How far would you go for the one you love? For Joss Quilty, who is very much besotted with his £6,000 Toyota Land Cruiser, there was no question about whether to sell his car during a 40,000-mile move.
The British accountant was living in New Zealand where he bought the red car but was planning to move back to the UK. Joss, 30, couldn’t stand to part with his beloved vehicle and decided to instead make the trip by driving. Girlfriend Romy Romagnoli joined the road trip after the pair shipped the car to Malaysia and began the trek from there – arriving back in time for Christmas.
The epic journey took ten months, moving between three continents and 23 countries and at one point the couple narrowly avoided a suicide bomber. They passed through Thailand, Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, India, Nepal, Pakistan and Iran before reaching Europe. They then worked their way across Azerbaijan, Georgia, Turkey, Bulgaria, North Macedonia, Albania, Montenegro, Italy, Austria, Germany, Luxembourg, Belgium, and France – before reaching their home in Gloucestershire.
And at the end of their journey, Joss proposed to Romy, 30, – bringing the trip to a perfect end.
Ross explained: ‘It’s a really good car and I’m just amazed that it was possible. ‘Our budget was very tight for the whole trip. We tried to sleep in the vehicle the whole way, with mattresses in the back.
‘Romy and I were very much in this together in terms of making decisions – to drive the car back, choosing the route, splitting the money 50/50. ‘There is no way I could have done the trip without her. She’s tough and very keen on a challenge!’
They also faced challenges along the way. During their drive around the border of Pakistan and Afhanistan, they had a close shave with the Taliban after leaving a military base. There was talk of a female suicide bomber nearby at which point Joss and Romy decided to speed away. He said: ‘I was s*itting it – the car could only do a maximum of 50mph! I don’t know what happened next. We never heard.’
The pair said the majority of people they encountered were lovely – and willing to do anything for them. He said: ‘They all wanted to help – even though they had nothing. It’s the people you meet that make the places. ‘One woman brought out her baby to look at me because it had not seen a white person before.’
Joss proposed to social worker Romy in a pub when they finally arrived back home, after five years together. She said yes and the couple have now decided to move up to Scotland – with the Toyota. But they are hoping to do another trip before they go – possibly travelling from Alaska, in the USA, to Argentina.
Joss said: ‘Walking around Bristol doesn’t exactly have the same appeal. ‘The people we saw, the way they live [when travelling] – we came back and people were arguing about vegan sausage rolls. It was just depressing.’