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#TheDrive T-Minus 78 Days: The Route

I've been working on the route on and off since March last year, and the journey made by the #Live2Drive team in 2017 and the route they blazed through especially in China has been pivotal to my plans. I was fortunate enough to meet up with Terence and Stephen on separate occasions, and the stories they shared personally and on the videos below by Sam and Rene aka the amazing 24 Hour Travellers have been absolutely invaluable. I know I will be standing on their shoulders, or rather driving on the paths laid by them, when I start.

This is what the #Live2Drive team did, interviewed and shot by the #24HourTravellers

For more videos on how to make a unique, epic life that is less ordinary, head on to Sam & Rene's channel here -

So subject to the borders reopening especially for China and Russia, the general route for Chapter 1 is as follows. Of course I foresee meanderings and unplanned stops along the way, but hey, that's what makes it interesting innit? KL to Bangkok: 1,585 km

Countries: Malaysia, Thailand.

Bangkok to Boten Border Crossing / Mohan, China: 1,679 km

Countries: Thailand, Laos.

Mohan, Dali, Chengdu, Xian, China: 3,153 km

Countries: China

Xian, Beijing, Erenhot: 1,925 km

Countries: China

Erenhot / Zamiin-Udd, Ulaanbataar, Irkutsk, Nizhny Ingash: 2,476 km

Countries: Mongolia, Russia

Nizhny Ingash to Ufa: 3,066 km

Countries: Russia.

Ufa, Kazan, Moscow: 1,374 km

Countries: Russia.

Moscow, Saint Petersburg, Ivangorod / Narva, Estonia: 946 km

Countries: Russia, Estonia

Narva, Tartu, Riga, Ventspils: 1,024 km

Countries: Estonia, Latvia.

Ventspils, Klaipeda, Kaunas, Warsaw: 1,085 km

Countries: Latvia, Lithuania, Poland.

Warsaw, Kraków, Bratislava, Budapest, Vienna, Munich, Mannheim: 2,003 km

Countries: Poland, Czechia, Slovakia, Hungary, Austria, Germany.

Mannheim, Frankfurt, Cologne, Amsterdam, Brussels, Paris, Douains: 1,140 km

Countries: Germany, Netherlands, Belgium, France.

Douains, Rouen, Calais, Dover: 361 km

Countries: France, UK.

Total distance (before jalan-jalan here and there): 21,817km

+ 20% for explorations, detours, last-minute changes in plans: 26,000km

Period: 9+3 months

Key timelines:

  1. Start date: 4.4.2022

  2. Bangkok, Thailand - 2nd week of April: Songkran Festival

  3. Ulaanbataar, Mongolia - 1st week of July: Nadaam Festival

  4. Munich, Germany - 3rd week of September: Oktoberfest

  5. Paris, France - 3rd week of December: Christmas

The key timing consideration is the Schengen Visa - I can only stay in the Schengen Area (most EU countries and some non-EU countries) for only 90 days out of any 180-day period, and the only countries around that are not in the Schengen area are the UK (Brexited! Yay!), Serbia, Romania, Bosnia and Croatia, and of course the North African countries.

I will hatch my Schengen escape plans as I get closer. But first, most important of all and most expensive of all, is driving into and through China.

The journey will take me into the first quarter of 2023, either in the UK (winter sucks I hear) or Morocco.

We shall see.

In the meantime, tons left to get sorted including:

  1. Ensuring OLFAC3 Perfumes is in a good place as my communications may be sporadic once I start moving.

  2. Clearing up the house, repairing it and putting it out for rental.

  3. Selling and giving away all the stuff I don't need, and storing the essentials that I would like to keep.

  4. Finishing my swimming lessons

  5. Finishing my Muay Thai classes

  6. Taking my motorcycle license

  7. Learning car repairs and maintenance 101

  8. Contacting Kia international for service centres along my route

  9. Informing Putrajaya of my plans

  10. Cancelling subscriptions

  11. Full-body health check

  12. Finishing up my physiotherapy sessions

  13. Sorting out visas and travel insurance

  14. Finishing up the internal build

  15. Installing the roof rack, box and solar panels for the minivan

  16. Changing the tyres, brakes, full-service and getting spare parts for the road

  17. Stress-testing the minivan and the internal build

  18. Weigh balancing and fine-tuning the minivan

  19. Final selection of the few shirts, pants, shoes, jackets and essentials I will bring

  20. Stock up on antibiotics, medicine, first aid and emergency stuff I might need on the round.

The actual list is 3-5 times the above, but I'll sort them out one by one as they come to mind.

78 days left.

2022 is going to be interesting.

Chapter 2 in 2023 will be Spain, Portugal, South of France, Italy, Croatia, Bosnia, Greece, Bulgaria, Romania, Turkey and Iran.

Chapter 3 in 2023/2024 might be US and Canada, South America or Africa. Here's to staying alive and in relatively good health and shape till then. Yeah.

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Looks solid, sayang. Super stoked for you and for us haha. Marking Frankfurt onwards on my calendar and the 2023 leg of course 😎🤘

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