Boredom Pushed This Couple To Quit Their Job & Embark On An Epic Adventure Around The World
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GAFFL
25th May | 9 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 170+ countries on GAFFL, meet up, and explore destinations together. In this article, we are featuring Bevan and Jill, a husband and wife (and baby) team who wanted more adventures in the outdoors to smack their boredom in the face.

    Bevan (an adventure tour guide) and Jill (a marine biologist and travel writer) were fed up with the ebb and flow of daily life and wanted to do something adventurous. Their small band crossed the border into terra incognita, armed with a folder of handwritten directions, scribbled maps, and a strong dose of wanderlust. They've embarked on a variety of journeys throughout southern Africa and the world in pursuit of fantastic adventures. 

    If you're bored and looking for an adventure, check out their blog, Stray Along the Way, to avoid being trapped indoors by the eddy of boredom. You can also keep up with them on Instagram.

    Bevan and Jill Stray Along the Way

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    Our Inspiration To Start Traveling

    We met at the beach in Durban, South Africa many years ago. We both loved the outdoors and getting out as much as possible, so after we got married in 2017, we decided to quit our safe jobs and see how far we could get before our savings ran out.

    We started out by exploring our home country South Africa and then started looking for opportunities to explore the rest of the world. Today, we’re in Taiwan, exploring this beautiful island and the islands around it.Bevan and Jill Stray Along the Way

    How Often We Travel

    Before the COVID pandemic, we were fortunate enough to do an international trip twice a year. These days, with a new baby and the travel restrictions, it’s not as easy to get around.

    However, living in a foreign country feels a lot like traveling in a way, so that’s been great.Bevan and Jill Stray Along the Way

    Most of our travels are centered around adventure activities so we’ve done many surf trips to various parts of the world as well as several expeditions in search of new and exciting places that are off the beaten path.

    How We Decide On Our Next Destination

    Most of the time, we pick a travel destination based on something we’ve seen or read online or just something we’ve heard from our friends.

    As adventure and the outdoors is such a big part of our travel criteria, we find that we only really travel to places that have a lot of outdoor activities like hiking, surfing, diving, etc.Bevan and Jill Stray Along the Way

    We’re not really sightseers, so we don’t generally find ourselves in queues to see some or other tourist attractions, but rather, we prefer to end up wandering through a forest with nothing but the sights and sounds of nature around us.

    Culture and history are also something we like to find out about once we get somewhere. We’re always fascinated by how people experienced the same place in the past and it’s not uncommon to find us rifling through black and white photos in the local museum.

    How We Pack For Our Trips

    We’ve developed a packing list from our many years of realizing we’ve left something behind, so these days we usually have all the bases covered when we pack for a trip.

    Aside from our clothing and toiletries, the main things we keep in mind are electrical adaptors and access to money. If we have those two things covered, the rest is easy.

    Cameras are also important! We try to travel as light as possible, but for some reason, we always seem to have too much camera gear.

    How We Manage Family, Work, & Travel At The Same Time 

    We’ve been fortunate enough to create a situation where our job provides us with two long holidays a year and is in a country that is quite central to other parts of eastern Asia.

    Before we had a kid, it was quite easy for us to step out of our front door, lock the house, ride the train to the airport and find ourselves in a new country within a few short hours.

    Nowadays it’s not as easy, but there are so many incredible places to visit in Taiwan that we’ve not really felt any cabin fever.

    Cool Travel Experiences

    Wow, too many to mention, but the one trip that really stands out was our 9-month road trip around South Africa. Traveling around the world is great, but nothing beats getting to know your home better – especially when your home is one of the top adventure destinations on the planet. 

    We did and saw some of the most incredible things during that trip from spending 5 days on foot in the Hluhluwe-iMfolozi game reserve, to experiencing a glowing ocean and even finding 400-year-old treasure on the beach.


    Inspiration To Start Our Blog

    The initial inspiration for the blog was that we had a place to document our trip around South Africa. We had some friends and family who we wanted to keep up to date with how we were getting along so we posted weekly updates from all the places we were visiting.Bevan and Jill Stray Along the Way

    Once the trip was over, we had amassed quite a body of work which we then turned into adventure guides for others who wanted to explore South Africa too.

    The guides turned out to be very popular, so we started making more of them. Finally, we started a mailing list and now we share travel tips, adventure guides, and outdoor ideas with our growing community.

    Favorite Memory Of Meeting New People & Exploring With Locals

    To be honest, we were really blown away by the people we met on our South African road trip.

    At every stop, we met up with locals who were really passionate about the place where they lived and were so generous in sharing their knowledge and hospitality with us. South Africa is a country full of amazing people and it remains our favorite travel destination!

    Apart from that, the most meaningful trips for us have been the ones that we got to do with our families. In 2018 we went to the Philippines with Bevan’s brother, which remains one of our most memorable trips so far. We had initially set out in search of waves, but when the weather turned against us, we had to make a few changes to our plans which resulted in an epic adventure.


    Countries We Have Traveled To Together

    Between us, we’ve traveled to around 20 countries, many of them in southern and East Africa.

    Next on our bucket list is to check out the adventure capital of the world: New Zealand.

    How We Manage Costs During Our Travels

    We keep quite a tight rein on our spending as a general rule, so when it comes to managing costs during a trip, we basically keep doing what we always do at home.

    We don’t really splash out on meals and drinks and we choose budget accommodation where possible, so we don’t really find that we overspend on our trips.

    One thing that is vital to us though, is having an emergency fund in case something goes wrong. That comes in the form of a credit card that we load up with a few funds before we leave and then keep stashed away while we travel. It’s come to our rescue once or twice already. 

    Bevan and Jill Stray Along the Way

    Why Finding Like-Minded Travel Companions Is Important

    The most important part of traveling is people. People can make or break a trip. We’ve been very fortunate to always travel with each other, but when we arrive in a place where the people are unfriendly or even hostile, it doesn’t matter what the place is like, we will always have bad memories of our time there.

    As for some of the other apps we use, we like to use Momondo to book our flights and Booking.com for our accommodation booking. And that’s about it. We usually rely on other blogs and storytellers to find out more about a place if we’re looking for things to do, but generally, we keep things simple.

    Things That Prevent Us From Traveling

    At the moment, COVID-19 has put paid to many travel plans. Every time things seem to be opening up, we get another wave of infections, lockdowns, and quarantines.

    The biggest challenge for us has not been not being able to travel, but simply not being able to get back to South Africa to see our friends and family again. It’s one of those things you really have so little control of, so the major obstacle is keeping positive and keeping in touch with family during this time.

    Advice For Anyone Who Wants To Travel Full-Time While Maintaining Their Job

    That’s a tricky one as everyone is in a different situation and, for some people, holding onto a full-time job is more important right now than jet-setting around the world.

    It also depends on what kind of traveling you want to do. If it’s just short weekends away, that’s fairly doable, but if you want longer trips, then having a full-time job location-specific will definitely get in the way of that. 

    What we’d suggest is, make a realistic assessment of your situation and what it is you’d like for your travel future.

    If you’re young and have no obligations or responsibilities and a bit of cash saved up, it may be a great time to consider whether having a full-time job is worth it. We quit our jobs right after we got married and basically went out looking for opportunities wherever we went and it worked out great – I don’t know that we would take that same approach now considering we have a new child and rely a lot more on a steady income stream.

    Bevan and Jill Stray Along the Way

    If you’re a bit older and you have bills to pay, then consider finding a job that allows for long holidays throughout the year, like teaching.

    Alternatively, you could start something on the side that brings in an extra income stream. That way, even if you don’t outright quit your job, you might be in a position to take it a little more part-time or negotiate longer leave time.

    Another option, if you don’t want to change your job or dedicate time to a new business is you could consider doing your current job in another country – that’s what we’re doing, and it’s been great! You kind of feel like you’re traveling all the time.

    Finally, one of the advantages of the pandemic has been that companies have had to learn how to operate with a remote workforce, which was previously something few were willing to do. This would be a great way to keep your job, free up some time to travel, and keep a constant income stream to pay the bills.

    Things We Wished We Had Known

    I’m not sure there’s anything we wish we’d known when we started, as part of the journey of traveling is to learn things along the way.

    So, if we knew those things before we started, there would have been no point in traveling in the first place! But one of the biggest lessons we’ve learned along the way is to just go. There is a time for planning and there is a time for going. So I’d say, learning to plan when it’s time to plan and not being afraid to go when it’s time to go.

    Bevan and Jill Stray Along the Way

    Tired of traveling alone? Connect with users from over 170 countries to plan trips and travel together!
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