Wanderlust: It alternately makes life worth living, yet discourages living life in a conventional fashion. Or on a more practical level, not a day goes by that those of us given to rambling do not battle conflicted desires to slip behind the wheel and slip out of town.

To we lovers of the open road, Gunther Holtorf must represent the Platonic ideal: A man on a never-ending road-trip, one that has now lasted 23 years. Even more amazing than Holtorf's decades spent traveling the world in his Mercedes-Benz Geländewagen, however, is that he has done it entirely under the radar, with nary a press clipping until the BBC posted this video.

Holtorf set out on what was to be a tour of Africa with his wife in 1989, and somewhere along the way the couple decided to just keep going. He's put over 500,000 miles on his G-Wagen since, and, thankfully, the 74-year-old man has documented his trip rather extensively with two Leica film cameras.

Scroll down to watch a narrated slideshow of Gunther's life on the road.


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  • 63 Comments
      Basil Exposition
      • 2 Years Ago
      Just awesome - this dude is my hero. And his wife? Where do you find a gal willing to go on an adventure like that with you? I am sure she was one in a million. That he eschews technology, sponsors and media attention makes the trip even more romantic and adventurous. This is a man who can die with nothing left undone and no regrets. I am envious.
      Anita Shuler
      • 2 Years Ago
      WOW. This man is my hero. I have a serious case of wanderlust, but with two full time jobs, a mortgage, and three teenagers it is an impossible dream for me. I love knowing that someone is out there doing this.
      Robert D
      • 2 Years Ago
      I started the same trip years ago in a Yugo! Left Secaucus, NJ and made it all the way to Lodi, Nj before it broke down!? :)
      USUCK2MUCHO
      • 2 Years Ago
      Wow, that was great. He is doing what a lot of us would like to. Its great seeing someone who is living there dream.
      Shiftright
      • 2 Years Ago
      As much as I love road trips, I get tired just thinking of this. How do you support yourself financially over 23 years exactly, being on the road constantly?
        SeanR
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Shiftright
        Retirement funds?
        SeanR
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Shiftright
        We dont know how much money this man has, why is this even perplexing to you is beyond me...
          firehog03
          • 2 Years Ago
          @SeanR
          1st of all;that's a $100,000. Motor Vehicle;secondly .it takes a great great of cash just for fuel;tires;tolls, etc...Thusly ;dreams are not Free ! I have a Motor Home;I know how expensive it can be just to travel the states. Without the financial resourses ;it's just a dream !
      awilson70
      • 2 Years Ago
      Cool story!!!! How sad that he lost his wife ( I assume not so long ago since he is only 74). His car should go into the Car Hall of Fame and perhaps Mercedes could supply him with his "retirement" car :o)
      Coyote
      • 2 Years Ago
      ... I LOVE that his wife made him continue the journey while she watches from above!
      RetrogradE
      • 2 Years Ago
      AWESOME! I want to do an around-the-world trip on my Gelande Strasse (BMW GS ADVENTURE), but I need to wait for the kids to grow up. . .and maybe a few extra grand.
      Aritul
      • 2 Years Ago
      Boy, it's good to have money, huh?
      jbdavidson
      • 2 Years Ago
      Interesting....however, my grandmother once said - " Life's not about having what you want, it's wanting what you have." I love my life, my dog, my home, my girlfriend, my family. I don't need to travel the world perpetually to be happy. God bless this guy though, he has done what HE loves.
      Coly
      • 2 Years Ago
      Great story! Great car! Great Spirit!
      Randall E. Secrest
      • 2 Years Ago
      Applause from the world is offered to this glorious man and his beautiful wife!!! God Bless my Friend...
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