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Talking Germany

Blog with Peter Craven

Sarah Fischer’s two adventures

Or: There’s always a change of plan

“Oh yes, I’ve done it often.” She’s talking about travelling from Germany to Mongolia … by land. So how long does it take? “By car or motorbike, about 12 days.” Motorbike? Wow! So what routes are there? “Well, you can go through Poland, Latvia and Russia. Alternatively, you might head across Ukraine and on into Kazakhstan.” It’s the adventurer Sarah Fischer speaking – my latest guest on Talking Germany.

She’s travelled the world, visiting over 160 countries. It all began because, as an orphan – happily adopted – but of unknown parentage, she knew that she was from “somewhere else” without having the slightest idea of where “somewhere else” might be. That was until she arrived in Mongolia, where something clicked. Since then she’s developed a rare dual identity: Bavarian-Mongolian. And she’s spent months each year living with her adopted Mongolian family. Life is nomadic and highly unpredictable: “The only thing you know is that you shouldn’t count on anything. Something always crops up: there’s always a change of plan.”

Now Sarah is adding another country to her list. It’s a country where a lot of us spend a lot of our lives: it’s called “settling down”. No worries, I wonder, after so many years on the road? “No worries.” In fact I think that Sarah views motherhood as one of life’s greatest adventures. Rightly so, I say – although I’ve only been on the parallel adventure known as fatherhood.

Sarah is certainly taking a very easygoing, perhaps Mongolian, approach to being a mother. She even brings here daughter Leah along to the studio, where she camps out while mother is on air: you shouldn’t count on anything, so you’ve got adapt. She’s already talking about a second child. The family lives in a two-room apartment in Munich. And, as they expand, they’re looking to move. “But,” says Sarah, “no hurry: in Mongolia the nomads live in gers. Which are big tents. And you might find as many as fifteen or sixteen people living together in one ger. So what we’ve got is luxury.” It’s wisdom – Bavarian-Mongolian style.


March 11, 2013