Family on Tracks: the six-wheel globetrotting house

It looks like the title of a fantastic tale. But the story we tell you today is true and enlivened by lucky kids. Let’s start!

Antoine and Quitterie are thirty-years-olds French, he is an entrepreneur and she is a nurse. Both positive and opened to the world. In 2007, they ran the 4L Trophy in Morocco and since then they criss-crossed France during week-ends and holidays, sleeping in tents and off-the-beaten-tracks. Naturally, they thought about wandering a little farer and a little longer. This eighteen months long-term journey will take them to Africa and South America, traveling in a 4×4 topped with a “roof tent” and a comfy bed. A six-wheel house able to cross nearly anywhere, to suit to road hazards and unexpected meetings.

The dream becomes a reality in September 2018 after a long and thorough preparation… Let’s just say that they don’t leave alone! These young parents are going to offer Maxence, Inès and Louis an incredible trip. They were 5 and a half, four and two and a half years old at this time, boarding for the unknown. The family leave Nantes on the way to Portugal, Spain and Morocco, entry point to Africa. The Family on Tracks adventure begins by these words:

“9m2, this is the surface of our new house. But our garden will have no limit.”

[ A Family and tailor-made adventure ]

They are not the first ones to travel far with children. But such a trip leads everybody to remove its own limits and they successfully did! Just for the record (and even if their funny house is well-equipped), Quitterie would say that cooking for 5 on a wood fire with one pan and one pot during 18 months is a kind of challenge. Antoine could tell how trails conditions led him to improve his mechanical skills. They were ready for flawless organization and full adaptability, they did not want any material hassle to tarnish the outstanding beauty of discovering.

This quite crazy ride is not a rally, not a time-trial but rather a “tailor-made” road trip. The road-book planned to follow the Atlantic coast of Africa from Morocco to Cape Town and then to step into South America via Uruguay. Sometimes, circumstances changed the schedule and led our adventurers to limit their journey to the African continent. From Mauritania to Gabon, from Congo to South Africa, they stayed a few days or several weeks. News led them to bypass Nigeria by the sea and a strong meeting made them stay 7 weeks in Namibia. A long and emotional stage where the hospitality of a couple allowed them to participate in the installation of a water pump and to help in a small chicken farm.

They also lived wild bivouacs in the African bush, a host of star in a girl’s boarding school in the Ivory Coast, a rude incursion by armed men in the middle of the night in Burkina Faso, the discovery of Tata’s houses and a local cook training with two friendly Togolese women following their trip on Facebook, ten days inside a NGO in Benin, sunrises between palm trees and ocean, delicious moments in South African Vineyards…

Quitterie feels enriched by this adventure where simplicity and truthfulness of people dazzled her and helped to open her heart. Antoine admits being marked by rough living conditions and insists on the urgency to consider social and environmental realities. More than long distance and the happiness to reach the Cape of Good-Hope, the proudness from a dream became a reality and, most of all, the fact they lived this wonderful slice of life all together make them deeply blissful. Easy to understand!

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[ Wide and deep learning of the world ]

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We began this article saying Maxence, Inès and Louis were lucky. Playing freely on paradisiac beaches, being around hippos, bathing at Christmastime in Abidjan or celebrating your birthday in Lesotho, many kids would dream of that. They probably do not know it yet but, following each day a serious scholarship program thanks to their Mom with “practical works” due to chance encounters is a true asset. This reality training had consequences that Antoine highlights:

“They have seen and understood what poverty is. They met and played with other children everywhere, have been marked by their situation and felt so happy to offer some of their toys before leaving… They showed us they are generous, they are aware of the others.”

The young parents confess they have been amazed and delighted by the way their young kids were analyzing situations. Due to this adventure or not? “The seed is planted, we don’t know yet what they will do.”

[ A well-prepared return ]

In 2018, some of their relatives have been surprised by the project Family on Tracks but all have been caring. Quitterie ensured to share all discoveries and news by all technical means at her disposal. Yet, we guess moving homecoming. For sure, some of you would like to know how the little adventurers will take or discover the way to school. We asked. Quitterie and Antoine answered with confidence “Let’s see☺”.

Despite their youth and the fact they were in nursery school before leaving, Inès and Maxence stayed in touched with their little friends and are eager to meet again. Louis is going to try a new trip and his personality seems to be an asset for this step into the unknown. In fact, their carefully managed a several month stay in the countryside with a small school welcoming sixty children. A situation also helpful for the parents to get used to a mood “where people are easily squealing about a few hours power outage due to a tempest while 600 millions of African are living each day with a full lack of water and electricity.”

[ What else? ]

The sharing of Family on Track began online with the adventure itself. When they will be back, Antoine and Quitterie will probably participate to conferences and events where they are waited. They thought about sharing this experience with associations, in order to inform around the problems, engage and commit people to perform solutions. Nothing else for the moment, except these lovely words written on their blog when arriving in Namibia:

“We knew that this travel would be strong without seeing all it will give to us. Without any doubt, the most beautiful voyage is the interior journey we are living at the same time…”

Website – Family on Tracks

Facebook page – Family on Tracks

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