By Marloes Schoonenberg

A former member’s intrepid overland adventure.

Driving 220 days in a campervan from Netherlands to Singapore. That’s what former Hollandse Club Member, Wytze van der Land and his wife Joan did to collect money for a school project in Tanjung Priok, Jakarta.

The trip started in Drachten, Netherlands, on Mar 11, 2017. Both fanatic travellers, the couple looked forward to their one-and-a-half-year journey from the Netherlands all the way to Singapore ending with a well-deserved holiday and family visit in Australia and New Zealand.

Going through Central Europe they drove through Turkey and Iran, following the ancient Marco Polo route to Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Russia, Siberia, Mongolia, China and Laos.

Unfortunately, when they arrived in Laos to visit one of Wytze’s daughters who lives there, the couple realised that their initial plan to ship their campervan from Thailand to Malaysia would be impossible. Thailand’s strict custom regulations meant the loading of the van on a boat would be extremely expensive.

Wytze and Joan tried everything they could to convince the Thais to help them cross the Andaman Sea with their van to Malaysia, but nothing helped. They decided to leave their “house” on wheels at the border between Laos and Thailand after months of travelling through the most beautiful countries and landscapes.

They booked a plane ticket to Singapore where they stayed for a few days before proceeding on their journey to Tanjung Priok in Indonesia, where the school project is based. Just before they left, I met them at the Hollandse Club to talk about their inspiring journey and to reveal the amount of money collected. I was surprised by their amazing stories and am very proud to share that Wytze and Joan collected EUR6000 (almost SGD9500) for the project.

After seven months of driving 30000km through 14 countries, the couple managed to give 20 Indonesian children the opportunity to go to school. Extremely inspiring and a beautiful year’s resolution for all of us, I would say.

Should you wish to give other children in Indonesia the opportunity to go to school and receive the education they all deserve, don’t hesitate to reach out to me at the Marketing Department, and I will put you in contact with Wytze.