For one overlander, what began as a part time hobby has become a full time way of life. “I can’t stop. It’s addicting. The horizon is addicting. Once you experience it, there’ no going back from it,” Overlander Chris Shontz of Venture4WD explains in this month's Overlander Spotlight interview.
In the late 90s, Shontz's passion for travel began as time spent off-road recreational trail-riding. He began simply enough; with just a jeep and a lift kit. He soon began to want more than just the same planned routes and trails; he wanted to explore. He sought trails without knowing exactly where they led or what obstacles they might contain. He came to thrive on discovering new places.
Shontz’s first long road trip began in Pennsylvania and took him south to Texas. He traveled from there to Arizona, Utah, Southern California, and Oregon. The last leg of the journey took him all the way back across the U.S. to Pennsylvania. Across over 17,000 miles and 6 months, he saw so many new places and things that he got the first taste of what became a full-blown passion.
"It changed my life," Shontz said. "I learned how to live simply." Eventually, Shontz decided to chase adventure full time and become a nomad. He’s been on the road full time since 2017. He chronicles his travels and adventures with ongoing video and photo blogging.
Shontz's advice to travelers of any kind is not to miss out on the journey while trying to get to a destination. "Take time to focus on the places in between," Shontz said. He explains that so many travelers pick a destination, rather than a direction. In doing so, they miss out in the rich experiences and adventures that lie between Point A and Point B. “Spend time in the places you discover along the way,” Shontz said. To Shontz, so many lesser known places have so much to offer.