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So why have we decided to quit our jobs, pack everything up get up,  give up the security that most human beings strive for and go travel around the world?   To steal a quote from George Mallory,  "Because it's there!" (1).  That is actually the question I get the most.  For the last 8 years I have often dreamed about taking a trip around the world, never truly believing I would ever do it.  This last year I was discussing my future plans with my better half,  Maren and I  jokingly told her,  “lets travel around the world”.  The longer we started thinking about this crazy idea, the more serious it got.   After lengthy discussions with friends and family we came to the conclusion that we would just do it.  But why!  The main reasons is that Maren and I have this tremendous urge to see the world,  experience other cultures.  I have worked for the last eight years Germany,  moving my self through the ranks,  but always feeling that I was missing out on seeing the world.  So I have decided to put my career on hold for a while till I get back.  I have traveled in my life for short periods of time  but never to the extent which we are planning now.   

One often hears the sentence “One only lives once”,  well that is true!   We believe that if one has the possibility to live out a dream, one should do it.  One will always look back otherwise and ask “what if”?  We do not want to ask this question.  Most people have viewed this tour very positively,  all saying they would love to do it also.   We are both in a situation where we have no children,  (hopefully though in a few years),  saved our dimes and nickels, and have no major responsibility for others.    So why not do something that we have been dreaming of for a while.   We both realize the risks and the negative aspect of our trip.  The main one is that after a year of traveling around the world, you have to go back to find a job and start all over again.   Of course the other issue is safety,  the third world is a little different than what we are used to. 

We (Maren Stoltenberg and Kirk Melcher) live in Cologne Germany.  I,  Kirk an American has been living there for about 8 years,   Maren has lived in the Cologne area here whole life, except for a couple of years in Berlin and one year as a Au-pair in Australia.  I (Kirk) have been working for a German Piping company in charge of the computer system and working as a financial manager in two small subsidiaries.  I love almost all sports,  watching and playing.  In  1999 I climbed Mount Kilimanjaro with my two brothers and spent time traveling through Tanzania and Kenya.   I have been together with Maren  for a couple of years.  Maren has been studying Art History since last year. Before she worked as a travel agent.     She loves jogging, rollerblading and just being in the outdoors.   Just for people’s information,  this trip is not to find ourselves, or find the secretes of life,  we just have the urge to experience something new and adventures.   At thirty one I am not going through a midlife crises or postponing having kids as long as possible.  I just want to see and experience the world and other cultures.   Our 12 month journey will just skim the surface of what is to be seen. 

(1) George Mallory was a British mountain climber who was the first to attempt Everest.  Though he perished in 1924, over a 1000 feet from the top, it took almost 30 years after him for the first person to climb it.


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