Drive The Planet

Driving for SOS- Children’s villages from the Netherlands to Beijing China.
That was our aim with

We are Michel van Velde and Elles Albering and we have driven 30.000 kilometers from the Netherlands to Beijing China in a Volkswagen oldtimer campervan. A lot of people dream about it, and many think we are absolutely nuts. But we did it anyway, for SOS- Children’s Villages. We left on the May 17th. Read on this site about our adventures!

If you have any questions you can reach us on +31625004147

Michel van Velde & Elles Albering

Latest news!

‘Bestemming Beijing’ in Bookstore!!

Bestemming Beijing, our book about about the expedition can be found in all major bookstores in the Netherlands and Belgium. We received so many reguests after the journey for the complete story, that we decided to write it all down. So the last few months we dug deep in our memory, re-read our diary and wrote it all down. What can you expect.. well a lot we can assure you! On this website for example, we never mentioned our hilarious audience with the Dailai Lama of Tibet and our frustrations while driving in China.

Part of the revenue made with this book will be donated to SOS-Childrens Villages! So don’t forget to buy: Bestemming Beijing. Delivery at home via is possible by buying it online. Just click here: Bestemming Beijing, Albering, E.

Read our diary here!!

Hanjin Shipping took care of shipping the car back to the Netherlands for us as well as lashing (securing) hippie in the container. By locking the container we knew this was it. The end of the journey, the end of the expedition. Saying goodbye to hippie felt weird and strange. Good thing is that we know hippie is in good hands….

Read about the whole journey in our day to day diary on the daily journal page.

The last village!!!

It’s time to meet the press. We sit down and, with lots of camera’s pointed at us, tell our story. The press loves to hear the stories about western China as they have never been there before. They even have to laugh as we tell the roads have been bad and saw many stranded vehicles in a snowstorm. For more then an hour we answer questions and show pictures of the journey. Maybe we should give company presentations in the Netherlands!! Anyone interested??

Read about this on the daily journal page.

Drivetheplanet visits SOS in Afghan Refugee camp

We were going to pay a visit to an Afghan refugee camp as well as an SOS-Childrens School and primary medical facility. The refugee camp wasn’t a camp full of tents. No, this was more like a city built out of mud. The camp was built during the Russian-Afghan War and as the situation didn’t improve under the rule of the Taliban.

As we drive through the refugee camp we watch in amazement how these people leave. Sanitation facilities lack and we are told many people use the open sewer for collection of water causing many infections and diseases. A world difficult to understand…..!!.

Read more about our visit on the Daily journal page.

Good news on the Sars situation!

We were in China and it all seemed to be safe! Every now and then we had to avoid a gurgling or spitting Chinese but there is no sign of Sars!

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The route

A journey like this guarantees adventure.
From the vineyards in Italy to the Chinese wall in Beijing. From the heat of the desert of Iran to the chilled height of the Himalaya.

Help us Helping SOS-Childrens Villages!

During the expedition we came across countries where children wander the streets alone, begging all day in order to survive. These children need help. We saw what SOS does for Orphans and are proud to have driven all the way to China for this organisation. Help is still needed. So all donations are welcome.
You can sent your donations to: SOS-Kinderdorpen Giro 8282 in Amsterdam (Dutch only). International visitors can surf to

Drivetheplanet sponsored by:

Hanjin shipping supports drivetheplanet!

Hanjin Shipping, well known for container transports around the world, has offerd to transport the camper back to the Netherlands in one of their sea containers. This allows us to bring back our camper to the Netherlands, something that would not have been possible without the help of Hanjin Shipping. For more information about Hanjin Shipping, please look at