Seeing the world, slowly.
Do you ever daydream about quitting your job, pulling up stakes and setting off for the journey of a lifetime? Well, Nicole and Michael did just that.
This Australian couple gave up their careers, sold their possessions and left their ‘conventional’ life behind for a life of travel. They have been living a nomadic life for 14 months and see no end in sight.
They recently launched Suitcase Stories, a website where they share their stories, travel tips and destination guides. Their main goal for this website is to inspire others to travel and to show people how long term travel is not only possible but affordable.
As avid house sitters Nicole and Michael want to share their experience and show others how a life of travel is not only possible but affordable through house sitting.
We were lucky enough to interview them about their travels recently, and hopefully their story will inspire you.
What was the first trip you took together?
Our first trip together was a two-in-one trip; We went to Fiji for 8 nights and then on to Hawaii for another 8 nights. It was also Nicole’s first international trip ever.Not a bad way to start right!
You sold most of your possessions before you took off around the world. What was the hardest thing to give up?
We had no problems with letting go of all our material belongings to be honest. Nicole especially really enjoyed that part; It was a cleansing process, both physically and metaphorically. What was hard however was giving up our two cats. My mother adopted them so we know they are in good hands but they are no longer our cats. Saying goodbye to them was much harder than anything else we had to let go of.
What destination has been your favorite?
For Nicole New York City will always own her heart but there have been other places like Costa Rica and Barcelona that came a very close 2nd and 3rd! For Michael Costa Rica is hands down number one.
What destination is still on your bucket list?
There are too many to list! But one big one is Italy which we will be able to cross off the list in August! Other places that are very high on the list Japan, Egypt and Santorini.
Could you see yourself settling down anywhere? Where?
We are no where near done with our adventure yet but when, and if, we are ever ready to settle down it would be a toss up between NYC, Florida, Barcelona or anywhere with beautiful beaches and great weather!
Do you have any house sitting disaster stories?
No not yet. We have been so lucky with our housesits and haven’t had anything go awry (knock on wood!). But I am sure one day something will happen, that’s life! It will give me something to write a post about!
How often do you travel and how do you choose your destinations?
We have been permanently traveling for 14 months now and see no end in sight. Because we are traveling for an extended period there is no need to stress about where we want to go because we know we will get there eventually. So we sometimes work around house sits, we sometimes work around the weather and then sometimes pick somewhere on the bucket list. There is no real method on how we choose where we are going to go. Sometimes we just pick somewhere on a whim and go!
What are the best parts about traveling as a couple?
We always have someone to talk to and someone to share every experience with. After 14 years we know each other very well so we know when the other person needs some space or quiet time. It helps that we like very similar things so we make very good travel partners.
What are some of the best meals you’ve had while traveling? Any places you’d go back to just for the food?
We both have an addiction to Pad Thai so no matter which country we are in we always search for the best Pad Thai! So far 2 places in Florida, 1 in San Francisco and 1 in Barcelona have had the best! Yes, good enough to go back for! Of course we don’t eat Pad Thai for every meal so I would add Mexico and Barcelona for excellent food!
What’s one place you wish every person could see once in their life?
Costa Rica. We have been here for 3 weeks so far and it is one of the most amazing countries we have been to. I wish more people would travel to Central America because it is amazingly beautiful and nowhere near as unsafe as the media makes it out to be.
What have you learned from traveling, and how do you apply these lessons to life?
In 14 months of non stop travel we have learnt so many things. We have learnt to be patient, tolerant and open minded. We have learnt that dreams CAN come true if you really put your mind to it. We have learnt that there is a big world out there and we want to make sure we see as much of it as we can while are on this earth. We have leant that there is more to life and the 9 – 5 existence and if you are unhappy with your life only you can change it.
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