Incredible Photos From a 20+ Year Road Trip Around the World

Gunther Holtorf has lived an incredible life. The ex-airline executive has traveled the equivalent of 20 times around the world. After 26 years on the road, most of which were spent with his late wife, Christine, Holtorf has visited 179 countries, six continents, traveled nearly 550,000 miles and has countless memories. Here, the German adventurer and photographer who works with Ottos Reise shares images of the first 23 years of that epic road trip:

Gunther, Christine, and Otto (their Mercedes Benz G-Wagen) hit the road in 1989 for what was supposed to be an 18-month trip around Africa. It turned out to be a 26-year global tour. Check out some of the amazing photos Holtorf took along the way:

african bridge photo

One of the many “hairy and scary” bridges they had to cross

baboon on car photo

Christine comes face to face with a baboon

road trip camping

They slept in the car or in hammocks

hot air balloon festival photo

Famous gathering of hot air balloons at the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta

mount everest photo

Gunther Holtorf at Mt. Everest

Holtorf traveled with two old cameras—the Leica M6 and Leicaflex SL. It was with these cameras that he captured so many incredible photos of his journey and the emotions of the people he met along the way.

photo of african people

woman wearing neck rings

The biggest question people seem to have is “How the heck did they pay for it all?” Well, as I said, Holtorf worked as an executive for a major airline, so that helps. Sure, Holtorf may have had some money, but the truth is, you don’t really need a lot to live on the road. And actually, traveling to third world countries and living in a truck is much cheaper than living a modest life in the US. It just takes a little drive to take a long drive!

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