500,000 miles around the world

1st Aug 2012
Written by: Macca Sherifi

500,000 miles around the world

German man travels on 23-year odyssey

There are gap years and then there are gap years. When you’re travelling, the time you’ve been on the road is worn like a badge of honour. Once you’ve got that first month out of the way, they just keep on falling, until all of a sudden you’ve been away for 18 months. Or, rather like Gunther Holtorf, 23 years.

Gunther and his wife Christine initially embarked on an 18-month tour of Africa in 1989. 23 years and over 500,000 miles late, he’s still travelling (sadly, his wife passed away). And to cap it all off, he’s done it in the same car, nicknamed Otto, and she hasn’t broken down once.

Gunther’s now clocked up enough miles to take him around the world 20 times, all without and sponsorship or business support.

“This is a man that has to be one of human history’s greatest individual travellers,” David Lemke says in a narration over a slideshow of some of their photographs of the trip.

“He has done his journey completely under the radar – no blog, no phone, no Facebook. He just did it with his wife, and he is not looking for any accolades.”

Accolades were an option for Gunther, as he himself explains on the slideshow: “Sponsorship was offered, but sponsorship is never free of charge. The sponsor wants something in return and this would be to plaster the car like a formula one vehicle which I don’t like for security reasons.”

“The main cost for a traveller is restaurant and hotel – and we skip both of them, sleeping in the car and we do our own food, we buy ingredients in local markets.” His mantra of living is no technology, only the basics.

If you’re looking to be inspired to take a gap year and experience some of what this life has to offer, then watch the video of Gunther’s journey:

What do you think of Gunther’s odyssey? What’s the longest you’ve been away for?

If you want to share your inspiring stories, your own or someone elses, then make sure you jump on the messageboards and let everyone know!

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