By on June 3, 2013

It's tough. Picture courtesy Quickmemes

Autoblog’s readers may have expressed disdain for a controversial attempt to score some free travel cash, but according to the Drive Nacho Drive page, they still tossed in $1,619.99. I seriously want to believe that one of the marks donors pledged $9.99, for reasons we may never know. (If you’re the $9.99 guy, holla at your boy here.)

The big question remains, however: did Sheena, Brad, and “Nacho” the Vanagon get the cash they needed to drive through China?

Well, the results are in, and they aren’t good for our intrepid trio. Over the course of a month, pledges totaled a staggering $13,174… but that was only 51% of what the Kickstarter would have needed to have been fully “funded”. Brad has announced that all the suckers donors will keep their money. This should come as no surprise to anyone who understands how Kickstarter works, but feel free to gape at the man’s magnanimity.

Without the $25,000 Nacho desperately needed to vacation in style, what’s a pair of first-worlders to do? Brad waxes eloquent:

This still leaves the question of what we’ll do after India. If we are to drive out of India, it has to be either Pakistan-Iran-Turkey, or Nepal-China-Kyrgyzstan. The former will be logistically tricky and politically restrictive if not altogether impossible, while the second – a Chinese crossing – would still be prohibitively expensive. We think we could cut a couple thousand dollars off of the $8,000 quote we received by spending less time in China and keeping the purse strings tight, but it’s still not in the budget. We’ll keep an open mind and hopefully it’ll work out in some way. If neither of these work, there’s always the shipping option

One option not mentioned: the “going home option”.

For now we push on, we drive the subcontinent and the Himalayas, we eat lots of good food, and we keep Nacho in tip top shape. Only one thing is clear: we have no idea what we’re going to do next. I guess that’s why they call it “adventure”.

I’d really like to bore you, the valued TTAC reader, with a three-thousand-word diatribe regarding the nature of “adventure”, the difference between having an “adventure” on the way to accomplishing a worthwhile goal and simply “adventuring” in the hopes that an end to the means will eventually appear and justify all that has gone before, and the sheer pathos of the self-consciously authentic yet genuinely meaningless life that so many people like Brad and Sheena (but not, it must be said, Nacho himself) are deliberately constructing for themselves, but instead I’ll offer a suggestion for Brad and Sheena.

I suggest that the two of you sell Nacho and come home to Oklahoma. People there are suffering and they need help. You’ve proven yourselves to be resourceful and imaginative. Use those talents to change someone else’s life. You might just find that you’ll find the meaning for which you’ve been searching. Before you ask: I’d love to meet and work with you there, but I’ve promised myself that I’ll finish learning all the Steve Vai solo parts from “Hot Dog and a Shake” before I do any more charity stuff. Best of luck to all three of you.

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10 Comments on “It’s Nacho’s Fault That Sheena And Brad Won’t Be Kicking It In China...”

  • avatar

    The first Baruth article that made me just say; “meh.”

  • avatar

    “I’ll finish learning all the Steve Vai solo parts from “Hot Dog and a Shake” before I do any more charity stuff”

    A worthy cause.

    Speaking of worthy Kickstarters, the only one I’ve donated to was that Robocop statue. That’s a cause that really gives back to the community.

  • avatar

    I had looked into the matter after the first story, and I made a few phone calls. I wish I didn’t. The response from Beijing was:

    “Are you [expletive deleted] out of your [expletive deleted] mind? Just look at the [expletive deleted] map and see where those [expletive deleted] [expletive deleted] want to go? How [expletive deleted] expensive do we have to make it until the [expletive deleted] morons get the [expletive deleted] message and take their hippie bus elsewhere?????”

    A subsequent look at the [expletive deleted] map revealed that the kids and Nacho wanted to
    – tool across Tibet in times of new unrest (permit needed, forget it)
    – drive through contested (India vs. Pakistan) Kashmir (permit needed, forget it)and then smack through
    – a contested (India vs. China) border region, only to
    – make a loop through China’s Xinjiang province where recently “police have detained 19 people and seized homemade explosives and weapons following a bloody clash between residents and officials which killed 21 people last week,” as Reuters wrote.

    I then understood the sudden outburst. As far as the second crossing from India into China is concerned, they would not even get to the Chinese border. No individual tourists allowed in Kashmir, groups need a permit and military escort.

    • 0 avatar

      “No individual tourists allowed in Kashmir, groups need a permit and military escort.”

      Depends on which part of Kashmir for the military escort. Western Kashmir near the case-fire line like Jammu or Srinagar? Yes, you should be very careful in those areas, although plenty of people go there.

      Eastern Kashmir in Ladakh is not an issue, however. There is tight airport security when you are flying from Ladakh to the rest of India (not the reverse however), including several full pat-downs, but it’s doable quite easily and it’s quite safe to go there. A lot of the signage in Ladakh will include Ladakhi, which is a Tibetan language. A large percentage of the population in this section is Tibetan Buddhist.

      Driving a VW van in the Himalayas when they couldn’t even get the van to go up certain small hills in Latin America seems misguided, simply as a practical matter, in addition to the other amateur moves that Mr. Schmitt has detailed.

  • avatar

    I’m thinking that Kickstarter needs to tighten up their rules a bit. First it was these two and now there’s a guy that wants the Internet to help him build a Dorifto Rolls Royce.

    Between those two alone, I’d rather give money to Brad and Sheena.

  • avatar

    “For now we push on, we drive the subcontinent and the Himalayas, we eat lots of good food, and we keep Nacho in tip top shape.”

    And we should have gave them money because…?

  • avatar

    There are a lot of inconsistencies in their story on why they needed the money. I detailed this in the prior thread:

    As of July 9, 2012, they had planned to go through China per a post on but somehow magically a few months later, they didn’t have enough money to go through China and started the Kickstarter campaign. Yet, Brad came onto TTAC on April 24, 2013 to claim that they had never planned on going through China and planned to skip it. Was he lying in July or was he lying in April?

    They could have easily funded China if they skipped India, but their dream vacation included going to India, so they came up with this hare-brained scheme to cross the Chinese border twice and get Other People’s Money to pay for it.

    These guys still strike me as amateur hipsters who aren’t as good at planning as they think.

    Also, with respect to their latest photos, they either need to learn how to use exposure compensation or a flash, in some cases both (or just shoot manual :) ).

  • avatar

    And further more they should get off my lawn.

  • avatar

    I’m currently reading a book called “Adventure Capitalist”, by Jim Rogers. He builds a custom SLK-bodied G-wagen and drives it around the world. The difference: he’s a billionaire, he looks for new markets to invest in, and he didn’t ask anyone for money.

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