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The 23-Year-Long Road Trip
Plenty of road trips end with that Thelma-and-Louise feeling, am I right? You know what I mean. Reaching the end and realizing how much has changed, how much hasn't changed, how much you just want to keep on going. Not in a driving-into-the Grand-Canyon-because-the-law's-catching-up way, but in a soaring-into-the-air-eternally way. But you don't, of course you don't, because your life is waiting. You know, real life -- the job that needs to be returned once the vacation days expire, the dog that needs to be picked up from the kennel, the house full of all your very important stuff that you can't quite picture anymore, quietly awaiting your return. But what if you just kept going? Well, that's what Gunther Holtorf did. Twenty-three years ago.
When Gunther Holtorf and his wife began their journey in 1989, they meant to take an 18-month trip around Africa -- an ambitious enough undertaking. But somehow they just weren't ready to stop traveling, and continued on in their Mercedes Benz G Wagen for the next, oh, 500,000 miles. This BBC News video is a must-see, full of inspiring images of the trusty car (Holtorf says he's never had a major breakdown!) just about everywhere on Earth a person might want to travel.
And guess what: Holtorf has documented these amazing travels with only a couple of ancient film cameras. Film! No blog. No Twitter. No Instagram. It's almost as if the true roving spirit, the collective unconscious travel bug, has swarmed and assembled in this cheerful world-driver. After I'd seen this video for the first time, I was walking across a highway overpass and found myself gazing at the river of cars, wondering if any of them were in the midst of a grand adventure, feeling somehow, as I hadn't before, that most of them must be.
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