This road trip was a very exciting adventure and experience to learn from. While there are many possible subjects to describe, I would like to report here a few comments related to interactions during our trip, placing them into a personal perspective.
During this trip, there have been three main type of interactions with others: interactions with local inhabitants in each country, interactions with the expatriate community living abroad, and interactions with members of the overlanding community.