August 1990 through an advertisement in the Globetrotter magazine. Since it turned out that we were kindred spirits, lived only about 10 kilometers apart, had both already taken a year-long trip around the world, and we both really wanted to explore the world again for longer, it came about very quickly that we opened up to each other and explored!
Before we ventured on a long trip around the world, we wanted to find out if we could make hay on the same stage when we traveled. That's why we took our first test vacation at the end of October: five days in Paris. Freshly in love, we were in the city of love, probably not entirely surprisingly, rather distracted with transmitting the travel virus to each other even more intensively than to deal with possible unpleasant side effects of traveling together.
No problem, we thought, after all, test vacations are more fun than working. So we set off again just one week later; this time for a 2-week car tour through the Engadin, the South Tyrol and Austria. Traveling together on our own gave us much more pleasure than frustration. We found a travel rhythm that suited both of us and decided to go for it. So we booked a train ticket to leave in spring for a longer trip around the world.
At the beginning of April 1991 we started. What was planned as a backpacking trip of about a year, ended up lasting a good 2 ½ years! After an overland journey through Austria, Eastern Europe, Russia, Mongolia and China, we arrived in Hong Kong 4 months later. After another 4 months in Southeast Asia, we flew to Australia. There we bought a car. Explored the Red Continent with it for 10 months. Next we were fascinated by about ten South Sea Islands for 3 months; we visited Fiji, Samoa, Tonga, the Cook Islands& Hawaii. Afterwards we went to New Zealand, where we bought a rickety car and explored their two main islands for half a year. After another 4 months in Southeast Asia, we returned to Switzerland in the fall of 1993, enriched with countless experiences.
The longer we were on the road, the more we agreed that we wanted to see more of the world and that this 30-month trip should not be our last. On the way we had met an English couple, who for 20 years always alternated, one year working and one year traveling. Several times they wanted to settle down, but always succumbed to their travel fever. The two of them were fully convinced of their lifestyle, but said wistfully that unfortunately with advancing age it becomes more and more difficult to find a good job for the intermediate years. Since we were also aware of this, we explored ways around this problem.
Naked in the middle of a picturesque landscape, we found the perfect environment at a nudist campsite in New Zealand to suit us. Nudity in the community is already a taboo, and once you break one taboo, it is natural to think about other taboos.
It began with Brigitte mentioning several times, just in passing, that she wouldn't mind dying today, since she had already seen much more of the world than many an older person who is only waiting in an old people's home for the inevitable end! Heinz was still very afraid of death at that time, and was more than a little shocked by this statement.
In the nature of this nudist place we started to discuss about death and Heinz started to realize that Brigitte is right: death is as much a part of life as birth. Since nature is just and much more humane than man and all must die to complete the circle, death can't really be anything terrible. On the contrary, it has even something humane.
Naked and unprotected in nature, we quickly agreed that without fear of death, many unexpected doors and opportunities open for us! Those who are not afraid of death need not worry much about the future. If you don't fear death, you can trade the security of a regulated life for freedom – and that's exactly what we wanted to do as soon as possible after we got home. So we decided to take advantage of our status as DINK's (double income, no children), to work as short as absolutely necessary, then to hang up our jobs forever and from now on to dedicate our lives only to traveling – for life! Simply discover other countries and cultures, eat well and in between let your soul dangle on naturist places.
We could do without security, career, church and children, as well as drugs like alcohol or tobacco. Consequently Heinz let himself be prevented and we took an apartment, which we shared with roommates. Since we had seen too many crimes of missionary work on the road, we both left the church.
While it was our goal to work as short as possible to work out our basic capital. We had expected 7-10 years. But the fact that we had already managed to generate the start-up capital of around € 300,000 in 5 years was hard to believe, even for us. More about this under philosophy of life in the section "our travel money" – thanks to the stock exchange.