You Asked, We Answered.
How Many Countries Have You Visited?
Yes, we are shameless country counters. 37 countries visited.
We've also visited several "territories" that don't count as countries. (French Polynesia - Tahiti, Moorea & Bora Bora, St, Martin/St. Marteen, Anguilla, St. Barts, St. Thomas, Barbados, St. John, and Madeira Island) All are islands far removed from the countries that own them. We feel a little ripped off not being able to count them, but then again we feel very lucky to have gotten to visit them. So, we have no real reason to complain.
What Is Your Favorite Country?
That's a very tough question. We love different things about everywhere we're lucky enough to visit.
Favorite Trip: Morocco (Fes, in particular, was amazing)
Favorite Place to Eat: Israel (Jerusalem had amazing food)
Favorite Spot to Relax: Bora Bora (possibly the most beautiful place ever)
Favorite Adventure: Norway (great road trip, first time river rafting, and a close second for most beautiful)
Favorite City: Cairo (the history, the pyramids, standing inside the Great Pyramid, the Sphinx...need we say more?)
Favorite Place to Live: Tie between Barcelona and Copenhagen (great way of life, great people, the whole package)
Favorite Country: France is the one place that stirs up all of the feels. It's all of the little pieces that make this country so unique. The people, the food, the wine, the history, the art, the fashion, the vibe, and the way of life.
When Did You Leave?
We left Los Angeles on July 31, 2016, at 8:55 am. But, we did get to the airport 2 hours early.
How Do You Pick The Next Country?
Due to visa laws, we are restricted to 90-days within a 180-day period in the Schengen area. Most Non-Schengen countries have the same limitation, with the exception of Albania and Georgia which each allow up to a year. This is why we stay in each country we move to for 2-months before moving on.
We bounce between countries to keep our visa status legal. We do lots of research before we make a decision. Our next destination is almost always somewhere we’ve never been before, and we learn as much as we can about what each new country has to offer to decide which is most interesting to us. Since basically, every country has something interesting about it, it sometimes comes down to a coin toss… Literally.
We book an apartment on Airbnb, we look at pet laws, and secure a flight that allows a pet to be in the cabin. We try to learn a few useful phrases in the local language, we learn about the local currency and the exchange rate, and we research neighborhoods to find a place where we won’t need a car to live comfortably. We might still rent a car for the occasional road trip, but we like to walk and explore our neighborhood at a leisurely pace. We also like wine, so we’d prefer to walk home or take a taxi after a nice meal with a couple of bottles of wine.
Danger? Is it safe?
After visiting cities in places like Egypt, Israel, Turkey, and Morocco, we’ve come to the realization that a lot of destinations that are commonly thought of as “a scary place to visit” are almost never as scary as people think they are. Dangerous places do exist, but most of the problems in the world are between governments and that rarely reflects anything about how the people that live there actually feel about you. We find that people are incredibly similar wherever we go and that they all want the same things in life. Shelter, food, good health, friends, and family are the basis for happiness all around the world.
Statistically, most accidents happen in the home, so we're probably safer traveling. Just don’t wander down any dark alleys waving $100 bills around and you’ll probably be fine.
Language Barriers? How Many Languages Do You Speak?
We only speak English well, and some days it feels like we're not even good at that. We know a little French and Spanish. We know "Hello" and "Thank you," in about 20 languages, and a few miscellaneous words/phrases like "Please," "How Much?" and "Where's the bathroom?" in several others. We also use our arms, legs, and our very limited acting/charades skills. We feel like that should also be considered a language 🙂
English is widely spoken throughout Europe. It's very common for people to speak several languages, almost everywhere we've been. That's really made it easy on us.
Are You Rich? How Can You Afford to Travel Full Time?
The road to self-employment really began in 2015. We were working full-time at Disney and our small audio job on the side began to grow into something we absolutely loved to do. We made the decision that we wanted to do this full-time. We ditched the cubicle and edit audio and video full time now. With the occasional website design thrown in, we get by.
Not having bills also radically changed our money habits. We traded car payments, insurance, utilities, cell phone bills, and buying "stuff," for traveling. Rent and food costs are the only expenses that are constant. Also, the rent in almost every place we've lived has been cheaper than living in Los Angeles. It's honestly been cheaper to travel.
What Is One Meal That You’d Make Back Home?
That is a really tough question for people who love food as much as we do. We have tried all sorts of meze from places like Syria, Turkey, Serbia, and Greece. The sweet potato hummus in Bulgaria was insanely good. The Gambas in Budapest, the Vareniki in Kiev, the Langosi in Romania, and the Pastilla in Morocco were all amazing dishes. There were so many great restaurants in so many places. It's impossible to pick a favorite.
But if we could only learn to make one, we would have to say Green Shakshuka. This version can be found in Israeli cafes and restaurants for those who want a change of pace from regular Shakshuka. The color is great, as is the taste - especially with fresh bread on the side.
Any Advice? / I Want To Travel The World.
The best advice we can give you is to stick to a plan and make it happen. Income is always the biggest consideration. Working online is how we do it and there is a lot of work that can be done remotely. Building your own online business is a common way. Learning a new skill and working freelance can be tough but it's doable. Some people get certified and teach English. Some people have sold houses to finance their trip. There are lots of options. You just have to figure out which one is better for you. There is no, "one answer."
Once you are out there you should stay positive, open, and smile a lot. Work hard and play harder. Smiling goes a long way with meeting new friends. We guarantee you that it will change your world! Try local food, learn bits and pieces of the local language and use it every chance you get. You'll fall in love with so many things that you never expected.
Trust people but trust your intuition too. A vast majority of everyone you will ever meet will be good hearted, well meaning people. People are basically the same everywhere you go. Most of the world's problems are between governments and the people we meet seldom hold the same importance on those differnces.
If you have a smartphone then we suggest you download these apps:
- Xe currency
- Google translate
How Long Did It Take To Plan?
Plan? What's a plan?
Seriously though, it took around three months from when the idea was born until we left home. We had already been working online and building up our business for about a year though. After we made the decision, most of our time was spent researching things like visa laws, how to travel with cats,
The only other considerations we had were; what to do with all of our stuff, shutting down utilities, what did we want to bring with us, and how to handle our mail.
The answer: We sold, donated, or gave away all of our stuff. (keeping only a few precious items in a closet at our parent's house) We set cancelations for our utilities for the day we left. We each got to bring one suitcase worth of clothes with us. And for our mail we used OptOutPrescreen.com to remove ourselves from lists sent to credit card and insurance companies, reducing our junk mail. (You have two choices: You can opt out of receiving them for five years or opt out of receiving them permanently.) We went paperless for our credit card bills and forwarded the very little bit of mail we still get to our parent's house.
What Made You Do It? How Did You Make The Decision?
We have always been passionate about traveling. Our whole year revolved around the two weeks of vacation we got from Disney. We knew that we were lucky to have such great jobs, but it didn't allow us enough time for what we loved most, traveling.
Two weeks a year was never going to be enough to see the world. So,
Once our online work load grew to be more than just a "side job," we knew that we would have the financial freedom needed to start traveling full time.
Most Dangerous Thing You’ve Done?
It's not the sexy answer, but Traffic. And, we're not the first travelers to say so. It is hands down the most dangerous thing you're likely to encounter while traveling. There have been many scary instances and crossing the street in Cairo is probably the scariest thing we've done. They won't think twice about hitting you. There is no age limit for drivers, no traffic laws, and free for all only barely describes the chaos that is traffic in Egypt.
There have also been many occasions of being the passenger of insane taxi drivers. In Budapest, Hungary, we found ourselves in the back of a taxi while barreling towards an oncoming truck while trying to pass the car in front of us. We were on the curve of a bridge with nowhere else to go but our driver didn't even hesitate.
In Sofia, Bulgaria, our taxi driver almost crashed into two cop cars while trying to talk to us about "rock and roll bands" that he liked. He spent more time looking at us in the back seat than he did the road. He would call out, "Led Zeppelin!" "Black Sabbath!" "AC/DC!" while we all enthusiastically agreed about how great they were. It's also very possible that he was drunk.