There was only one thing we lacked on the road: time with friends, acquaintances and siblings. You also get to know, appreciate and value many people on the road. But the perspective seems to be different. We have noticed this time and again in various conversations over the last few weeks. - Sooner or later, the conversation inevitably turns to our tour. The topic seems to be moving. Strangely enough, three questions emerge that we hadn't expected.

We had expected people to question whether we had found happiness on the tour. Or what motivates us to continue. What about time on the road? - Does boredom set in? - How do you live in a van?

But three questions are clearly in the foreground:

How can you afford this?" - Isn't it painful to pay so much* give up? - Where do you get the courage from?" 

*Apartment, garden, furniture, television, clothes...

Marc Häusgen from planBwagen hitner lettering MUT at Munich Tollwood

We tried to answer the first of the three questions in the article "Previled or "just" happy" to answer. - We have also been clearing out our household in the last few weeks. The only question we had to answer was whether the item would make us happy or not. If you leave out the "maybe", there is a frightening amount to sell or give away. In the end, there were only a few things that we put into storage.

This should also answer the question of whether it is painful to "give up so much". No, it is not painful, because we are not giving up anything. We're just exchanging: Furniture for money, an apartment, a garden for a place on the beach or lake, a TV for sunset, clothes for freedom. Not only do we gain freedom, but we also have the feeling that we are freeing ourselves from one burden or another. And speaking of giving things away, isn't it said that "happiness is the only thing that doubles when you share it"?

But the most common question is and remains the question of courage. - While the other questions were easy for us to answer, this question presents us with a challenge. Neither Torgit nor I have ever considered ourselves courageous. - So I always brushed the question aside at first. - But as the question became more and more frequent, we naturally questioned ourselves. - Is what we are doing courageous?

How is courage actually defined? - What does Google say about it?

"Ability to overcome fear in a dangerous, risky situation; fearlessness in the face of a situation in which one could be afraid. - Willingness to do what you think is right in the face of expected disadvantages."

Wikipedia: Courage, also known as boldness or boldness, means that one dares and is capable of daring to do something, for example to enter into a dangerous situation involving uncertainty.

Synonyms are: fearlessness, courage, daring, boldness, audacity, boldness.

I found a third source, my older brother: he has a sign on his office: Normal is the absence of courage. - So if we are courageous, would that make us abnormal? - A fascinating observation.

We do not claim any of this for ourselves. Our tour is, at least so far, neither dangerous nor risky. There have not been many situations where we have had to be afraid. Except perhaps a little for the paintwork on our van when we had to negotiate another narrow passage. Okay, the moment when I "buried" the van in the middle of the Pampas wasn't quite so great. But man, we grow with the tasks.

We are neither fearless nor overly reckless. Nor do we see ourselves as brash or bold. If one of the synonyms fits at all, then it is boldness. - This is the only thing we can identify with. When we do something, we do it with all our heart.

We have continued our search. What kind of quotes are there?

"Courage is when you're scared to death, but you get in the saddle anyway." - John Wayne


Sorry, we have to disappoint you, there was no fear of death. This isn't the Wild West. Although he was cool. Mr. Big Leggy.

"Being completely yourself can take some courage." - Sophia Loren


That's more like it. We are trying to live that, completely and utterly. But we are certainly only on the way there, completely and utterly, but also far away.

"The greatest pleasure in life is doing it,

that people say you can't do." - Walter Bagehot

That is and always has been mine. "You can't" is one of my driving forces. - Torgit was worried that I only set off because a lot of people told me that I couldn't just quit my job, be back home after three or four weeks and... - But is that all there is to it? - No, definitely not. - It's just fun to travel, it makes you happy. But let's get back to courage.

We found two more quotes fitting. On the one hand, we see ourselves as happiness seekers...

"Courage is at the beginning of action, happiness at the end." - Democritus 


...and on the other hand...


"Where would we end up if everyone said where would we end up and no one left?

to see where you would end up if you left." - Kurt Marti


A few years ago, when our friend Andrea and her partner Craig decided to give up their apartment, buy an old van for just €3,000 and simply move south, I thought it was a brave move. - Above all, I thought it was rash. - Perhaps that's exactly what courage is - doing the rash thing. Because your Tenerife report nothing at all. That's why I asked her. Here is her answer:

"Life begins as soon as you get out of your comfort zone. Doubt is the mind, the ego. Courage is the heart. - We only realized later that it was courage..."

Andreas' feedback encourages me to come up with a new definition - courage is the abbreviation for "mal uthoughtful tun".

Do you remember the test of courage in your youth? Was it courage or just doing something rash? Rash but cool, right?

When I saw this video of the two Russians Vadim Makhorov and Vitaliy Raskalov some time ago, I felt quite different just watching it. The two of them climb the world's tallest buildings and film themselves doing it. Here is the Shanghai Tower.

I've never been up a real skyscraper. But trees were high as a child, mountains as a teenager and as a young man I climbed a construction crane on one of the tallest buildings in Berlin. I had no fear of heights back then.

What are those Russians doing there? - Brave? - I have no idea. It seems rash, but also pretty cool. - If you think about it, the risk the two of them are taking is significantly lower than climbing on a steep slope. But the freedom they enjoy up there must be breathtaking. 

Have I been courageous in other situations? - Was it courageous, for example, to become self-employed? Back then, people only asked snidely: "Why are you doing that?" - Only much later did the question "How did you do it?" - "Where did you get the courage?" come from. - Perhaps rash is the answer to the question about courage.

Torgit and I watched a documentary a few days ago: "Elsewhere. Alone in Africa." A documentary about the young Anselm, who cycles alone through Africa. - That means courage to us. Being all alone means courage. Living alone means courage. Traveling alone means even more courage for us. - We've asked ourselves, what else can happen to us? - Together we are strong, together we are a team and yes, maybe we are even brave, in any case courageous, with all our heart.

 PS: Our respect goes to all those who travel alone! You are the truly brave ones. Or are you just rash?

 PPS: Let us know how you would answer the question about courage. Which of you is brave? Step forward!

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