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13 months, 12 countries, 2 women - insights into a special WORLD TRIP

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13 months, 12 countries, 2 women - insights into a special WORLD TRIP

Jennifer Kringel and Carina Peters face the questions of WELTREISE-TRAUM

Jennifer Kringel (36) and Carina Peters (39) have fulfilled a long-cherished dream. Both have quit their jobs, or left their self-employment, to travel for at least 13 months. And this in a period of life where usually children are planned, houses built or careers started. It does not work? Is not possible? On the contrary, these women enjoy their courage and their freedom every day. With growing enthusiasm, they are already planning the next projects and want to tackle them after their journey with even more vigor and implement them quickly.

"Travel is a tremendous asset at all times. Not in vain one say ships in the harbor are safe, but they are not built for that, "says Carina Peters, who as a personal trainer daily motivates her customers to perform that they themselves would not have believed to be able to provide one day , "I love challenges. Only where it tickles really, one can extend its own radius. Traveling is one of the most wonderful ways to redefine yourself and the world in exchange. "

What moved you to travel and why travel around the world? Was there one or more key moments for the decision?

Maybe the attempts to convince each other of each own destinations were key moments. We are very different in our interests and wanted to explore very different regions of the world. Alaska versus Hawaii. North against south. City against landscape. Impossible to cover these all in the foreseeable future in just one longer holiday per year. You could say we got into something, which could not be stopped after the first conversation. In addition, Carina has met with this trip a long-cherished and laboriously saved youthful dream. It takes an estimated four years or more to travel around the world - just because of the seasons. And even with this time you will only be able to experience excerpts. That's why we picked out "only" 12 countries for our 13 months travel time, in order to get to know each country more intensively.

Did you go in with the intention that something in your life should change, if so what?

Regardless of each other, fortunately we have been able to fulfill many other dreams in our previous life. We are, we think, not the classic couple who, at some age, find that career and consumption are not making you necessarily happy anymore. We know that self-fulfillment can be found elsewhere. For example, by promoting a talent, learning something seriously, or creating something that has lasting value. Therefore no. It does not have to change. We enjoyed our previous life very much. We are only happy when we complete our own puzzle piece by piece.

What other expectations did you have for your trip around the world?

I think I expected us to feel "high" with happiness the whole time - just like on vacation. For example often we saw this thought on the faces of the people we have told about our intention. However, the journey has become more of a research trip than a one-year vacation trip. We are very much involved in the fate of peoples who, for thousands of years, have lived in harmony with nature and have been wiped out or ousted by industrialized countries whose countries we have occupied. Similarly, we can not help but contemplate the merciless exploitation and pollution of nature with weeping eyes. Where it does not seem hopeless, we collect the garbage in nature. We bring our reusable ToGo items with us (f.e. pick up takeaway food in our own tupper bowl) or talk to locals about sustainable projects.

What expectations have been met?

I had no set expectations in the journey and had no destination, which should be pursued with this trip necessarily. It is more of an experiment, how it feels like to be away from home and to be able to and need to meet strangers and something foreign every day. Now, after two-thirds of the journey, we are deeply grateful for how much more we now understand of our world.

What happened, what you did not expect and what surprised you?

It is wonderful to be hungry again. In Europe and with your own kitchen you might be hungry at 12 o'clock because it's lunchtime. But on this trip we had to live on a certain budget and were partly dependent on camping kitchen of raw food. You have to consider travel times. Feeling real hunger again, especially when you burn a lot, is a good experience. With fasting you can certainly produce a similar result, but it is even more selective and usually has a clear start and end point.

Which destinations did you visit or plan on your trip around the world and why exactly these?

We have decided that each of us would get to decide half of our 13 planned months. In these periods each of us was allowed to determine the destinations and the dates and ion the other side had to pay everything for both. I wanted to get to know all the Hawaiian Islands, because I am very interested in the culture of the Polynesians, especially their shamanism. Besides, I had fallen in love with Myanmar. It seemed to me in many ways like the Promised Land of Buddhism. I had to grasp the mania of building countless Buddha statues in every corner. I chose Japan, Singapore, Thailand, Indonesia, Hong Kong and Vietnam for shorter trips. Beside New Zealand Carina wanted finally travel to Australia including Tasmania. "Get ready" a continent and maybe check off. Also, Alaska, a childhood dream.

Where are you at the moment?

We just are coming from Tasmania, looking around in Melbourne and flying to New Zealand tomorrow. Polynesia the second, so to speak.

How much of your trip was planned or pre-organized?

For a few months we knew almost every night where we would sleep. It does not sound very spontaneous, but we liked it a lot. At that time, we hardly needed a minute to waste for research. On site, we really had the opportunity to delve deeper into the action and local life. As a good rhythm, it turned out to be four days in one place. Two days to explore, one to relax and one for the onward journey. Nevertheless, we have always given priority to getting to know people and have looked at the „sights and highlights" in retrospect on the Internet.

Which moment or key experience on your journey has particularly moved or even changed you?

There were too many little wonderful moments and Wow experiences to list here. We believe that it is rather the sum of experience that has made us more mature than a single situation. That the so-called Australia Day on January 26 is still celebrated with great enthusiasm is one of the negative examples of very emotional experiences. It marks the beginning of the genocide by white settlers on an ancient, very wise people. This celebration unleashes a tremendous grief on the country's traditional "owners" who are calling for enlightenment according to this date. We wish very much that Australia is maturing, facing its past and recognizing its true riches.

Were there shocking moments, something you did not expect?

When my best friend wrote to me that she was in love again, that she would move to Freiburg and that she might not be in Hamburg when we return. That felt like being abandoned by all and not having a real home (as it was) anymore. Life at home continues. People can become parents, children can suddenly run, and friends leave without saying goodbye. Shocking for both of us was the extent of pollution in Southeast Asia. No matter how beautiful the landscape is, everyone throws their plastic waste into lakes, rivers, forests, etc. as a matter of course.

How do you harmonize on a world tour for two?

We are together 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Luckily, we barely quarrel, but instead take the time to talk and conclude everything together. It is wonderful finally to spend so much time together. For some reason, maturity is in us to know what really matters. Every day we have the opportunity to experience new details of the lives, thoughts and feelings of others. I think we enjoy every second, have also developed many new dreams and discussed their implementation. Maybe we will never have that much time together again. Therefore, we greatly appreciate this shared experience.

How do you finance this world tour?

Mainly by savings. We decided not to look for work while traveling. Carina, however, has given a self-defense workshop in Hawaii and now and then personal training lessons. I did some photo shoots here and there. We have had good luck so far and have been invited many times. And we try to reward these kind people in our own way. We are very good listeners, put ourselves in the background, take care of the needs of our new friends. We also help in the household or garden, cook, make purchases and lead dogs.

How does your networking work while traveling with family and friends at home, has anything changed?

We have a large network and many friends in many major cities around the world. That's certainly one of the benefits of not being in your early 20's. It helped us a lot not to get lonely together. To meet friends and to intensify relationships on our journey is one of the most beautiful aspects. A friend from Hamburg visited us on the trip and traveled the world with us for a while. That was wonderful. She will also join us on the last part of the journey. The most sedentary of our four parents also followed us all the way to Hawaii. With Skype and emails you can stay in good contact. We sincerely hope that we do not neglect friends and family too much and make every effort to allow them to participate and to be there for them remotely. Because we absolutely want to keep them all and miss each one very much!

Do you have a fixed ritual during your trip around the world and if so, which is it?

Long sleep, then being annoyed about it and put the blame on each other? At the beginning we were awake with sunrise and ready to experience. Meanwhile, after almost 9 months, we need more recovery.

If you were to give three tips to other people dreaming of a trip around the world, what would that be?

1. Get informed in advance about the destinations. Read as many books as possible and do extensive research. The journey will be much more exciting if you can go deeper into the culture, the feeling of life and the uniqueness of the region or if you are familiar with geology, flora and fauna. It also extends the travel time. Even classic fiction in the country can be helpful. 2. Seek as much contact with locals as possible. 3. Take the need for time off seriously. Such a journey, as beautiful as it is, can be very exhausting.

How does it feel, in a phase of life in which the conventional requirements for your "sociological conspecifics" look quite different, to do something completely out of the social expectations? How do you deal with now and what do you think will be expected "at home"?

Sometimes it is a bit lonely in this regard on the journey. We hardly meet travelers of our age and thus have less exchange at eye level. It's not common practice to quit your job in mid / late 30s and start moving. Also in cafes, on ferries or while hiking our own generation seems extinct. Our peers work or do not hang around outdoors during daytime. On the other hand, we have more space to meet people of other ages. Especially from the experiences and the knowledge of older people we benefit enormously: Sometimes completely deaf with fatigue, but happy, finally, once all questions have been asked. At home you stay too much under yourself. Every now and then, we consciously realize how unusual our current life situation is and are happy to have taken this great and courageous step. At home countless new projects await us. Sometimes we can not wait to get them started. First of all we build a chicken coop and buy out old laying couches to give them a few more years "in the lap of luxury".

How will your life go on after the journey around the world and has this perspective changed during the trip around the world?

The perspective is the same, but the kaleidoscope has become more detailed. We hope to be more supportive of the pro-independence movements of peoples and people who do not perceive our Earth as a great resource and spare parts resource. Maybe a book dealing with this topic from the perspective of our trip is a suitable option. In addition, we strive for an increasingly self-sufficient lifestyle. Buying vegetables and fruit loosely and locally, avoiding garbage, especially plastic, even more, repairing things instead of throwing them away or borrowing things instead of buying things is just as much part of our business as swapping second-hand goods and learning instead of consuming.

Melbourne, 3rd February 2016

Jennifer Kringel

After studying art history, fine arts and media studies, Jennifer (36) first worked as a public relations manager and in strategic marketing in various companies and agencies. Jennifer is NLP Master and has lived and worked in various alternative communities (including a trailer site in Hamburg and a Retreat Center in Hawaii). In addition to developing her art, she explores ancient shamanistic practices and is passionate about indigenous cultures.

Carina Peters

Carina Peters (39) is a trained and independent manager for forestry, as well as personal trainer, fitness instructor and nutritionist. She is committed to nature and animal welfare, as well as to a health-conscious, sustainable and ecological way of life. She is a human encyclopedia concerning physical fitness, reducing one's own footprint, animal and plant species as well as their specific way of life and usability. She offers tailor-made solutions, also for physical rehabilitation, and trains its customers primarily in the wild (

Interview by Ellen Kuhn & Joachim Materna.

© Photo Collage Jennifer Kringel and Fotolia

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