the plan was straightforward and now becoming common practise. driving to turkey in a nostalgic volkswagen and getting married there.
why keep plans simple when they also work a little more elaborately. instead of marriage a child, a bigger vehicle and a more distant destination.
the lad is called luk, the vehicle is a fiat ducato and our destination india. for the next two years every cent is saved for the travel budget and the conversion proceeds apace thanks to very dear friends (in particular max, from whom we bought the camper). our families and good friends develop elephant ears and contribute countless ideas, although not everyone believes the day will actually come when we climb aboard our mobile home and go out into the world.
finally there is a crazy farewell party and on 12/5/2017 we set off.
right up to the last minute paul was skeptical whether the van would make it so far, but lea was all the more convinced and determined.
if you really want something, it will also happen.
lea, half italian, half munich maiden who simply cannot identify with the trendy life-style of the bavarians.
she lives for her dreams, preferring to follow the sun. her inventiveness often allows her to create something special and take action without dithering. having a frugal streak, she is a constant source of surprise and makes small and big wishes come true.
having studied fashion design in berlin, she adores the shop windows of this world. even a display of woollen socks in front of a yurt is closely inspected. real joy emerges at bazaars. price bargaining, from the kilo tomatoes to the towing service or with the shrewd rickshaw-puller, definitely fall within her domain.
at heart lea is a true italian mamma. although not always fond of cooking, cleaning or washing, she considers an orderly household with healthy nutrition as a life necessity. without that a male-run domesticity would fall into chaos. she loves getting to know new countries, but india has long since taken pride of place. not only the country and its people, but also the path of yoga keep her swirling spirit under control.
in central asia she discovers a predilection for soviet architecture, refusing to pass even the largest tumbledown structure without forging plans for its refurbishment and re-commissioning.
luk, our little whirlwind flopped into the world in 2014 and has since been livening things up wherever he goes. thrives on company, whether small or big, and just wants to play and be entertained 24 hours a day.
inquisitive as he is, he discovers new words – currently russian words – daily.
his movements are expressive, he loves watercolors, lego and fooling around. rocks kids disco with dad, kneads tarts with mom or runs circles round the bus. his immune system is a dream and sickness virtually unknown.
he is a wonderful passenger, with a special eye for places to sleep and watering places.
the favorite of all customs, border or embassy officials, whether in pakistan, china or uzbekistan, the little hobby diplomat takes us across every border in a jiffy and helps to procure seemingly impossible visa (pakistan visum in india).
his absolute elixir of life is MILK, without which he would wither like a plant in the desert.
paul, a unique berliner who grew up in munich. a happily failed legal scholar who, however, even more resolutely pursues his passion for social work with children. paul the blabbing dad is hugely popular with the kids of this world.
our supportive communicator and the family sympathiser loves speaking. he solves communication problems with hands, feet and google translater. usually a smile suffices and the ice is broken.
the personification of calmness, he is only ruffled by the traffic in india, which are apt to cause hysterical fits. otherwise he is a passionate long-distance driver who takes us safely over hill and dale.
his penchant for old stones, especially those of vanished civilisations, has certainly led us to many an archaeological site and castle on this trip. our romantic melts at the sight of every setting sun, often to the amusement of his family. we could fill entire photo albums with these shots.
a beer, a camp fire, a starry sky, preferably in the karakorum or in kyrgyzstan, in pleasant company and the day is perfect.