Stories of a World 2023 – The blog lives

Visiting the Eu-Parlamanet in Strasbourg during Corona
In summer 2020, traveling was only possible to a very limited extent - many restrictions had to be considered

In April 2020, it was time to start. The farewell party had been celebrated, the apartment given up, the jobs terminated. On March 22, the German government announced the first lockdown to stop the unhindered spread of the coronavirus. We postponed the start of the trip by a few weeks. As more and more countries closed their borders, we realized that traveling overland – without flying – would be impossible for an indefinite period of time. Flying to one of the few countries that still allowed a very limited form of tourism was not an option for us.

At first everything went wrong

So we bought a cheap off-road vehicle – a Suzuki Vitara. We had time and were bored and had the plan to get the car back in shape so that we could tour Europe in it. We spent weeks on and under the car, sanding off the rust, spraying FLUID Film into every cavity, painting one part or another, re-drilling threads and replacing all the filters. Finally, we took the Suzuki to the garage for a set of new tires and to replace the timing chain. Our run of bad luck struck again: the mechanic made himself scarce and finally informed us: The car had major engine damage. The mechanic denied any responsibility for having made a mistake when replacing the timing chain.

Suzuki Grand Vitara XL-7
The Suzuki looked quite good like this ...
Working on the Underbody of Our Rusty Car
... but it rusted badly at the base.

The total loss and the money we had already spent tore a big hole in our travel fund. We had found jobs in the social sector to keep us afloat. We had also moved in with Vany’s parents in the meantime. That had to change now – so we looked for our own apartment again and found one. Traveling the world was no longer an option. Corona was still raging and our savings had run out. We found ourselves – materially and emotionally – at rock bottom. No jobs we wanted to work in, hardly any money left, no prospects and so far no place to live. At least the latter had now changed.

Time for a fresh start

How do you get back on your feet when you’re down? For us, the answer was: just get up and carry on.

In our own apartment, life felt better again. At the beginning of 2021, Chris found a job as a teacher for refugees, Vany in kindergarten. It still didn’t match our degrees, but it was better paid. In our garage was the roof tent that we had already bought for our Suzuki. We had got rid of the car for some money. Now we needed a new one. Not far from us, we found the ideal vehicle: a 2001 Honda CR-V. A great car that we loved immediately.

In the summer of 2021, we drove it all the way to Albania and had a great time. Looking back, this was our turning point, where things got better again.

Testing Our Camping Equipment
Test camping in the Harz Mountains
At Albanian Beach with Our Honda CR-V
We found some beautiful places in Albania

First Vany found a job that suited her perfectly, followed shortly afterwards by Chris. It felt damn good to be doing something we had studied and to watch as one coronavirus restriction after another was lifted in 2022.

Finally, long-distance travel was relatively easy again. The first flight in a long time took us to Andalusia, then to the United Arab Emirates and the Seychelles. We would soon become parents and the Seychelles were the perfect place to enjoy a few more days in paradise before our little man was born.

Flight over London
The world from above - an almost forgotten sight after three years
Chris in Dubai with Burj Khalifa
It was good to get out of Europe and see something different again

The world changed - and so did travel

Russia attacked Ukraine in early 2022. Hot spots also smouldered in Africa, for example in Sudan. The Taliban came to power in Afghanistan. Plus the usual sabre-rattling from North Korea and Iran. After two years of standstill due to coronavirus, the world had come to life. The balance of power was about to shift. This didn’t make life any better for millions of people and made many countries more insecure.

In September 2022, our little man was born. A new life as a family began. While friends and acquaintances predicted that we would probably travel less now, our fingers were already itching. Although our trip around the world had been put on the back burner, we already had a whole drawer full of travel ideas waiting to be realized. Clearly, traveling the world after Corona, with new wars and political power struggles; traveling with the three of us would be different. But our desire to travel was greater than ever. We would find ways and opportunities that would suit us as a family.

Hike in the Woods
Traveling as a trio - first we have to get into the groove

As much as we loved our blue babyface Honda, we wanted something bigger for really bad roads. In the Balkans, the CR-V had reached its limits. Besides, a little person like that needs a lot of stuff. Eventually we found our dream car: a Toyota Hilux. It also has more rust underneath than it should have, but that’s a disease that almost all pickups and off-road vehicles have. One day it may die of rust, but for now it will be our companion.

Our New Car - Toyota Hilux
At the beginning of 2023, we fulfilled our dream of owning a Toyota Hilux

And now?

Mr. Lux – as we have named the car – will soon be coming to the workshop. A new chassis, new tires, a major inspection. We are already planning our first tour in early summer: Vany, Chris, the little man and Mr. Lux.

We will gradually fill this blog with life: Inspirations and pictures of our travels, posts about Mr. Lux’s conversion and also about traveling with a baby / child.

We don’t yet know what will happen with our trip around the world. We will certainly set off on it. When, how and where: that is not fixed. First of all, our little man has to grow up a bit.