Everyone needs a holiday from time to time. Travelling – even for just a few days – lets us experience life without the usual stresses and strains, liberated from the usual responsibilities.
More and more of us are spending our hard-earned money exploring the world. In recent years, the number of Irish residents holidaying abroad has risen sharply, with a 14.1 percent increase across a three-month period in 2015.
The range and length of these trips varies, and, sadly, not everyone can afford their dream breaks.
For some people, though, it’s a different story altogether: travelling is their living. Travel bloggers and those sharing their stories on Instagram are readers’ gateway to entirely different cultures and lifestyles.
Some of them employ GPS tracking on their websites too, as well as location sharing and bookmarking to help readers see where they have been, in case they want to follow the same steps.
Each has a fascinating story to tell. Here are just some of them.
Dean and Julie Couchey (AKA Two Fat Americans)
Dean and Julie Couchey are known as the Two Fat Americans. It’s a fairly impolite name, but one they created themselves.
The couple are originally from New York and Pennsylvania, but after getting married, they decided to take a special journey together – visit 20 different countries side by side, before their first wedding anniversary came around.
It was a novel idea, and their emphasis on ‘eating and drinking’ their way around the world has helped them build a solid readership. They have travelled to Hungary, Switzerland, the UK, Germany, Colombia, and more since they started their blog.
The couple managed to save a lot of money before they embarked on their trip around the world, which has helped to give them the funds on which to travel. Their blogs feature in-depth coverage of their trips, and high-quality photographs of their food.
It’s their aim to challenge the image that some American tourists have: people who only visit the same tourist hotspots and never sample other cuisines. They’re certainly meeting their goal, creating a lively, eye-opening blog everyone can enjoy.
Cassie De Pecol
Cassie De Pecol is recognised as having visited every country in the shortest time yet: she travelled to nearly 200 nations in a mere 18 months and 10 days.
You can explore her expedition on her website Expedition 196, following her steps on a map. This location sharing lets you click on one destination after another, moving across the GPS tracking map easily. It’s a terrific way to get an idea of the massive distances Cassie covered during her expedition.
In preparation for her record-breaking adventure, Cassie saved up money through babysitting, and saved around $10,000 before embarking on the trip. She requested sponsorship from a number of companies to help secure further funding, but despite getting it, she actually ran out of money before she even got halfway.
She managed to get more money by marketing herself for additional sponsorship while on the road, though, and completed her journey to claim a Guinness World Record. You can find full details of her experience at her website.
Melissa Roy used to work as an actress in Los Angeles, specialising in television adverts, but she’s also known for her remarkable travels.
She felt ready to take a big step as she found her 30th birthday approaching, and aimed to reach 100 countries before that milestone occasion. At the time of this decision, she had already been to 66, leaving her with some work to do.
She blogs on Beyond Mommying, and chronicled her global adventures on her Instagram account, showcasing the diverse destinations she has visited. She paid for the trip herself, and managed to save a lot of money during her travels by using Couchsurfing.
This online network sees people offer travellers a spot on their couch for a number of nights, allowing her to explore the world on a budget while meeting all manner of people.
Melissa’s story shows how transformative travel can be.
Clement Kovalenko and Julie Elsenberger
Clement Kovaleno and Julie Elsenberger are two friends who basically travelled the world for free. Their aim was to show that strangers can be kind and provide products or services for free, and they have been doing a pretty good job of it.
The friends contacted businesses and individuals through Facebook, explaining their quest and asking for free food, hotel rooms, plane tickets, and more. They have shown that simply asking for something can bring out the best in people.
The pair has visited Sweden, Paris, and more in their journeys.
Terry and Jennifer Constant
Bristol couple Terry and Jennifer wanted to spend precious time with their baby, Ethan, rather than simply working and watching the days fly by. They quit their office jobs and bought a motorhome, before embarking on a journey that has included stops at destinations like Portugal, Spain, Africa, and more.
The Constants cover their adventures on their blog, Travel As They Grow. They use the money they were once paying a nursery to care for Ethan while they were at work to fund their travels.
It’s impressive to see a couple so dedicated to seeing the world and spending time with their son, with the courage to follow their own path. Millions of people around the world feel restricted by their work, and yearn for a chance to escape their daily routine. If the Constants – a hard-working couple looking to provide the best for themselves and their child – can make their dream come true, maybe the rest of us can too.
Travelling for a living, whether you’re earning money through your blog or saving funds along the way, clearly works wonders for the individuals discussed above. Technology enables those travellers building their own blogs and websites to share their experiences in great detail, with GPS tracking, bookmarking, and location sharing making for more interactive sites and engaging reading.
Perhaps you’re feeling
inspired to start your own adventure and share it with others online! You may
be able to make money, or you could be able to save serious money through using
some of the techniques those entrepreneurial people above have.