Kata and Chris (Roaming North People)

Today's Explorers

Charles Forman
April 27, 2021
8
min read
All photos subject to copyright protection from their respect owners.

Where are you from?

Germany and USA

When did you start your interest in exploration?

Hard to say. We both travelled a lot with our families as kids and just continued as adults. But we guess the groundbreaking moment was our honeymoon road trip in Iceland in 2019.

Chris : I went on a 10 day overlanding and off-roading exploration trip to Oman in 2001, which was not only a big adventure but also left quite an impact on me. After that it was mostly hiking and mountain biking in the mountains. When Kata and I met we went hiking together and continued to push our boundaries and skills, but the game changer was clearly our honeymoon trip to Iceland!

What is a brief understanding of your background story up until you started seeking adventure?

Chris : We travelled a lot when I was a kid and also spent many weekends in the mountains. As an adult I would end up working in the tourism industry and continue travelling the world and seeing exciting places. So, I've also had that drive to "go places".

Kata: I started exploring the world on horseback when I was 13 years old. We kids sometimes were out for 7-8 hours. The older I got the more outdoor activities were added. I bought my own horse, started mountaineering, hiking and mountain-biking. And I was lucky enough to have parents who would take their kids on amazing vacations to see the world. When I was seven we went on a 4 week road trip in the States...and I guess this is when my love for roaming the planet was born.

What special skills do you have to help with your explorations?

Chris: I've been in the tourism industry for 27 years now, so I have quite some experience in organizing tours and routes. I've also been actively hiking for 30 years now.

Kata: My Dad is a total petrol head. He's been racing and fixing cars his whole life and passed his enthusiasm for cars on to me. He taught me everything I need to know about driving and when things go pear-shaped with the Landy, we have someone to turn to for advice and help.

Where have you explored so far?

Israel, Jordan, Oman, Greece, Italy, Iceland, Turkey, USA, Canada, Austria, France, Russia, UK, Switzerland, Cyprus, Egypt. We live close to the Bavarian Alps, so we explore the local area constantly.

What is a brief understanding of your adventures so far?

See new places, enjoy and discover local food, understand different cultures.

What are the top three destinations you hope to explore next, and why?

Faroe Islands, Iceland (over and over again) and Scandinavia in general.

Where would you recommend others visit?

Iceland!

How do you primarily travel on your adventures today?

Our vehicle of choice will always be our Land Rover Defender (2011, Puma 2.2). The vehicle went through a complete camper-conversion including a pop top-roof tent. For off-roading and better handling: 40 mm lift (Trekfinder) and wheel-spacers.

What are five pieces of equipment you always travel with?

Hiking gear, recovery gear, Jetboil :-), GPS outdoor watches, first-aid-kit.

What inspires you to explore more?

The world is such a wonderful place and it would be a shame not to embrace it in all its wonders and beauty.

How do you engage with others?

We try to learn the language or at least the basics. We want to eat where the locals eat and share the same food. On the road you always meet like minded people that love to travel and explore, especially other Landy owners. Connecting through social media helps as well.

Why is it important to embrace global cultures?

We love to broaden our horizon and actively welcome new influences as a gift. There is so much we can learn from each other!

What are your goals when you explore?

Discover and see new places, yet always be respectful towards nature and the locals. We love creating new memories and experiencing wonderful things together.

What are some challenges you have experienced?

Everything from incredible heat to freezing cold, technical problems of all sorts and health issues.

What has been your most meaningful moment so far?

Our road trip in Iceland was the best experience so far, but if we had to nail it down, probably being on the glaciers, which was an unforgettable and otherworldly experience. Hearing from our guide, that this seemingly eternal wall of ice is decreasing rapidly and will probably be gone in about 80 years, made us even more aware of the importance to do as much as one can to protect our environment.

How has exploration changed you?

It has made us humble, but additionally always yearning for more. We love this sense of freedom.

What is the number one lesson that you have learnt through your exploration?

Safety first! If you don't feel it, don't do it.

How do you explore locally?

We live close to the Bavarian Alps and we know the area quite well. During the year we go hiking and mountaineering a lot, in the winter we do more snowshoe hiking.

What does the explmore mantra mean to you?

You can watch documentaries on TV, you can eat at your favourite Greek restaurant and practice Yoga in your hometown gym... but we believe it will never be as mind-opening as it will be when you travel and experience the culture, food and ways of life in the countries they come from. It's about stepping out of your comfort zone and being open for something new. It is about embracing the beauty of nature, being connected and treating everything and everyone with the utmost respect. Traveling is one of the best ways to expand your horizon, learn from and grow with the people you meet on your journeys. For us this is freedom.

What advice would you give to others who are seeking life changing adventure?

Really read into your destination first. Prepare for your trip accordingly (clothing, gear, customs etc.). Always plan enough time and be realistic about your own skills. Be respectful towards nature and never take unnecessary and dangerous risks that could harm yourself or others.

What are some comparisons you can make between exploration today, compared to what you know of exploration in the past?

GPS vs. maps and a compass. :-D

It's easier to get information beforehand today and come as prepared as possible, we guess. The technology behind outdoor clothing and equipment of today brings a lot of advantages.

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Today's Explorers