The third yr of running a blog and journey is over! It’s robust to consider that one other yr of journey has handed us by and what a yr it was. In 2018, we traveled greater than any yr beforehand. It led throughout 4 continents, 24 nations, seven states, and over 80 flights.
It was an enormous yr for our weblog and our private lives. One which was a curler coaster journey crammed with loads of highs together with moments that made us need to throw our suitcases in a river and guide a flight residence.
Within the final hours of 2018, we’ll decide up the keys to our new place in Canada and eventually quiet down. Don’t fear it’s removed from the top of the journey! You’re in all probability questioning how did we get so far?
- 1 The World Pursuit 2018 Rewind
- 1.1 We’ll by no means snowboard in Bansko once more
- 1.2 Raise tickets in Europe are a lot cheaper than North America
- 1.3 We fell in love with Canada
- 1.4 We lastly explored the Western United States
- 1.5 We visited Las Vegas
- 1.6 We made it to the Galapagos Islands
- 1.7 and Machu Picchu!
- 1.8 We didn’t love Tulum
- 1.9 We discovered Hawaii too American
- 1.10 We ended up loving Bali and the Nusas
- 1.11 We received open water dive licensed
- 1.12 We renamed Langkawi
- 1.13 We did our first Fb reside
- 1.14 We did our first talking gig
- 1.15 We misplaced our new digital camera
- 1.16 Our airline went Bankrupt
- 1.17 We Beloved Jordan!
- 1.18 I came upon I actually hate group journeys
- 1.19 We had a vacation!
- 1.20 Bangkok and journey began to depress us
- 1.21 Journey continues to be superb – Taiwan & Vietnam
- 2 The breaking level, however not the top
- 3 We every made six figures
The World Pursuit 2018 Rewind
We’ll by no means snowboard in Bansko once more
After an epic New Years Eve in Scotland, we began our yr in Bulgaria. We had plans to snowboard the whole season in Europe and North America and needed to heat up our legs someplace reasonably priced. We heard that Bansko ski resort was an excellent low cost choice in Europe so we made our approach to Bulgaria to test it out.
We booked seven days, however after three I want we had moved on. A ski vacation in Bansko is one thing I might by no means advocate to anybody – particularly novices within the excessive season or specialists. As a result of raise tickets solely value 58 BGN (€30) the resort is very overcrowded – I couldn’t consider the sheer quantity of individuals on one run, plus the a number of fist fights we witnessed from head-on collisions.
Had it been my first ski vacation and I used to be studying I might have given up and stated the entire sport sucked. It put a damper on the start of our ski season, however fortunately we made our solution to the gorgeous Dolomites proper after and shortly forgot all about Bansko. You’ll be able to learn extra about Bansko right here.
Raise tickets in Europe are a lot cheaper than North America
After Bansko, we spent the subsequent month or so within the Swiss Alps, Austrian Alps, Italy, and even made a pitstop in Liechtenstein! All have been superb and we will’t wait to return for extra snowboarding within the Alps. In comparison with Bansko the snowboarding and pistes have been like heaven.
The Alps have been a little bit of shock as People as a result of we expect a ski vacation in Europe is for the wealthy and well-known when in actuality, it’s extra reasonably priced than North America. For a someday carry ticket in say Italy or Austria you’ll be able to anticipate to pay between €45-60. Examine that to a raise move at Massive Sky in Montana for $140 or Aspen, Colorado which is upwards of $180!
With lodging and meals choices costing about the identical as America, I truly assume taking a ski/snowboard vacation in Europe is fairly good worth. As an enormous bonus, it’s very cultural for those who decide the correct area, We liked Trentino, Vorarlberg, and four Vallees!
We fell in love with Canada
After snowboarding in Europe we made our method to Canada. Though, we’re each American we had by no means traveled to Canada as adults (and I’m from Michigan!). Our journey started in Mont Tremblant with one other epic snowboarding journey in probably the most charming ski resort village we’ve seen in North America.
With small mountains and restricted snowfall within the East, we made our approach out West to discover the Canadian Rocky Mountains. For a month we drove round Alberta and British Columbia and visited a handful of city and ski resorts. On the time we had been itching for a extra everlasting house and had a sense that Canada is perhaps our future residence.
By the point we left, we knew that it was meant to be. Western Canada had the mountains and outside tradition that we love within the US – with out the gun violence and social points we see at house. They’re our “socialist” neighbors to the North! Just about I can stroll to the grocery store in my yoga pants and sweatshirt and purchase coconut milk creamer with out worry of being shot within the grocery store.
We lastly explored the Western United States
After Canada, we made approach for Colorado to take a look at some extra of the ski resorts and mountain cities. Regardless of the very fact we’re People we haven’t traveled our personal nation extensively – fairly onerous when it’s greater and has extra states than all of Europe.
So for the month of March, we hit up some superb ski resorts like Aspen, Breckenridge, Massive Sky, Whitefish, and Schweitzer. We additionally visited some smaller ski resorts in Idaho like Silver Mountain and Lookout Move. It was an incredible time and actually loved exploring extra or our personal nation. Now, we’re making room in our schedule to take a look at extra states like Oregon and Utah subsequent yr!
We visited Las Vegas
When San Fransico startup TravelBank reached out to us final minute to see if we needed to take a weekend in Las Vegas we have been intrigued. It’s a metropolis recognized for its extra smackdab in the midst of the desert full of casinos and golf equipment.
We have been flown out to have an “Instagram” weekend in Las Vegas. Which principally meant we might go to all the perfect photograph spots with out having to coordinate something ourselves or look ridiculous taking tons of of pictures. I’m not going to say that Vegas is our my cup of tea, however it’s undoubtedly value doing as soon as in your life.
It was nice to go to as a gaggle as we did issues on a a lot bigger “Vegas finances,” than I ever would have. Staying in the most effective resorts, bottle service on the golf equipment, nice eating places, and consuming top-shelf cocktails is the best way to do Vegas your first time round.
We made it to the Galapagos Islands
Visiting the Galapagos Islands has been excessive on our bucket record for years. Once I first backpacked Ecuador in 2015 I needed to go to the Galapagos, besides I had no concept they have been an costly aircraft experience away from the mainland, so I deserted that concept very quick.
As we discovered extra of a ardour for wildlife conservation, particularly after our yr in Africa we solely needed to go to extra. The Galapagos Islands are a type of bucket record wildlife locations. We didn’t know what to anticipate, however our Galapagos cruise exceeded all expectations. Wildlife that may be seen nowhere else on the planet is ample on wild undeveloped volcanic islands. It’s an unreal vacation spot that solely a fortunate few get to go to as a consequence of excessive costs and strict conservation laws.
An actual spotlight was within the waters round Isabela island as we discovered ourselves surrounded by a flotilla of at the very least 50 sea turtles – actually bumping into us. In contrast to different locations, we had snorkeled these turtles didn’t appear to thoughts our presence and allow us to hang around with them for so long as we needed. That’s the great thing about the Galapagos Islands.
The federal government caps guests to the islands, and it’s additionally a really costly vacation spot, which means there aren’t hordes of vacationers in all places. For some animals, it was their first time seeing people in order that they weren’t afraid of us! Learn extra about that journey right here.
and Machu Picchu!
Sure! Once we had 5 spare days in South America we went to probably the most touristy place in Peru – and it was unimaginable. Typically touristy locations is usually a big letdown, however Machu Picchu is something however a letdown. Exploring the mysterious Incan metropolis blew our minds, for instance, a lot of the development was accomplished with out mortar – simply stacked stone. The location is fascinating and begs to be explored extra as does Peru. The truth is, we beloved Machu Picchu a lot we went two days in a row – learn the complete weblog publish right here.
We didn’t love Tulum
We picked a number of dangerous locations this yr, and for us, Tulum was one in every of them. I do know that the seashore city is liked by many and hailed as “The Bali of the West,” nevertheless it didn’t do it for us.
To start out the journey off proper we had our first catastrophic Airbnb expertise with a nasty and imply host. We went out of or the best way to e-book a rental automotive with Alamo as we now have had good experiences with them up to now, and ended up getting scammed with them making an attempt to cost us for damages we didn’t do.
And to prime off the journey, once we obtained to the airport to depart Chase froze our bank card and alerted me of attainable fraudulent expenses on our account. The waiter on the taco place the night time earlier than had swapped out our Chase Sapphire card for an expired card that was the very same. He or his associates then went on somewhat purchasing spree on the digital retailer later. Fortunately, Chase flagged the fees instantly and declined the acquisition. Nevertheless, we did should cancel our fundamental bank card which meant we couldn’t use it at our subsequent vacation spot.
In the long run, we didn’t need to be in Cancun or Playa Del Carmen as we aren’t these Spring Break get together individuals. We have been looking for a extra chill vacation in Tulum, but in addition discovered it extremely widespread, overpriced, and the poor seashores have been affected by one other yr of sargassum. We might nonetheless give Tulum one other attempt, however it’s not on the prime of our vacation spot record. You realize it’s dangerous once I don’t also have a photograph to place on this part as a result of we didn’t take any…
We discovered Hawaii too American
This yr was the yr of latest states, at the least for me as I had by no means traveled to Hawaii earlier than. We have been set to journey round Kauai, the Massive Island, Oahu, and Maui over the span of two weeks. It might be an epic introduction to Hawaii. I ready myself with a number of watches of Lilo and Stich and Moana earlier than we boarded our flight to Honolulu. Hawaii was one other contender on our listing of “we might stay right here locations,” and we have been wanting to discover the islands.
There isn’t any denying that Hawaii is downright jaw-dropping and it’s straightforward to see why it’s a trip vacation spot. Cruising alongside the Na Pali coast on Kauai seems like one other world and is jaw-dropping. It was solely the primary of many Hawaiian landscapes that would go away us blown away by the sweetness. They’re extremely numerous with virtually each biome attainable on earth which is wild for the small island chain.
The seashores on Hawaii are spectacular, the marine life is ample, and far of the islands are draped in verdant tropical crops. We might return to Hawaii in a heartbeat and know we’ll be again sometime quickly. However we realized shortly that our preconceived notions of Hawaii like Polynesian tradition and an untouched paradise usually are not actuality.
As an alternative, we discovered that Hawaii is as American because the mainland, and has been for years. Outsized vans, giant firms, Walmarts, and dare I say weapons? Critically, it was the primary time in all of our travels somebody threatened to shoot our drone down as a result of it was “too near his property”/ weed farm. (*sidenote: It’s extremely unlawful to shoot down any plane within the US along with damaging private property)
Clearly, we couldn’t assist however take into consideration how Hawaii’s cultural id has been stripped away through the years by the mainlanders. And if we as People, “transplants,” have been to maneuver there we might solely be part of the issue. When you’ve been to Hawaii I do know you’re in all probability considering DUH! However I hadn’t been there earlier than, so it was new to me.
We ended up loving Bali and the Nusas
Once we had an open August and September we didn’t actually know the place to go or what to do with ourselves. If you end up given too many choices and decisions, you’ll be able to’t decide, a minimum of we will’t. After plenty of time in Africa and Europe, we knew we needed to make our approach over to Asia. After doing a variety of on-line analysis we decided that Bali had nice climate in August. Plus we knew individuals have been dashing there for the previous for years after the perfect digital nomad way of life.
I visited Bali in 2011 and beloved it. It was my first introduction to touring in Asia and it was eye-opening. However how wouldn’t it be in 2018? Tourism and journey have modified drastically in simply a short while body.
Sadly, it’s one other place that has exploded on Instagram, so I used to be nervous to see what was to return. Was Bali too in style for its personal good? Have costs shot via the roof life many different elements of the world? Has Airbnb ruined yet one more vacation spot (sure)? For sure, we have been each just a little hesitant to go to Bali – it simply felt so…cliche.
Regardless we boarded the 20-hour flight and made our strategy to Indonesia. After we checked into our little bungalow in Ubud I knew it was a superb name to go to Bali and I felt so refreshed to be there. Our place sat on prime of a lush tropical ridge, there was a tremendous yoga studio proper subsequent door, two minutes away from that was an idealistic vegetarian cafe, and an hour-long therapeutic massage would value us all of $6.
Yup, we have been undoubtedly in heaven and regardless of the recognition, will return someday quickly. We’ll admit Bali is loopy well-liked now, however we see the attraction and why so many individuals of our friends select to reside there.
We received open water dive licensed
We had heard loads of good issues concerning the Nusa Islands proper off the coast of Bali so knew we needed to make the brief journey there. They’re completely beautiful and have some fantastic white sand seashores. Aside from having fun with the infant blue water, we completed one other feat whereas on Nusa Lembongan.
We had been eager to get dive licensed for a number of years, and it simply so occurred that there was a well-reviewed dive middle with a number of the least expensive costs on the earth to get open water licensed. Along with having world-class dive websites, so it was a simple determination.
We signed up for a three-day course and acquired ourselves open water licensed. Now we have now accomplished a complete of ten dives between Bali and The Maldives and are itching to get Superior Open Water earlier than heading off to Raja Ampat in 2019. Learn our full diving expertise right here.
We renamed Langkawi
Earlier this yr I requested a random Fb group the place some good locations to journey in Southeast Asia. Langkawi popped up a number of occasions for its lush jungle panorama, out of this world seashores, and for being nicely developed. So after Bali, we figured we should always go test it out for ourselves. We stayed a complete of 12 days, however wanting again eight would have been perfect.
Fortunately we received in some seashore time at first of the journey, as a result of the final 5 days it poured rain with out ever stopping. Later we came upon it was the beginning of the wet season so we simply hunkered down and did some yoga, ate sushi for my birthday, and watched a number of films – and altered the identify of Langkawi to Rainkawi.
We did our first Fb reside
When Lonely Planet reached out to us to ask if we needed to work with them and promote the Galway Oyster Pageant in Eire we couldn’t say no. Oysters and Eire? Signal us up! So we flew the 20 hours from Singapore to Dublin to gear up for every week of seafood and oyster festivities.
The one kicker was we might go reside three separate occasions on Lonely Planet’s and Tourism Eire’s Fb channel! I’ve by no means been on reside tv, however I think about the nervousness we felt is one thing prefer it. We did an entire cooking demo with Galway’s prime chef, discovered the right way to make a Claddagh Ring, and shucked an oyster with knowledgeable oyster shucker – all reside!
The occasions have been a blast and the Fb lives went extremely nicely. We’re fascinated with constructing it into our entire enterprise mannequin.
We did our first talking gig
Since we have been already in Eire we have been requested to fill in final minute as a result of cancellations as audio system with reference to social media at Very important Voices International Ambassador Program. It’s an incredible program and we felt honored to contribute a small half.
Talking is one other facet of this entire journey running a blog/content material creators business that we nonetheless hadn’t tried. Nevertheless, we had been wanting to discuss the facility of the web world, social media, and affect for the previous yr. We had no selection, however to say sure!
Just like the Fb Lives, we have been a bit nervous to get in entrance of unimaginable ladies much more profitable than ourselves and speak concerning the energy of social media/digital world for his or her enterprise, however it went over properly!
In contrast to giving an oral presentation in school about some far off matter, it was all one thing we all know a LOT about. We’ve been working with media retailers, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, Fb, YouTube, and our weblog for over three years now so we have now discovered a factor or two. It was large to share a few of our information and insights.
As a final minute presentation, we expect the speak went over tremendous and we received nice suggestions on the expertise. In 2019, we’ll be heading again to Puerto Rico and Paris to talk once more!
We misplaced our new digital camera
When I’m in search of a brainless exercise to do I’ll begin modifying photographs. So, once we had a brief layover in Abu Dhabi on the best way to Dublin I took the prospect to edit some current Singapore pictures. I requested Cam for the reminiscence card, and he pulled out our model new Sony RX100V to get it out. Nevertheless, he didn’t put it again in our bag and it fell on the ground.
Anyhow, we left the airport lounge for our flight and boarded the aircraft. As quickly as we received on the flight we observed we didn’t have the digital camera. I knew at this level there was nothing we might do, however pleaded with the flight attendants to a minimum of name the lounge and ask that they put it in a protected spot.
They couldn’t do this – however they did give me reassurance that we left the digital camera in one of many most secure nations on the earth and there was no approach that anybody would steal the digital camera. There have been safety cameras all over the place and anybody that took one thing that wasn’t theirs can be despatched to jail. The skeptical American in me knew that digital camera was lengthy gone and we sat by means of all the 10-hour flight kicking ourselves.
Once we made it to Eire I despatched the assistance desk an e-mail they usually replied immediately saying that they had the digital camera! The one draw back was the one method to retrieve it was to fly again to Abu Dhabi.
Our airline went Bankrupt
Out of all our ups and downs with the yr, it was this one occasion that I believed modified the whole lot and our mindsets for us. It’s a bit lengthy – however right here it goes.
Because the talking gig was final minute we needed to change plans and cancel our flights from Dublin to Kuala Lumpur. We determined to take that probability to rebook our flights and head someplace heat after Eire as an alternative of Malaysia’s capital metropolis. We discovered some fairly low cost last-minute flights to Cyprus, after which onwards to go to Abu Dhabi, which was the place we would have liked to be for an upcoming journey and to retrieve our digital camera.
We picked an Airbnb close to Ayia Napa, the one place I hated the primary time we visited Cyprus in 2015. However truthfully, since we needed to guide the Airbnb so final minute within the excessive season it was one of many solely locations we might discover and I knew there have been some good seashores within the space. We spent the week catching up on work and cliff leaping off Cape Greco. We felt refreshed once we checked out of our condo and made method for the airport.
Our scheduled flight was from Larnaca to Abu Dhabi, at 2 am within the morning with a low-cost service referred to as Cobalt Air. We flew Cobalt Air from Dublin to Larnaca and it was truthfully the shittest flight we’ve ever been on. Truthfully, Ryan Air is luxurious in comparison with this service. The complete inside was like some low cost Chinese language knock-off of an airplane. Tray tables didn’t sit flush, seat arms raddled, and the legroom was non-existent.
After spending all the day twiddling our thumbs in Larnaca (since our flight was at 2 am and we needed to depart the Airbnb at a traditional time), we received to Larnaca Worldwide Airport at 11 pm. It was unusual as a result of there was nobody on the check-in counter for our Cobalt Flight. So we waited, and waited, and waited for the check-in desk to open up.
The clock ticked previous midnight and nonetheless no signal of Cobalt employees, however there have been a couple of information crews within the airport which was very unusual. One thing was up – I shortly Googled “Cobalt Air” and noticed the newest information reviews that that they had simply declared chapter. Inside seconds I noticed information crew dashing in the direction of Cameron and me. I had my standard red-eye, no make-up on flight apparel drab on so I ran away and let Cameron deal with the cameras.
It was true – Cobalt Air introduced chapter at 12:01, as soon as all of its plane have been formally at their residence base in Larnaca. We have been scheduled to be the subsequent Cobalt flight out, and it might not be occurring. Que a bunch of confused, mad, and annoyed individuals.
Simply in case you’re questioning when an airline goes bankrupt all operations stop. There are not any employees members that will help you, or actually any info in any respect. You’re utterly out of luck and left to type the planning and monetary items in your journey your self. It’s a plan now and worries concerning the cash later sort of state of affairs. The more severe half wasn’t that we simply missed our flight to Abu Dhabi, however we had a connecting flight onward to Sri Lanka that we might additionally now be lacking.
Between rebooking flights, the canceled tickets, additional lodge fares and taxi cabs I might estimate this entire chapter factor set us again at the very least an additional $1500. The Cyprus authorities promised to pay again all passengers affected, however I feel we’ll see a leprechaun driving on a unicorn throughout the North Pole earlier than that ever occurs.
We weren’t the worst passengers affected, removed from it truly. We’re lucky to have time, flexibility, and monetary stability to deal with these sorts of issues. We met individuals unable to pay for onward flights, couples bringing of their entire household to Cyprus for his or her wedding ceremony that simply went to hell, and came upon individuals have been stranded in Cyprus on their connecting flights.
Sure, Cobalt Air knew they have been going bankrupt however nonetheless let individuals board an plane that was flying say Athens to Abu Dhabi with a layover in Larnaca on the flight absolutely understanding they wouldn’t be flying previous Larnaca. One man might barely converse English, ugh it was so horrible for everybody concerned.
In different phrases, it was an absolute mess, and truthfully, it pushed us over the sting. We had already been feeling uninterested in touring after three years straight. We have been burnt out and had been considering our way of life for some time. When this occurred it was one other a type of I’m fed up with this type of moments.
We Beloved Jordan!
Cyprus isn’t nicely related to the remainder of the world, however when our flight was canceled we needed to make different preparations quick earlier than airways realized the scandal and raised charges or sold-out from different holidaymakers making an attempt to vary their plans.
We have been alleged to fly to Sri Lanka and have some seashore time, however since that wouldn’t be occurring we looked for different options. One of the best flights out that we might discover have been to Amman, Jordan. We’ve all the time needed to journey to Jordan and see Petra so now appeared like the right time to make that occur!
We solely had 5 days so we made one of the best of it and traveled at a speedy tempo to Petra, Wadi Rum, Aqaba, and The Lifeless Sea. We completely beloved our time and Jordan exceeded all expectations!
Every week would have been the perfect period of time to spend there, however I used to be completely satisfied we have been capable of make one thing out of our state of affairs. All of the sudden, I used to be in love with journey once more! (My temper modifications daily 😝).
I came upon I actually hate group journeys
Our journey to Sri Lanka was a gaggle journey that we deliberate method again in July. Until it’s completely vital we don’t do group journeys as we choose to journey on our personal. We have been imagined to arrive in Sri Lanka 5 days earlier than the beginning of our journey and benefit from the nation on our personal, however when the entire bankrupt airline mess occurred all we might do was make it there in time for the group journey. We had a five-day tour round southern Sri Lanka, adopted by TBC Asia, a convention and awards ceremony in Colombo by which we have been up for “Greatest Journey Journey Weblog.”
Whereas we each thought what we noticed of Sri Lanka was superb, I came upon the rationale we by no means go on group press journeys or actually do any group excursions. They actually aren’t for us. Whereas I benefit from the social facet of assembly new individuals and chatting to somebody aside from Cameron I actually hate being on another person’s schedule or spending hours on buses to do issues I’ve zero curiosity in. Not having a say on what I do or simply taking an additional hour in the course of the day to take pleasure in a cup of espresso at a cool cafe bothers me. Sure, I’m an solely youngster.
Cameron and I each take pleasure in touring on our personal. We don’t take pleasure in probably the most touristy features of a spot and would relatively stroll by way of a neighborhood for a couple of hours moderately than seeing 15 issues in someday. Nevertheless, we’re stoked that we have been lastly capable of meet another bloggers and win an award! All we need to do is get again to Sri Lanka now and provides it the time it deserves.
We had a vacation!
Do you know that a one hour flight from Colombo will get you to The Maldives? We did – so you possibly can guess which nation we weren’t lacking out on this yr. We spent an unimaginable two weeks in The Maldives. Sure, the collection of atolls are simply as spectacular in individual as they appear in photographs.
Whereas we spent a variety of time there creating content material and catching up on the weblog we additionally relaxed on the seashore, went diving, and snorkeling. It felt like an actual vacation the type regular individuals have.
Bangkok and journey began to depress us
As nice as touring is it additionally might be very miserable. We arrived in Bangkok for every week to make amends for some weblog work and eat some meals. What we discovered was a lackluster Airbnb, costly costs, and a really soiled/loud metropolis. In the suitable mild Bangkok is a vibrant and cultural hub that folks like it for good cause, however for us, it was hell on earth. All the things has to do together with your mind set and ours was damaged from the neverending journey.
Just like the Colbalt flight, it felt quite a bit just like the straw that broke the camel’s again. Suddenly we felt confronted by all the issues on the earth that we exasperate. Perhaps that’s as a result of we’re seeing a lot as an alternative dwelling in a cushty bubble at residence, however this yr was the time it smacked us within the face.
Listed here are just some of the explanations this way of life has made us sad.
The obvious trash epidemic
Final time we traveled to Asia was in 2013. Perhaps I didn’t discover it as a lot then or the issue is actually uncontrolled, however waste administration and using single-use plastic in Asia is appalling.
All through most elements of Southeast Asia, the water isn’t drinkable so many get by buying plastic water bottles. You’re given a plastic bag for every thing and I imply the whole lot, even in case you are simply buying one single merchandise from 7-11. We might all the time decline the plastic luggage, to which the workers all the time look confused. I imply, why wouldn’t we would like a plastic bag?
Even in Japan, we discovered each single orange, banana, avocado wrapped in plastic. Within the Maldives – on the highest finish resorts plastic bottles float on the floor of the ocean and wash up on seashores. This isn’t simply Asia although, it’s all over the place. Jordan was single-handedly the dirtiest nation we’ve ever visited and the grand ole USA is among the world’s prime polluters.
Single-use plastic is an epidemic. Every little thing from espresso cups to lodge toiletries, fishing nets to the business packaging used for almost each product on the earth. We’re fairly actually drowning in a sea of plastic. Anybody who’s visited a coastal vacation spot in the previous few years has probably witnessed it first hand.
This isn’t information to us although, nevertheless it has worn down on me increasingly more and really feel we have to take motion. Please purchase these metallic straws (they’re superior!), spend money on reusable grocery luggage, purchase an excellent water bottle, and simply hunt down merchandise that remove plastic waste.
We’re a part of the issue
We took greater than 80 flights this yr alone which isn’t one thing we’re pleased with. I’m unsure the place the yr obtained out of hand, however at one level I felt like I used to be on an airplane each 5 days – and I hate flying.
We generated a variety of greenhouse gases this yr and regardless that we eat vegetarian, don’t have youngsters, and keep away from plastic consumption our carbon footprint is large. I hate to assume that we’re a part of an issue we so actively marketing campaign towards and it depresses me. One more reason we’re settling down this yr!
We’re additionally contemplating offsetting our carbon footprint once we journey any longer.
I hate Instagram
This actually wants an entire separate weblog submit. I joined the Instagram group in 2011 and commenced actively posting journey content material once we began our weblog in October 2015. Over the previous three years, this one platform has modified drastically for customers. It’s onerous to consider that a social media app can improve vainness, decrease vanity, and make individuals sad.
It feels more and more like a platform of extra and jealousy – there are not any dangerous days on Instagram, everybody lives a lavish life with an extreme floaty breakfast daily. Then there’s the slew of “journey bloggers” popping who supply nothing greater than fairly pictures of “good lives” with nothing of worth and no weblog. It’s all irritating for these of us who journey, and have accomplished so lengthy earlier than Instagram, conduct analysis, and work arduous to ship useful journey recommendation.
I might ramble all day on that, however it’s modified journey and has turned lovely as soon as secret spots into overrun vacationer traps. Would you wish to see these rice fields in Bali? So do 10,000 different those that day. Or how a few journey to Horseshoe Bend? The park service has now put up railings so Insta wannabes don’t die and constructed a big parking zone within the park to deal with the droves of individuals in search of it out.
Iceland, a rustic with a inhabitants of 340,000 appears lovely, doesn’t it? It’s beautiful, however they obtain over 2 million guests a yr and counting! You’re extra more likely to meet an American than an area. They’re even confronted with a literal crap drawback from vacationers going to the toilet on the aspect of the street, as a result of their infrastructure can’t deal with the guests.
I’m not saying Instagram is the one cause tourism is up around the globe. Individuals are touring greater than ever as a result of journey is simpler to plan, extra accessible, and reasonably priced. Then you could have the unstoppable growth of Chinese language vacationers.
BUT Instagram has undoubtedly ruined sure locations, pushed costs up, and inspired selfie stick zombies to waltz out and in of a vacation spot with out seeing it for their very own eyes.
I hate to see it, be part of it, witness over tourism, and watch social connections break down. It feels many would fairly stare at their telephone than have a human connection.
Sure, it’s brought about us to journey to some epic locations for a photograph, rise up at dawn or watch for sundown. Then there isn’t a denying that we’ve got profited from the platform by means of sponsored posts and campaigns. But when Instagram’s servers went up in flames tomorrow we wouldn’t shed a tear, may even rejoice a bit…
We’re missing a group and connection
We’ve met nice individuals whereas touring and had very fascinating conversations. However not often do these connections final for greater than a day, every week tops if we’re fortunate till everybody should go their separate methods.
The primary two years of this we have been fantastic, however we’ve been craving for associates, group involvement, and having extra those that we care about in our lives.
One other platform that we used to like soured on us in 2018. Airbnb. We hate it however use it on a regular basis once we journey. Once we first began touring in 2011, we caught primarily to the hostel/backpacker route. Then in 2016, we transitioned to cheaper lodge rooms and guesthouses. Now, since we’ve been touring full time for 3 years and wish to prepare dinner our personal meals we choose to lease flats for stays longer than 5 days.
As a pair, it’s a lot simpler and often a greater deal for us to go this route fairly than lodge rooms. Airbnb is probably the most handy choice to guide flats. Nevertheless, the platform has taken all the world by storm and costs are uncontrolled. Not only for us as guests, however for residents.
The platform has reworked the housing market around the globe typically hurting a few of the biggest locations on earth. 5 years in the past, getting a one yr lease might have been a simple and reasonably priced affair. Now, it’s common to buy property as an funding to lease on Airbnb. With Airbnb, landlords are capable of double and even triple what a month-to-month tenant would pay. Residents all over the world are being pressured out of their communities. Locations hit exhausting are Barcelona, Lisbon, Amsterdam, Los Angeles, and…truly this listing might go on perpetually. Hell, we simply signed a lease in Canmore, Canada solely 15 minutes away from Banff Nationwide Park and our townhouse might fetch greater than $300 an evening in the suitable season.
In addition to that as vacationers, Airbnb isn’t an excellent finances choice anymore. We frequently can’t discover respectable Airbnb’s in locations like Bangkok for lower than $50 an evening. Do a fast seek for Bali these days and see what comes up – the costs creep up yr after yr. Housing market costs have risen across the globe pushed largely by the demand for short-term rental properties by foreigners.
I’d say we have now stayed in over 50 Airbnb’s around the globe, and it’s a rarity that we meet an actual host these days. Once we do it’s a administration firm that has been contracted out by the abroad proprietor (there are exceptions). It went from somebody making an attempt to make a number of additional bucks renting their additional place or room to full-time jobs for a lot of. Now earlier than reserving we attempt to do additional analysis and ensure the host is definitely an area and concerned within the Airbnb. In different phrases…having a house in 2019 will reduce our Airbnb utilization out.
Journey continues to be superb – Taiwan & Vietnam
Whereas Bangkok reminded us of why journey has soured on us. Our subsequent two locations would shortly remind us of why we like to journey a lot. From Bangkok, we flew to Hanoi, Vietnam and located a captivating vacation spot. It had been some time that we heard fantastic issues about Vietnam and it completely lived as much as the hype.
From Hanoi, we took a direct flight to Taiwan and located one other actually distinctive vacation spot with hardly any western vacationers. It felt nothing like the opposite common locations we’ve been in during the last yr. Nearly all of our time on the island we have been the one white individuals we ever noticed. Taiwan has an interesting historical past with a loopy mixture of Chinese language and Japanese cultures. They’ve all of the meals of China and Japan with extra outgoing individuals just like the Chinese language, however who’re respectful and orderly just like the Japanese. There have been a number of situations by which individuals stopped us to say “welcome to Taiwan.” We actually love small moments like because it brings us again to actuality and connects us with individuals all around the globe.
The breaking level, however not the top
On prime of all of the negatives of journey, doing this long-term has taken a toll on our diets, health, psychological well being, and our monetary revenue via this weblog. We’ve been feeling this since final yr and made a vow to get a house base in 2018.
That didn’t occur.
This subsequent yr would be the finish of the nomadic period for us. I might write an entire publish on the woes of dwelling on the street, however let’s simply say it’s exhausting planning, packing, working, and all the time looking for the subsequent vacation spot, lodge, unknown restaurant, or espresso store. We miss familiarity like loopy!
We every made six figures
Financially 2018 was an enormous yr for our weblog and our financial institution accounts. Regardless of touring at a gentle tempo for over three years we’ve managed to place 417 weblog posts, 940 Instagram pictures, 1000 handcrafted pins, and over 50 YouTube movies out into the world.
The typical submit right here is properly over 2000 phrases and when mixed with social media captions/posts we’ve put out at the least a dozen novels value of writing in three years – nicely over 1,000,000 phrases.
On prime of all that the upkeep of our web site and social channels behind the scenes is laborious and time-consuming. Nevertheless, all of this work has began to repay for us.
This isn’t a weblog about running a blog or funds, however lengthy story brief we every managed to generate a low six-figure revenue. Greater than double what we made working in small workplaces in New York Metropolis. We went from dwindling financial institution accounts our first yr touring to having much more in our financial savings accounts than once we set out on this journey. Now time to trace our journey bills for the yr…😖
We have been presupposed to spend the winter snowboarding in Japan. We had a spot sorted, shipped our snowboards over, and had been touring Asia with suitcases filled with snow gear for the previous 4 months.
In late November, simply two weeks earlier than our arrival in Japan we had a change of coronary heart. The primary purpose was we couldn’t discover correct lodging and didn’t like the choice we had sorted out for ourselves in September (sharing a small primary basement condo with a stranger for $1400 a month – sure Niseko is insanely costly).
It by no means sat properly with us and after some thought, we determined to shift gears. It was time for our personal place, so we made final minute plans for an enormous transfer to Canada. It’s the place we’ve got considered making a extra everlasting house base for the previous yr. So, we signed a lease on a two bed room townhome proper outdoors of Banff Nationwide Park in Canmore, Alberta.
We’ll need to get a automotive and furnish the ENTIRE place – which actually scares me. We’re excited concerning the transfer and to hitch a group after a few years of fixed journey, however the concept of being sure to furnishings, a lease, and automotive is somewhat daunting as there are nonetheless so many locations we nonetheless need to go to. I nonetheless have goals of dwelling on a sailboat within the Caribbean, managing a safari lodge in Africa, and backpack South America and study Spanish. However then I additionally need a furry good friend once more, to go mountaineering on a regular basis, and look out the window and see miles of mountains with a smoothie that I made in hand. Ugh – life is just too brief.
Proper now, we personal little or no and possessions can shortly really feel like a ball and chain. Plus as unusual because it sounds integrating ourselves again into society goes to be totally different for us.
We’re going to take the primary portion of the yr to take pleasure in our new house, spend a while snowboarding round Canada, and compensate for a mountain of labor. Until mandatory we’re going to avoid airplanes in the course of the winter.
We do have a couple of journeys deliberate for work to date, however not many issues are ultimate. There are additionally some superior locations on our radar in 2019 we’re eager to make occur. I additionally need to make it some extent to return to Indonesia and see someplace aside from Bali and verify off the Philippines to do extra diving this yr. Cameron is hoping to get to South America for some tradition and mountain time.
As for The World Pursuit, we’re hoping to construct extra in-depth guides on locations we all know properly. Work arduous to ship actual recommendation on testing new journey merchandise by way of gear guides. Then we’ve lengthy been itching to get critical about Youtube and video. Movie manufacturing is the world that we come from and it’s time we put that to good use. Keep tuned for the launch of a daily present!
—Love Natasha & Cameron