WSGT’s next Travel Influencers are Amy and Andrew of Our Big Fat Travel Adventure, a website that can tell you all you need to know about teaching abroad, budgeting for vacations and how to explore the world indefinitely!
In honor of this month’s Influencer theme “write more, write better” and our Travel Writing Award Amy and Andrew have recommended: 34 travel magazines and websites that pay freelance writers.
1.)Where was the first place that you traveled that made you think WOW—travel is amazing (think history book come to life or …..)
Our love affair with travel began with a month-long trip to Thailand back in 2009. What was meant to be a final adventure before we moved to London to start our ‘proper, grown-up jobs’ ending up being the catalyst for us eventually leaving the UK to build a life of full-time travel. While we were travelling in Thailand we met people on round-the-world trips, we saw temples and elephants, beautiful beaches, jungles and traffic-choked cities. It’s a cliché, but we really got bitten by the travel bug and returned to the UK with a goal of saving up enough money to leave again on a round-the-world trip. Three years later we did just that and somehow we’re still travelling four years on!
2.)If you had unlimited resources, where would you go and what would you do?
These days we really love to travel slowly and actually live in different parts of the world for six months to a year at a time. So far we’ve spent an academic year living in Hanoi, Vietnam, teaching English and we’re now based in Chiang Mai, Thailand, working online for nine months. We’d love to return to some of our favourite places: New Zealand and New England in the USA and finally explore new regions like South America, more of Eastern Europe and Africa. If we didn’t have any financial constraints we’d probably have a permanent base in London we could return to and we’d spend a few months of every year just volunteering in different locations.
3.)What were you afraid to do and how did you find the courage to overcome it?
I think the scariest part was initially leaving the UK. I remember arriving in New Zealand realising that I didn’t have a home or job to go back to and being terrified. Although we were having an incredible time, for the first year and a half of our journey we were both anxious as our savings slowly drained from our account. We were seriously worried that we’d end up back in the UK broke, living with our parents and unable to find a job. To avoid that we just did what we needed to do to make more money whilst still enjoying adventures abroad. We moved to Hanoi to teach for a year, then we worked in Spain for a while and now we’re building a sustainable income working online so that we can continue combining travel and work.
We use Trail Wallet to track our day-to-day spending and Convert Units and Currency HD to work out prices in different currencies. We also use social sharing apps like Instagram.
5.)What place do you wish more people have seen?
The Philippines, it’s an absolutely beautiful country with wild, untamed scenery and the most incredible rice terraces I’ve ever seen. It does seem to be becoming more of a popular travel destination these days though.
6.)Best advice you have been given and by whom?
I can’t remember where I read/heard this piece of advice but it’s related to writing, and life I suppose: Just Start. If you’re sat in front of a blank screen and are struggling with what to say, just start writing and eventually the words will come. Same goes for travel; just book a ticket and go, you’ll figure out the rest along the way. This can be applied to any ambition or goal in life.
7.)When were you surprised by the kindness of strangers on a trip?
We volunteered with All Hands in Leyte, the Philippines, after typhoon Haiyan in 2014. It was such a humbling experience as we were working in some of the most devastated neighbourhoods which had just been destroyed by huge tidal waves and winds. We were simply moving rubble so that the locals could have clear plots to rebuild on and everyday they’d come out and talk to us, bring us drinks and greet us with smiles. Even though they’d lost practically everything they were willing to offer us their hospitality and had such a positive, resilient take on life.
8.)What inspired you to travel for extended periods of time or live in a new country?
I was, and still am, incredibly inspired by other travel bloggers and people I meet who are just working hard to create their dream lifestyle. I love reading personal stories and watching vlogs from people who’ve moved to the other side of the world or packed up their lives to travel. It gives me the courage to continue living a slightly less ordinary lifestyle, one filled with travel and adventure.
The world is too big and too full of adventures to spend my entire life on one tiny rainy island (sorry UK!).
We’re Amy and Andrew, a British couple currently in the midst of our greatest adventure. In March 2013 we quit our jobs, left our home in London and said goodbye to everyone we know to travel the world indefinitely. Since then we’ve been travelling, volunteering and working our way around the world. To fund our travels we’ve taught English in Vietnam and Spain and we’re now trying to create a sustainable online income through writing, blogging and online teaching. We are currently based in Chiang Mai, Thailand.
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Our next Travel Influencer interview will be up in a week, follow the series here.