"We sold our home and bought a £250k truck to travel the world for the next 10 years"
A couple who sold their home and bought a £250k truck will now travel the world in it for the next 10 years - and plan to visit 100 countries. David Stephenson, 61, and his wife, Charlotte, 60, are two years and 30 countries into their mammoth trip - after road tripping through Africa. They had the idea when spotting an overland truck in Tibet and knew it was what they wanted to do when they retired. The next eight years will see them navigate across Asia and Oceania, before driving up through the Americas. Their mobile home is kitted out with everything they need whilst on the road - including a bed, fridge, freezer, toilet, shower, wash basin, sofa, kitchen, oven and two TVs. They spent just over two years travelling through Eastern and Southern Africa, before making their way back up the west side of the continent. Leg one of the journey consisted of "stunning" scenery, "challenging" border crossings and wildlife that "became part of your life". They spent roughly $80 a day whilst in Africa, and they expect that average to continue throughout the trip. David, a retired IT business owner, from Doncaster, South Yorkshire, said: "We've both travelled quite extensively all of our lives and we saw the opportunity to retire and worked out financially we could do it. "We looked at the world and decided we should undertake the hardest part of the travel first so went to Africa during Covid. "We travelled extensively around East and South Africa then went back up through West Africa before taking the truck back to UK for some repairs. "We really enjoyed a lot of the southern countries and all of the wildlife; it almost became part of your life. "Mozambique for the coastline was also stunning and internally it was great, Maputo was one of the best cities we visited in Africa. "I think the vastness of Africa and sheer size is just breathtaking. "The last three months coming up the West coast we didn't see any westerners for several weeks." Charlotte, a retired make-up artist, from Møn, Denmark, revealed the first leg of their world tour didn't come without its hairy moments. She said: "We got held up by a gang of youths in Nigeria. "We had some pepper spray and used it on them to get away. "Then there was the flooded road in the Congo - we couldn't see what was below us for about 100m along this road. "The crossing from Cameroon into Nigeria was the most challenging drive we've ever done. "Up in the highlands in Nigeria, it was rugged, deep, and 350km took us six days." The couple are currently spending some time in Spain whilst their van undergoes some work back in Doncaster, England. They hope to be on the road again by April - when the Asia leg of the round world trip begins. Charlotte said: "A bus ran into the back of the van in Côte d'Ivoire which damaged the hydraulics, so it might take longer than six weeks of repairs but hopefully we'll be on the road again in April. "You have to be super flexible on your route in Asia but when on the road you chat with other travellers, and you end up going to different places. "A year minimum in Asia but I think it'll take two years to get through. "There's lots of restrictions with borders and visas, but the idea is to do Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Oman, Dubai, Bahrain, Kuwait, Iraq, Iran, and then the central Asian countries. "However, Turkmenistan and a few others are very difficult to get visas for. "Azerbaijan is closed as well so we're trying to work out a route. "We would have liked to go to Mongolia, but China is closed, and you can't get there without going through Russia. "Then India but can't get any further to Myanmar because of the coup, so we may have to ship the truck from India to Malaysia. "Thailand doesn't allow camper vans which is what I read but I think it depends on the vehicle. "Essentially, I think we're going to have to wing it a little bit and see on the road." Both David and Charlotte say they are looking forward to seeing Central Asia because of the "beautiful mountains". After they've traversed through Asia, it's down to Australia and New Zealand before once again shipping the van over to South America. Their plans for that leg of the journey aren't set in stone due to how far in advance they are, though Charlotte says she's looking forward to visiting Ecuador and Colombia. Charlotte says this method of travelling gives them the "freedom to see everything". She added: "We've never travelled overland in our own vehicle before. "We're now able to see all the stuff in between. "Some countries have stunning scenery that you don't always see. "Travelling on local transport is a lot slower than your own vehicle and this just lets us see everyday life. "The cultures, tribes, and people in Africa were incredibly friendly. We stopped in villages for the night, wild camped and people completely took us in. "Seeing everything in between is just as good as the major sites." All the countries they have been to in the truck so far - Morocco Senegal Mauritania Gambia Guinea-Bissau Guinea Ivory Coast Ghana Togo Benin Nigeria Cameroon Gabon Republic of Congo Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) Angola Namibia South Africa Lesotho Eswatini Mozambique Botswana Zimbabwe Malawi Zambia Tanzania Kenya Uganda Rwanda Burundi