We’re excited to launch our first My Travel CV interview with a great couple of guys from the USA. The travel bloggers have been keeping us interested sharing tips about their own around the world trip. Here Two Bad Tourists tell us about their love of wine, why they write a travel blog, an awful experience in Athens and their future travel plans. I’m sure you’ll enjoy reading this, I know we did!
We’ve just been in Rio de Janeiro for Carnival. Now we are in the USA for a few weeks before going to Madrid.
Auston was born in Phoenix and lived there for 25 years prior to moving to Chicago. David was born in Texas, but spent most of his childhood in Phoenix.
We both quit our jobs to travel so we are mostly unemployed, minus a few freelance writing gigs that Auston does from time to time. Prior to travelling, Auston was an engineer and David was a Medical Laboratory Scientist. We are starting to run out of money to travel so we’ll be on the job hunt soon!
Where is your least favourite travel destination?
India – great food, sights and interesting culture but the experience was a bit overwhelming for our tastes.
Do you get much chance to indulge yourself, any guilty pleasures?
Wine is definitely a guilty pleasure. And luckily, we indulge ourselves all the time. In fact, in Argentina the wine was so good and inexpensive that we indulged ourselves nearly every day with a nice glass multiple bottles of red. We also treat ourselves to a nice hotel about once per month. Unlike Craig and John, we are not flashpackers (yet!) so we tend to stay in hostels most of the time during our travels. After a few weeks of shared dorms and dirty bathrooms, we need the respite of a nice hotel and indulge ourselves.
What is your worst travel experience?
Auston’s encounter with two Venetian mosquitoes probably tops our list of worst travel experiences. It all started with a nice, home-cooked dinner while staying at a bungalow just outside Venice. The weather was warm and the mosquitoes were buzzing. We each got a few bites that night but thought nothing of it. Fast forward to ten days after we arrived in Athens and Auston’s bites were so swollen and infected he could barely walk to the clinic. Thinking he would get some antibiotic cream or pills, Auston was startled when the doctor casually said he would have to cut the bites open and clean them out. After 6 more days of doctor visits for cleaning the bites, it finally started healing and stopped ruining our trip.
Any advice on how to keep costs low for other couples who want to travel long-term?
Keeping a travel budget can be challenging, tiring and plain boring. One of the best tips is to learn how to experience a destination the local way rather than being a pure tourist. One great example is from our trip to Mendoza in Argentina. A trip to Mendoza is not complete with a tour of the vineyards in Maipu or other nearby towns. Most hostels and hotels will offer inclusive tours for US$80 which includes transportation, several wine tours, wine tasting and lunch. Being the budget travellers we are, we managed to take the city bus and rented bikes in Maipu. Our self-guided tour cost less than $25 USD and included all the same aspects as the tour package.
Why do you write a travel blog?
We started blogging a year ago as way to document our travels and to stay in touch with friends and family. After 8 or 9 months we realized we have a lot to offer to other readers and we really enjoyed writing and sharing stories. Travelers face a lot of challenges on the road and have endless decisions to make so it’s always helpful when you can provide a tip, an opinion or just a laugh.
Has your relationship with your partner changed much since you started this journey?
Yes! We’ve gone through some changes, both good and bad. We’ve become better friends and have really learned to work together, each taking various roles in the travel planning. But while we’ve grown a lot in our relationship, it wasn’t without some difficulty. At the beginning of our travels we tended to get on each others’ nerves more often than we did before our trip. We found ourselves disagreeing frequently on little things. Spending 24/7 together doesn’t allow much time for personal space! But it has been a minor issue to overcome and we’ve learned to ‘pick our battles’.
Do you have any specific requirements when choosing accommodation?
Wi-fi is a must and preferably in-room. We tend to stay in hostels so a community kitchen is nice so we can cook meals rather than always eating out. Location is important and good reviews are a plus.
Share with us one highlight from your current trip?
One of the hardest parts of traveling abroad long term has been missing our friends and family back in the United States so a major highlight was traveling with family in Peru. David’s two sisters and his brother-in-law joined us for eight days as we visited Lima, Cuzco, Machu Picchu and Puno over the New Year’s holiday. We saw gorgeous sights, enjoyed outrageous events, ate disturbing foods and it was all the better because we could share the experience with them.
Tell us one destination, anywhere in the world, you are itching to visit?
We desperately excited to visit New Zealand. We didn’t make it to the South Pacific on our round the world trip. It’s certainly a top destination that is on our list of places to visit soon.
What are your plans for 2013 or beyond?
We are finishing up our round the world trip at the end of February. After a month back home catching up with family and recovering from ten months of travel, we plan to move to Madrid to study Spanish and travel regionally in Spain and throughout various parts of Europe. Prior to Madrid, we will make a couple quick stops in Miami and Chicago.
Thanks guys for the interview and sharing your travel experiences. Glad we are not the only ones who like a few bottles of vino. We hope you are both enjoying your time back in the good old U-S-A with family and friends. Looking forward to following your adventures as you head off to Spain. If you can get to New Zealand you won’t regret it, its still one of our top destinations. Muchas Gracias Amigos.
John & Craig xx