Destiny is not a matter of chance; it is a matter of choice. It is not a thing to be waited for; it is a thing to be achieved.
William Jennings Bryan
Learn to smile at every situation. See it as an opportunity to prove your strength and ability.
In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity.
There are three types of people in this world: those who make things happen, those who watch things happen and those who wonder what happened. We all have a choice. You can decide which type of person you want to be. I have always chosen to be in the first group.
Mary Kay Ash
Those who don't understand determination call determination stubbornness or too driven. To be determined is to see it through!
"Sweet dreams are made of this. Who has a mind to disagree.
I travel the world and the seven seas. Everybody is looking for something."
- Eurythmics -
In the beginning...Germany
I was born in Frankfurt am Main-Hoechst, Germany in 1973 and spent my childhood growing up in Mengerskirchen, Germany. Looking back I couldn't have asked for a better place to grow up. Small town atmosphere, everyone knew everyone, crime was so to speak non-existent, children played unsupervised and had the freedom to explore the country side. There was no TV to watch after school or Nintendo to play. In 1974 my little sister Mandy and then in 1978 my little (now big) brother Rusty joined the family. Traveling was in my parents blood. Prior to 1973 they explored Europe and even ventured to Morocco in a home built dune buggy. The travel didn't stop after we came along. With three (3) kids and a big dog in tow we spent every summer in a different European country. The friends I made during childhood and teenage years in Germany are still part of my life now. My Parents were granted immigration to Canada after I graduated from the Realschule at age 16. Life as I knew it was going to change drastically....
I believe that moving to Canada changed my future completely. Why did my parents move to Canada? To give us kids a better future. I realize now that Canada is the land of opportunities and that if you work hard it is possible to succeed. But returning to 1989, when both my sister and I arrived in Edmonton alone to start High School. My parents were still in Germany to take care of the immigration papers and shipping our valuables. Coming from a very green and hilly part of Germany to a very flat and brown Alberta, Canada was a shock. My first year of High School was really a blur, as my English knowledge was limited. In 1990 we moved to Rocky Mountain House to a Ranch. I graduated from High School in 1992 and decided to take a year off and visit Germany and Europe. In 1993 I enrolled at Red Deer College in the Accounting and Financial Management program and graduated in 1995. My first job took me to Calgary, Alberta and the big city living. I realized quickly that their was no money in accounting at that time and in 1996 I started work with a German Mining Engineering Company in Calgary. My interest was sparked, and with a push from the Engineering Company, I returned to college to graduate with a Mechanical Engineering Diploma in 2000. I worked in the Oil and Gas industry as a project manager until 2011.
Home is where the Heart is...Turkey
It comes a time in your life where priorities change. A number of siginificant events occured in 2011 that placed me (and Mike) on a new path. By chance we revisited our dream of maybe moving one day to Turkey. On a last minute decision we did a four (4) day stop-over in southern Turkey and acquired a Villa on the mediterranean sea. Our retirement home was our thought. A few month later friends, Petra and Ewald, who we met in Namiba in 2008 visited us in Canada. They had retired in their early 50s from Germany to Spain, when asking if they regreted the move, they said "If we had known what we know now, we would have retired 10 years earlier". But how would you financially pull it off. The key is to relocate to a country which has a lower cost of living than the one you are currently living in. The final straw came in August of 2011. Tired by the relentless push and high pace of the Oil and Gas industry I decided to change industries and return to the Mining Industry, which presented me with the opportunity to work at their head office in Germany. We did it the "Ruby & Mike" style and sold house, car and all our belongings in Calgary, Alberta, Canada and moved to Germany in January 2012. But it is not the end, further changes lay ahead. In the Spring of 2012 we looked at upgrading the Villa in Turkey and by Fall we were the pround owners of our current home. At that point there was no holding back for us and we relocated to Kalkan in the province of Antalya, Turkey late September 2012. A few years have passed since the move and we have not regreted a second of it. I will always remember the day when we drove from Germany to Turkey, coming over a mountain range in the province of Mugla and I thought
"This is my country, my people, my home".
My soul mate Mike...
Mike and I met at work and instantly developed a great friendship. The special chemistry between us was hard to ignore and in 2004 we started to date. I admire his values, beliefs, decisions and actions. Once he sets himself a goal, there is no turning back. I love him dearly and can't thank him enough for helping me understand myself better. On February 20, 2006 we were married in Dubai, United Arab Emirates and the Titanium wedding rings we exchanged, engraved with the words "Grow old along with me, the best is yet to be. Mo Anam Cara", will tie us together forever.
Familie & Friends...
There comes a point in your life when you realize who really matters, who never did, and who always will.
My brother, Rusty who resides in Canada and my sister Mandy who is going to join us soon in Turkey.
I have some wonderful friends in Canada. Even met some amazing people on the road,which whom we have formed wonderful friendships. But never did I find another bond like with that of my best friends Melanie (Germany) and Michael (Florida). Sometimes in life, you find a special friend. Someone who changes your life just by being part of it. Someone who makes you laugh until you can't stop. Someone who makes you believe that there really is good in the world. Someone who convinces you that there really is an unlocked door just waiting for you to open it. This is forever friendship. When you're down and the world seems dark and empty, your forever friend lifts you up in spirit and makes that dark and empty world suddenly seem bright and full. Your forever friend gets you through the hard times, the sad times and the confused times. If you turn and walk away, your forever friend follows. If you lose your way, your forever friend guides you and cheers you on. Your forever friend holds your hand and tells you that everything is going to be okay. And if you find such a friend, you feel happy and complete because you need not worry. You have a forever friend, and forever has no end. Thank you, Melanie and Michael, for being my forever friends.
A friend is someone who can see the truth and pain in you even when you are fooling everyone else.
1979 - France & Spain
1980 - Switzerland, Yugoslavia, Greece, Italy
1981 - Austria/Switzerland
1983 - Austria/Switzerland
1984 - France, Spain
1985 - Switzerland & Yugoslavia
1986 - France, Spain & Portugal
1988 - Austria
1988 - Switzerland & Italy
1990 - British Columbia, Canada
1991 - British Columbia, Canada
1992 - Germany, France, Spain, Portugal, Italy, Switzerland, Austria, Lichtenstein, Netherlands, Belgium
1994 - Alaska
1996 - Costa Rica & Panama
1996/1997 Montana, Utah, Nevada, Arizona, California, Oregon, Washington
1997 - Montana and British Columbia (Motorcycle Trip)
1998 - British Columbia (Motorcycle Trips)
1998 - Colorado
1999 - Florida, Daytona Bike Week
1999 - British Columbia (Motorcycle Trips)
2000 - Greece
2000 - British Columbia (Motorcycle Trips)
2001 - Montana, Idaho, Washington, British Columbia, Vancouver Island (Motorcycle Trips)
2002 - New Zealand (Motorcycle Trip)
2002 - Montana, Wyoming, South Dakota, Idaho, Washington, Oregon, California, British Columbia (Motorcycle Trips)
2003 - Germany, Austria, Switzerland & Italy (Motorcycle Trip)
2003 - British Columbia, Montana, Idaho, Washington (Motorcycle Trips)
2003 - Montana, Idaho, Utah, Colorado
2004 - Montana, Idaho, Oregon, Washington, British Columbia (Motorcycle Trips)
2004 - Montana, Idaho, Oregon, California, Baja California, main land Mexico, Copper Canyon, Arizona, New Mexico, Colorado, Wyoming (Motorcycle Trip)
2005 - Florida
2005 - Germany (BMW Enduro Course) Motorcycle Trip
2005 - Yukon, NWT and Alaska (Motorcycle Trip)
2006 - United Arab Emirates, Oman, Yemen, Egypt, Jordan, Syria, Lebanon, Turkey, Bulgaria, Greece, Albania, Montenegro, Croatia, Slovenia, Serbia, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Romania, Hungary, Austria, Germany (Motorcycle Trip)
2007 - Germany, Austria, Italy, Tunisia, Algeria, Libya, Egypt, Sudan, Ethiopia, Kenya, Uganda (Motorcycle Trip)
2008 - Rwanda, Tanzania, Malawi, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, South Africa, Swaziland, Lesotho, Botswana, Namibia, Angola, DRC, Congo, Gabon, Cameroon, Nigeria, Benin, Togo, Ghana, Burkina Faso, Mali, Senegal, The Gambia, Mauritania, Morocco, Portugal, Spain, Andorra, France, Germany (Motorcycle Trip)
2009 - South Africa & British Columiba, Canada
2010 - Germany, Austria, Hungary, Serbia, Bulgaria, Turkey, Georgia, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Afghanistan, Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan, Mongolia, Russia, Ukraine, Poland, Germany (Motorcycle Trip)
2011 - Tunisia (Toyota Landcruiser), Turkey
2012 - Germany, Czech Republic, Poland, Lithuania, Estonia, Latvia (Toyota Landcruiser), Turkey, Columbia, London & Paris
2014 - Germany, Denmark, Iceland, Faroe Islands, Norway, Finland, Sweden (Toyota Landcruiser), Israel, Palenstine State