I had originally pulled into a picnic area to have a mid-afternoon nap, but there was a family in a great big old military truck (with German license plates) which they had converted into a mobile home.
Under the bright red paint, was 47yrs of history. From the original Military Camouflage, to a Beige work truck to a Dark Red Ambulance and now into a bright red family home. If this truck could talk, it would have stories from all around the world.
The Praschel’s are from Germany and they were very friendly! Read their full story on their blog: http://wirziehenab.de/ .
Although their English was broken, we were still able to communicate, share stories, laugh and also come to understand each other’s reasons for being on a journey. We share similarities.
One of Tom’s biggest surprises throughout his travels. . .no matter what they need, somehow it was always provided to them. His advice to me was just that. No matter what you need, it is waiting for you just around the corner. I don’t think he’s a religious man because he seems genuinely surprised at what has been provided to him in the time of need.
All four of them are very fortunate to travel the world, but is that what it was all about for them? Absolutely not, it about being happy and being a family. When I asked him what he meant about that, he put it like this. . . Parents work, get tired, no time for anything, no time for the children. The only time you spend together as a family is during the holidays. That is not happiness or the way people should be.
He doesn’t claim to have the answer, but his family seems to be happy for the past 17months on the road. “You have to be happy otherwise it is not much of a life without it.”
Tom simply stated, “That is my dream. For my family to be happy.”
When I look back at the conversations we had, not once did he mention materialistic things people enjoy having or the sights he saw…the conversations tended to be focused on his joy of meeting people along the way.
They are very family oriented, friendly, and enjoy the company of others.
One of the stories he told me had to do with a German custom among friends. If someone gives you a knife as a gift, it means they are cutting the friendship. They don’t want to be your friends anymore. During his travels, the men of villages would give him a knife as a present. (He had several) For the longest time he couldn’t understand why so many people didn’t like him. He eventually laughed once he learned it was a gift for friendship…not a gift to cut their friendship.
You know they are doing something right when they have been travelling for the past 17months…in a vehicle…together!…and still love each other. I mentioned to them that it’s a Canadian custom to kill each other after the first 48hrs, at least that’s what would happen with my parents.