After 14 years, four children, 55 countries, and 250 000km, this Argentinean couple had a dream of travelling around the world by car and still on the road fulfilling their dream.
In 1999, Herman Zapp and his wife Candelaria climbed into their car and drove out of Argentina with only $4 000 in hand. Using their 1928 Graham Paige they went to Alaska as both wanted to go, so that’s what they did. “I saw the car two months before we left and fell in love with it so I brought it,” Herman said in Cape Town, where they now live. They arrived in South Africa last year.
In the same year Herman, an electrician, and Candelaria, a secretary, sold their house, packed what they could into the car and left. “Everyone thought we were crazy,” Herman said. “But, really, who is crazy – the one who goes for the dream or the one who doesn’t?”
Even that they are doing what they wanted at first the couple has some fears. “That first day was the hardest,” said Herman. But the pair was determined. “If you let your fear take hold, your life will pass you by,” he explained.
The couple, Herman Zapp and Candelaria was married for 20 years. “We think we will be around forever but it’s important to rethink life,” said Herman. “My mother died when she was only 46, the only legacy I have taken from her is to ‘do it now’.”
They survive mainly on the kindness of others, having been taken in by more than 2 500 households all around the world. “You have to give a chance to people to show how good they can be.”
They have three children, three boys and a girl and every child were born in different countries. Herman said being on the road was the best education they could get.
“School is important, but it’s not the most intelligent person who survives, it is the person who learns how to adapt the fastest.” The husband is in no doubt that his children will be better people for experiencing all the different cultures of the places they’ve been to.
“We’ve been to Australia and Canada and have stayed with kids who’ve had rooms full of toys, but we’ve also been to countries like Cambodia where children have made toys from sticks.”
This kind of education, said Herman, is priceless.
“Now they know that everything has value and meaning.” Candelaria said the children were excellent travellers and adapted easily.
The Zapps, are currently living in a flat in Constantia, Cape Town. They supplement their income by selling their book, Spark Your Dreams and giving motivational talks. Their next plan as soon as they have enough money, they plan to head to Egypt for their next adventure.