Gunther and Christine Holtorf

I know I’m a bit late on this story, but I’ve been away on a road trip of my own, not quite so many miles but a pleasure all the same. Clearing out the old inbox and catching up on the pile of bills should be my first priority, but the tale of Gunther and Christine Holtorf caught my eye via Pinterest. I followed up with a bit more research and although saddened to hear that Mrs. Holtorf has since passed, I am inspired by their story and happy that they did what so many of us fail to do—exactly what they wanted to do. The second star of the story, their trusty Mercedes Benz G Wagen (affectionately named Otto) clocking over 500,000 miles is nothing to sniff at either.

So much happens to us all every day. Never mind the big go-to events (career changes, deaths and births). We also deal with allergic reactions, fender benders, stalkers, root canals, broken toes, expired milk, incarcerated uncles, and maniacal neighbours. “When will it all just stop?” is an often claim of the exasperated. There will never be a break in the insanity of life where you will finally say, “Hey now’s the perfect time to explore the Darien Gap or learn to surf in Tofino”. The only time “it all just stops” is when we’re dead. The only time is now, full stop.

Now I’m not about to uproot my family and leave tomorrow on a self-serving self-exploration quest or anything like that, don’t get me wrong. Balance is important when you have kids, but there are so many nooks and crannies of time that I waste throughout the week and I’m going to fill them with learning and plotting how to squeeze the most travel and exploration in, given the time and money I have to work with. The potential for Urban Exploration intrigues me, as well as perhaps the more family friendly Geocaching. I recently wrote an article about Orienteering for a client, a sport I didn’t know existed which seems tailor made just for me.

Being an outta site, outta mind kinda gal, I’m going to print this post and stick to my board. A love letter to myself on the day I let the bills be paid an hour later, put my email on hold, and remembered what it is I love about being alive. I have seized today and that’s what counts.

The best of luck to Mr. Holtorf as he continues his travels and wraps up the 23-year round trip next year, settling Otto into a well-deserved place at the Mercedes Museum in Stuttgart, Germany. Most of all, a heartfelt thanks to him and his wife for the greatest gift that can be given, inspiration.