How do you celebrate 55 years of marriage? One New Zealand couple celebrates by taking a monumental road trip in the same Volkswagen Beetle they used on their honeymoon to tour Europe.
A road trip honeymoon isn’t exactly newsworthy these days. Plenty of people opt for the open road to celebrate their nuptials, but who takes another massive road trip on their 35th anniversary and then hit the road again for their 55th anniversary, all in the same car?
Ivan and Beth Hodge. That’s who.
After spending a couple years in England, newlyweds Ivan and Beth thought driving back to New Zealand sounded like a heck of an idea so they purchased a brand new VW Beetle, strapped everything they had to the roof rack, and spent 6 months driving through countries like Portugal, France, and even Yugoslavia before finally stopping in Calcutta where they shipped their trusty Bug back to New Zealand.
Although space was tight, they found room for a camera and video recorder on their maiden journey, leaving them (and now us) with plenty of photos from their journey. When the couple reached their 35th anniversary, they took a 2nd honeymoon and retraced their route in the exact same VW Beetle, taking pictures at all the same places from their original trip. (View more of their photos here)
The two journeys highlighted both the changes in their own life together and the drastic changes in many of the countries they visited. The changes were so fascinating the couple wrote a book, For Love and a Beetle.
Now, 55 years later, the couple is writing an epilogue for their book and taking one last trip in their VW Beetle, this time across New Zealand. When the trip, dubbed “Bye Bye Beetle,” is over at the end of March, their little love bug will be donated to Auckland’s Museum of Transport and Technology.
For more on their adventures, including plenty of photos and info on their book, visit them on the web. Also read how their adventures have shaped their marriage and their relationship with their children and grandchildren in this great interview with Travel + Leisure.
All photos via Ivan and Beth Hodge unless otherwise noted.