By Morgan Brittney Austin — 1851 Staff
Twice per year, Erik and Antoinette Stapper pack several weeks’ worth of clothing into one suitcase and leave their home at Lasell Village. The couple, who has been married for 52 years, has been ticking countries and states off their list of places to go since Erik and Antoinette first went to Washington, D.C., for their honeymoon.
Beginning in 1993, the couple travels before Memorial Day and after Labor Day, and has filled their passports with stamps from Italy, Australia, New Zealand, South Af- rica, Zimbabwe, Japan, Jamaica, Mexico, Columbia, and Chile.
The Stappers have been able to travel because they do not have chil- dren, and Erik’s job at a New York firm allowed him to take cheap business trips. His job required him to travel to conferences in various countries, such as Yugoslavia.
The Stappers first met while Antoinette was a student at Lasell and Erik was a student at Harvard University. After their honeymoon, Erik and Antoinette moved to New York, where they lived for several years.
When they first got married, the couple visited Erik’s parents in the Netherlands, as well as other countries in Europe. The next year, they visited Antoinette’s parents in New Orleans, La. Their trips lasted between two and four weeks, and they rented a car for the time they were in a certain country.
One of the Stappers’ favorite trips was to Scotland in 1963. They enjoyed the peacefulness of the scenery and the foggy weather. “That truly was our honeymoon,” Antoinette said. In 1994, the couple went back to Scotland, and said the country is still as “romantic, charming, and desolate” as it was during their first trip.
The Stappers have not let injuries stop them from traveling. The couple ventured to Cape Cod in the early 1990s, despite Erik losing sight in one eye and Antoinette suffering from a frozen shoulder.
On their trips, the Stappers make “friends of the day.” “They are your ‘friends of the day’ because you never know if you are going to see them again,” said Erik.
But, the Stappers keep in contact with some of the people they have met while traveling, and one woman they met on a trip recognized them from previous trips. The Stappers have also traveled with other Village residents.
For now, the Stappers do not want to move anywhere they have visited. “I like where I am living now,” said Antoinette.