To us one of the most obvious answers to the question why travel is the opportunity to meet with all kinds of interesting people. Seeing and doing things might be interesting and fun, but what always affects us most and stays strongest in our memories is meeting with different people.
Some years ago we had (again) traveled from Sweden down to Southern Spain and were staying at this camp site outside of Marbella www.campingmarbella.com. We have spent a couple of winters there but this time we had just landed there for a few days. Marbella is very international, people from all over Europe come here, but also from much more faraway places. It’s actually a bit like a melting pot which some loves and some don’t.
Anyway, one day we discovered this small campervan close to our own trailer. It was a bright yellow VW and what especially attracted our attention was the American flag attached to it. We realized this was not any of the ordinary northern European “going to Spain to survive the winter” visitors and we started talking to them.
It turned out the car belonged to an American couple, Joel and Louise Goodman and they were on a 2 year journey around Europe. They seemed to really have the time of their lives, traveling around with their mini home, exploring Europe. We had many interesting conversations with them, about their travels (this was far from their first), their family back home and their homeland before they continued their trip further north, to Granada and the Alhambra.
We have followed their journey since on their blog www.goodmansjourney.com . After their 2 years in Europe they went back home to the US, sold their house and bought a big (well to us Europeans, HUGE) motor home and started their “Tour of the Americas”.
We asked them if they were willing to answer a few questions why travel has become an important part of their life and these are their answers:
Q: Tell us a little about yourself and your travel history.
Goodman’s: We are now 69 years old, married for 49 years, have 3 daughters, 7 grandchildren, retired for the last 6 years, sold our home and belongings in Seattle and decided to travel. Now how could we do this on a budget? We bought a well used VW Campervan via the internet in the Netherlands and set out to see Europe. After 2 years and living small, we were able to explore and love 29 European countries. Arriving back in America, we purchased a large motor home and set out to see “The Americas”, from Alaska to the Panama Canal and everything in between.
Q: Where are you traveling at the moment?
Goodman’s: We are traveling in “Mainland” Mexico. We toured through the Mexican Baja for 4 months two years ago and now we are totally enjoying as much as we can see in the rest of Mexico.
Q: For how long will you be away this time?
Goodman’s: 6 months.
Q: What are you planning to do on this journey?
Goodman’s: Meet and enjoy the people of Mexico and those who travel into it. We also want to learn and see as much about this close neighbor as we can. The music, food, drink, beaches, mountains, and so much more await us.
Q: Why do you travel / Why did you start to travel in the first place?
Goodman’s: Having taken a couple of one or two week “vacations” and enjoying the journey, the peoples, the histories, and the “love of travel caught us and wouldn’t let go.
Q: What do you think are the biggest advantages with being a traveler/having this traveling lifestyle that you have?
Goodman’s: Getting to know what is around the corner or across the seas..
Q: Has traveling influenced your life in any major way?
Goodman’s: It dictates it !!!
Q: To a lot of people, the dream of a long journey remains just a dream. In what way do you think you are different from all the people who haven’t made it a reality?
Goodman’s: We just did it…The decision to be changed and allowing it to happen.
Q: Do you have any advice to people who want to, but are still only dreaming about going out into the world for a longer journey?
Goodman’s: Don’t over think it, “Just Do It”
We just want to thank Joel and Louise so much for answering our questions and we’re looking forward to one day again meet them somewhere in the world!