They say that it’s better to travel while single, young, and able, since it will be virtually impossible once you’re married and have already set down roots in one place. In fact, backpacking is a common thing among young professionals nowadays. Some even give up their stressful and hectic day jobs to heed the call of wanderlust. Whenever we see travel photos of a young couple lounging lazily in an exotic beach somewhere in the Caribbean, or drinking artisanal coffee in a posh cafe somewhere in Eastern Europe posted online, we cannot help but feel a pang of jealousy for their laid-back life.
What we do not know and see however, are the struggles these travelers face, for not every trip is as peachy as it looks in social media.
This is the story of South African couple Chanel Cartell and Stevo Dirnberger’s adventures.
Chanel and Stevo decided to quit their jobs, sell their things, and start an adventure across the globe.
0km // Johannesburg // South Africa The day has come. Our year-long adventure is about to kick off. We have quit our jobs, sold our stuff and packed our lives up into 4 bags (one of them being a tiny backpack mostly filled with camera gear – what else do we need!?) Next stop Abu Dhabi. Follow our story >> link to blog in profile. #howfarfromhome
The couple worked in advertising firms before deciding to quit their jobs in lieu of travelling across the globe and finding out how far they can travel from their home. Their travel blog, entitled, “Far From Home”, narrates the beautiful adventures they’ve been to using breathtaking photos. Looking at their blog filled with such beautiful sceneries all around the world, one would assume that all is well with their travels. However, what the couple wants to let their followers know is that there are a lot of things in between their trips that they don’t share to the world.
Their travel blog and Instagram account are rife with photos of beautiful sceneries
13 317km // North Cape // Norway The final destination of our road trip and the reason we left Alta was this – 71 degrees North, the North Cape and the most northern tip of Europe. Good guess @lisee_mariee and thank you @stefandahlqvist for this shot. Follow our story >> link to blog in profile. #howfarfromhome
In a recent blog post, the couple shared their thoughts about their travels. While they do experience a lot of amazing things in their journey, they also have to work hard for the money they spend. According to Chanel,
So far, I think we’ve tallied 135 toilets scrubbed, 250 kilos of cow dung spread, 2 tons of rocks shovelled, 60 metres of pathway laid, 57 beds made, and I cannot even remember how many wine glasses we’ve polished.”
From working in advertising, the couple now do manual labor – toilet cleaning, dog poop scooping, grocery store merchandising, and shoveling rock – just to have enough money to get by. There were even some instances where they had to sacrifice necessities, hours of sleep, and nutrition just to fund their travels.
To fund their journey, the couple do manual labor such as toilet cleaning, rock shoveling, and dog poop scooping
17 434km // Copenhagen // Denmark We were fortunate enough to visit previous Design Indaba speaker, René Redzepi's Noma today. Surreal doesn't begin to explain the experience. It was one of the most inspiring places we've ever been, and to meet the talented chefs who create these sensory masterpieces was truly such an honour. Follow our story >> link to blog in profile. #howfarfromhome #DITakeOver #HFFH_takesover
The couple, however, reiterated that they have no regrets. According to them, the experiences they had helped them learn how to react and adapt to what is thrown their way. Living out of their comfort zone meant new challenges which inspired them creatively. Their relatively free lifestyle also allowed them to explore nature’s beauty while meditating.
If you think about the wonders you can experience while travelling, then probably the thought of doing manual labor in exchange for it wouldn’t sound so bad. As the couple said, “There’s nothing quite like swapping million rand advertising budgets for toilet scrubbing to teach you about humility, life, and the importance of living each day as if it were your last”.
10 018km // Berlin // Germany Last night we reached our 10 000km milestone, and thought we'd celebrate with a silly photo strip from one of Berlin's Photomats. These photoboxes look dodgy on the outside (which we love) and are scattered all over the city. Time to explore! Follow our story >> link to blog in profile. #howfarfromhome
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