“Two Girls. One Globe. No Regrets! German-American couple traveling the world and working from a hammock as often as possible since May 2010.”
1.Combined you are a freelance travel editor, writer, and photographer. It is the dream job. Why do you think you made it a successful career when so many others fail?
That’s a tough question to start with! J Before we started GlobetrotterGirls.com, we had experience working together with some large travel brands doing writing and editing, so it was a natural progression to move this onto our own website, and then expand this into a place to showcase not only the writing and photography, but to really provide our own tips and experiences to our own readers.
2.What is globetrottergirls.com aim?
We put boots on the ground and explore even into the nooks and crannies of each destination we visit and report back to our readers in the form of destination travel advice, hotel tips, loads of photographs and our own travel reflections about life on the road. We like to say that we make all the mistakes, so you don’t have to!
3.Does the rush ever fade when you get to experience all these things but then have to sit down and write it all down?
Absolutely. This is mostly because there are so many days we would consider to be incredible experiences with this lifestyle, so if we don’t sit down and at least make some notes right away, it is hard to conjure up those same feelings when it comes time to actually publish articles about the experience – since we’ve already moved on to the next exciting thing.
4.What and where were you both working as before you departed on your trip in 2010?
I was working as a travel writer and editor, and Dani was, and still is, a HR consultant. We have both taken our careers on the road with us.
5.Where do you sleep every night?
The majority of the time, we sleep in hotels. This varies from hostels and guest houses to some very luxurious digs. Increasingly, we are doing a lot more housesitting, which means that we sleep in some very comfortable homes around the world caring for a house and usually pets while the owners are away on holiday. This has been a great way to have a sense of home while staying on the road.
6.Does it get tiresome not having a permanent home and a permanent group of friends around?
It definitely does get tiring to keep up a lifestyle of constant travel, sure. However, we have found ways to control for this, including the house-sitting as we mentioned above. We have done housesits for three, four and even six weeks at a time, which allows us to get into a routine and maintain a calmer lifestyle. Although we do get tired, the buzz of discovering new cities, countries and experiences really keeps us energized as well, which means that by the end of those week-long stints at housesitting we are ready to get out and start travelling again.
7.What is the best thing you have done since leaving, or top 10 at least?!
A few things come to mind…J Swimming with sharks in Belize, a month-long road trip from New York to New Orleans; eating pizza every day in Tuscany; volcano boarding in Nicaragua; cruising through the backwaters of Kerala, India on a private houseboat; discovering a gorgeous deserted beach on a Cambodian island; living on the beach for a month in Playa del Carmen, Mexico; hiking in the Cameron Highlands, Malaysia; cycling through ancient temples in Sukothai, Thailand; and climbing to the top of Mayan temples in Tikal, Guatemala.
8.How are you making the income to allow you to continue this on a permanent basis?
A portion of our income is generated through our website. Dani still does freelance work in the Human Resources sector on the road, and I’m actually looking to launch a company within the next three months myself, so this is definitely exciting times!
9.Do you have an upcoming plan of where to go next etc, or is it more a take each day as it comes lifestyle?
Our plans take shape slowly as we travel. We start to dream up ideas of where we could go in a couple of months, and from there we start to sort of obsess over one or two of those locations, until eventually we are looking for cheap airfare. Sometimes, in the middle of obsessing over one location, however, an opportunity to housesit somewhere completely unrelated will arise, and all of a sudden we are heading somewhere entirely unexpected instead!
10.Where have you been so far?
We started in Las Vegas in May 2010, road tripped through California and Arizona and then headed to Mexico. From there it was Belize, Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Panama, then on to Germany, Italy, Spain, France, Portugal, then over to Canada, back through the U.S., then Thailand, Laos, Malaysia, Cambodia, Singapore, India and now back to the U.S. before we spend two months on the Yucatan Peninsula in Mexico.
11.How long do you spend in each place and is there a reason for this?
There is really no set amount of time. Sometimes we take on the role of backpackers, spending a few nights in each place before moving on. Other times, especially during the housesits but not necessarily, we spent two, three, even six weeks in one place. The longer we stay somewhere, the more effectively we are able to work and the more fast-paced the travel is, the more adventurous and exciting life feels again.
12.Where are you now? Where to next?
We are housesitting in Arizona, and we head shortly to Colorado for a wedding before housesitting for two months in Mexico.
13.Do you both still consider America and Germany home? How long has it been since you have been there?
That’s a really hard question. We both struggle a bit with the whole idea of national identity. I haven’t lived full time in America since 2001, having spent long stints in Central America, Germany and the UK. Dani had lived abroad quite a bit before we met and then spent four years with me in England. When we are around people from home, we feel as though we never left, but we both also feel so comfortable abroad, that it’s hard to feel like we are really ‘from’ anywhere anymore.
14.Have you discovered anything about human kind worth noting on your travels?
Absolutely! With the exception of a few scammy situations in Thailand, we have really witnessed that humans are good. People want to help you; they want to get to know you. It sounds idealistic I suppose, but in general, as long as your approach is one of curiosity and respect, people show that right back to you.
15.I assume with all this travelling you have to pack light. What is in your suitcase?
Ha! We have learned that packing ‘light’ is a relative term. We both travel with a large backpack and a day pack, but some of our fellow nomad friends literally have no more than one large daypack for all of their belongings. Of all the travelers we have met, our bags are on the heavy side, but we carry what we need to live comfortably. Clothes, shoes, sandals, jackets, traveler’s towel, I have a yoga mat; Dani carries a set of camping dishes which we really use often!
16.Is there a certain path you follow in each new destination of the things you want to do – eg: googling tourist things to do or asking the locals?
Great question. We definitely use guidebooks to get an overview of a destination, along with our personal favorite travel site – wikitravel.org. From there we get an idea of the main attractions, the neighborhoods, hotel and restaurant tips. At that point, we usually leave the rest to discover on foot once we get there, plus we love using Foursquare to check out tips that locals and fellow travellers leave in order to make the most of our experience.
17.Do you ever revisit the same place?
At first we didn’t, we kept pushing ahead. Then we fell in love with a little town in Mexico and made sure to revisit it shortly before leaving the country for good in 2010. We’ve also revisited Chiang Mai in Thailand, Tucson, AZ and Mexico, again – all three of those are due to great housesitting opportunities we have had in each location.
18.Is there an end point to this life of constant travel?
There is an end-point, definitely. But I think for us, it’s never going to be from one day to the next. Instead, we will continue to slow down until we eventually stop. We already know that we want to spend longer periods of time in certain places with shorter stints of backpacking in between, and then eventually, I suppose, we’ll finally settle somewhere.
19.What was the deciding point to finally pack up and leave?
Factors from all different parts of our lives came together to make us realize we had to do this. I was working freelance and would sit in our kitchen in London and think, I could be ANYWHERE right now doing this, and I am just sitting in my apartment. Then Dani quit her job and started working freelance for her former boss and it was like, hey, we BOTH could be anywhere right now. After a bit of dreaming of where we ‘would’ go, it quickly turned in to where we ‘will’ go…and then we did!
20. Why do you think people should travel?
It’s hard to answer this question without employing every sweeping travel cliché…mostly because they tend to be true. I’ll try anyway: Travel helps put the world into perspective and helps you to better visualize the actual size of any problem you feel you are having in the grand scheme of things. It helps you become a more flexible, adaptable person and allows you to ‘try on’ dozens, even hundreds, of different lifestyles, from fast-paced Manhattan types or rice farmers in Cambodia to Costa Rican surfers or Bed & Breakfast owners in Tuscany. Most importantly, faced with the challenges, the highs and lows, and when all the external elements of your life continue to change, you learn who you truly are on the inside. That’s probably been the best part of this whole lifestyle for me…oh, and snorkeling with sting rays and nurse sharks in Belize…and discovering our love of Lisbon…and bathing elephants in Thailand…and…and…and…
Follow Globetrottergirls: website