Sol.and.pepper interview: About traveling with family indefinitely
Sol.and.pepper in an interview – Behind the name Sol.and.pepper are Julie and Moritz, who went on an indefinite trip almost four years ago with their children, their Great Dane mongrel Pepper and a converted van. Julie and Moritz are content creators on Instagram, sharing their incredible lives with their nearly 245,000 followers. In just under four years, the family has traveled to 22 countries. In addition, the two run a blog on which they share their thoughts and feelings. Learn more about the family and their van life in this interview!
The incredible life of Julie & Moritz
The two live the dream of many people. But how did it all begin? Julie and Moritz look back in time with our magazine to the moment when they both made the decision to travel together indefinitely. We also talk about the reaction from their environment and the bureaucratic hurdles involved. In addition, the two shared tips for you to approach such a step. Furthermore, we talk about must haves for such a trip, already experienced adventures and future plans. Also the probably most interesting question to the two, whether they can imagine a return to Germany or perhaps even have already planned, is answered in this interview!
After 1st date was certain: we want to travel!
FIV: Hello dear Julie and dear Moritz, how nice that you took the time for this interview. We want to start directly with the beginnings of your incredible journey. When and how was the moment when you both made the decision: “Okay, we leave Germany!”?
Julie & Moritz: Even on our first date seven years ago, we talked about both of us wanting to go traveling after graduation – preferably indefinitely.
Due to Pepper, our Great Dane mongrel, it was out of the question for us to travel permanently by plane. So we had to come up with another plan. Since we have both dreamed forever to travel with a van through Europe at some point, we decided without further ado to buy a van. In April 2019, we moved with our 5-month-old Solly and Pepper into our self-built home on 4 wheels and threw ourselves into the adventure “Vanlife”.
Whatsapp & Instagram are great helpers
FIV: How nice that you both could already talk about common dreams when you met! How did your environment deal with the decision to travel indefinitely?
Julie & Moritz: Our friends and families loved our decision to travel for a longer time. Of course they were sad because Solly was still very young and they would have liked to see him more often, however, the fact that we can pursue our dream has raised understanding. And thanks to Whatsapp, Instagram and co. all our loved ones are always kept up to date.
Bureaucratic hurdles to travel
FIV: Of course, traveling for an indefinite period of time doesn’t work without bureaucracy. How difficult were/are the bureaucratic hurdles?
Julie & Moritz: Here you have to distinguish whether you intend to stay registered in Germany despite the trip or whether you want to deregister. If you intend to deregister from Germany, this is relatively easy as an employee. You go to the registration office and deregister. If you are self-employed and have employees, for example, this should be well thought out in advance and properly planned. This step is definitely more time-consuming from a bureaucratic point of view, but it is also doable. On the whole, the bureaucratic hurdles are manageable.
“What’s the worst-case scenario that could happen?”
FIV: We always hear that people want to travel, even indefinitely, but often don’t dare and are afraid. Do you have any tips for our readers on how to take such a step?
Julie & Moritz: When making such big decisions, it always helps to ask yourself the question, “What’s the worst-case scenario?” Our answer to that was, “Return to Germany and find a job.” Many people don’t dare to live their dream because, on the one hand, they are afraid of change and, on the other hand, they don’t want to give up their supposed security in the form of a property, their job or their environment. Once you realize that the most important people in your life will always stay and that you can find an apartment or a job anywhere else, there are hardly any reasons not to take this step. We believe that it takes a lot of courage to dare something new and unknown and to follow your heart. But if you really want it and this hurdle is crossed, it feels indescribable and there are unlimited possibilities.
Must Haves: family, hand broom, solar system, …
FIV: What are your must-haves that accompany you on your adventures every day and that you could never do without?
Julie & Moritz: Maybe it sounds cheesy, but we have found out for ourselves that it is enough for us to be together as a family. Everything else is a luxury for us.
When it comes to material things, there are a handful of must-haves that we wouldn’t want to do without. These include the hand broom in the van life to sweep out the sand and our solar system on the roof to be able to stand self-sufficient. We are also passionate about photography, a trip without a camera would be unthinkable for us. And our bicycles accompany us everywhere. So we are flexible and get to the most beautiful corners of the earth.
Traveled to 22 countries in four years
FIV: Which destination have you liked the most so far and why?
Julie & Moritz: We have traveled to over 22 countries in the last 4 years and each one has something special for us. If we had to choose, it would definitely be Portugal and Tanzania. Here we simply connect wonderful and formative experiences. These countries have taken our hearts by storm.
Julie & Moritz life in three words
FIV: Wow! In any case, not everyone can say that. Now we have more or less talked about the past. But what is your life like now? Describe it in three words.
Julie & Moritz: Intuitive, organized chaotic, varied.
Future wish: emigrate to Portugal
FIV: And what does the future look like? Do you already have plans for the future?
Julie & Moritz: We have the great desire to emigrate to Portugal and have been intensively searching for the right house or property for 2 years. We want to create a comfortable home to which we like to return during our travels. We also have a few continents and countries on our list that we would like to explore together with our children.
The greatest adventure is THE life
FIV: Those sound like great plans! You’ve seen and experienced a lot on your journey so far. What has been the biggest adventure for you so far?
Julie & Moritz: Our greatest adventure for us is our life, the way we live it. That we pursue our dreams every day, stand up for our values and shape our lives according to our ideas. And our most emotionally formative adventure on our journey was the visit to a Massai village in Tanzania. We were deeply impressed by the people, their way of life and their way of thinking.
Miss life in Germany? No!
FIV: You are living your dream and have said goodbye to your old life. Are there still moments when you think about the past when you miss your old life?
Julie & Moritz: I think “miss” is the wrong word. When we look back on our past, we are simply incredibly proud of everything we have achieved in recent years and how our lives have developed. For us personally it is very important to reflect ourselves and the things in our life regularly, to see how coherent something feels, to change things accordingly and to develop ourselves further. We are grateful for our past and always look positively and interested in the future.
Return to Germany? Never say never!
FIV: Can you imagine returning to Germany in the distant future?
Julie & Moritz: We would never say never. Currently, we enjoy being on the road a lot and traveling to new countries. Nevertheless, we like to spend time with our loved ones in Germany and appreciate our home country very much. But our next stage of life is called Portugal. With the sand between our toes, the sun on our skin and the sea in front of our door, we would like to see our children grow up free and wild.
FIV: We thank you for your time and the really nice interview. We wish you good luck and health on your further journey!
More interviews with content creators
Did you like the interview with Julie and Moritz? Then read more interviews with content creators here.
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