Taveling to fulfill a dream

“Tres Americas, Una huella,” meaning “Three Americas, one dream,” is their motto and traversing the continents from Buenos Aires, Argentina, to Alaska in their vintage car is their dream.

Herman and Candelaria Zapp and their five-week old son, Nahuel Pampa, arrived in Woodbridge on Thursday in their 1928 Graham-Paige.

The Zapps have been staying with Andy and Hellen Jaeger on Bay Street and left Monday to continue their journey to Washington, D.C., New York and Canada.

Andy Jaeger is a member of three major antique car clubs, he said. The Zapps e-mailed him and said they would be heading to Woodbridge, so he offered them a place to stay.

“They’ve just been an enjoyable couple,” Jaegar said.

What began as a six- to eight-month trip for the Zapps has become 21/2 years for the couple in their early 30s.

Along the way, they realized another dream with the birth of their son in Greensboro, N.C.

The Zapps have traveled about 23,000 miles and have about 12,000 more to go to reach Alaska. They only travel during the summer months and will find somewhere to stay during the coming winter. This summer they are covering the East Coast and next summer they plan to cover all of the West Coast.

“We never know where we are going to be the next month,” Candelaria Zapp said.

It is the people they meet along the way that cause them to take their time while traveling, they say.

“It’s the best wish we could have — to meet so many families,” Herman Zapp said.

The best lessons on the road have come when they run out of money. That’s when they meet so many wonderful people. In the time span of three to three and a half months, they have only spent one night in a hotel, they said.

Candelaria Zapp says she doesn’t really have a favorite place. “Every country has something. Every place has something to offer.”

Their biggest adventure and longest stay, she said, was in Ecuador where they awaited a ship to take them to the Amazon River. The ship never came so the Zapps built their own boat, put the car on board and headed out, they said.

The car is working better every day with the help of mechanics and people they meet along the way. They drove the car with tractor tires on it from Argentina to Texas. The car had its first flat tire in Mississippi.

The Zapps travel back roads through small towns since the car will only reach about 35 mph, Candelaria Zapp said.

“I don’t know what we are going to do when we get to Argentina again,” she said. But she thinks they would like to settle on a farm at home.

The Zapps say they travel with a message for everyone: The secret to realizing a dream is to start yours.