Emily & I first connected on Instagram. Her passion and enthusiasm for what we do was infectious, we totally aligned on so many things and when she told me she was going on an adventure .. I knew we had to stay in touch! Enjoy my travel Q&A with Emily:
Hi Emily! Now we have been connected a little while through the realms of IG following your adventures, but for those who don’t know you, want to introduce a little bit about yourself, where you’re from and what you’re up to at the moment?
Hey, I’m Emily! I’m 24 years old from Barnsley, England. I am currently travelling around Australia with my boyfriend in our campervan – Vinnie the VW!
Was travelling the world always a dream of yours? When do you think the travel bug kicked in?
So cliché, but for as long as I can remember I have wanted to travel. I have always been fascinated by other cultures and seeing how others live. I also LOVE being outdoors and animals – so seeing amazing new places was a huge part of it for me. I think the travel bug really kicked in after a trip with a friend to India in 2016. As soon as I got home I was itching to see more! I’m lucky enough that Callan had the same itch.
Now I know you and your boyfriend packed up life in the UK to hit the road, with little to no plan of how long you are going to be away. I love that! I think it takes a level of braveryto leave your comfort zone and go jump straight into the unknown. Did you have any struggles when leaving?
Leaving home was a massive struggle, yes. I think the hardest part for us was getting other people to understand. We are both primary school teachers back in England and we’d only been in our job a few months when we handed our notices in. Teaching can take over your life and for some of the people I worked with they just couldn’t understand why I didn’t want to settle into the school and continue my teaching career. I loved teaching and hope to get back to it one day but I knew if I was going to see the world I needed to go. It was a sort of “now or never” thing. Yes I’d worked really hard to gain my qualifications and get my job but that’s all it was - a job. I don’t have kids. Didn’t have a mortgage. No real responsibilities. If you ask me, there was no better time to pack up and leave! Leaving our families behind was also pretty hard. Like you said, we had no real plan or time frame. Who knows when we will be back home! (When we run out of money probably).
What do you think are the main barriers for people back in the UK to pack up life, jump on a plane and see what happens??
Responsibilities. Be that their job/family/mortgages. A lot of people our age were settled down. Good careers, their own houses and families. That isn’t the life we wanted so it wasn’t the life we made! We worked our butts off to save as much money as possible to get the hell out of the 9-5 grind!! Don’t get me wrong, we want all of that one day but we still feel like we’re young enough to act “irresponsibly” by throwing our money into adventures instead of stability. Fear as well. I won’t deny that as we were getting ready to leave I was terrified!! I still feel scared some days – what if we don’t find work? What if we get really ill? Etc. But you have to just push the fear away and think of all the amazing things you’re about to experience. We may struggle at times but I don’t regret a single thing!
Where has been the most magical place you’ve found yourself in so far?
This is a fab question! So, Bali. We stayed for 2 and half weeks in a place called Canggu and absolutely adored it. Whenever anybody asks for our favourite spot so far this is always the first place I say. It's so chilled but has so much to offer – the restaurant/cafe scene is amazing. And to be honest, it is worth visiting for the sunsets alone!! We can’t wait to go back one day. Koh Tao. Out of all the islands we visited in Thailand, this one is the top of the list for us. It is such a stunning place – the beaches and sea were unreal. We loved snorkeling here. It also has such a good food/coffee scene which you may have sensed is important for us. Melbourne. We simply love Melbourne. It has so much to offer. We’ve found ourselves in a couple of Melbourne vs. Syndey debates and for us there will only ever be one winner.
Any travel mares to share? Life isn’t always an IG highlight reel as we know ..!
Life is definitely not all IG has it cracked up to be!! I think it’s so important that people realise that – travel accounts are not always honest, we’re not going to post photos of the negatives and the bad days because that’s not what people want to share. But trust me, there are lots of them!! We’ve had a few issues with our van. When your van is your home as well as your transport it’s horrible when things go wrong – you feel so lost. Also regarding the van. It's so intense. Living in such a small space every day can be difficult. You can’t just go to another room for some down time – you only have one living area for the both of you 24/7. We’ve recently had a mare regarding jobs. We've been on the road for almost 5 months now. We've been to a lot of places and done loads of wonderful things so as you can imagine – money is starting to get a little tight. We travelled 9 hours from Coffs Harbour to Bundaberg with the promise of regular fruit picking work whilst staying at a working hostel... NOPE! The hostel was gross beyond belief – I'm talking millions of ants everywhere, dirty bedding, broken showers and very limited and dirty kitchen space. We were told the work would be every day. It wasn’t. We spent a week there and worked twice. The work wasn’t particularly hard but it was piece rate work - $180 split by two people for a full bin of fruit. You were VERY lucky if you filled one bin in the 8-10 hours you worked. Long story short – we paid $360 for the weeks rent (basically just for the bed) and we earned about $200 between us. We didn’t stick it out. So now we’re back to square one... if anyone reading this has any work for the two of us please get in touch ha!
Best part about travelling with the boyfriend?
Oh god, how to answer this without being a total cheeseball!!! I love the fact I’m making all these memories with my best friend by my side. We've seen so many amazing places and there is no one else I’d want to see them with. I’ve also come to realise since leaving that I’m actually a bigger home bird than I first thought. I’m absolutely loving travelling don’t get me wrong but I miss home more than I imagined I would. So having him here is great. I have the familiarity and the comfort. He’s pretty good at looking after me - I can be useless at times. For example, before we even left home he repacked my backpack because I'd done such a bad job of it. I think I'd be pretty lost without him. To be honest, without him, I don’t even think I'd have had the courage to do all of this!! And who else am I gonna’ binge watch Game of Thrones with!?
Ha! Are you trying to cause an argument here!?? It’s got to be the farts in the van. It's just such a nightmare in such a small space.
Now I know you are someone that does your bit to give back to planet earth, are you able to share with us things you have been involved with in the UK?
Back in the UK I am a member of Surfers Against Sewage – which my family find hilarious as I’m a terrible surfer. Anyway, those guys do amazing(!!!) things for the planet. They were even picked as one of Prince Harry’s charities to be gifted from his wedding. We’ve taken part in beach cleans organised by them and they brought sustainable products to my attention which I now try to use as much as often (Callan bought me a metal straw in Bali for my Christmas present) and by paying my membership fee I am helping fund their ongoing work. Honestly they’re fab, check them out. A lot of it is just common sense, you know. Cut down on plastic. Take your god damn rubbish with you!! We don’t have back up Earth and I feel people don’t understand how important it actually is to not kill this one.
What advice would you give to anyone who is in your shoes 6 months ago, spending days at work with their eyes out the window wondering what else is out there?
Just bloody go for it!! It honestly is that simple. Yeah, it’s going to seem like a massive deal and it’ll be hard at first but the world will keep turning and you’ll be have a much better time. Your employer will replace you – really easily, actually. You don’t owe them anything. Your family will miss you of course, but with skype and factime and whatsapp – it'll be like you’ve never even left! Life is too short. It's so cliché and everyone says it but it really is true. You realise how exciting life can be as soon as you leave your comfort zone and see how much you were missing while you were sat behind that desk (or, you know, wherever you worked).
What’s in the pipeline for you guys for 2019?
Honestly, I wish I had an answer for you. We left home nearly 5 months ago and here we are still winging it. We're currently searching for jobs on a crazy level – money is tight and we really don’t want to go home earlier than originally planned. We have 9 months left on our visa so hopefully we will keep travelling around in Vinnie until our time is up and then as the saying goes – the world is our oyster! As long as I’m not back in the UK before 2020 I’ll be happy :-)
You can follow Emily & Callan's adventures over on Instagram @the_travelling_two_