Gunther Holtorf and his late wife Christine traveled the world for over 20 years.
They didn’t fly first class or stay in fancy hotels.
In fact, they NEVER stayed in a hotel.
Instead, the two lived out of the back of a 1988 Mercedes G Wagon named ‘Otto’.
‘Otto’ traveled more than 600,000 miles over those 20 years, but never suffered a major breakdown.
Take a look at some of the photos that Gunther and Christine captured over the years.
Gunther, his wife Christine, and their diehard Mercedes Wagon ‘Otto’.
Christine passed away from cancer in 2010. At her request, Gunther continued his journey alone during her treatment.
Gunther worked as an executive for a German airline for most of his career, until retiring from his position at 51. He later served as CEO for another smaller airline, and then left Germany to start a map making business with his wife in Jakarta, Indonesia.
The only places he hasn’t been are a few countries in West Africa. He couldn’t visit them because of land mines and civil war.
Gunther’s last voyage was to Africa, to tick off a few countries that he couldn’t get to earlier in his life.
He’s got four active passports. One is full, and the other three have only a few empty pages. He said he’s had at least 12-15 passports in his life – all of them jam-packed with stamps from the countries he’s visited.
The couple’s map-making business and personal savings sustained them through their travels. But they also lived frugally. Gunther estimates their monthly expenses while traveling at under $1,000
He also said that he’s never paid a bribe to anyone in any country.
‘Otto’, the 1988 Mercedes Wagon, cost about $40,000 in 1988. It’s still got almost all the original components, including the transfer case, axles, and differentials.
Gunther and Christine celebrating 500,000 kilometers traveled – in the middle of nowhere.
Gunther returned home for the last time in 2014. Mercedes-Benz will purchase ‘Otto’ and display the car in their Stuttgart, Germany museum.
When asked if he wants to be remembered for his lifetime spent traveling, Gunther says,
It’s not about me being remembered. I want Otto to be remembered, and so would my late wife. The car belongs in a museum. The car will continue to live—that’s what I want to see. It’s not me that is special; it’s the car. This car has been in so many countries all around the planet.
Watch this video about their amazing travels.
And listen to Gunther talk about his meeting a hyena in Africa.
Read an interview with Gunther Holtorf at Outside Magazine
Follow Gunther and Christine on Facebook
Another interview with the BBC
More about ‘Otto’
Pictures via: MyModernMetropolis and DoItYourselfRV