Guest #10: Sue Mead

Sue and her elephant in Thailand
Colin, Sue and Todd in a Tuk-Tuk in Phuket

Name: Sue Mead
Lives in: Williamstown, Mass.
Occupation: Freelance automotive journalist

"What an experience!" Said freelance automotive journalist, Sue Mead. ďIíve participated in many driving adventures around the globe, but LONGITUDE is unique and inspirational in many ways that I would not have known about if I hadnít come along,Ē said Mead, who specializes in reporting about and participating in 4WD adventures. ďItís been an eye-opening experience that has touched my heart to participate in the Parkinsonís visits and learn more about this disease and the work of the team to raise awareness and increase funding for research. Itís also been great to see how well the Land Rover vehicles have held up after the rigors of nearly 20,000 miles.Ē

Sue Mead lives in Williamstown, Mass., but she spends much of her time traveling the globe to test drive cars and trucks and write and photograph for dozens of publications. She started out studying psychology, but, along the way, she started looking into the psychology of art, using photography as the medium. It was then that she fell in love with photography and began taking pictures for newspapers, a job that soon led to writing for the newspapers, as well. Today, she specializes in automotive journalism, with a special emphasis on the 4WD market. Her experience in off-road driving and in 4X4 writing and photography is what led her to Drive Around the World's Take Me With You! program. With years of experience in the field, this proud mother of one adult daughter has she has earned the respect of the automotive world's toughest professionals.

Sue says she loves to explore the world and to see first-hand its beauty and richness. She believes in living life to the fullest, and that includes earning a living by doing the things she loves to do and giving back to others some of the joy and good fortune she's had come her way. Sue's advice to others is to "Dream big dreams. Believe they will come true. Give back to the world and be kind to others."

What kind of impact is the LONGITUDE expedition having in the communities they visit?

LONGITUDE is having a huge impact on many communities along their journey route from the Parkinson's communities to schools, RGS personnel and all who see and come into contact with this wonderful and well-educated group of adventurers.

Would you be up for 9 months of travel like this?

Yes. It would be hard to be away from my daughter and other family and friends for that long. But, I think the benefits and gains would outweigh the difficulties and losses.
What is your most memorable moment during your portion of the journey?
The visit to the small village in the Cameron Highlands. I will always remember sitting atop the bonnet of the Land Rover Discovery and pointing out to some of the children from the village where they and we were and where this expedition had traveled on the map of the world.
What advice do you have for future travelers in the program?
Don't have a pre-set notion of what you'll experince and where you'll travel. Do become a team member during your stay. And, go along for the ride!
What surprised you the most?
The diversity of experiences and how much I learned.
What was the best thing you ate?
My favorite dinner was the lobster and Tom Yum Gai in Phuket, Thailand.
What was the most difficult part of the traveling experience?
Waking up in the Hannibal Tent atop the Land Rover roof in the early morning heat and humidity and having mosquito bites all over my legs and sand all over my body! But, then again, maybe it was the leeches in the rain forest!