Overlanders and filmmakers Ben Jamin and Leah Jade traverse the world in their DIY 1973 VW Kombi bus, living life to the fullest every day with their dog, Alaska.
Years ago, Ben Jamin set off on his Hasta Alaska adventure, an over 1000 mile journey from the southernmost tip of South America to the northern slope of Alaska. He started in Chile and along the way he met his cocker spaniel, Alaska, a former South American street dog turned world explorer. While trekking the longest road in the world, Ben shared his van with over 100 hitchhikers, had to rebuild the engine in his kombi 10 times, and met his partner and fellow traveller, Leah Jade.
Before he ditched his profession and possessions for kombi life, Ben was an IT specialist in his hometown on the Jersey Channel Islands. Unwilling to spend his life on the conventional path, he replaced the daily grind with world travel and never looked back. Known as the “no-plan man,” Ben has dedicated his life to exploring the world, meeting people, learning about new cultures, and, as he says, “waking up to a champagne view on a lemonade budget.”
Leah Jade hails from Melbourne, Australia where she was a youth worker, dedicated to helping disadvantaged children. A lifelong explorer, Leah has always traveled as a form of self care. She met up with Ben in Mexico and decided to hitch a ride on the Kombi. She quickly fell in love with Kombi life and now is a full time filmmaker, sharing the road and limited space of the bus with Ben, Alaska, and whoever else joins them on their way.
The Kombi, also known as the Co’Pito, has been through many changes to turn it into the perfect travel companion and wandering home. The compact compartment needs to be safe, efficient, comfortable and, like its inhabitants, needs to be ready for anything. Ben and Leah choose Dometic products for the high quality and compact designs that are reliable for trips that take them off grid for extended periods. The Co’Pito sports a Dometic water pump and a 9722 sink and stove combo to help making cooking and washing easier every day. The gas detector helps them sleep soundly every night without needing to worry about the unthinkable. Finally, the Dometic CRX 50 fridge keeps them well stocked and well fed regardless of where they roam. It is much easier to be the no-plan man when the Kombi is equipped with the right gear.
Motivated to share their journey with others, the filmmakers want to show the world what it takes to live for new experiences. They document every step, celebrating the beauty of each new location and the kindness of strangers and friends they meet along the way. They also show the hardships and setbacks they face while living the vanlife and how they overcome each obstacle through determination and hard work. Having fully explored the vastness of the Americas, the trio are now roaming the roads of the UK and Europe and have plans to take the Co’Pito through Northern Africa. Ben, Leah, and Alaska don’t see an end to their travels anytime soon.