They set out as a newly married couple on a road trip from their native Agentina to Alaska. It was supposed to take them six months.
But Herman and Candelaria Zapp ended up travelling around the world for 17 years, visiting over 80 countries across five continents.

They gathered countless memories and collected lots of souvenirs, and the couple had four children along the way - Pampa, Tehue, Paloma and Wallaby.

"Thank God we followed our dream," Herman says. "It has become a way of life and it's so spectacular. Every day something new; something new to taste, something new to see."

Candelaria says they planned to return from their adventure to Alaska in 2000, and start their family but life took them in a different direction. She delights at her children's wonder at the world. "We are there for them 24 hours a day. We not only get to see the world through our eyes but through our kids' eyes as well."

The parents have taken on the role of teachers, and their children are taught lessons from an Argentinian curriculum. Candelaria adapts lessons to their journey. "They did a geography lesson at the base camp of Everest," Herman says. "They learned about Egypt and visited the pyramids the next day. They learned about sea life and went scuba diving in the Red Sea." 

Are we nearly there yet ?

The family travel in a 1928 Graham Paige vintage car which was a gift from Herman's grandfather. "My grandpa told me three things, if you want to get far, you have to go slowly. This car moves very slowly," he laughs. "This car is amazing. It has taken us everywhere."

There is a pop-up tent in a large box on top of the car, but the Zapps rarely use it, finding accommodation instead with local people who have welcomed them into their homes. They estimate that they have spent more than 2,000 nights in family homes, experiencing a wide range of cultures and customs.

A book about their travels, 'Spark Your Dream', also helps finance their travels.

"Here in Ireland we have so many invitations," says Candelaria. On their two week stay in Ireland, they plan to visit the Cliffs of Moher in Clare, the Rock of Cashel in Tipperary. They will stay in Cork before they depart on a ferry to Wales, and then onto The Netherlands.

"We miss our family and friends. Sometimes we are sad because we miss a birth or a wedding. Our holiday is to go home but we only go every three years for two months," she says.

The world adventure will come to an end next year. They will sail from Spain to Brazil and then drive home to Argentina, finishing where they started. 

Candelaria says their next adventure is going to be how to to live in a house without moving around.
The lesson they have learned from travelling around the world: "We live on the most beautiful planet in the universe and we should not miss the chance to go see it," says Herman. "Don't be afraid of people. People love to be part of dreams and if you share your dream they will love to be part of your dream. We are our dreams. We realise ourselves when we realise our dreams."

The Zapp family will be at The Goat Grill in Goatstown, Dublin, tomorrow afternoon to answer people's questions about their trip around the world.

REPORT: Petula Martyn.