Ah! I’ve been so excited about sharing these guys with you for quite a while now! Meet Allison and Eric, one of the most inspirational couples I have yet to talk to and read about. They blog and vlog, so you absolutely have to check out their YouTube channel as well as their site. You’ll be jealous and fall in love at the same time!
Here are some recommended posts: Exploring Epic Game of Thrones City in Croatia, Why West Texas Should be your Next Vacation Destination and Nine Travel Tips you Probably Haven’t Heard Before.
Tell us a little bit about yourself…
We’re Allison and Eric, a husband-and-wife duo who left our 9-5s in search of adventure.
We were living in San Francisco, where I worked in recruiting for an online clothing company while Eric was running a tech company that he co-founded. We’d both been working at our gigs for a few years and had been in the same tiny apartment for over 5 years. We’d gotten caught up in the routine of going to work, hitting up happy hour with coworkers, and watching Netflix with our cats on the couch after dinner. Suddenly we realized that we weren’t really living life. Instead, life was living us.
Looking back, we’d been restless for a while and tried filling the unsettled feelings with hobbies – I worked out and cooked a lot and Eric worked on side projects. We even got into building furniture in our tiny studio (which was typically more of a hassle than a hobby) in order to fill our time with something productive.
Then it hit us. We were trying to stay busy because it gave us less time to think about how our life had become something we just weren’t that excited about.
So, we made the decision to hit the road, and two months later we were on a one-way flight out of CA. We’ve been nomads for about 8 months now and are absolutely loving it!
I still work out and cook a lot and Eric still has his side projects, but now we do them in places like Germany, Croatia and Denmark and wherever else we want to! 🙂
What inspired you to travel?
We started taking French lessons a few years ago in San Francisco and shortly after took our first big international trip to England and France to put our skills to the test. It was truly eye-opening for us, and not just because we realized our French was just terrible. But we both realized there’s so much more world out there to explore! So many people living their lives in ways so different and yet so similar to ours – we were just blown away!
I’m not sure why we never thought to travel outside of North America before that trip, but I’m glad we finally did because it’s definitely what sparked the travel itch.
What’s on your bucket list?
Oh gosh, where do we begin?! We really want to check out Southeast Asia because we’ve yet to meet someone who went there and wasn’t completely blown away. Plus we’re budget-travelers who love warm weather, beaches and good food, so it sounds like the perfect place!
We’d also love to visit New Zealand, South Africa, and the Philippines, see the northern lights and an active volcano in person, and visit every state in the continental US from a bus we renovate ourselves – which may or may not be something we’re planning on doing in the next few months 😉
Oh, and we’re planning on heading to Iceland in the coming months. Sometimes there’s just too much world to see and not enough time to see it all!
Favourite country so far and why?
Croatia was the most beautiful and Denmark had the most charming people, but so far I think France has been our favorite. The people have actually been surprising nice and patient with our poor French and the landscape, especially in southern France, is absolutely mesmerizing. The food is delicious, the buildings are just as beautiful and as French as you hope, and of course, the wine!!
I think another reason we really enjoy France is because it’s one of the few countries where we can somewhat understand people. Even though most people speak at least a bit of English in pretty much every country, there’s something really comforting about going into a restaurant and actually being able to understand the menu.
Best experience and why?
Visiting the Grand Canyon was definitely one of our favorite experiences. You look at pictures and hear about it all your life, but actually seeing it in person is literally breathtaking! It’s hard for your brain to compute what you’re seeing. And it doesn’t get old. We spent the entire day walking along the rim just staring at the vastness.
It’s definitely a place that we can’t wait to get back to!
Worst experience and why?
Our worst experience so far was the day we went to the largest dune in Europe, called Dune du Pilat on the western coast of France.
We’d booked a rental car for the day but when we showed up they didn’t have any cars in stock (except manuals, which we suck at driving so that was a hell no). Luckily, after pleading with 5 different rental agencies, we found one that had a manual available and snatched it up…for double the price or our original rental.
The drive was great and the Dune was absolutely breathtaking. But after spending five hours trekking in the sand under direct sunlight, we realized we had made a huge mistake. We’d accidentally applied “Aprés Soleil” lotion before heading out for the day. Which, if you know any French, means “After Sun” lotion. Needless to say, we were burnt to a crisp and had some of the [dumbest looking burn lines in history]
What followed was 3 hellish nights tossing and turning in the Bordeaux heat and 3 days of cold showers.
What’s on your travel playlist?
Our music tastes are all over the place, but we really love Betty Who, Marina and the Diamonds, Purity Ring, Chvrches, Sia, Porter Robinson and Com Truise. Basically anything upbeat and electronic.
We also keep up with Game of Thrones and The Last Man On Earth and are currently working through the most recent season of House of Cards. And whenever we need to unwind after a long day of work, we watch Seinfeld. Eric can literally quote any episode. It’s a pretty funny/useless skill 🙂
Tell us about some of your favourite dishes/restaurants from places you’ve visited.
If you’re ever looking for a reason to travel, it’s worth it for the food alone! I mean the views and architecture are pretty sweet, but the food!? nomnomnom!!
Some of our faves have been currywurst in Berlin from Curry 61 and in Brussels we loved the waffles from Maison Dandoy and fries with mayo and curry ketchup from Frit Flagey. But honestly, any street vendor in Brussels is pretty delicious!
Check out our food vlogs to get a closer look at some of the amazing foods we’ve tried!
Are there any things you miss when you’re not at home?
I think the biggest things we miss are knowing that our bed and pillows will be comfortable (and not smell weird), having access to our spices and seasonings (I have no clue why everyone in Europe only seems to have salt, pepper, curry powder, and licorice?!), and probably most of all, our dryer – line drying was fun the first few times, but now we’re over the novelty of it and just want our clothes dried!
We also miss our cats a lot!! We had to rehome them before we left, since our families weren’t in positions to take them for us. They’re in great hands, but it was definitely the hardest decision we’ve had to make and still makes us pretty sad to think about.
Did you overcome any fears before beginning your journey?
We were both really nervous about feeling isolated, especially since we knew we’d be traveling to non-english-speaking countries. And every once in a while it does get a little discouraging not being able to properly communicate with all the interesting people we meet. But for the most part it hasn’t been bad. I think blogging, vlogging, and interacting on social media has helped us feel more social too… even if it’s just via the web!
Have you got any tips for people who want to travel but are perhaps scared or unsure where to start?
Start slow. Really think about what you’d like to get out of traveling and how long you might want to go. Research the cost of living in the areas you’re interested in and make a rough budget to really get a feel for how much it’ll cost. List all of your fixed costs – insurance, phone bill, web hosting, rent (if you’re not subletting or Airbnbing your space while you’re gone) and then estimate all your other expenses – groceries, eating out, transportation, hotel/airbnb, etc.
For us, seeing “exactly” what it would cost made us realize that it was actually cheaper for us to travel than it was to keep our apartment in San Francisco! We know that not everyone can work remotely, so a rough budget will at least give you a monetary amount to work towards and/or give you an idea of how long it’ll take to pay off your credit card when you get back. 😉
Another way to ease into the traveling mindset is to book smaller trips leading up to the big one. Start with weekend trips to get you excited and pumped about traveling. They’ll also help you become a pro at packing and ease the shock and stress of living out of a backpack or suitcase long-term.
Making the leap into a life of travel is an adjustment, but we’ve yet to hear of anyone who regretted it or wished they’d stayed at home instead. 🙂
Don’t forget to subscribe to their YouTube channel for hilarious and informative videos! I hope you’ve all enjoyed getting to know Allison and Eric as much as I have!