Brittany and Eric Highland moved out of their home seven years ago and have lived on the road ever since. They started out in a giant RV and eventually moved to a Jeep Wrangler made for rock crawling. When their son Caspian arrived, they built out a Jeep Gladiator so they could drive around the world all together.
Last Saturday, they crossed the U.S. border into Mexico with a long-term goal of driving every continent on the globe. They have no date of return in mind.
Their journey started with one word: overlanding.
“I stumbled on the word ‘overlanding’ and it caught my attention because I had no idea what it meant,” Brittany said. “Come to find out, overlanding is vehicle-based adventure travel usually with an international border crossing aspect to it. And that really blew my mind because I had no idea that people went on extended trips with multiple border crossings, or even that they drove around the world.”
The concept of a worldwide road trip grabbed ahold of Brittany, but she thought international travel would be impossible to accomplish with their then one-year-old son.
A podcast changed her mind. Looking for inspiring stories from overlanders, Brittany listened to Episode 30 of the Overlanding Podcast. This show featured the Snaith family who has completed a 4-year journey around the world with their two young children. The Snaiths’ story convinced Brittany that overlanding long distances with a toddler was possible.
Brittany and Eric spent the next three years searching for the perfect vehicle to cross international borders. They chose the Jeep Gladiator Sport S with a max tow package and topped it with an Alu-Cab Canopy Camper on the back. From there, everything was custom-built to their needs.
“The entire build was based on one thing, and that is where Caspian is going to sit,” Eric explained. “We knew we wanted Caspian to sit right behind the driver for two reasons. One: so he wouldn’t distract the driver. And two: so that the person sitting in the passenger seat could minister to him, whether that’s reading him a book, passing him some snacks or toys, having a conversation, or going through school while we’re driving.”
The Highlands have named their personal brand “Hourless Life.” The name reflects their family mission and the fact that they no longer wake up to an alarm clock or report to a boss at a conventional job. Their days are literally hourless and they are guided by the map on their dash and loose plans to complete their round the world journey in say, 10 to 15 years.
Caspian will be homeschooled throughout the journey, but much of his education will come from experiencing new and different cultures.
“It’s just so apparent that some of the most important things that we need to learn in life, we can’t learn from a book,” Brittany said of Caspian spending his formative years on the road. “And each person in this world has something to teach. They have an experience, a career, an insight, some wisdom. And so we are so looking forward to all the people that we’re going to meet across all different cultures and languages and countries.”
Giving up the nine to five and hitting the road for a decade sounds like ultimate freedom, but the Highlands admit that it’s not all glowing sunrises and relaxation on secluded and exotic beaches. The family will face challenges and have to maintain ordinary responsibilities, like doctor appointments and paying bills.
The Highlands have vowed to give an honest look at their lives on the road in their popular YouTube Series, Hourless Life.
“We’ve learned to roll with the punches as much as we can. We just try and educate people that this is the reality of full-time travel and there are some big challenges along with all the wonderful days,” Brittany said.
Tune Into the Hourless Life
If you’re intrigued by the Highlands’ nomadic life, tune in to their complete story on Episode 6 of the Gaia GPS Offroad podcast. Wade asks the hard questions, including how to make money on the road, vehicle modifications for international travel, and what, if anything, the family hopes to find on this journey.
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Last Episode: Mouthwatering Camp Meal with Overland Chef Marco Hernandez
If you want to learn how to make mouthwatering meal in camp, then go back and listen to episode 5 with camp chef Marco Hernandez. Marco is the founder of the popular YouTube channel Ovrlndx and author of The Overland Cook, a recipe book for car camping meals.
Marco joins us with a complete walk-thru of his camp kitchen, including a full size blender and an oven. He gives insights on how he keeps those things and his refrigerator powered on the road. Plus, learn why he bought a Jeep 392 and how he’s building this one out, less for rock crawling, and more for overland comfort.