Say hello to Leander, Maria and their son, Lennox. These three intrepid travelers are currently en route from the Alps in Austria – where they come from – to the Southern Alps of New Zealand. The journey is some 30,000 kilometers in length and takes them across three continents, four climate zones and eleven time zones. Once they reach their goal, they will have spent some two and a half years on the road. To accompany them – while providing shelter, protection and transportation – is their lead wolf, Akela. Inspired by the Jungle Book, Akela is the name the family chose for their trusty old truck.
But traveling from Austria to New Zealand, while navigating some of the most difficult terrain in the world, wasn’t always a reality for Maria and Leander. “Not at all,” Maria recalls, “Leander and I have always enjoyed traveling and exploring the world. Every time we returned from a few weeks’ backpacking, we would always ask ourselves the same question – what if this doesn’t have to end? We wanted more.”
But what was the best way to travel with a child, backpacks full of gear and photography equipment – on a limited budget? The answer was an old truck that could ferry them on their journey without end. Akela. “We got the truck ready to take us half way round the world. The extensive preparations included installing some windows from Dometic,” says Leander.
We wish you luck, Akela World. It is an incredible journey you are on. If you want to keep up with the family, head to akela.world.
There’s a map on the site so you can see where they are right now. While you’re there, don’t forget to read the extensive travel blogs – which provide a detailed commentary on the family’s triumphs, trials and tribulations. And, of course, enjoy the amazing photographs.