You’ll laugh and then laugh some more at today’s guests, two round-the-world travellers who didn’t find happiness until the dropped everything and hit the road. They’ve traded the rat race for a life of confusing languages, maps, and adventures. Learn about their experiences and perhaps learn something yourself.
By the way, I should note. I love Chris and Marta, and their appearance on April Fool’s Day is purely a coincidence (serendipity travel anyone?).
Can you introduce yourselves? What was it that “clicked” and you decided to leave the London routine behind and hit the road?
Ciao everyone, we are Chris and I (Marta) the Italian couple (I bet you wonder why all that grammar mistakes) behind ATravelAroundtheWorld, blogging about our RTW trip. We are on our 30ies and moved to London back in 2002. We worked our way up till we both reached a successful career but that wasn’t enough, it didn’t make us happy. We didn’t feel like setting down as our friends, you know all that stuff like buying a house, getting a mortgage, having kids, being stuck behind a desk for the rest of your life. But London gave us the opportunity to met many people coming from every continents, each one with an unique story to tell, travel tales from faraway places and pictures from around the world that made us wonder what it’s all about …surely much more than our 9-5 rat race. Inspired, we thought it was then or never so, after much dreaming, in December ’08 we finally took the courage, quit our jobs, left behind our regular pay checks, send few boxes back home and set off to backpack around the world, well, a little part of it.
If you could tell someone else who is about to embark on their longest travel journey ever just three things, what would tell them?
“DO IT! It would be your best experience ever! It’s really life changing!”
Travelling broaden your perspectives, helps you to become resourcefulness, to get to know other realities and people of different customs and social levels, it makes you aware of what is going on in the world and, if you stay long enough in a place, you might end it up talking another language, which is always a plus.
It’s an experience of life that we surely recommend to anyone, not only students or adventurers.
Andy – Absolutely. I don’t understand why more people want try live anywhere and work anywhere. But the bottom line is that you should be in control – CHOOSE what you want, not have it dictated by someone else’s terms.
Since there are two of you, do you ever worry about getting on each other’s nerves?
Don’t worry we always do! We are so different from each other, but somehow it works out maybe cause we complement each other. For instance Chris has an awful sense of direction but it’s an handy man, he can fix almost everything which was great when our van broke down in Australia. Myself, I am a sale person and I like bartering so whatever is to look for a room to stay or arranging transports is up to my speech techniques. He is the driver, I am the navigator. We also like different things but the key, as for any relationship, is to compromise and we always do 50/50; I even discovered I enjoy fishing. Sometimes things go wrong while on the road and with all the stress and frustration is easy to end it up fighting but we always remind each other of all the stress we left behind and how lucky we are to do such an amazing experience that we make peace and move on.
At times I wished I have a week off all for me lazing on the beach ..but schsss don’t tell him!
Andy – Can’t blame you for being honest. I think you are having a LOT of fun though
How do you make money while on the road, or do you?
Well, we don’t. We are realizing that we are probably the only two travel bloggers that haven’t made a living out of it and barely few pennies when occasionally approached by sponsors. We are focusing on the travel experiences itself and not much on advertising (not at all) plus it happen all so quickly that we didn’t have even the time to do some serious planning. Within less than a couple of months we resigned, bought our RTW ticket and worked until just a week before our departure. Little time was left to set up the blog so it just came alive as we go. We are living off our savings which were supposed to be our deposit to get a mortgage for a house once back home … we will figure it out later. Anyone got any ideas??
Andy – Running a profitable travel blog is over-rated. I should know
Do you think you’ll ever go back to desk job?
Well, for what I just said even if we don’t like it, the reality is that once we are back from this trip we will have to focus on doing some serious earning ASAP. Surely is going to be even a bigger challenge than embarking on this journey, especially because we have realized that we would love to be able to live locationless and pursue our wanderlust.
Travelling really changed who we are and now it won’t feel the same living the standard 9-5 life but at least, even if for a short time, we have lived our dream.
Andy – Good luck. I’d suggest taking an hour or two a week and start doing some research. If you wait until you get back, you’ll just be all stressed and miss out on some big picture thinking. This advice applies to many things in life…
What has been your most inspirational travel experience?
Well I am not sure if it counts, but for me it was when I was a teenager. I went on a school trip to New York and as I found myself surrounded by those huge skyscrapers, the chaotic traffic, the bustle on its streets with so many different people I felt so little and amazed by what was outside my small, regular country town that I promised myself I would see the world out there.
Instead, on this trip, it has to be while visiting the small fishing village of Tai O on Lantau Island. It was weird, as just 30 minutes of ferry away from the bustling, fancy city centre of Hong Kong, we were in another world, where people live in tin covered wooden stilt houses, making a poor living from the sea and doing their trades and housework indifferent by the passing tourists. It was for us a cultural shock.
Marta & Chris, you both have a big web presence and an amazing passion for life. To learn more, visit their website, A Travel Around the World. You can also follow them on Twitter.