One year of Life Itinerant
Hello there, Happy Anniversary!
It's been one year since we started our blog - Life Itinerant, and 745 days since we began our journey travelling around the world. I thought there was no better time then now to answer some of the questions we get asked the most.
What made you decide to drop everything and go?
Both Dean and I did not feel fulfilled by our jobs and wanted to pursue something different. In fact, we both had little idea what we actually wanted to do, but we knew we didn't want to do jobs we didn't like while we figured it out. So we wrapped up our lives in Australia and looked for opportunities that would allow us to travel.
Why did you decide to teach English in South Korea?
Great question. Teaching in South Korea pays well and provides good benefits, like reimbursed airfares, housing and insurance. It is only a one hour time difference from our homes in Australia and it's really cheap and easy to travel to most of East Asia and South East Asia from Korea. If you want to know more about why we chose to teach in South Korea I've written an entire article about which you can read here.
How did you find your job in South Korea?
We actually found our job before we left Australia. This made sense for us as we did not want to depart without first insuring we would have an income. We looked for schools that fit with the kind of life we wanted and applied. Actually, we only applied fully and directly for one school and that's the job that we got so it worked out well. We have an article with our top tips for landing your teaching gig in South Korea, or really anywhere in Asia, which you can check out here.
If you had to choose one, what would be your favourite destination from this year?
Oh that's a tough one and it will inevitably vary for Dean and I. I will start by saying, we have been incredibly lucky to visit all of the places we have this year, 12 countries in total. My highlight would have to be Ecuador, specifically the Galapagos Islands. For one, it's hard to get to so not many people go, the wildlife is phenomenal, the diving is off the hook (I dived with hammerheads) it's something I will never forget.
For Dean it was Cusco, an environment so different to anything he had ever experienced before. It is a highest altitude city, situated at 3,399 metres above sea level, and he found it surprising that people had adapted to living that high. Whilst we were in the city there was an enormous clown parade, which we followed, and it added a different perspective to the original feel. We were also lucky enough to be there for the harvest, another larger parade came through the town and we were able to see traditional costumes unabridged, complete with embalmed baby llamas. We also hiked the Classic Inca Trail, read about that here.
What's on the top of your bucket list for next year?
I have a list about a mile long at this point and no matter how many places I visit the list just gets longer and longer. Right now, though Egypt is at the top, as it has been for quite a few years. In Turin Italy, we visited the Egyptian museum which has the largest collection of Egyptian artefacts, including an entire reconstructed tomb. It gave me the incentive to reprioritise and for once this is something Dean and I are in complete accord with - it's also top of his bucket list. I think it's going to happen next year, finally
How do you afford to travel?
It's no surprise that you need some money to travel, that's why we moved to South Korea. It was too far and too expensive to travel from Australia and the cost of living is quite high in Australia. We were able to save a lot of our money we earned whilst teaching but we do things on the cheap. We have 'worked' in exchange for room and board, we take the cheapest transport, eat cheaply and stay for free or in Air BnB or in hostels. To travel further you have to be prepared to save money where you can. That doesn't mean we don't do the things we want - we still dive, sightsee, and enjoy our experiences, it's all about prioritisation.
Do you have any plans to settle down/return to Australia?
This is one question we get asked a lot! I see it as a two part question. The first in regards to settling down? I feel no desire to 'settle down' in the conventional sense. I still want to travel, though after what will be soon 10 months on the road, I do want to have a home base for a while. I don't, however, want a conventional job or want to live in the same place forever. The second part, returning to Australia, we are going to Australia for 2 months from January to March to visit family and friends. It will be the first time back in 2.5 years and we are excited to see what has changed and also enjoy the Australian summer.
What's next for you and for Life Itinerant?
Excitingly, as of March 2018 we planning the move to the UK to explore more of the northern hemisphere. We have no idea where or how long we will be there but that's the nature of our game right now. Life Itinerant will continue to catalogue our experiences and we hope to provide you with much more useful information and many more laughs. We have many more stories to write.
Finally, thanks to everyone who has been with us on our journey so far. Whether you have met up with us, visited us, or kept abreast of our adventures from the comfort of your home, thank you. We hope you will continue to enjoy our exploits as much as we do!
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