Age: 34 (Ivana), 44 (Gianni)
Hometown: Presov (Slovakia), Martina Franca (Italy)
Quote: “Not all those who wander are lost” by J.R.R.Tolkien
How did you find out about Vagabonding, and how did you find it useful before and during the trip?
We read about the book on one of the travel blogs we were following and we bought it later on Amazon. Apart from some valuable, practical tips it encouraged us to start our long-term travel as soon as we could and ignore all the excuses we had been inventing before.
Since October 2013.
We’ve been living for in Thailand, Laos, Philippines and Borneo, both short- and long-term.
We were saving for this long-term trip while working in Frankfurt, Germany; Gianni was a videogame translator and Ivana was a teacher in a bilingual kindergarten.
Apart from three days volunteering with the foundation ‘Bring the Elephant Home’ in Thailand, where we helped to recreate the natural habitat of elephants and received free room and board in return, we have mostly been travelling using our savings.
We love Thailand the most so far, perhaps because it was the first Asian country we ever visited and we were wowed by everything we experienced there.
Laos is a country that we feel needs to get one more chance. The truth is, we visited the touristy places and did not give a chance to the more remote areas. Hopefully we can explore the south of the country one day to get more objective opinion.
Apart from our ‘must have’ cameras and laptops that we use daily for our online work, we cannot imagine our travel without our carry-on backpacks and waterproof bag. The least used have been swimming goggles that we’ve only used once.
The incredible feeling of freedom that we did not have back home while doing our regular jobs. The fact we can schedule our time, the number of wonderful people we meet and the number of new things we learn from our research and direct contact with new cultures and locals. One of the most rewarding things is to face and overcome our fears, some of which we even didn’t know about.
Above all what we sacrifice is that we don’t see our families and old friends so often. Also, we have to adjust to sometimes less than tasty food because there is no other option. Otherwise, we feel we are gaining more than losing by travelling.
We’ve learned that everything is relative and we cannot compare the challenges we are facing on the road to our safe, comfortable life we lived back in Europe. Constant comparing and whining just ruins all the benefits the road offers you.
We are more aware of the fact that to be a vagabond is not all about the adventure and free lifestyle when you do what you want, as we imagined before. To be on the road has taught us to be more responsible, compassionate and to respect ourselves and others. And most of all, to be happier and more grateful.
Do not hold on to any of the information, prejudice or common opinions you have created or you have been told about the places you’ll visit and the people you’ll encounter. The road will give you the best lessons and exams.
Make travelling a priority and put all your effort into achieving a full, rich life on the road and living in harmony and balance with it. Quit your bad habits change your lifestyle and save money. There are many more things out there to do and to see than just a pack of cigarettes with a beer in your favourite pub.
The next leg of our trip will start in the middle of May, when we will set off to Indonesia, followed by Cambodia. From July to September we will visit our families in Europe and then back in Asia again.
|Website: Nomad Is Beautiful||Twitter: @NomadBeautiful|
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Quote: “Don’t be afraid – it’s only the unknown that is scary.”
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Quote: “Instead of living in a specific place in the world, you simply live in the world. Everywhere is your home and everyone is your neighbor.”
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Quote: “It’s okay to travel alone. I spent a lot of time with a group of people, but would have been much happier doing my own thing, going places I wanted to see and at my own pace, rather than following along with the group.”