What Sparked Our Interest In Traveling
We met online almost 15 years ago, and back then we had never even thought of traveling at all, let alone living nomadically. And then in 2012 we went on our first ever trip abroad. It was the first one for both of us. We fell in love with traveling immediately, and a year later went on an open-end trip to India.
How Frequently We Travel
We spend 6+ months every year abroad. Some of them are more "regular trips", usually 1-3 weeks, others are long-term stays in different countries, 3-12 months. No matter the type of trip, for us the most interesting thing is the very being abroad part. Even if it's the 5th or 10th time in some country.
First and foremost, we still love just being abroad, seeing how people live there, and experiencing that ourselves. That's why often we have no itinerary or plan whatsoever. And then there are more adventurous trips - cycling and hiking trips.
How Do We Choose Where To Go Next
There's no one method. For example, now we were quite determined to travel to Bali, to spend the European winter there. But then we had a chance to go to Mexico and Brazil, and we are going there instead. We still have no plan for Brazil. But... we have tickets, and we'll go there and spend a couple of months in the country.
Speaking of preparation - we just book the flights. That's all. If we have a ticket, we'll figure out the rest, often just a week or so prior to departure.
How We Pack For Our Trips
Since we work remotely, our laptops are the most important things. We also love to read e-books, so Una always has a Kindle and me - an iPad.
Other than that we travel extra light, and 1 backpack with some clothes is all we need, sometimes it's a small 5-kg backpack, other times - 10 - 12 kilos, but still, it's always a carry-on size backpack, never anything bigger than that.
After 9 years of traveling, packing often takes only around 10 minutes for us.
Our Most Memorable Travel Adventures
Cycling across India was tough, rewarding, and life-changing. It showed us just how much we are capable of. That's why I always urge people to give their dream adventure a try, no matter how unreal it may feel. We did the India trip without almost any experience in traveling, long-distance cycling, camping, etc.
Hiking in the Himalayas is awesome, and just so worth it. And again, doable without prior experience as well -- especially, if you go something many people do, like the Annapurna Circuit hike. It's so, so beautiful.
Our Motivation For Taking An Open-Ended Cycling Tour Of India
It was a mix of a lot of things. First of all, we wanted a real adventure. We wanted to go and travel. And we also wanted to do it cheaply.
So, after half a year of reading about other people's experiences, less than a year after our first ever trip abroad, I came up with this idea. I asked Una what she thought. She said ok, let's go. And so we went.
Just 4 months later. My brother also joined us. It was the craziest and most adventurous thing that we did completely spontaneously. No experience. Only around 1500 euros in the bank (each of us), and a plan to go for at least 5 months. No plan. Without Booking.com. Without Tripadvisor. Without Google Maps. We did it without all of these apps and services, and it was cool. Super tough, if you go this cheap and eat mostly biscuits, bananas, and fried rice, but also so cool.
Why We Started Our Blog
Well, these things have changed a few times. Make Adventure Happen is our fourth blog. At first, we started writing just to share our experiences with people at home and those whom we met while traveling. A few years in, we realized that if your blog's topic is so general, it's hard to turn it into a business that earns money, and people also don't really know what kind of content to expect of you - if one week it's hiking in Nepal, then volunteering in Spain or Italy, then you give tips about long term travel, and so on.
At the moment I would say, we want to inspire more people to go out. To go on that walk, that hike, that bicycle ride. No matter how small and insignificant it may seem because all big things start from something small. All these small things give you the confidence to do bigger things (if that's what you might be dreaming of). And if not -- they just make you a more healthy and fit person, which is awesome itself. Go out, and make that adventure happen!
Beautiful Recollections Of Meeting New People
All our volunteering experiences with Workaway have been great (not everyone has the same experience, I know).
For example, living with a local family, and feeling like a member of a community in Fuerteventura, Canary Islands, that's something I never thought I would experience. You just don't think about these things when you work in the office in Latvia. You don't think it's possible. You don't think that anyone would accept a stranger so freely and openly. This changes how you see strangers yourself in the future -- we are all the same.
Countries We Have Traveled To Together
It's around 40 countries. We have visited many of these countries multiple times.
For example, in India we've been 3 times, spending a total of almost a year in the country. We also love Malaysia, where we have been some 20 times, and Thailand and Indonesia -- 5+ times. We don't have a bucket list.
How We Minimize Our Travel Expenses
We love simplicity, so also here we use a super simple method. We split the costs into 2 parts.
The first is accommodation. We set ourselves a budget for that. The second is other expenses. And that's it. We set a budget and stick to it. We almost never have a strict daily budget, but we look at weekly or monthly numbers. It gives you so much more peace and flexibility.
Do you want that expensive meal? Go for it, but you'll save the other day. This is how we do it.
How We Believe GAFFL Helps Travelers
It's cool that you're giving a way to connect with like-minded people. Of course, times have changed, but in 2013, when we were going on our first long-term trip, we didn't know a single person who had done something similar. That's why I think it's so important to have an opportunity to connect with like-minded people.
What's Preventing Us From Taking More Trips
We don't have any real obstacles. I would like more people to realize that -- often we make up our own obstacles. Of course, you may want to have more money. It makes things easier. But if that means having less time, as it often is, then no thank you. I'd better have more trips and do them cheaper.
Other interesting travel stories you might enjoy!