Machs halt!
Reisen - Abenteuer - Emotionen

Questions and answers

On the occasion of my one-year anniversary, I answered questions about the trip. Here is the result:

1. How do you manage that with Cookie, for example food, etc.? Does she patiently endure this kind of life?
2. How does Cookie deal with the "unsteady" life?

Cookie is great with it. It was difficult for her at the very beginning. She saw the apartment getting emptier and sometimes didn't even know, if she was going to be next one to go. She was extremely close to me. But then she got used to it, she sleeps in the car, has her place and feels comfortable. She loves contact with other people and is always happy, when someone new joins the pack. Food and everything else I need for her is no problem and can be found anywhere.

3. What are your next goals and how long will you be on the road?
If only I knew. Since nothing is going to happen with Africa for the next time, I will probably stay in Europe for the time being, maybe do Ireland and Great Britain after all and see in the second half of the year that I can manage the freighter to South America. And how long? Open ending!

4. What languages do you speak? How does the communication work?
I speak English well. This helps me a lot, too. French has improved significantly by staying in France. I am currently learning Spanish via an app. The communication works quite well, the only difficult thing is getting started. So basically the small talk when you meet someone on the way. That's why it was important for me to learn a few phrases. How old is the dog? Cookie is a female! Cookie is 10 years old... Human language and the desire for communication on all sides does the rest.

5. Compared to before: minimalism - how do you experience the change of place?
After a few short trips, I already knew what to expect before this trip. I then only had to optimize it bit by bit. It is of course a change, but I consciously sought and chose it. I get along very well with it, it's tight, for example when putting on and taking off, but I've found that it's really good for my mobility.

6. Haven't you ever wished you had a little bigger and more comfortable car on the road?
7. Doesn't the car get too cramped and uncomfortable for you? Do you sometimes wish for a campervan?

Every time I hit my head again. No not really. I know the advantages, what I have is enough for me, the car is very economical to use and even more if I have to use a ferry or even a freighter if I really have to go across the sea. Parking and free standing is also possible everywhere, which is where large vehicles sometimes have real problems. The Ford Galaxy is currently the first choice, I don't know what it will look like at some point, but I think at best it will only be a bit larger.

8. How do you do that with electricity?
For me everything goes through my car battery. I also have two power banks, with one I can give myself a jump start (which was already necessary) and an inverter for charging the laptop, which converts the current from 12 volts to 230

9. Aren't you afraid of muggings? How do you protect yourself from this?
No I am not. I think it's absolute exceptions when something happens. I listen to my gut feeling and if I don't have a good feeling about standing somewhere, I don't. If someone approaches the car, Cookie reports and that also sounds like a dog. However, I don't know how she actually would react because she just loves people. But the thieves don't know that. And please keep that between us.

10. Do you have a contingency plan in case something happens?
No, I do not! There are so many variations of things that can happen that I've always reacted to them when something happens. And that has always paid off, because solutions appear when you need them. Otherwise I might have solutions, but I miss the problems. I do it the other way around.

11. What is plan B if health no longer allows travel or minimalist travel?
There is none here either. I am healthy, feel fit and intend to stay. If something changes at some point, I have to see exactly what is changing and then react to it. I'm very relaxed with that attitude.

12. Do you have a plan or a recipe for when bad thoughts come up or you feel lonely?
Not really a plan. For me, lows are not enemies, they are part of my overall construct. If I ever feel really bad, I know that I have to get out of the situation. So go for a walk, leave the place and drive on, listen to music, look at photos, babble on to Cookie. I don't know the feeling of loneliness in the true sense. Being alone, yes, but I have no problem with that. I never had.

13. When you experience these great moments - are you missing someone (one person) to share it with?
No, actually not. Not in these situations. But I'm happy when I can write about it. And that’s where Facebook and Instagram help me a lot. Thanks to you, by the way!

14. How do you generally do with all the things that you actually do in the bathroom at home?
You can brush your teeth practically anywhere. For washing, the body, I have rediscovered the good old washcloth and soap. That works by the way. I go to campsites, sports studios or ports to shower. Just ask at the reception or the harbour master. Sometimes they don't want that, so I just ask somewhere else. Some want something for it, the tariff is between one and three euros. Even if they don't want anything, I'll give something, because I get something from them. What I don't do is secretly sneak my way through. In my opinion, that's not fair. A few times I also used a camping shower, a black bag with a hose, and a few times I was invited privately. Yes, that's how people are. I have an apparatus for shaving and cutting my hair. In this case I'm looking for a quiet place somewhere where I can do it briefly. All in all, it works. Not in the luxury version like at home. But it is okay.

15. How do you do laundry and refrigerate food?
You can wash your clothes almost everywhere in laundromats or kiosks. There are also dryers available. For everything together usually something under 10 euros. For cooling, I have a cool box that is connected to the on-board network.

16. Now I'm going to ask something very stupid/intimate: how do you deal with digestion? Bowel movement…
Very important point! When I go somewhere, I always first check the sanitary facilities. In France, these were state-of-the-art toilet facilities made of stainless steel that cleaned themselves automatically. There are also public toilets in Spain. In addition, there are also many toilets in excellent condition in shopping malls or supermarkets. Once in this whole year I had to do something in the pampa. I pick up the piles of Cookie, I do the same with mine. The nearest garbage can is somewhere.

17. What kind of work do you do and how difficult is or was it to get orders?
My main activity at the moment is writing. For example, I have already written a whole book as a ghostwriter, and the second is just beginning. Then I'm an author for a new magazine that will appear online and soon in print, and right from the start I wrote texts for websites and videos. At first it was difficult and I accepted almost any crap for a pittance. Until I decided that I had enough of it. With that decision, something changed. I ask my price, I know that I'm good, and with this knowledge you argue completely differently with clients. This is also my tip for everyone who works remotely. Don't sell yourself short!

18. How are orders going? And where do you like to work most?
19. Can you get by with your orders or do you have to use your savings?

The orders are going well. I usually write in the car on the driver's seat, the laptop between the steering wheel and my stomach. I can even do this for hours. Yes, I can make ends meet with it and as long as nothing really big comes up, like a new car, major repairs, whatever, that's enough.

20. Do you also make yourself something to eat or do you only eat out? Do you have a camping stove with you?
As well as. At the moment I go to breakfast regularly and enjoy the company of great people who have practically accepted me into their ranks. Cafe Americano, i.e. black coffee for one euro and one or two tostatas con tomate for one euro each, is definitely worth it to me. I have a stove and use it too. But I also just go shopping and make myself a snack, so to speak.

21. Have you set yourself a budget that you want or can use up?
I actually set myself a budget of 10.00 euros a day for the usual necessities. So eat, drink, Cookie. Further expenses go to another budget.

22. Do you prefer red wine or white wine?
Definitely red wine - although I've seen it a few times now that the Spaniards serve it ice cold...

23. I read that you have deregistered in Germany. Where is your car registered and what are the advantages of deregistering?
My car is still registered in the old district. That's possible, you just have to name a person who is authorized to receive the mail, so if someone wants to send me a ticket, it has to arrive. Benefits of deregistering? I just wanted to do a whole thing. And not because I don't like Germany. On the contrary - I had 6 fantastic decades here and had great opportunities and a great life. But I don't have anything in Germany anymore and I don't plan to come back. And there are no broadcasting or refuse fees either.

24. What insurances do you have?
Car insurance with a letter of protection and a death benefit insurance. Regarding health insurance you have to inquire individually

25. How are you after a year? Do you sometimes long for home?
I'm fine, I enjoy every day and I'm actually living my dream. This is exactly the thing I've always wanted to do. I long for old friends, for my old environment, for hobbies and passions that I had and lived there. But it's somehow a very conscious reminiscence of an episode in my life and I know that I haven't lost any of that. I had the fear or even the expectation that the contacts would decrease. But they don't. I'm still in contact with the people who are important to me and I obviously also care for them. And I even got to know new people  that I stay in contact with. And that's wonderful!