Collectors of experiences

March 21, 2024
I can't help but tell you about my meeting with Stephan, Kerstin, Emilie & Jacob - or just Erlebnissammler. At first glance, a supposedly ordinary-looking German family went on a tour of Europe with a MAN truck converted into a camper. Just a few sentences exchanged with our protagonists was enough testimony to quickly immerse me in a multi-layered odyssey built on a clear vision of the meaning of life, the value of shared family moments, and the courage to break the shackles of the material world. All in the name of the sole purpose of collecting experiences that bring untold spiritual wealth.
In 2018, Stephan and his wife began planning an ambitious journey, starting in Bavaria and aiming to reach China by land. The motivation is simple: a shared thirst for travel and immersion in new cultures. To finance their vision of a new life, Stephan and Kerstin sold their house near Nuremberg, as well as the majority of the material things they had until then. Part of the collected money they invested in a specially made camper truck, distinguished by a beautiful and large wooden body. The machine becomes their new home, in which they manage to load only the most necessary possessions and their dreams. Stephan supported the initiative by working remotely as a business coach, and his wife devoted a large part of her time to home-schooling, i.e. playing the role of primary teacher for the children.
Снимка на семейството пред българското знаме

When we have less, we actually have more

Thus, in September 2021, they left their homeland behind, but as often happens, their plans remained only in theory. The pandemic and the complicated geopolitical situation hinder their movement towards China. They have learnt a lesson that quickly and steadily set the course of their travels - they travel without a plan and stay in a given place as long as they feel they have to. They passed through several countries, such as Albania, Greece, Turkey, Armenia, Greece, Tunisia, Italy, North Macedonia, Romania, and now Bulgaria. They told me that they are not slaves to stereotypes, and for this reason, the following destinations they are heading to are Iran and Iraq. At the same time, the goal of reaching Asia remains alive.
Their passion for travel is constantly inflamed by the longing to explore new places and interact with local people. Stephan continues his story and does not take much to convince me that he and his family are self-sufficient. For this reason, they often look for places in nature and small villages where they can base themselves. Thus, they manage to meet local people and develop a strong connection with nature in the country where they are. Our heroes believe that in this way they learn much more about the region they are passing through, the culture and the life of the locals. These are their kind of museums and tourist brochures - quite authentic and accessible. The story continues with an account of all the precious moments that will not be forgotten - tasting traditional food in the homes of friendly locals, drinking homemade brandy in Georgia and countless pleasant conversations with people from all over the world. Above all, they build invaluable friendships that motivate them to continue this lifestyle.

When we have less, we actually have more

The time spent in conversations with Stephan and Kerstin passes imperceptibly. I look at their children running and laughing with ethereal ease. I think about the meaning of life, and when was the last time I saw children who did not have a traditional home and looked so happy. As if as a planned epilogue, Stephan brings me back to the present moment with the words -"The most important thing for us is immersion in the real culture of the countries we pass through because these are the moments that forever remain in our hearts. For this reason, we decided to collect experiences that are impossible to forget and unite us as a family".
I ask them what comes next, realizing it is a rhetorical question. Stephan smiles slightly and says - “We live without a plan. We have promised ourselves that we will continue until the first of us says - that is enough - it is time to stop."

In my turn, a smile creeps across my face, realizing how unrealistically far such a scenario is for our Erlebnissammler friends. I'm not a specialist in German, but I later found out that it means collectors of memories, just as I had already decided to title this story. After my conversation with Stephan and Kerstin, hundreds of thoughts are spinning in my mind. For a second, I asked myself if one can get rich by collecting something that has no material form and cannot touch. Somehow, an incredible lightness comes over me because I realize almost instantly how infinitely rich I feel after this meeting. It is another proof that moments spent camping awaken emotions and experiences that inspire us to touch life in its most authentic form.
I am eager to come across the next exciting encounter that fate has in store. And meanwhile, you can start your own camping story at 7 Lakes Camping - where the spirit is free and the heart rejoices.
You can follow the adventures of Stephan and his family by visiting their profile on Instagram and YouTube.

За нас

Сгушен в подножието
на величествената Рила,
7 Lakes Camping е перфектното
кътче за отдих за цялото семейство.


Ул.Серафим Йорданов 1,
Сапарева баня, 2650,
(до комплекс "Плажъ")

+359 879 12 63 30
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