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August 22, 2008



I love the picture of your son with the lavender! (We use to grow it and I can almost smell it from here in Sweden!).

I REALLY can relate to your words about traveling over land mass without a plane and how that can enrich the experience. We have been traveling the world going on our 3rd year now, been on 4 continents and have only taken two planes. ( One of those was just a short one from Marrakesh to Madrid and it ended up taking longer due to delays than going in by land).

We have done almost every mode of transportation ( from camels to a punt on the Cam) along with more ordinary things like tons of walking, hiking, biking, trains, buses,ferries,funiculars and subways, but our primary mode is a camper. We drive & take our home with us & ship it over seas.

My parents took us on road trips in the 50's,I Took a 6 month road trip from Boston to Key West, SD and up to SF in the 70's & now we are traveling the world as a family on a road trip as we think it is the best way to see the world.

I am so glad to hear your perspective on this! What a great time to be in Seattle too ( and Sweden ;)).

We have also fallen in love with ferries and have crossed 11 seas in this wonderfully slow, old fashion way. Surprisingly freight ferries are the best w/just 12 passengers aboard.

If you walk the land, drive the land, bike the land, cross seas slowly & take time to let it into your soul, you are richer for it and I think the land is too because a traveler tends to bring new, grateful eyes! Ahh, & the people you meet...such a joy. I think the hardest part will be finishing your journey once you have tasted this nectar as a family.

Sending travel blessings your way and looking forward to more!

Carol A

Hey Rainer...Congrats on making it across the USA! Pictures and stories are awesome. I look forward to hearing more and am sending best wishes to you and the family.

Off to South Africa in 10 days...can't wait!

Take care. xo

donna t

Rainer - i LOVE the picture of Stefan in the lavender field! I can almost imagine the incredible fragrances from here. You've done it - crossed the US and it sounds like the whole family is still getting along! (i don't think i could count on that with our family ...) i can't wait to see the pictures from HI. Let me know if your posting the rest of your photos somewhere to see. Love the carol & the kids! miss you guys!

Carrie Trotter

Hi Rainer! Todd and I just returned from our WONDERFUL trip to the Pacific Northwest, and we fell in love with it. We spent 4 days exploring Olympic National Park - Hurricane Ridge, Hoh Rainforest, Lake Crescent, and the amazing coastline. Also spent a day in Sequim at the Dungeness Spit and another day at Mount Rainier. We finished off the trip with a concert at the Gorge Amphitheater, by far the best concert experience I've had. What an amazing place. We can't wait to go back.

Sorry we couldn't connect while we were there.

Congrats on making it across the US. Can't wait to hear about the rest of your adventure!

Mark Gross

Thanks for making Seattle one of the stops on your odyssey, Family Jenss! It was great meeting the whole crew and breaking bread one last time before you depart the motherland (well, adopted homeland in your case, Herr Jenss :) for exotic eastern climes. All your friends at Xeko HQ bid you a fond bon voyage!

The Enchanter

What an excellent adventure thus far, as you have successfully traversed across the great USA. What a country! I have truly enjoyed keeping up with you all through your very colorful weekly entries. Thank you for sharing the wealth of a well planned trek -- I often feel as though I am with you all on the ride. Keep them coming Rainer. Please pass on our best wishes to Carol and the boys for smooth travels ahead. Cruise successfully.

Maximum Respect - every time.

Your friend,


Jennifer Papenfuss

Hi! Was just reading your blog as well as the kids on NG kids. What a great thing you are doing and love the site for our kids. Just 4 years now (twins). Anyway, I see you are going to Germany, where? We live in Munich now (from San Francisco) and would love to take you for a beer while you are here, or show you around. (not sure where you were born). If this sounds good, send me an email. Best wishes for a safe and fun trip.

John DeWilde

I was glad to find your web page mentioned in a recent National Geographic Traveller. I was even more intrigued to read about your trip accross the country. Many of your objectives and observations reflect ours. We left in July to take a year off with our children (8 and 10). We began with a driving/camping trip accross Canada. We were left with a sense that we live in a country rich in diversity and that we could spend much more time here. We arrived today in Nicaragua and will be here for two months. After understanding our country a bit better, we are looking forward to exploring a new culture and country. I will be reading your blog with interest and feel free to follow along with us at www.dewildejourney.com. I'll also get my kids reading your children's blog. Happy trails.

Carol Altarescu

Hope your travels continue to be wonderful.
Howard and I spent 4 glorious days at Grootbos in South Africa. We loved meeting Michael and seeing the wonderful work he is doing. The resort is so fantastic...thank you so much for setting us in that direction. South Africa altogether was amazing and we loved every minute. Hope to get more updates on your trip.
Best regards. Carol

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