Vagabonding Case Study: Dina and Ryan

Dina and Ryan

Age: Both 30

Hometown: Java, Indonesia and Ontario, Canada

Quote: “You can design your own life for yourself based on who you want to be.

How did you find out about Vagabonding, and how did you find it useful before and during the trip? We’ve been checking out the website as we travelled for various tips.

How long were you on the road? We’ve been on the road since April 2009 and are still going.

Where all did you go? USA, Spain, Portugal, Andorra, France, Monaco, Gibraltar, Italy, Vatican City, Belgium, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Germany, Sweden, Denmark, Norway, Greece, Turkey, Egypt, UAE, Australia, Indonesia, New Zealand, and Fiji.

What was your job or source of travel funding for this journey? Ryan was able to negotiate a remote work agreement with his employer so he continued to work as we traveled.

Did you work or volunteer on the road? Just Ryan’s remote work

Of all the places you visited, which was your favorite? New Zealand. The natural beauty is incredible there. Our favourite place in New Zealand is Milford Sound in the South Island.

Was there a place that was your least favorite, or most disappointing, or most challenging? We loved Brussels, but the Manneken Pis has got to be the most disappointing landmark we’ve seen. We thought it was going to be bigger, more interesting, or at least remarkable in some way. Turns out the famous emblem of Brussels is a little statue in a fountain like you might see in someone’s backyard.

Did any of your pre-trip worries or concerns come true?  Did you run into any problems or obstacles that you hadn’t anticipated? Nothing major. The worst incident was being chased by a creepy looking man in Lisbon in a dark and empty street around midnight, but we managed to get away. In the Island of Crete, the hotel’s maid stole our souvenirs, which was strange since they weren’t worth much, just for sentimental value really.

Which travel gear proved most useful?  Least useful?

Laptop, easily the most useful.

Least useful was the expensive hiking sandals we brought along (ended up mailing them back home since we couldn’t bear to throw them away). One pair of good shoes is enough.

What are the rewards of the vagabonding lifestyle?

Freedom, challenge, and friendship

What are the challenges and sacrifices of the vagabonding lifestyle? Delaying having kids and having to deal with expectations of family and friends to have a “normal life”, whatever that means. Dina can’t have a mobile career that matches with her previous education, which was Chemistry.

Leaving family and friends behind means we miss out some of the important events. Of course for the most important ones, we try our best to get home.  We also lose touch with the day-to-day which makes it harder to relate to the folks back at home. We aren’t up on the latest fads anymore.

What lessons did you learn on the road? You don’t have to follow people’s expectations, you can design your own life for yourself based on who you want to be.

Most of what you know about the world is probably wrong, and coloured by prejudice.

How did your personal definition of “vagabonding” develop over the course of the trip? Before we were thinking of spending 1-2 years of backpacking, now we are aiming to be permanent travelers. Instead of running through our savings, we are trying to make this lifestyle sustainable.

If there was one thing you could have told yourself before the trip, what would it be? To exercise regularly, to be stronger and have better stamina on the road.

Any advice or tips for someone hoping to embark on a similar adventure? Start saving money, give yourself a year to wrap up your life and prepare the travel necessities. Don’t keep your possessions especially house/apartment and cars, because it will be too expensive to have to support them back home. Cut the ties and go for it!

When and where do you think you’ll take your next long-term journey?

In a few weeks heading down to the Caribbean and Central America, then who knows.

Twitter: vagabondquest Website:

Are you a Vagabonding reader planning, in the middle of, or returning from a journey? Would you like your travel blog or website to be featured on Vagabonding Case Studies? If so, drop us a line at and tell us a little about yourself.

Posted by | Comments (4)  | February 23, 2011
Category: Vagabonding Case Studies

4 Responses to “Vagabonding Case Study: Dina and Ryan”

  1. Tweets that mention » Vagabonding Case Study: Dina and Ryan :: Vagablogging :: Rolf Potts Vagabonding Blog -- Says:

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  3. Dina Says:

    Thanks so much, Ted, for interviewing us and for letting us appear in this great blog!!

  4. Rahman @ Destination Iran Says:

    I’d like to know how it feels to travel all the time without following a lifestyle of living ordinary life and traveling from time to time.

    Doesn’t it make you feel you’re bound to accomplish a task already assigned for yourselves without much excitement?

    Rahman Mehraby
    Destination Iran