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From Alaska to Argentina in a Solar Powered Van

Updated: Mar 28, 2022

“Do things not because they are easy, but because they are the right thing to do."


Who are you and what is your mission?

I’m a smiley surfing Aussie from a lush subtropical east-coast region of Australia. I grew up under pretty adventurous conditions, spearfishing, surfing, hiking and camping were a large part of my earliest formed memories. I studied a bachelor of science with a double major in Ecotourism and Climate Change Adaptation building upon my adventurous upbringing I developed a more analytical appreciation for the environment and all of the current challenges the ecosystems of the world are facing. I decided I wanted to live as low of an impact lifestyle as I can whilst exploring the possibilities that exist in the tech world, and using them to take control of my impact whilst completely testing them.

My mission is to show the world that there is no reason we cannot operate our societies off of renewable energy. I commenced on a journey last year to be the first to drive a solar powered electric camper-van from the Arctic Circle in Alaska all the way to Tierra Del Fuego in Argentina.

How did you get started and what were the obstacles you had to overcome?

I had owned an RV in the past before moving on to the current van that I own, so travelling in a van and incorporating those things was a super easy transition. I knew that I liked Vanlife, I just had to make it a little more authentic to my personal ethical standards. I got started on this project the day I was born really as everything in my life up until now has formed a base with which I use to make all this possible.

But I would say the biggest catalyst in beginning this particular project was a break-up and a death in the family. I had had the idea for this project and a subtle plan in my mind for around 5 years before I actually built up the courage to just make it all happen.

What advice would you give to somebody who is just getting started on their own mission/journey?

I would say to them that action is the most important thing. Doing is better than thinking, even if it’s bit by bit, day by day - action is the way that things happen.

What are the three most important lessons you've learned in life and on your journey so far?

1. Slow down, enjoy as much of everything as you are able.

2. Let go of things you can’t control.

3. Don’t stray too far from the ocean.

What do you do when you feel stuck, insecure, or overwhelmed?

I usually find the nearest body of water and go for a swim or a surf. If I can’t do that I try my best to feel how incredible it is that I am alive and able to feel any of those things that are disturbing me. I do this by taking moments of pause to recognise my current headspace, and learn to accept it as it is. Then I focus on my physical existence, my body, arms, legs, feet, toes, etc and I will try to return to what it is that I am trying to achieve. If I am not ready to take action I will repeat this as much as necessary or change tasks to something else that I am more capable of achieving in that current status or headspace.

What are three values you live by?

Do things not because they are easy, but because they are the right thing to do.

Honour your own personal rhythm, disrupt that rhythm only for people whose opinions you can trust.

Every hypothesis, philosophy or theory started as someone’s idea - regularly check your opinion against an ethical understanding of this statement, people are really good at selling their ideas as truth, which are not always helpful for living your life with purpose.

What is your definition of freedom? And what do you do to get there?

For me for now there are two prongs to freedom:

First is basic freedom. It is clean air, drinkable water and good healthy food. The supply of all of these basic needs gives me my basic freedom that I have never been without since the day I was born.

Second is more complicated, it is freedom of my mind, which is a lifelong journey that never really ends. It is hard work, I am trying to achieve this through doing the right thing with my life, strengthening my connection with the planet I live on and being kind to myself and others that I encounter during my life.

Who or what inspires you?

Nature is a huge inspiration for me, also humans are a big part of where I draw my inspiration. I would love to see a world where humans can live in harmony with our planet again. I couldn’t tell you one individual that inspires me, but here are a few: Eckhart Tolle, Thich Nhat Han, Russel Brand, Kendrick Lamar, Bo Burhnam, Dr Bronx, My Friends and Family.

If you had one wish for the world, what would it be?

A modern sophisticated technological society that operates completely within the laws and limitations of a natural Ecology.

A closing sentence.

Make sure you go check out my project Route Del Sol on Youtube and Instagram, thanks for reading my responses I hope you got something out of it all.


If you want to know more about Joel and his mission, here is how you can connect with him:

Facebook: Route Del Sol

Instagram: @routedelsol

YouTube: Route Del Sol

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