Wanderlust tales are fascinating, particularly when you leave everything behind to have a good look at what nature has to offer. A German couple, Elisabeth Hartmann and Christian Nieth set out on their expedition in a campervan in October 2015, leaving their luxury apartment and a lavish lifestyle, to explore the world. Having traversed 15 countries including Pakistan, the couple is in India currently.
Obsessed by the wanderlust, the couple has been on the road ever since they left Germany in their new home – 35-years old Volkswagen camper van, which they call Bulli. While they would have relished their experiences in different countries, Pakistan, which wasn’t in their list initially, managed to seek a special place in their hearts. The sudden change in plan was triggered by the lyrical portrayal of Pakistan by a Turkish hitchhiker they met in Turkey. Chris said:
He called it one of the most beautiful countries he had ever traveled through. This greatly piqued our interest and we decided to add Pakistan to the list.
The plan to hit Pakistan on the way reinforced further when they met the members of Motor Club of Pakistan who was making a round trip from Pakistan, traveling across Iran to Turkey and back. While the couple was having trouble in getting a visa when in Iran, Razi Nayyar, the President of Motor Club of Pakistan came to the help – he did all the paperwork for them.
The trouble they had for acquiring visa vanished in a jiffy when they crossed the Iran-Pakistan border – everything sprung to life all of a sudden, and the words with which Elizabeth reflects her thoughts are heart-warming. She asserted,
When crossing the border into Pakistan from Iran, there seemed to be a paradigm shift in almost every facet. Everything from black and gray turned to pink and green. Pakistan was more colorful. And not just that, the hospitality was overwhelming.
All the stereotypical image they had, of Pakistan, in their heads, perished abruptly experiencing the cultural diversity, considering the fact that they spent their time in Bahawalpur, Lahore, Karachi, Islamabad and the Northern Areas of Pakistan. Having spent a few weeks in the Northern Pakistan, they headed back to Lahore from where they crossed the border to explore India. After traveling through Balochistan they expressed that:
We’ve enjoyed the drive through Baluchistan and never felt insecure
They concluded their trip to Pakistan as:
We’ve enjoyed a wonderful 9 weeks in Pakistan: meeting great people, trying delicious food, discovering historical places and being amazed by the country’s natural beauty. To all the strangers who became friends and the countless helpful and friendly people we met along the way: we’re forever grateful for your hospitality and the unforgettable time we had. We’re off to India now and are looking forward to many new adventures which are yet to come… “To travel is to discover that everyone is wrong about other countries.”
Pakistan, despite being a paradoxical country, always has something to offer to the visitors, the strange connection the tourists develop with Pakistan is somewhat unique in so many ways. 9 weeks in Pakistan is a lot of time, considering the notorious image Pakistan has in the world. They have proved that Pakistan is a peace-loving country, and has no parallel when it comes to hospitality.