Ach & Rym are a travel couple with full-time jobs. They never miss a chance to visit a new destination, even during the weekend! They always share their travel journeys through pictures on Instagram and blog posts on Walk Beside Me.
GAFFL connects solo travelers with similar itineraries to explore destinations together. Whether you are backpacking in Asia, road tripping in Australia, or exploring national parks in the US, simply type the destination you are traveling to, find travelers who are going there at the same time as you, connect with them, plan trips, meet, and travel together.
We first met in the university and got married one year after graduation. I used to travel in small groups and Rym was a solo traveler. That is why being on the road together helps each discover new ways of traveling. Some journeys are better when shared, and we also help each other take memorable photos and learn together from authentic experiences with the locals.
Whether it is a close destination that could be done in one weekend or remote ones that need several weeks, we usually travel about once a month. As travel addicts, staying home for several weeks eats our energy and motivation. That is why we need to reset, thanks to a travel journey.
We love camping and discovering the hidden gems in each country we visit. We like meeting local people and learn from them. We love taking memorable photos and videos of each place we see and we can’t resist trying new things wherever we are (local games, traditional food, etc.)
Our trips vary from 3 days to 2 months. Depending on the destination, we decide how long to stay. We usually have our next destination in mind as we regularly watch new travel videos from our favorite content creators. Once we fix a time slot for the next getaway, we research things to do and get inspiration from other travel blogs that we love checking. Travel blogs help a lot in planning itineraries and listing the things you should see in that country. As we learn a lot from them, we like to give back to the community through our own travel blog.
I learned minimalism from Rym. This helped me make my backpack even more compact. So you have already guessed it, we travel with backpacks as they are easier to carry, and sometimes we don’t even need to check them in for our flights.
Our must-haves are always our camera and lenses, a couple of memory cards, and our travel notebooks to write down ideas and inspiration that come across our minds along the way.
One of my best memories is when I volunteered to be in the organization committee of the Rio2016 Olympic & Paralympic Games. Although that was several years ago, I am still in touch with most of the lovely people I met there.
Rym keeps a unique piece of memory when she volunteered for one month in Tanzania. She stayed with a local family and taught in primary school. She misses her guest family like no one else and always checks on them.
One of our common memories is how people helped welcomed us in Myanmar! Whether finding a place in a local bus or welcoming us in their houses, we’ve made true friends in that country.
I guess we’ve visited about 38 countries together so far. One of the best traveling experiences we had is globetrotting Vietnam on a sleeper train and road-tripping California in the US on a motorhome for several weeks.
We usually use swoodoo.com for our flight tickets and couch-surfing to meet up with locals. Otherwise, we tend to use local apps for transportation.
I started the blog about 10 years ago as a personal diary. I shared my thoughts and anything I’ve learned, that I believe can help people. Slowly with time, the blog took the direction of travel as that is what I love to share the most. Rym joined me in writing a couple of years ago and that is how it became a couple-travel blog.
We help the readers get inspiration from what we live on the road so that they can better plan their travel itineraries. We share not only what we love the most about each country, but also mistakes we do so that readers can know about them and avoid them.
As previously mentioned, we learn a lot from many travel blogs out there. That is why we love giving back to the community and enlarge the circle of sharing and learning.
We always travel on a budget. Otherwise, we would never have had the opportunity to travel quite often. We usually set a budget for each destination and try to not exceed it (unless there are some good reasons to, like for example unique experiences to try onsite).
During our journeys, we usually alternate between good and basic stays. We usually eat twice a day only, and we avoid fancy restaurants.
The best travel story that stayed in my mind is when I helped the Paralympic Refugees Team in Brazil during the Paralympic Games. As a delegation assistant, I was in charge of offering them the best conditions so that they can focus on their training and competitions. The lessons that I’ve learned from them are true life lessons.
Although they have different disabilities, those athletes not only didn’t give because of the wars in their home countries but also persevered to keep practicing to even break paralympic records.
This is by far the most important lesson about perseverance I’ve ever learned.
As we are based abroad, we visit our families regularly, about twice a year. On the other hand, planning your vacation at work ahead of time helps you efficiently plan your year and respect your schedules. Nevertheless, it happened to us a couple of times that we canceled a trip. That is normal.
As we are not full-time travelers, we always have office duties and regular bills to pay. At this time, we are not making money from our blog yet. We just do it as a hobby and can’t invest enough time in it to turn it into a successful business. So we are doing only baby steps towards that goal.
The biggest challenge is then trying to combine office work with our personal blog project. This requires strong self-discipline skills and a lot of hard work.
Maybe the biggest thing we’ve learned is that what we know is never the absolute truth. We all were born and raised in one country, in which we acquired society and family values. We learned through traveling that those values are not unique and nothing is the absolute truth.
Furthermore, we learn each day about new cultures and civilizations. That makes us aware of how tiny we are in this world and how little we know about it.
Other inspiring stories to read!