Scott Woodhams’ custom Land Rover Discovery gets attention in grocery store parking lots. But it’s nothing compared to the interest he generates when he and friend Bernard Barbour drive around town in their matching SUVs outfitted with roof racks, 100-watt spotlights, brush guards and rooftop tents.
“People stop and look at you. I get so many looks at the grocery store,” said Woodhams, 39, of Evans. “When there’s the two of us, that’s when people start asking questions. We draw a lot of attention.”
The questions give Woodhams a chance to tell people about the new travel and adventure company he’s starting with Barbour: Central America Overland Expeditions.
The two, along with Woodhams’ wife, Angela, take off on their first expedition through Central America on July 9. They’ve rented their Evans and Martinez homes and saved up from their jobs as self-employed property managers to fund a three- or four-month expedition at a cost of about $3,000 a month. When they return, the group plans to offer similar excursions to locals looking for adventure or churches looking for mission opportunities.
“It’s exciting. This is something we’ve always wanted to do,” said Barbour, 52, of Martinez.
The trio will drive from Georgia to Texas before crossing the border and making their first stop outside the U.S. in Monterrey, Mexico. They’ll head south along Mexico’s Pacific Coast and cross through Guatemala and Belize before looping around the Yucatan Peninsula and driving north up the Gulf Coast of Mexico.
The trip includes several stops for volunteer work, as charity is a key part of the excursion.
“Anywhere we go, where there’s an opportunity to help out, we want to do that,” Woodhams said.
While in Central America, the group plans to connect with a handful of Christian mission agencies working with children or in community development programs. In the future, he’d like to offer their travel experience to churches doing missionary work in Central America. There’s potential, too, to expand with expeditions to Africa, where Woodhams’ church, New Life Christian Center, is already digging wells.
The trip also includes several stops for sightseeing at beaches, remote villages, mountain towns, tourist destinations and ancient ruins.
“We want to explore, visit, take in the full culture,” Woodhams said. “Our friends and family, they say, ‘Are you crazy?’ There’s been some concern, but we have their full support. It’s been our dream.”