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Gas or Diesel for international overland travel?

This post was originally posted by me on a different blog on Nov 7, 2011:

This answer is from Janet & Tom, a couple traveling through Central & South America.  You can see their related post at ExpeditionPortal, as well as their website cataloging their travels through Africa and Latin America.

“Our decision to go with gasoline versus diesel was made when purchasing a land Cruiser for our Africa trip. We had planned to go with diesel but were unable to get an appropriate diesel vehicle so we went with gas. We actually found that gas was a better choice for a number of reasons. Yes it is often more expensive however it is much more widely available in remote locations. We met travelers with diesel who occasionally were unable to get diesel as it is used by all truckers, however we never ever had problems getting gas. The mechanics are also more likely to be able to fix a gasoline engine versus a diesel engine. We have heard of travelers in South America having issues with water in the diesel, we met German travelers with diesel and they had problems with high altitude and cold.

We have had no issues with power and our highest altitude was 5000metres in Bolivia. Haven driven over 80,000km in Africa and 50,000km in the Americas we can honestly say that we have had no real issues. The octane in Egypt was horrible and we had to add additives but apart from that we have not had issues getting fuel or dirty fuel. We have been really impressed with the Nissan’s capabilities. There are more issues with dirty diesel than gasoline in some countries such as Bolivia. There are however many who travel with diesel vehicles we can only say that gasoline has not been a problem at all. We have also found that prices are not that different in many places.  As for performance at high altitudes, freezing temps or hot temps (57C Sahara) we have had no issues. We would choose gasoline again.

Forming a bond: Priceless

On DROdio

We're a small start-up, so you wouldn't think we'd be able to take 12 of our co-workers to SXSW in Austin, TX.  But thanks to a great idea by my co-founder Sean, we were able to do it, and it was a blast.

We couldn't afford to pay everyone's airfare, so instead we hit on a compromise:  We offered a "work-cation" to our employees -- they pay their airfare to get to Austin, and we'd cover the hotel + pay them each $100 cash for spending money.  In exchange, they'd get to spend the weekend in Austin during SXSW and we'd all party in the evenings, while working during the weekdays while we were there.  It worked out great.  It was an incredible bonding experience for all of us, and even though we stayed in the worst hotel in Austin, we all had a blast.

I can't stress enough how awesome and important it is to really kick back with your team and get to know each other as people.  Especially considering how hard we all work, spending some time together outside of work is really fun, great for everyone, and part of our company manifesto.

In fact, we had such a great time that even other companies were putting our crew on their websites.  Here is a picture from the ServerBeach website showing us at their party.

At SXSW this year, I also saw a rise in the use of QR codes, as well as augmented reality and video capture on iPad 2 tablets.  We also all used Beluga, a great group messaging app that changed the way we interacted with each other during the event (one of those things you're not sure how you lived without).

We're a small start-up, so you wouldn't think we'd be able to take 12 of our co-workers to SXSW in Austin, TX.  But thanks to a great idea by my co-founder Sean, we were able to do it, and it was a blast. We couldn't afford to pay everyone's airfare, so instead we hit on a compromise:  We offered a "work-cation" to our employees -- they pay their airfare to get to Austin, and we'd cover the hotel + pay them each $100 cash for spending money.  In exchange, they'd get to spend the weekend in Austin during SXSW and we'd all party in the evenings, while working during the weekdays while we were there.  It worked out great.  It was an incredible bonding experience for all of us, and even though we stayed in the worst hotel in Austin, we all had a blast. I can't stress enough how awesome and important it is to really kick back with your team and get to know each other as people.  Especially considering how hard we all work, spending some time together outside of work is really fun, great for everyone, and part of our company manifesto. In fact, we had such a great time that even other companies were putting our crew on their websites.  Here is a picture from the ServerBeach website showing us at their party. At SXSW this year, I also saw a rise in the use of QR codes, as well as augmented reality and video capture on iPad 2 tablets.  We also all used Beluga, a great group messaging app that changed the way we interacted with each other during the event (one of those things you're not sure how you lived without). Here's a video Isaac made of our trip, and below it are pics just a few of the many moments we all shared together during SXSW: > [gallery link="file" columns="2"]

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