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Accountant drives 9,000 miles through 23 countries to bring his beloved Land Cruiser back to Britain



LifestyleTravel

He and his girlfriend survived close shave with suicide bomber on route

Friday, 10th January 2020, 9:42 pm

Life on the road for Joss Quilty and his Land Cruiser (Photo: Joss Quilty/SWNS)

Accountant Joss Quilty became so attached to an old Land Cruiser he bought while living and working in New Zealand, he decided to drive it home.

The only problem was home was the other side of the world in Thornbury, near Bristol.

“I had bought this old Toyota and kind of wanted to keep it”, he said. “It’s a really good car and I’m just amazed that it was possible.”

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He and his girlfriend Romy Romagnoli embarked upon a journey of a lifetime, shipping the 20-year-old vehicle from New Zealand to Malaysia then driving overland to Britain to arrive in time for Christmas.

Who said accountants are boring?

Inspiration for the trek came from friends talking about their own adventures.

“We would go to the pub and they would make you think: ‘I should be doing something with my life'”, said Mr Quilty.

So the 30-year-old and his girlfriend set out on the 9,000 mile odyssey taking them through 23 countries including Cambodia, Myanmar, Pakistan and Iran before reaching Europe.

Along the way, they needed armed guards to travel along the Pakistan/Afghanistan border, had a close shave with a Taliban female suicide bomber and spent hundreds of pounds getting a visa to get into Iran.

Mr Quilty driving his Land Cruiser. (Photo: Joss Quilty/SWNS)

What was life like on the open road?

To save money, the pair lived out of their vehicle sleeping on a mattress in the back for much of the journey.

Clothes were washed out at night and dried on the dashboard the next day.

And showers were cold and outdoors from a hose attached to the vehicle.

Living in the Land Cruiser “made me realise how much I appreciate the simple luxuries of life”, said Ms Romagnoli.

Have they reached their journey’s end now?

Arriving back in Britain in December, they finished one great adventure with the overture to another by becoming engaged.

Now the couple plan to move to Scotland but not before they do one more big trip from Alaska to Argentina.

Still bitten by the travel bug, Mr Quilty 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.”

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