There’s still a perception that women are less keen to ‘rough it’ on their travels. Well, as these stories from the road demonstrate, there are plenty of women overlanding right now—and they love it.

When I first met Karin-Marijke Vis in Ecuador, she and her partner Coen were already legends in the overlanding world—the archetypal slow, mindful travelers who had genuinely eschewed the rat race for good.

They barely knew each other when, in 2003, Coen suggested she join him on a world trip in a 30-year-old Land Cruiser. Saying yes to moving into a car together seemed a braver act than motoring off towards Iran and Pakistan during a time of heightened, post-9/11 tension in the region.

By the time we crossed paths, the Dutch couple—who are now driving through China—had spent a decade on the road, living in a vehicle so cramped it made the VW campervan my husband and I called home seem positively palatial. I admired her fortitude.