We met each other on August 3rd, 1990 by means of an ad in Switzerland’s Globetrotter Magazine. As it turned out that we’re congenial, did only live 10 kilometres apart, had both already been on a world trip for more than a year and both had the desire to travel more of the world indeed, it happened quickly that we revealed and explored also each other!
Before we dared to go on a longish world trip, we wanted to find out, whether we have enough common grounds, to share such a venture. Therefore, we did our first test-holiday already at the end of October: five days Paris. Freshly enamoured in the city of love, we were obviously more diverted by contaminating each other with more of the travel virus than to consider potential, undesirable side effects of traveling together.
No worries, after all, test-holidays are certainly more fun than working. Therefore, we decamped again a week later. This time for a two weeks trip by car, visiting the Engadine, South Tyrol and Austria. As this journey together on our own, blessed us with distinctively more joy than frustration, we decided to take the chance. Soon, we booked a railway ticket that was to be the beginning of a longer world trip starting in spring.
This first big adventure together started in April 1991. We had intended to go backpacking for one year, but only returned after a good 2 ½ years! After an overland-journey through Austria, Eastern Europe, Russia, Mongolia and China, we’ve reached Hong-Kong four months later. Subsequently, we’ve spent another four months in South East Asia. Then, we ventured around the Red Continent for 10 months, where we’ve bought a car. Thereafter, we let ourselves thrill for 3 months by 10 South-Pacific islands: we flew to Fiji, Samoa, Tonga, the Cook Islands & Hawaii.
Next, we’ve reached New Zealand, where we bought an old car once more, and explored the country’s two main islands with it in half a year. After another four months in South East Asia, we returned to Switzerland in autumn 1993, enriched with myriads of experiences.
The longer we travelled, the more we concluded that we wanted to see ever more of the world; this 30-months journey shouldn’t be our last. Along our way, we’ve met an English couple, who alternately had been travelling and working for one year, during the past 20 years. Several times, they wanted to settle, but they never managed to work more than just for a few months, before succumbing to the travel virus again. Both were absolutely convinced about their lifestyle, but deemed wistfully that with advancing age, it gets harder to find good jobs for the gap years. As we were aware of that as well, we started considering how we should procced with our further travels.
Being nude amongst a picturesque landscape, a naturist resort in New Zealand provided the perfect environment to find a solution that suited us. Social nudity is already a taboo and once you started to break taboos, it just falls in to place, to reflect about other taboos.
It all started after Brigitte repeatedly mentioned casually that she wouldn’t mind, if she would have to die today, as she had already seen much more of the world, than many elderly people, who are only waiting in a care home for the inevitable! Back then, Heinz was still very scared of death and was more than slightly shocked about Brigitte’s statement.
In the midst of this naturist-resort’s natural surroundings, we started to bat around death and Heinz began to realize that Brigitte is absolutely right; death is as much part of life, as birth. As nature is more just and humane than human beings, and everyone must finally pay the dept of nature to close the circle, death cannot be that awful. In contrary, it might even be a human act!
Nude and unshielded in nature, we quickly agreed that without fear of death doors open to countless unexpected opportunities. If you don’t fear death, you don’t have to be afraid to look into the future. Who is not afraid of death can exchange an ordered, regular life against a life in freedom - that’s exactly what we intended to implement as quickly as possible after our return home.
We simply decided to take advantage of our status as dinkies (double income, no kids), to work as short as absolutely necessary, then to hang up our jobs and from then on, devote our lives to just travel – lifelong! Just to discover other countries and cultures, to gourmandise and to visit naturist places, to leave all cares behind.
We were going to give up security, career, church, children, just the same as drugs like alcohol and tobacco. Consequently, Heinz had a vasectomy and we’ve rented an appartement that we shared with flatmates. As we had seen too many crimes of missionization during our trips, we both left the church.
Admittingly, it was our aim to work only the absolute minimum-time required to acquire our capital stock. We banked on about 7 – 10 years. Nevertheless, it was almost unbelievable even to ourselves that we’ve managed to generate the roughly € 300’000 within 5 years only. More about that in our Philosophy of Life chapter, in the section “Our Travel Money”. The stock market can be a blessing.
In May 1999, when we hung up our jobs and dropped out, Brigitte was only 37, and Heinz not even 40 years old. By now, we are already 58 and 61 resp. and still on the go. Meanwhile, we have past our peak and are more convinced than ever: it was the right decision to decamp forever and ever – without any transition, our trip will eventually lead to our final journey, happy and loaded with uncountable good memories….
We’ve created this Homepage to share all our experiences we’ve had during the ~22 years from 1999 up until today, whilst collecting food for thought between the South- and the North poles. Have lots of fun and inspiration reading and browsing through our pictures.