Entrepreneurs Topher Richwhite and Bridget Thackwray are known for their pursuits in music, hospitality and fashion — but the couple’s new venture is a vast global expedition.
The Auckland couple will travel the width and length of the world in a 350,000km zig-zag visit to more than 70 countries and six continents over two years.
“It’s our love for raw adventure, continuous exploration and new experiences which has brought on Expedition Earth, the couple told Spy this week from the Arctic Circle in Alaska where they are beginning their trek.
“We found ourselves driving around New Zealand at every opportunity until we literally ran out of road to explore.
“On a drive back from Mt Cook we decided to drive the planet. We want to live every day to the fullest and experience this amazing earth.”
Richwhite, 32, son of one of New Zealand’s wealthiest men, David, and Thackwray, 24, founder of Fashbae, are relying on a jeep they’ve named Gunther to take them on their journey.
They will travel down the American Continent, then up through the Africa, the Middle East and Europe, into Asia, then Australia and home.
“We will be experiencing the coldest, vast Arctic plains, to the lush rainforest in Colombia, to the heat of the Jordan Desert.
“The route we have chosen is the width of the planet and three times the length. It’s going to be a long drive, but full of adventure.”
This week they slept in Gunther after watching the Northern Lights — braving temperatures dipping to -30C.
The couple's expedition route.
Their travel case includes bear spray and flares — but there will be different dangers in countries such as Honduras, Panama and Ethiopia.
“In some countries/regions we will need to drive through the night to avoid parking up in unsafe areas. It’s going to be a real adventure and may have a number of complications we unfortunately can’t always be prepared for.”
The pair have started a Facebook and Instagram page called @expeditionearth.live and with the footage loaded so far, Spy is picking it won’t be long before National Geographic comes knocking.