Open House – Hawaii Trip Winners!

by Bruce and Wendy Fougner

This past April at the Lloyds Travel Open House we featured a prize draw and gave away two tickets to Hawaii. Martin and Esther Kafer were our winners and they are took advantage of the tickets and traveled to the Big Island this November. Martin and Esther are both in their 80’s, have been traveling for years. They are both in the Guinness Book of World Records for being the oldest couple to have climbed Mt. Kilimanjaro. We decided to interview the lovely couple and discover what inspires them to travel.

Q: How long have you been traveling?
E: We have been traveling all our lives, but have done most of our travels since Martin retired in 1990.

Q: Where have you been?
E: We have been to 60 countries including Canada and Switzerland (where we are from) since 1954. Our first big trip together was through Europe. We hitchhiked around Britain, France and Italy, making it as far south as Naples.
M: We have done a lot of traveling over the years. When we were younger we did a number of climbing trips.

Q: What kind of travel do you prefer?
M: Active adventures. No question! Our next trip is to Alaska where we will be camping for 10 days, hiking and rafting.

Q: What have been some of your favourite trips?
E: We haven’t had a bad one yet! We have really enjoyed traveling through India, exploring the south as well as various areas in the north.
M: In Morocco we went on a 5-day camel safari, and also did a camel trek in the Tartars. Kayaking the Tonga in the north of New Zealand, seeing Belize with a group of friends and mountaineering trips in Borneo.

Q: What inspires you to continue traveling at this point in your life?
M: There are so many good times, we have had so much fun, so why stop now?
E: We are very interested in cultures and love to see how people live their lives and what their lives were like in the past. India, for example, has so many different cultures, the north and south are so different, with many different cultural places in between. We really enjoy the cultural and historical aspect of travel.

Q: What tips do you have for people who are interested in adventure travel?
M: Get a good travel agent like Lesli! It is not for everyone and it takes money, but it helps if you study ahead of time. We get a Lonely Planet book for every country we visit and hire a guides for certain places.
E: The best tip is to make up your mind that you will enjoy the trip no matter what.
M: People will surprise you. We were in Turkey and I forgot my money bag under the pillow and the people at the hotel chased after me to return it. That kind of thing is amazing and unforgettable.

Q: What destinations do you still have on your bucket list?
E: We like Asian countries and we have not been to Tibet, so we would like to go there. Also Laos and Vietnam are still on the bucket list.
M: Also in South America, Brazil. Otherwise we have been to most of the countries we want to see.