Tina Weidinger and Klaus Jentschke have fulfilled a lifelong dream. Since September 2012, the two adventurers from Munich have been on a world tour. They are heading for the most remote corners of the earth – Africa, South America, Asia – and although the road is long, they can rely on their converted MAN TGM. With this unusual companion, they can even master rough terrain. At present, the couple are exploring the Near and Middle East their route leading through desert sand and along rocky tracks also to the MAN site in Dubai – one of the first stops made by the globetrotters this year.
Tina Weidinger and Klaus Jentschke have entirely left their everyday life behind. They have quit their jobs, given up their apartment in Munich, sold all their belongings. And their new home is in a truck. Life now takes place on a few square meters. The MAN TGM is their living room, sleeping quarters and kitchen all in one and the couple have christened their traveling companion "Shumba“. "The word comes from the language spoken by the Shona people, a tribe living in present-day Zimbabwe, and means 'lion'", explains Tina Weidinger. Together with their own personal lion, they have set off to discover the world. But it was a long time before they got that far.
Grooming the lion
In January 2009, the globetrotters came across the vehicle in the internet. "It was a real piece of luck and sheer coincidence," they say. And at the same time, a chance to at last realize a long-cherished dream of a trip around the world. The MAN truck met two basic requirements. Its four-wheel drive meant that it was ideally suited for traveling on non-tarmac roads, while the interior offered a cozy atmosphere – perfect for recovering from the exertion once in a while and regaining their strength. Some modifications were however necessary to turn the truck into their new home. For instance, the two do-it-yourself experts manually installed additional solar cells, increased the battery capacity and added a field kitchen. The conversion took eighteen months in all. After undertaking a three-month trial trip through the Balkans to the eastern end of Turkey, the greatest adventure of their life could begin for Tina Weidinger and Klaus Jentschke – a world tour.
Service in Arabia
The first leg of their expedition led through Turkey, Georgia, Armenia and Iran. The couple recently made a stop in Dubai. Rocky tracks, desert sand and extreme heat had left their mark on "Shumba". Repairs and servicing were necessary. "Everything went very smoothly, always friendly and helpful," commented Tina Weidinger and Klaus Jentschke on their travel blog, praising the MAN service partner, United Motors & Heavy Equipment.
It was via this service partner that they eventually came into contact with MAN Middle East. Our colleagues in Dubai were delighted to meet the two globetrotters and were on hand to help with their know-how: "There´s nowhere else we would have received such a wealth of technical information," Tina Weidinger and Klaus Jentschke happily reported.
From Dubai, the "Shumba" team was heading further in the direction of Africa, but has no set travel plans. South America, Asia and Australia are other possible destinations - they are simply drifting along. But one thing is certain. Wherever they are, they can always head for one of the service points in MAN´s worldwide network if they need technical support. After all, "Shumba" should continue to provide reliable company during their coming adventures.
Up to now, Tina Weidinger and Klaus Jentschke have already traveled through Turkey, Georgia, Armenia and Iran. Here are some impressions of their tour.
Follow Tina Weidinger and Klaus Jentschke on their adventure. More information on the world tour and truck on their blog: www.shumba.eu