Instead Of Spending Their Savings To Live A Normal Life, This Couple Decided To Travel The World In Search Of Authentic Experiences In Each New Country
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GAFFL
5th Jul | 8 min read

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    At GAFFL, we love to publish inspiring travel stories from adventurers around the world. You can connect with adventurers from 190+ countries on GAFFL, meet up, and explore destinations together. In this post, we're highlighting Aurelia & Dan who decided to travel the world after leaving what their so-called society labeled a perfect life and sharing their experiences through Daily Travel Pill.

    Dan and Aurelia met around 9 years ago and have traveled to over 40 places together since then. It all started with small European getaways. They decided to take a risk and buy a one-way ticket to Thailand after a few years. This pair embarked on a two-year journey around Asia, seeing destinations such as China, Myanmar, Japan, the Philippines, Indonesia, and many more.

    You can connect with Aurelia on GAFFL. Be sure to check out their Instagram to learn more about their latest excursions.

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    How We Met & What Inspired Us To Start Traveling

    The story of how we met is a bit complicated. We met at a party while we were in university. The following year we didn’t speak with each other at all and then Facebook synchronized his phone number into my agenda. I tried contacting somebody else with the same name and surname as Dan (what are the odds?) and I accidentally sent the message to Dan. We started talking and now, 9 years later, we’re traveling the world together.

    Deciding to quit our jobs to travel was the best decision we ever took. We realized that with the savings we had we could travel for at least one year. It was an easy decision since we already loved traveling.

    We believe that the best investment you could ever make in yourself is traveling. It opens your eyes and heart.

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    How Frequently We Take Trips

    After coming back from Asia, we continued to travel 5-6 times per year (trips outside Romania, where we currently live). For example, last year we visited Turkey, Jordan, Bulgaria, Spain, and Greece. We also traveled a lot through Romania, our home country.

    We always try to find authentic experiences in every new country we visit. We want to see how the locals live, their traditions, and their daily life. One of my favorite travel memories was when we ate a traditional dinner with a Vietnamese family.

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    How We Decide On Our Next Destination

    We choose our next destinations based on prices. We travel on a budget so we’re always searching for affordable destinations we haven’t visited yet. If we’re visiting a new country, we try to stay at least one week. There are a few destinations where we spent a few months. We stayed about 8 months in Bali, 2 months in Vietnam, and one month in Cambodia.

    Once we decide on a location, we start searching for accommodation and places to see. For tourist attractions, I read many blogs as I’m always looking for off-the-beaten-path locations.

    As a couple, we divide our tasks. I research everything thoroughly (flights, accommodation, places to see) and Dan books the tickets.

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    The Must-Haves That We Pack

    We traveled full-time with just a backpack each. However, now that we have a home base, we don’t travel that light anymore. About 20% of the things we take with us when traveling are electronics (cameras, chargers, batteries, a drone, GoPro, laptops, and others).

    I always bring travel-size toiletries with me, hand sanitizer, a fast-drying towel, a money belt, and bug repellant. Also, let’s not forget about travel insurance - I never travel without one.

    Countries We Have Visited So Far

    We have been to 42 countries together. We have a lot of incredible destinations on our bucket list. One of them is Peru, a country that we want to visit as soon as possible. We also want to go to Nepal, USA, and Mexico.

    This year we plan to start traveling full-time again. Hopefully, we’ll be able to do this in the next few years. Most probably, we’ll head back to Bali for a few months and then start exploring new countries.

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    One Of Our Coolest Adventures That We Can Share

    We’re not that into adventure travel. However, I can share with you one of my favorite travel experiences ever. I absolutely loved snorkeling with the turtles in the Philippines. We took a boat to a tiny island called Apo and then, together with a local guide, we started searching for the turtles. Soon enough we found a beautiful turtle and we swam alongside it.

    It was incredible to see such a majestic creature up close.

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    The Mission Of 'Daily Travel Pill'

    Dan inspired me to start my blog. He convinced me that I should share my travel experiences with the world. At first, I only wrote a few travel guides but soon enough people from all around the world started reading them. That’s when I knew that this is the path that I have to follow.

    I always try to write thorough travel guides, answering all the questions a traveler might have about a certain place. I want to help my readers to travel cheaper and smarter. That’s why I always include tips & tricks about every destination.

    Our Favorite Memories Of Exploring & Meeting With Locals

    Some of the friendliest people I have ever met are the Burmese. When we visited Myanmar, the country was just recently opened for tourism. We spent a whole month exploring the temples and meeting friendly people along the way. What I loved the most about Myanmar is that unlike its neighbor Thailand, the country was not affected by mass tourism. Everything was authentic and unspoiled.

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    When it comes to the local people, they were very friendly and they tried to help us in any way they could. I remember we were at Inle Lake and it was pouring rain; we were at this local market and we took shelter under an improvised clothing shop. The lady owning the shop moved the clothes off from one of the tables to make us some space to sit down and wait for the rain to stop. She didn’t know any English but her small act of kindness really impressed us.

    GAFFL In My Words

    I have many friends that love to travel. Sometimes they want to go to a new destination with a travel buddy but they can’t find one. I think that it’s important to have a platform like GAFFL where you can easily find travel buddies. It makes traveling more enjoyable and also cheaper.

    Compromises I Had To Make To Become A Full-Time Traveler

    I wouldn’t name them compromises but we certainly had to give up on some things in order to travel full-time. I think the hardest was to exit our comfort zone and head into the unknown. We bought a one-way ticket to Thailand without visiting any Asian country before.

    Also, quitting our jobs was a bit stressful. Society teaches us that being successful is related to having a good job. We had good jobs, jobs that we loved but we were not entirely happy. It was hard to stop having a stable income, but this gave us the opportunity to start our online business (blog and Instagram). When it comes to family, leaving our parents and friends behind was the hardest part.

    Luckily, nowadays it is pretty easy to keep in touch with loved ones through video calls.

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    How We Manage Our Costs While We Travel

    We always travel on a budget. I think the secret is to be flexible when it comes to choosing your destination. We always choose our destination based on prices. We search for the cheapest plane tickets and accommodation options and we choose the cheapest destination we haven’t visited yet.

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    When it comes to booking our accommodation, we choose guesthouses over hotels. Also, we avoid the central areas and we try to find a place close to public transport stations.

    We also try to avoid eating at restaurants. Most of the time we eat from supermarkets and if we really want to eat at a restaurant, we avoid the touristy areas.

    There are also many museums that are free to visit on certain days. Tourist passes are also a good option. They cover most museums and sometimes even transport.

    How We Manage Our Work & Travel

    When we traveled through Asia, we quit our jobs. Once we got back home, Dan got back to his old job and I continued working on my blog and social media.

    For me, sometimes it’s hard to balance work and my personal life especially since I’m working for myself. Most of the time, I get this feeling that I’m not doing enough and I should work harder.

    Right now, we use Dan’s every vacation day to travel somewhere. Living in Europe means that he has over 20 days of paid leave which allows us to plan a few vacations per year.

    Our plan for 2022 is to start traveling full-time again. We’re currently researching countries with a good digital nomad network to move to as soon as possible.


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