Tractor Girl

AKA Manon Ossevoort

Role

Expedition Ambassador & Lead Driver.

EXPERIENCE

Extensive experience driving a tractor around the world. And Polar training in Iqaluit, Northern Canada with ‘Northwinds Arctic’, Matty Mc Nair’s company.

WHAT 3 THINGS CAN YOU NOT LIVE WITHOUT ON THE TRIP?

Coffee, sleep and cuddles.

WHAT WILL YOU MISS FROM HOME?

Biba, the dog that has travelled with me on my tractor all those years through Africa. I now have a little baby daughter named Hannah; I will miss her more than anything in the world. And I’ll be so grateful to return home to her, and her daddy!

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BIO

The 38-year-old Dutch actress and theatre maker, known by most people as Tractor Girl, has already travelled by tractor over 38,000 km from the Netherlands, through the Balkans, down through Africa to the Cape of Good Hope, collecting people’s dreams (written on pieces of paper and digitally) which she promised to bring to the South Pole. The adventures of the girl on the tractor were followed by people and media worldwide.
The Tractor Girl story is a story of one dream on its way to realisation, with all the ups and downs played out and shown publicly. The story gave a stage to the many inspiring people, projects and humanitarian organisations Tractor Girl encountered on her way, raising funds for the ones that truly make a difference. The aim is to turn this real life adventure story into a book, a docu-movie and of course a children’s book (about a tractor, a girl and a dog that go on an adventure).

WHY ANTARCTICA2?

As a theatre maker I created a seemingly impossible adventure story of a girl travelling to the end of the world on her tractor. But then I thought: what is the ‘End of the World’? A child could say: the South Pole! Because it sounds like going to the moon on a tractor, but maybe it is possible! An adult may say: a country torn by famine or war, a place where people lose hope. Both voices said: go! I realised that if I would put this story into reality, I could tell stories about real people and the real world that are inspiring! So I thought: maybe we should just do it! And that became the motto of my journey: sometimes you just have to do it!

Tractor Girl arrives in south Africa

Sometimes you just have to do it

After nearly 4 years and travelling over 38,000km with my tractor and a dog I arrived on the ‘Cape of Good Hope’, South Africa. All these years I’d been searching for beautiful projects, initiatives and inspiring people’s stories. And I’ve collected (on film, in photos and in writing) so many stories that inspire courage, that prove that ‘sometimes you just have to do it!’

While travelling I’ve collected dreams of people everywhere. Wishes, written on small pieces of paper, and they’ve travelled with me on the back of the tractor. The Antarctica2 expedition sees me take them all the way to the South Pole and there I want to build this big snowman with the dreams of the world in its belly. Keeping a document of the dreams of the world for future generations. I hope that people will hear about this story and think to themselves: if you can drive a tractor all the way to the South Pole, and be safe, maybe this one dream that I have is also possible. Maybe I should just do it!

 

WHAT DO YOU THINK WILL BE THE TOUGHEST PART OF THE EXPEDITION?

Travelling through the mountains and the crevasse area. But maybe that’s going to be the scariest part. The toughest part would then be the areas with sastrugi, frozen ‘snow waves’, they will make for an extremely bouncy tractor-ride!

WHAT’S BEEN YOUR TOUGHEST CHALLENGE SO FAR?

Three years of bush camping and solo travelling in Africa with an old tractor and a dog I’d adopted on my way.
Seeing this project come to completion, to never give up and keep positively working towards that seemingly impossible goal: setting up and undertaking a South Pole expedition by tractor and finding all the help, support and finance needed for doing that. It’s become a ‘life work’. Now, 12 years after I created the concept and decided to ‘do it’, it’s finally going to happen! The real-life happy ending to the adventure story I once invented/dreamt up/ envisioned.