WHAT would end up as 17 years of travelling the globe and bearing four children on the road started out as a pipe dream shared between two childhood sweethearts.
California-born Herman Zapp, who was brought up in Argentina, and his Argentinean wife Candelaria left their South American home in 2000 with the intention of seeing the world.
The couple, who are now in their 40s, have never looked back and travel around in a 1928 Graham-Paige vintage car.
So far they’ve visited 80 countries and stayed in more than 2,000 homes – and now they’re here with their four children.
The family caught the ferry to the city from Spain on Tuesday and are staying with a retired caterer from Havant, who welcomed them with open arms.
Herman, 49, said: ‘We’re so excited to be in Portsmouth. We want to visit all the ships at the Historic Dockyard and wander around.
‘Soon we’ll visit London. We can’t wait to drive our car across Westminster Bridge and go on the London Eye!
‘All we have between the six of us is two suitcases, and our children love being able to live out our dream with us.
‘The best part of it is meeting people. I’ve met thousands of every kind and because of everything we see and do I go to sleep feeling full of life, with a smile on my face.’
Herman and Candelaria’s children were all born in different countries – sons Pampa, 15, Tehue, 12 and Wallaby, eight, were born in the USA, Argentina and Australia. Daughter Paloma, nine, was born in Canada.
The pair left home with only €3,000, but make money by selling Candelaria’s paintings.
They’ve also penned a book titled Spark Your Dream, which has sold more than 100,000 copies so far. It tells their story while pushing others to live a fulfilled life.
The family have stayed in the West Leigh home of John Mcclelland, 56, for two days.
He said: ‘I saw a vintage car parked down my road so I asked its owner, Herman, if I could photograph it.
‘It was then that he told me about his family’s journey, which is absolutely unbelievable, and said they needed somewhere to stay.
‘I told them they could park their vehicle at the back of my house, so they stayed there.’
The family will remain in the UK for a month before leaving for Holland. Visit argentinaalaska.com to read more about their journey.