Travelling Around the World with Heidi Hetzer
At age 79, Heidi Hetzer is still out and about to venture the unknown. This grandma is not your average senior as she is showing the whole world that it’s never too late to continue your passion— travelling the world with her beloved car, Hudo. The two are downright inseparable and has driven a lot of places— from Europe, down to Middle East, through China, across Asia and Australia. And up to the present time, the two are conquering the roads with vigor and happiness.
Heidi Hetzer’s Family Legacy
A successor of a prominent car dealership in Berlin, Heidi Hetzer already had a glimpse of the car industry at a young age. Her father, Siegried Hetzer is the founder of a Victoria-owned auto dealership in the country. Knowing the family business beforehand, she worked closely with cars, and from there she fell in love with this rather unique toy for girls. During her teenage years, she already acquired knowledge about car mechanics, and worked with the family business at the age of 21. Ten years later, she took over the business following her father’s untimely death. And she didn’t disappoint her father’s legacy as the company became one of the principal car dealerships in Berlin during her supervision. Because of the car business, her love for cars ultimately grew into a passionate career.
Heidi Hetzer’s Career
Heidi’s passion for cars started when she was just a teenager. At the age of 16, she joined her first car rally using a Lambretta motor scooter. Though she got disqualified on her first car venture because of foreign help issues, she didn’t stop in pursuing her love for cars. She took it as a challenge. Since then, she participated in different competitions, and eventually became one of the known car drivers, not just in Germany, but in the whole world. Her lifelong racing career secured her more than 150 victories, giving her the tagline as the fastest racer in Berlin. Her passion in the automobile industry was not just limited in racing, but also in collecting classic cars. She has more than 10 vintage cars in her hometown, and all of these cars are cabriolets, with two seaters.
And because of her distinctive celebrity status, she was given the chance to be the bearer of the Olympic torch going to Athens. With almost all of her life dedicated to her career, Heidi retired at the age of 75. Even though she has a daughter and a son, both were quite not interested in manning her business, so she decided to sell her car dealership. But of course, her journey didn’t stop there as it was just the start of her greatest adventures— travelling the whole world.
Heidi Hetzer’s Life after Work
After selling her car dealership because she had no one to take over the business, Heidi decided to look for a hobby that would keep up with her passion. She got hooked with the adventures of a prominent German racer and traveller, Clärenore Stinnes. Stinnes was 26 years old when she started to venture the unknown, and her quests paved way for her to become the first ever woman to circumnavigate the world by car, together with Swedish cinematographer, Carl-Axel Söderström.
Though Heidi may have started her journey quite late, she’s still very excited to conquer her dreams at the age of 75, with a little help from Stinnes routes. From that, she stayed with the era of vehicle, but a little slower this time. In the past, she was known as a feisty race car driver, who always wanted to be in the first place. But now that she’s approaching the 80 mark, she has learned to give way to everyone who passes by, but still staying true to her journey. That’s when she bought a 1930 Hudson Sedan, and started to travel the world. This vintage car that she named Hudo has been her main ride since July 2014. Heidi and Hudo began their greatest adventure in Berlin, and from then, they became downright inseparable.
As a vintage car, Hudo’s brakes and clutch have been an issue for quite some time, as well as its speed which is much slower than other modern vehicles on the road. But overall, this antique car has been very reliable despite of the varying broken pistons and engine replacement. The two may have encountered a lot of problems along the way like engine overheating or even losing a finger while repairing the auto mechanics, they were always lucky and grateful. A lot of good Samaritans were always there to help them. Thus, Heidi is not afraid of driving alone because she’s got Hugo with her and of course her optimism and confidence. The duo’s travels have taken them from Berlin, to Europe, and all over the world such as China, Asia, Australia, New Zealand, South America, Canada, and South Africa.
Hudo’s slower speed has also helped Heidi in outgrowing her patience. And before her 80th birthday on June 20, 2017, her goal is to bring back Hudo back to her hometown in Berlin, after travelling across five continents. She’s very close in fulfilling her dreams and proving that age is just a number when it comes to your goals. Nothing will stop this woman on a mission to continue her journey, even if it entails some delays. She actually doesn’t mind the delay, especially with her old friend, Hudo. She clearly understands that her ultimate destination will not be a smooth and short journey. There are bumps and stops along the way, but that’s okay. She’s off for the greatest adventures of her life.
The Bottom Line
If you’ve got some serious passion for travelling just like Heidi, then don’t let your wandering feet rest with some of the hottest travel destinations for this year. Travelling for the first time? Well, it could be intimidating and frightening, but don’t fret because it’s not that complicated as you think. Check out some of the important travel essentials that every traveler should bring.
Life is always meant to be discovered, and not the other way around. Explore the world to the fullest.