A palaver with the dyad smitten by the oddball living world
Birthe Vandermeeren : No couple is perfect but they worked on to become better as this one started out being unstoppable explorers with a whole lot to learn with the undeniable sparks between them. After all, if you’re caught in a downward spiral, you might as well have a confidante alongside. At least, they would never be drinking alone. Who knows may be they could bring out the best in each other?
- What advice would you give to a young couple who plan on getting into traveling something as similar as your style?
In September 2015 we left on a one year (11 months and a week to be precise) trip around the world. To young couples who decide on doing the same or something similar, we would say to not take too much. Pack light and try to fit everything in a single hand luggage backpack per person. It’ll save you money on flights, and trouble while dragging your stuff from hostel to hostel and country to country.
Another great piece of advice: don’t cramp too much places and countries in a short period of time. Travel slow. Long-term traveling is a great experience, but having your days packed with activities and sleeping in a different place every night is exhausting.
- What have you learnt about yourself and your longtime partner from the peregrinations you have taken around the world?
We’re a great match! No, really, traveling together long-term and being together 24/7 for almost a year is quite the relationship test. I understand how this is not something every couple can survive. Lots of decisions have to be made while traveling long-term. It goes from big decisions like where do we go next, to small ones like where will we eat tonight. If you want different things time and time again, it’ll take the fun and spontaneity out of your travels. Choosing the right long-term travel partner isn’t easy, I guess that’s why more and more people decide to travel solo.
- What’s next for the both of you?
In August 2016 we returned home after a year of full-time traveling. We had an awesome year, but we were happy to be home again as well. While we were away, some of our friends got married or had children, and we were a little bummed to have missed out on that. We probably won’t be traveling for a year on end again, but we’ve decided we will keep traveling as much as possible. Given that we both work from home in our own online business, we can leave whenever we want, for as long as we want. We just need a decent Internet connection to keep our business going.
In those 3 months we’ve been home again, we went on a city trips to Timisoara, Romania, and Lisbon, Portugal. In the coming year we’ve planned a trip to some nearby Christmas Markets, three conferences (one in Jerusalem, Israel, one in Paris, France, and one in Killarney, Ireland), a ski trip, and we’re going back to Thailand as well. I guess so far we’re being true to our resolution of traveling as much as possible.
- How have you both adjusted to the move?
This is hands down the question we get asked the most since we returned from our year of full-time traveling. It’s the first question most people ask when we see them again for the first time. Can’t blame them either. Non-stop vacation for a year?! That’s the life, right? How can you ever adjust again?
Well, we didn’t need an adjustment period at all. We fell back into our old routine like we’d never been away. Our year of non-stop traveling almost seems like another lifetime. Granted, we both work from home, on our own pace, in our own business, and we’ll keep traveling. If we had to go back to a 9 to 5 job, with limited vacation days, it probably would have been way harder to adjust.
- Write about the whereabouts you have been together in an instant?
Before we left on our one year round the world trip, we’d traveled to only a handful of countries in Europe together, short trips to both sunny and snowy destinations. During our trip around the world we’ve visited Southeast Asia, Australia, New Zealand and the USA. Since we’re back home, we’ve been to Timisoara, Romania, and Lisbon, Portugal. And we’ve got a lot more planned!
We enjoyed every moment of our round the world trip, but our road trip through New Zealand was definitely one of the highlights. On the other hand, learning how to scuba dive in Thailand at the start of our trip was probably the best decision ever. It’s awesome! We’ve been diving in Amed (Bali, Indonesia) and the Great Barrier Reef (Australia) as well. A whole new world opens up. It’s stunning!
For a full write up one every place and country we’ve visited, you can check out our blog: Wandering the World.
- What are your dream destinations as a couple?
I believe lots of our future trips will include top diving destinations. We’re thinking about doing a road trip through Europe, and Japan is high on our bucket list as well. There’s just so much to see in this big beautiful world of ours!
- Where are you now?
Right now we’re back home, living with my parents for at least a year. Even though we kept our business running during our trip around the world, traveling is expensive and we need to save up if we ever want to buy a house. And money to keep on traveling, of course!
Network with Brecht & Birthe (Wandering World) and follow their travels on Travel Dejavu from here
May 15, 2017
May 13, 2017