Traveling is all about connecting with people from all over the world. Connecting, learning and sharing experiences with one another. For our first People of the World Feature, meet travel bloggers Jon and Kach from Two Monkeys Travel Group. An inspirational story of two people who found love on the road as they pursue their dreams while traveling the world.
Related: Falling in Love while Traveling
- So tell us a little bit about you and your blog, Two Monkeys Travel Group
- How did you first get into travel? How would you say you have grown as a traveler compared to your first trips?
- What inspires you to travel? What do you love most about traveling?
- What is the most difficult/challenging travel experience that you guys have gone through?
- What are you top 5 travel essentials?
- What is the biggest lesson that traveling has taught you?
- What are the main challenges when traveling as a couple?
- Do you have any advice for people that want to travel and don’t know where to start?
So tell us a little bit about you and your blog, Two Monkeys Travel Group
We’re Jon and Kach, a British and Filipina couple who met backpacking in Laos almost two years ago and have since lived, worked and travelled in 10 countries on 4 continents together. Before we ever met, we both quit our jobs in search of a sustainable life of travel, without the chains of working for other people in 9 to 5 jobs.
Two Monkeys Travel Group was first conceived back in May 2014, in a café in Kolkatta, India, but we didn’t really focus on it until as late as October, when we launched our new, self-hosted site. We focus on all kinds of travel from budget backpacking, to flash-packing to luxury travel, because we love every kind of travel and always change from one to the other depending on how we feel at the time and what’s possible in each particular place. As well as showing others how they can also achieve a sustainable travel lifestyle, we love to find off-the-beaten-track locations and DIY treks and tours for a little extra adventure!
Two Monkeys Travel Group blog can be found here.
How did you first get into travel? How would you say you have grown as a traveler compared to your first trips?
I (Jon) grew up in Africa, moving from country to country with my dad’s job, so I think I’ve had itchy feet since I was a child. By the time I reached the age of 27 and had tried three different professions in various cities I realized that I was never going to be satisfied working in an office and being tied to a location, so I saved all I could in six months and booked a one-way flight to Bangkok! (READ: Why I Decided to Travel the World in my 20’s)
Kach left the Philippines when she finished university to work in the Middle East and had a very successful and promising career over four years, but over time she had the same feelings of dissatisfaction and no amount of promotions and material things made her feel happy, so in April 2013, she sold most of her things and also set off to Bangkok, to backpack around South East Asia.
We’ve both changed a lot over the past two years; as solo travelers we spent more time in backpacker bars, drinking more and spending more money as a result. These days we have longer term goals in mind, so we plan more in terms of our budget and tend to stay put for longer in one place to earn money and save the future at the same time. Two Monkeys Travel Group has also changed the way we travel too, in terms of looking for great content and stories for our readers, so hopefully it’s increased the quality of our travelling!
What inspires you to travel? What do you love most about traveling?
We love the fact that you see something new every day, there’s no end to the amount of new stuff you discover. Living in places longer – up to six months – means that we see even more, every day peeling off another layer of the onion and learning new pieces of the local culture. The best part of all, is that we answer only to ourselves, we don’t take orders and we are free to make our own decisions at any time.
Related: 20 Best Inspirational Travel Quotes
What is the most difficult/challenging travel experience that you guys have gone through?
The worst experience was falling asleep at the gate and missing our flight from Saudi Arabia to London. We were both so exhausted that we just passed out and didn’t wake up. It was a pretty horrible situation as most of our money was tied up in an account we couldn’t access and we only had 12hours max transfer visa in Saudi, meaning we had to call up my (Jon’s) sister at 3am to get some money transferred, then try to find a new flight that would get us out in time. We got there in the end, but it meant that we flew to South America with practically nothing!
What are you top 5 travel essentials?
Camera – Any camera, even a smartphone, as long as we have something!
Laptop – Now that we have Two Monkeys Travel Group, we are always looking for Wi-Fi and need to be able to work from anyway.
Flip Flops – I’ve had the same pair of red plastic ones from India for nearly a year. I actually hiked up Keer Ganga in the Himalayan foothills in them and they were perfect, until it started snowing!
Sunscreen – I’m a pasty-white Englishman with a ginger Irish beard, so the slightest bit of sun can destroy me given half a chance!
Travel diary / Journal – I’m really irregular with keeping my journal up to date, but I like to be able to pick it once in a while and just jot down how I’m feeling.
What is the biggest lesson that traveling has taught you?
To be flexible, adaptable and to keep our eyes open for any opportunities spring up as they so easily pass you by if you let them. We strongly believe in picturing what it is you want and believing you’ll get it, then the right opportunities will be steered towards you. Whether you want to call it the Law of Attraction or just a positive mental attitude, there’s no doubt that it helps you achieve what you want in life!
What are the main challenges when traveling as a couple?
No one is perfect and that applies to couples too! If one of you is tired or in a bad mood then you can just take a walk and have some space. But if you’re both having a bad day and two very stubborn people (that’s us) happen to collide, then arguments are imminent! It doesn’t happen very often but it’s always possible. Everything is a lot more intense when you’re on the road; the highs are higher and the lows are lower. We always have to keep in mind that travelling can be amazing, tiring, frustrating and enlightening all at the same time and we need to know when to take a step back to notice when our emotions are high.
Do you have any advice for people that want to travel and don’t know where to start?
Take your time, don’t rush. There are so many places to see in the world and they’ll still be there in a year or so. If you have a job, save your money and book your flight as soon as you can, that way you know that it’s a certainty and the task of saving simply becomes automatic. Make a list of all the places you want to seem but don’t over plan your trip, the best experiences come from the least amount of planning!
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