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The Longest Driven Journey Is in a 1982 Toyota Land Cruiser, a Wanderlust Dream
You hear the phrase “living the dream” a lot these days. Enjoying a Starbucks latte or, in keeping with recent developments, getting five minutes on your own without the entire family encroaching on your personal space is “living the dream.”

The Longest Driven Journey Is in a 1982 Toyota Land Cruiser, a Wanderlust Dream

Couple has been traveling the world non-stop since 1984, in their trusty '82 Toyota Land Cruiser FJ60Couple has been traveling the world non-stop since 1984, in their trusty '82 Toyota Land Cruiser FJ60Couple has been traveling the world non-stop since 1984, in their trusty '82 Toyota Land Cruiser FJ60Couple has been traveling the world non-stop since 1984, in their trusty '82 Toyota Land Cruiser FJ60Couple has been traveling the world non-stop since 1984, in their trusty '82 Toyota Land Cruiser FJ60Couple has been traveling the world non-stop since 1984, in their trusty '82 Toyota Land Cruiser FJ60Couple has been traveling the world non-stop since 1984, in their trusty '82 Toyota Land Cruiser FJ60Couple has been traveling the world non-stop since 1984, in their trusty '82 Toyota Land Cruiser FJ60Couple has been traveling the world non-stop since 1984, in their trusty '82 Toyota Land Cruiser FJ60Couple has been traveling the world non-stop since 1984, in their trusty '82 Toyota Land Cruiser FJ60Couple has been traveling the world non-stop since 1984, in their trusty '82 Toyota Land Cruiser FJ60Couple has been traveling the world non-stop since 1984, in their trusty '82 Toyota Land Cruiser FJ60Couple has been traveling the world non-stop since 1984, in their trusty '82 Toyota Land Cruiser FJ60Couple has been traveling the world non-stop since 1984, in their trusty '82 Toyota Land Cruiser FJ60Couple has been traveling the world non-stop since 1984, in their trusty '82 Toyota Land Cruiser FJ60Couple has been traveling the world non-stop since 1984, in their trusty '82 Toyota Land Cruiser FJ60
No one knows better about living the dream than Emil and Liliana Schmid, a couple from Switzerland that are the record-holders for a series of very inspiring and awesome Guinness World Records. They have been traveling the world since 1984 in their trusty 1982 Toyota Land Cruiser FJ60, the real star of this story.

Since March is autoevolution’s Toyota Month, no virtual Toyota party is complete without a mention of this iconic Land Cruiser, the fulfiller of dreams and one of the most reliable and hard-worked vehicles in the world. The journey that started 37 years ago as a whim is still going on as we speak. The car is still running even though, as of the moment of press, it’s been left in Argentina due to current travel restrictions, while the couple continues their journey by plane and using other means of transport.

Back in 1984, Emil and Liliana had saved up some money and, since they had no kids and had not even owned a house, they thought they could give themselves a one-year sabbatical to explore North America. They decided that their ‘82 bright blue Land Cruiser would be the vehicle of choice, so they flew into North America while the Toyota followed them by ferry.

The vehicle had been equipped for the adventure, of course. To this day, it’s fit for everyday living, including sleeping, eating, and spending leisure time, with storage for water, propane gas cooker, extra storage for fuel, cutlery, clothes, makeshift bed, you name it. Emil and Liliana don’t live out of the car and often resort to hotels and the kindness of strangers to spend one or several nights, but when they have to sleep inside the Toyota, they can.

Once the year was over, Emil had made up his mind: he wanted to keep going. Liliana wasn’t so sure. “I am pretty persistent, so when I convinced Liliana to embark on this journey – she was very hesitant,” Emil once said. In the end, she agreed.

Since then, they have been traveling the world for 37 years without stopping. As of 2017, they still hold the Guinness record for the longest driven journey in the world: 741,065 km (460,476 miles) across 186 countries. But they also hold records for the most miles done in a single car and the most countries visited in a single car.

More importantly, they have no plans of stopping. The Land Cruiser went through its third rejuvenation in March 2017 and, as you would imagine, hundreds of flat tires, dozens of shock absorbers and batteries, one engine mounting, and too many to count cosmetic scratches and dents. Emil hopes it will continue running until they decide – or have to – stop traveling.

Not that they’re planning to do so anytime soon. “Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the places that take your breath away,” Liliana once mused. “It’s little things that make it worthwhile – it’s a flower, it’s a bird, it’s a mountain.”

That’s inspirational stuff alright, but how in the world is anyone able to pay for decades of travel? You have to have a very relaxed but practical attitude about it, it seems. Emil and Liliana often do end jobs to make extra money, or they rely on support from communities or, perhaps more important of all, financial backing from sponsors.

Whether it’s a couple of nights at a discounted price at a hotel, a free overnight stay at some stranger’s house, or donations from local Toyota dealerships and Toyota groups, every bit counts. Emil, now in his mid-70s, has his government pension to rely on, and they also had some money inherited from their parents. But if you live as they do, you only need very little except money for gas.

If you have some time to kill, do check out their website: it’s a treasure trove of pictures and stories. It takes some getting used to because of the old interface, but it’s enough to get you feeling wanderlust. The texts are packed with details and with a clear focus on them: these two don’t have time to write elaborate stories. They’re too busy living the life with their trusted Toyota.

Editor's note: This article was not sponsored or supported by a third-party.

 
 
 
 
 

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