If you had to choose a single word that best describes what distinguishes the U.S. from many other countries, what would it be? I would choose the word ‘freedom’. This country was built on a yearning to be free. The interesting thing about freedom is that we all love it but still struggle to define it.
We talk about financial freedom, the freedom to live wherever we want, and having the freedom to determine our own individual paths in life. Still, freedom’s definition is elusive. And yet we all know it when we see it.
The best way to make sense of what can sometimes be an ethereal concept is to use an illustration. So for the remainder of this post, let us talk about overlanding. If you are not familiar with it, overlanding is a hobby (and a lifestyle for some) that involves traveling in a land-based vehicle to wherever you want to go. Its most unique aspect is that it is about the journey rather than the destination.
You Get to Decide Everything
In a true overlanding experience, you get to decide on everything relating to your journey. You choose your vehicle. You choose where you’re going to go and the route you’ll follow. You choose how long you will be gone, where you will stop at the end of each day, how you will cook, how you will sleep, etc. You make all the rules. Just don’t violate the law.
On the Rollercam website, they call this full time overlanding. Rollercam is a brand of cam buckle tie down straps made by a company whose team members are incredibly enthusiastic about overlanding. The post talks about how a true overlander has the freedom to do as they please. A true overlander also respects the freedom of others in the overlanding community.
Rigs, Equipment, and Everything Else
Reading through the Rollercam post made it clear to me that these folks know what they are talking about. The post started by introducing a top-of-to-line vehicle Rollercam refers to as a ‘rig’. I admit to not understanding many of the technical aspects they discussed. But they sure did.
The post went on to talk about all sorts of equipment and supplies overlanders rely on. It talked about things like cam straps and rooftop tents. But it didn’t stop there. The post also discussed how overlanders have different preferences in everything from camping to cooking.
Some overlanders apparently love to camp out under the stars. Others pop their tents and throw mattresses down. Still others aren’t ashamed to sleep in campers or trailers. And guess what? That’s the whole point of the post. To be a truly free overlander, you have to give yourself the permission to go do it in whatever way makes you happy.
Different Strokes for Different Folks
If you’ve ever heard the phrase ‘different strokes for different folks’ know that it’s all about freedom. Whether you are talking overlanding or doing chores around the house, genuine freedom offers you the opportunity to do things in whatever way you think his best.
There is a caveat to true freedom, however. That caveat is respecting the rights and freedoms of other people. Freedom as an overlander does not mean trespassing on private property. Rather, true freedom gives you the opportunity to ask permission. And if the owner says no, you have the freedom to find another route.
It can be hard to define freedom in an overall sense. But it is something we all love. It’s also something we inherently know when we experience it.