We’ve been writing our blog and sharing our journey with you for a while now (over 2 years in fact – cray!) so we thought it would be fun to divulge some stuff about us that you may not know…ooh how intriguing!
We’ve put together 16 things you may not know about The Freedom Travellers…that’s us! We thought you might find some extra info about us interesting, but we’ll let you guys be the judge of that…
16 Things You May Not Know About The Freedom Travellers
EB: I’ve missed 20+ flights
Most people freak out about this (including Vic) but I’m a super relaxed traveller and learned quickly that sometimes things don’t always go as planned. Over the years I’ve missed SO many flights it would be hard to give you an exact count. But, I truly believe if you have a positive attitude when things go wrong (like missing your flight) there will always be people who want to help you out.
How have I managed to miss so many flights? You name it…I’ve done it. Turned up on the wrong day. Looked at the arrival time not the departure time. Rocked up at the wrong airport. Got mixed up between am and pm time (that one wasn’t my fault!). Got stuck in traffic. Delayed at LAX airport (worst airport EVER!). Sitting in the airport bar and didn’t hear my flight get called. Sitting at the wrong gate.
I’ve experience it all when it comes to missing flights but believe it or not, I’ve never incurred any charges to get me on the next flight! A friendly smile and a good attitude can go a long way in those situations.
EB: To Roll or to fold…that is the question?
I don’t believe in either rolling or folding when packing my suitcase. The only packing technique I live by is starting my journey with plenty of space in my bag. This drives Victoria bonkers, but I don’t like the stress of trying to squeeze everything into my bag as we travel. In fact, I hate it! OCD much? Perhaps. But I know what I like and a full bag ain’t one of those things.
EB: I never pre-check in
I refuse to use the online check-in services that airlines like you to use. I love checking in at the counter and chatting to the staff. And yes, every time I check in I ask for a complimentary upgrade. If you don’t ask you don’t get, right?! Up to this point though, it’s never worked. However I have scored myself bulkhead seats and even an extra seat to spread out on a bunch of times. It’s only a matter of time before complimentary business class seats are ours. I’m looking at you Qantas! 😉
EB: A bottle of gin changed our lives
We always get asked how we started The Freedom Travellers, so we thought we’d share the story with you. The idea for our blog came to life on a one-month trip around Sri Lanka. One night up in the mountains of Ella surrounded by tea fields there was a power cut. Vic and I were drinking duty-free gin and brainstormed what we wanted our lives to look like. A bottle of gin later The Freedom Travellers was born…and we’ve never looked back.
EB: Almost got arrested (twice!) in Times Square
I was living in Vermont in the USA when my mates and I decided to drive down to New York for New Years Eve. Unlike partying on NYE in Sydney, the New York police frown upon drinking in the streets. In fact, you WILL get arrested if you get caught doing it. With a bottle of champagne in hand the cops picked me out pretty quickly. My problem was, I’d had a few drinks before they got to me so I was hardly inconspicuous. I was pretty cheeky to them and played the Aussie card. To be fair, I really didn’t know I couldn’t drink on the streets. Luckily, my mates were a bit more sober than me and worked out a deal to keep me out of jail for the night. One of the cops was open to some free private ski lessons at the mountain we worked at so we managed to sweeten the deal and keep me outta handcuffs!
EB: Gave up alcohol January 1, 2015
Oh the irony of this one. Yes our blog was started over a bottle of gin but after travelling for more than 9 months in 2014, we decided to quit the booze altogether. After nine months of travelling we’d consumed a sh*tload of poolside cocktails, lunchtime beers on the beach and party time shots. The combination of booze and indulging in a little too much in local cuisine while on the road, coupled with the lack of exercise, meant we’d stacked on a few extra kilos. Committing to a new healthier lifestyle helped me drop over 10+ kilos in 2015. Oh yeah, and to date we still haven’t had a drink!
EB: I’m a little bit OCD
This should actually read Victoria thinks I’m a bit OCD when it comes to packing…and a few other things too. I never realised I had weird packing techniques until I started travelling with Vic.
I like my things packed in a certain way and I like to know where each item is, so I pack them in the same place every trip. Now she knows my packing so well she can pull out any item in seconds because she knows without asking exactly where I would have put it. OCD, maybe, but it makes for stress free travelling if you ask me!
EB: I was a snowboard instructor
I’m an avid snowboarder and love travelling around the world to ride some fresh pow pow! Back in the day I worked as a snowboard instructor in the USA at a resort called Mount Snow. Original name eh?!
My plan was to ride/work in the northern hemisphere winters and then save hard in summer. However at the end of my first season as an instructor I had a bad snowboarding accident and ended up in hospital and unable to walk. Broke, unemployed and bed ridden I ditched chasing the winter dream to headed home to Australia.
EB: I’ve always wanted to own a Hostel
Like every backpacker, I’ve always dreamed of owning my own hostel. In 2008 I saved a stack of cash and started scouting out suitable locations. My good mate Cain was keen to jump on board and invest too.
After finding a couple of hostels that were keen to sell I started the initial negotiations. During that time though I was offered a corporate job. I said yes to the job and now, eight years later, I still haven’t purchased the hostel.
Perhaps The Freedom Travellers will be branching out into hostel ownership in 2016?! Watch this space!
EB: I cycled from China to Cambodia
After reading a book about a guy named Steve who walked around the world, I decided to buy a bike and cycle through Asia. For three months I rode my bicycle from China down through Vietnam and into Cambodia. Hands down one of my best off-the-beaten track travel experiences I’ve ever had.
Vic and I are keen to cycle through Burma, and are planning a walking trip through Turkey. Nothing better than doing things that are out of the ordinary when travelling. That’s when you have the best experiences…guaranteed!
VM: Reality TV Stars in China
As you may have read here on the blog, we rocked up to China at Christmas only to discover that we were going to be starring in a travel related TV show to air in Hong Kong and China. Needless to say it was a surprise but we totally rolled with the situation and ended up having a blast. You can read about the full experience and watch our TV debut here. 72 Hours as Reality TV Stars
VM: Travelled the world as a toddler
Before I was even 4 years old my parents had moved around quite a bit. I was born over in the USA where we lived for a couple of years. After that we lived in Dubai for a short time before returning to the UK. I guess knowing that I had travelled from a very young age made me want to see the world even more when I got older. As such I’ve lived in 5 countries in total and have travelled extensively over the past 7 years in particular. I can’t see that slowing down and I know when we have kids I want them to see as much of the world as possible!
VM: I’m a personal development junkie
Well, we both are really. Personal development has been a HUGE part of why we stepped out of our corporate jobs to pursue a life of freedom and choice. I am constantly reading books, listening to podcasts and we attend a heap of events where we always meet amazing people who end up being great friends. In fact, it was one of our great friends and mentors, David T. S Wood who inspired us to think differently when it came to travelling. You’ll get to learn more about that in our upcoming book, How To Quit Your Job and Travel The World! Sign up for updates so you’re the first to hear about it here!
VM: I moved to Australia
Yes, I’m a Brit. I spent most of my adult life under a rain cloud in the UK…it can be a pretty dreary place but it’s still home. The first time I travelled to Australia back in 2005, I wasn’t in the right headspace to move here, BUT, it was arriving in Sydney for the first time at the very end of that trip that made me think I might want to come back for an extended period. Deep down I knew I wanted to live and work here, I just didn’t know when or how that was going to happen. In 2009 I left the UK to travel for a year, made it to Australia again and never went home.
Australia is the most incredible country. The quality of life here is just epic and I am so grateful that l now get to call this place home.
VM: I lived in Papua New Guinea for a year
Now before this happened, I’ll admit I had absolutely no clue where Papua New Guinea was. A quick Google search would have me reading some pretty scary sh*t and the prospect of living in PNG didn’t fill me with joy. That said, circumstance got me over there where I lived and worked for a year in a place called Lae. Papua New Guinea has its challenges, sure, but the place is absolutely stunning and there is so much natural beauty there. I did the best scuba diving of my life up in Madang! One dive was at the wreck site of a B25 Bomber shot down by the Japanese in the war. Just incredible! If you ever get the chance to visit PNG, do it. There are some amazing treks you can do as well as surfing and of course diving.
VM: Recently became vegetarian
We recently made the decision to cut out meat and fish from our diet. Why? Well we love a good doco and we’d been doing a lot of research into diet and nutrition, which had us questioning the need for meat and dairy. But it wasn’t the diet side of things or even the animal cruelty factor that lead us to this decision. It was the impact of agriculture on our planet. We made this choice based on education; it wasn’t an overnight decision as we’d been reducing our meat intake quite a bit last year. If you’re interested to learn more about why we went vego, watch Cowspiracy.
So there you have them, 16 things you may not know about The Freedom Travellers!