Everyone has a story to tell.
This is ours…
Hey, we’re Carlo & Florence, the faces behind Next Stop Who Knows & this is our story.
We’re both from a small town called Boyle in the west of Ireland and we’ve been together for almost 14 years.
Unlike a lot of people that travel as much as we do now, travel isn’t something that was ingrained in us from when we were young.
We never dreamed of going to far-flung places with nothing but a small backpack.
We never talked about seeing the Taj Mahal in person and we weren’t one bit envious of those who had trekked to Macchu Picchu.
We were quite happy to go on a 2-week trip once a year to a resort where we could put our feet up and relax before returning to the grey and rainy sky in Ireland until the next holiday came around.
But that all changed…
…in the Summer of 2005, when Carlo, who had booked a trip to Vegas before we started seeing each other, went on the solo trip of a lifetime to sin city.
He spent 10 days in Vegas and came home a different (and a much poorer!) man.
There was a spark in him that wasn’t there before he left home on that trip. His eyes came alive when he raved about the desert landscape, the bustling nightlife, the different people he met and the great experiences he had.
Carlo enjoying himself on the solo trip that changed it all!
He caught the travel bug and he started to talk move about travelling, but not the kind we’d previously done.
From that moment on, the resort-type holiday was pushed by the wayside and, in its place, we started to take longer trips to places where we could be a little more adventurous and not put our feet up for days on end.
Our First Big Trip
I, of course, agreed so we researched where we’d go, how we’d get work, and what we’d need to do to make the trip a success. Three weeks later and we had flights booked and our families told that we were going to Africa for 3 months!
Once they got over the shock (Facebook wasn’t mainstream back then so they thought they’d never hear from us again!), they wished us well and we were on our way.
So we spent Jan-April 2009 travelling and doing volunteer work in Tanzania, Kenya, Uganda and Rwanda.
It was (and still is) one of the best but most difficult travel experiences we’ve had and it was these 3 months that changed everything for us.
The feeling of freedom.
The feeling of every day being a new day that would bring a new adventure.
The feeling of meeting new people for the first time.
The feeling of wonderment when learning about new cultural differences that we never knew existed.
The feeling of being independent.
The feeling of realising just how privileged we are to be born in the Western world.
Those feelings became everything and we knew that travel was going to play a bigger part in our lives.
The Beginning of Next Stop Who Knows
We figured that it would be great to give ‘dear-diary’ style updates on what we were doing and how we were getting on.
We loved writing these entries and our families and friends loved getting to see our photos and hear about our adventures (remember, this was all pre-Facebook!).
I stopped blogging after we came home from Africa but Carlo kept his going.
And it was his little seed of a blog that was sewn in 2008 that, after migrating it from blogger over to WordPress and giving it a new name, evolved into Next Stop Who Knows.
So What Happened After Africa & How Did We Make The Transition To Travelling Full-time?
Our dream was to be able to take trips whenever and wherever we wanted without having to worry about spending our savings. Photo Location: Bali
We were young and we figured why not do the things we loved NOW when we can?
If we have no responsibilities to keep us at home in Ireland, what was stopping us from having the freedom to travel and the freedom to choose how we spend our day instead of someone else telling us what to do from 9AM every Monday to 6PM every Friday?
The answer was money.
Making Money Online
We’d give up going out with friends, stop going to the cinema, stop buying clothes and work as much as we could for a few months so we could save enough money for our next trip.
It worked but it wasn’t a long-term solution and I was tired of having to come home with great memories but an empty bank account.
So we knew we had to find another solution. A solution that would allow us to travel AND make money.
As neither of us had any skills or experience when it came to making money online, teaching English in Thailand seemed like our only viable option.
But it didn’t seem like a good fit because although we’d be living in Thailand, we’d still be under contract and we wouldn’t get to enjoy the freedom that comes with having the flexibility to live and work from wherever we wanted to.
We had to find another way.
Figuring It All Out
…tasked Carlo with that job!
He researched a tonne of different options from filling out surveys and email marketing to support staff and freelance writing.
It was the latter that grabbed his attention and, after figuring out that we could make money online by writing articles for different companies with no experience required, we booked tickets on a one-way flight to Thailand with the intention of making a business out of it.
And that’s exactly what we did!
Fast forward 5 years and we now have a team of writers who write for us while we spend our time getting more clients on board and growing our other businesses.
Taking the leap and leaving on a one-way ticket with no idea of whether we’d succeed or not was scary but we figured the worst thing that could possibly happen would be to fail and have one hell of an adventure in Thailand whilst doing it.
That’s not so bad, right?
Cafes Have Become Our Office
What’s Next Stop Who Knows About Today?
We also document how we’ve managed to create a lifestyle that allows us to travel wherever and whenever we want whilst making more money than we could ever make working in our old jobs back home.
We do this in the hope that we can inspire others who are looking to live a similar lifestyle to take the leap and achieve their own goals.
How Many Countries Have We Been To?
We’ve been travelling full-time for almost 6 years and we’ve been to 66 countries.
Where Are We Now?
On an epic backpacking trip through the Middle East and Eastern Europe. You can follow our adventures over on Instagram to see what we’re up to.
Let’s Talk About You!
Feel free to browse our site and contact us via email if you don’t find the answers that you’re looking for.
Carlo & Florence
P.S. If we haven’t bored your socks off and you still want to know more about us, we’ve got all of the insider goss when it comes to how much money we actually make and what it takes to travel and work online for as long as we have OVER HERE.