This week for the Travel Tales interview I chatted with another Irish couple who like ourselves left Ireland on a one way ticket, and have a craving for travel and adventure. Brian and Noelle have some great stories and insights about life on the travel road.
Tell us where you’re from, and a little about your blog?
We are from Ireland, Brian from Cork and Noelle from Thurles, Co. Tipperary. Our blog is full of stories, photos and videos from our travels over the last few years. We also give travel tips and advice to help and inspire other would-be travellers.
You’ve been travelling for quite some time now, where did you start your journey, and where are you currently?
We had both done some travelling separately before we met and started doing a few trips around Ireland and short trips around Europe while we were in university. In August 2009 we left Ireland on a one way ticket to South Korea to work as English teachers. After backpacking through India, Nepal, Sri Lanka and Sumatra for the last fourteen months we ran out of money and are currently back in Korea saving and planning for the next big trip.
You’ve stayed in some cool spots along your travels – which one stands out the most for you?
Oh, wow, there have been so many, it’s hard to choose just one. If we had to narrow it down, on our way back down from the Everest Base Camp we opted to hike back to Jiri, the first town with a bus to Kathmandu, rather than fly from Lukla. There was this one pass we stayed at the top of with a local family, we ate dinner with them, sat around their fire and played with the children. Sitting in the middle of nowhere, high up in the Himalayas with the rain beating down on the roof of this simple little family home, that was a special experience.
Is there any country you’ve not yet visited that’s a must see destination for you?
There are a lot. We’re thinking a lot about Central Asia at the moment, ‘the Stans’!
What first made you want to travel?
Travelling is something that’s always appealed to both of us. Watching documentaries as kids, the world always seemed like such a big place. Neither of us are very ‘career minded’ but travelling is something which we are both passionate about and want to spend our lives doing.
If you had to choose your favourite destination so far, what would it be and why?
As far as countries go, India would probably be our favourite so far. It’s an incredibly diverse place, from the Himalayas in the north to the beaches in the south, huge bustling cities to quiet rural villages and all the incredible cultural aspects, it ticks every box. It can be challenging at times which we enjoyed and the food, did we mention the food? So good!!
Name two personal items that you can’t live without while travelling?
Camera and laptop. Photography is a big interest of both of ours and so carrying a camera is really important to us, there’s always something cool to take pictures of. The laptop to store photos on, get on wifi when we can and watch movies when we want to just chill out for an evening.
What’s your most epic travel story to date?
We’ve been lucky enough to have some amazing experiences while we’ve been travelling. Spending 23 days non-stop hiking in the Everest region, driving a motorbike out to the remote Pangong Tso on the India/China border, sleeping in open huts in the Borneo Jungle, meeting tribes in East Timor, diving sunken World War 2 wrecks in the Philippines, eating scorpions in Beijing and hiking Mount Kerinci, the highest volcano in Indonesia, to name a few. It’s been a crazy few years!
Is there one post on your blog that you prefer over all the rest? If so, then why?
There isn’t really one that stands out for us, each post brings back different memories from our travels and each one is equally important to us.
Was there a specific moment when you realised that travel was a lifestyle you wanted to pursue?
When we moved to Korea we realised that a travelling lifestyle was it for us. Teaching English always seemed like a great way to travel and work at the same time, in our first year we were in Bali, the Philippines, Borneo, the Philippines again and we went back home to visit family for Christmas and all the while we were living in Korea, a culture so different to our own, totally immersing ourselves in it and travelling all over the country to see what Korea had to offer. That first year was a real eye opener for us and now we are really focused on trying to make an income online so we can travel freely and bring work with us, that’s the dream, or to win the Lottery!
What motivates you to keep travelling, and do you have days where you think a more settled life back home is more attractive?
The world is a huge place and because of our travelling style where we travel slowly, we know it will take a lifetime to even get close to seeing the places and having the experiences that we want. That’s where our motivation lies, we want to see the world, we could buy a round the world ticket and have ‘seen the world’ but that’s not how we like to approach to it. As for settling down, it’s a scary thought and seems so definite, maybe we will have a base to travel from someday, we have no idea where or when that will be, but right now we just want to travel as much we possibly can for as long as we possibly can.
Connecting with locals can be one of the most rewarding things about travel. Do you agree?
100%. Doing things on a local level when you travel is what it’s all about. Eating at local restaurants, taking local transport and so on, gives you much more of an insight into how the people of the country live. It gives you more opportunities to meet ‘real people’ and not just the tour guides or guesthouse owners. These are always the most rewarding experiences for us.
In order to sustain a life of travel, you need to have some sort of income stream. How have you funded your travels?
Our income to this point has been through teaching English. Teach, save, travel, that’s been the name of the game until now but we are looking into other avenues so we can maybe work online. That would be ideal for us and would afford us the opportunity to travel continuously, which is what we want.
What are your travel plans for the future?
Right now, we’re planning on a trip to Vietnam, we’re looking into a trip to Japan in the new year, Mongolia and one more undecided destination, maybe Taiwan. Once we finish up in Korea we have China, Central Asia, the Middle East and Central Asia, we’ll have to wait and see what happens!
Favourite travel quote?
It might not be a travel quote specifically but “Don’t put off til tomorrow what you can do today” is something that holds true when travelling or when thinking about travel, just go do it!
Brian and Noelle are an Irish couple set out to explore new places, have amazing adventures and live a life of travel! They have built their lives around the idea of visiting as many countries and experiencing as many different cultures as they can. Through their website they share their travel stories, photos and tips with you as they continue wandering on.
Website URL: http://www.WanderingOn.com
Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/WanderingOn
Twitter name: http://www.twitter.com/wanderingon_bn