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In a world besotted with material pleasures and where lifetimes are spent bemoaning the daily grind of life, here is a couple throwing caution to the wind and fulfilling their dreams — their vehicle of choice being a 1928 Graham Paige. The Zapps have been travelling around the world since 2000, visiting more than 40 countries and have now reached Mumbai, all in their trusted 84-year-old car.
The story begins in Argentina when 10-year-old Herman met 8-year-old Candelaria on his grandfather's farm and they fell in love. He proposed at 16 and they were married ten years later in 1993. Money, a successful career and a beautiful house with a swimming pool followed but not true happiness. "When we were dating, we would read travel books and about people who had taken long trips on motorbikes and such and wonder, "Why not us?" Our dream was to see the world," says 42-year-old Herman.
After six years of contemplation, fighting fears and pacifying their loved ones, the Zapps decided to just set a date and undertake a trip from Argentina to Alaska. "Our friends and family thought the idea was ridiculous and that it would not last more than a week. But after a while you have to stop listening to others and follow the call of your own heart because you have only one life to live," he says. So on January 25, 2000, the Zapps set off from Buenos Aires leaving their doubts behind and have never looked back since. In these twelve years, they have been to South America, USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, China, Korea, Japan and now India with the next stop being South Africa. And while they were at it, they accomplished another dream - that of having children. Each of their children- Pampa, 9, Tehue, 7, Paloma, 4, and Wallaby, 3,- was born during this journey, each in a different country. Perhaps for a family of six travelling the world with almost empty pockets, sleeping in tents, cooking on a stove in the middle of nowhere, travelling in a rickety car which does not go at more than 60 km/hour, money should be the greatest concern but it does not bother the Zapps. "Believe it or not, the best part of the journey has always been when we run out of money. Because that is how we got to meet the amazing people who hosted us in more than 2,500 family homes," says Herman. The Zapps finance their trip by the sales of their book on the Alaska journey called 'Spark Your Dreams'. Another concern could have been the children's education but Candelaria home schools them, having adopted the Argentinian syllabus system, with the car packed with the children's books and toys. "Anyway, they would never have learned as much in eight hours of school what they are learning on this journey," she says.