Hi. If you’ve landed on this page, chances are you want to know more about the people behind this website. So here’s a condensed version of our story.
We’re Gemma and Andy, a couple from the UK in our late twenties. We met at university and have been together for over 8 years now. Like everyone, we’ve had our ups and downs, and have struggled to find our place in the world. Travel has always been a dream of ours, but we’re also ambitious hard-working people too.
Over the last few years we’ve prioritised work and then travel separately, but found we’re unhappy with one and not the other. Work gives our life structure and direction, but travel makes us happy and fuels our passion. Finally, through sheer trial and error, we’ve managed to find the perfect balance of work and travel. We want to inspire you to find the same through this website!
So Where Did Our Journey Begin?
We always prioritised work from the moment we left university. We gave up our gap year plans of travelling Australia for an amazing job opportunity, and settled down. It seemed like the sensible thing to do. It ensured our resume looked good and put us firmly on the career path of our future. However, after the initial high of building successful careers, we found ourselves in a rut. We felt uninspired by our life and pulled down by the day to day monotony of it. We no longer appreciated what we had.
It was over a year ago that things got interesting.
We convinced ourselves that the only way to see the world was to quit our jobs and leave everything behind. After reading so many inspirational stories on the internet, I felt compelled to take the leap. We yearned for more freedom and this sounded like exactly the kind of big life change that could reinvigorate us!
Gemma looking at Castle Square in Warsaw. We had been travelling for 4 months full time here.
We had already built up some savings from working, and after deciding we would leave our jobs, we spent another year really pinching the pennies.
Finally, in March 2016 I left my career teaching in a UK zoo & theme park, and Andy scaled back his freelance IT work ready for full time travel.
We gave up our house, stored any belongings we kept with family, and soon after left to go travelling. At last! We were living the dream. Andy could work a little on the road to stretch our money further and we would travel slowly around Europe (using house sitting to make our money stretch further as Europe isn’t a cheap destination).
For Us, This Turned Out To Have Been A Mistake.
After only four months of travelling, we began to realise that living life permanently on the road just wasn’t for us. We weren’t living our dream, despite thinking that it was originally. Travelling was all we had ever wanted, but we weren’t enjoying it. Life on the road is difficult and full of challenges. These are the things we found hard:
We missed having a home base, a place to belong. We had nowhere to return to and unwind after months of travel.
Giving up our social network was harder than expected (try spending 24/7 with just your other half to talk to!) Losing touch with close friends hurt. We tried to keep in contact, but no matter what we did, we were out of the loop now and old relationships weren’t the same.
We felt lost without the structure of a work environment. Working from home is full of distractions, especially when you’re travelling, and being accountable to yourself takes discipline. It was impossible to establish a new productive routine on the road.
We hated the insecurity of watching our savings go down with very little coming in to replace them. We had a small income from the freelance IT work, but it was no where near our expenses. It was scary.
We felt burnt out from being constantly on the move, living out of a suitcase. Being exposed to endless change is exhausting. We stopped appreciating the new sights we were seeing and things became ‘just another cathedral’.
After returning home, defeated, 6 months later, we realised that we prefer to travel in shorter stints. This came after weeks of soul searching and lots of ‘what are we going to do with our life?’ talks. We had planned a year of full time travel, but quickly decided to abandon that. So what on earth were we supposed to do now?
The New Plan
Andy in the UNESCO Laurisilva Forest of Madeira on our first short holiday after full time travel. This was one of our best travel experiences!
The new plan turned out to be something we could have achieved without ever giving up our previous life- regular travel around a full time job and home.
But what does that look like for us? Andy restarted his job as a freelance programmer, and I’m now working on this travel blog to inspire other people NOT to quit their jobs to travel the world! I didn’t want to return to my old teaching career because it felt too much like going backwards. I’ve always found it hard to return to places in my past, as they feel like closed chapters once I’ve left.
So after plenty of research, I discovered the career of travel blogging. It’s not an easy one, but it merges my two passions of teaching and travel.
With his wizard-like IT skills, Andy built this website and I’m focusing on creating high quality, valuable content to benefit you, our readers. We both try to stick to a scheduled work routine (9-6pm, Monday-Friday) as we find this makes us more productive and motivated. When there’s no ‘boss’ to stop you watching Netflix all day, you have to be really strict with yourself! Working from home has definitely been a learning curve.
A picture of Gemma on the left and Andy on the right so you know what we look like! We’re too forgetful to set up the tripod to take photos together.
What About Travelling?
We now fit travel around our working life with long weekends and 1-2 week trips across the year. Our passion still remains travelling, but we do it in short bursts instead of full time.
There’s nothing wrong with loving the comforts of home and a daily routine. It’s taken us a while to realise that you can crave both stability and the unexpected. Travel satisfies our need for change and excitement. A home keeps us grounded.
There are many benefits to this style of travel too. For one, money! Money was a huge worry when we were travelling full time. Now we’re working again, we can spend more on our travel experiences to get the most out of them, and not feel like we’re draining our savings. When our money had to last us months in a destination, we were constantly missing out on activities.
We also don’t burn out anymore as we aren’t overloaded with new experiences. We appreciate the uniqueness of a destination more rather than just comparing it to the place we’ve come from. And we can share everything with our friends and family when we return home, helping to keep those connections alive. Needless to say, this is a much better balance.
Everyone Can Travel
We believe that everyone can travel a new road (or canal!) and start exploring more of the world,
one trip at a time. Photo taken in Dorsoduro district, Venice.
Not everyone is going to quit their job to travel the world because their job isn’t always the problem. Granted, if you hate your job, you should definitely look into changing careers (maybe even travel blogging!), but being a digital nomad isn’t necessarily the answer. Building more travel opportunities into your life will enrich it and fill your days with adventure, making you happier all round. At least, that has been our experience.
If more travel is something that you want, then you can definitely achieve this!
You don’t have to give up everything and you can have the best of both worlds. Use the information on this website to help you travel a new road as often as possible. You’ll find detailed itineraries for short trips that don’t break the bank, and plenty of inspiration to get out there. Even if you start with one night away in a nearby city, you’ll find that burning desire for adventure will be sated a little.
So no matter how big or how small, starting fitting more travel into your life today!
Random Facts About Us
A few of our favourite stats
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