The thrill of the open road, the excitement of exploring the unknown and the utter happiness of doing what you love to do every day. Sounds awesome, doesn’t it? That’s what the goal and reward were for Rachel and Leo, the couple who are travelling across the world on a voyage of exploration and documenting the journey on their blog, viajologoexisto.
Take a peek of what Rachel and Leo’s lives were like prior to taking on what may be considered their greatest adventure, and the canvas of their lives portrayed a different image: Business school, a professional and successful career in tow, financial security and at an arm’s reach from great friends and family. Though this life seems idyllic, they always had the illusion of exploring the world, and luckily, with some planning and hard work, their dreams of travelling came true.
Does the idea of travelling round the world intrigue you, too? get inspired and read our interview with Rachel and Leo and take a tour of what life on the road is like in their magnificent photographs!
Hi, Leo and Rachel. Tell us a bit about yourselves: Your age, background, interests, etc.
“I am 30 years old and Rachel is 28. I went to business school, received an MBA, and Rachel pretty much did the same, graduating with an MBA in economics. We both worked in the financial market for 9 years before deciding to change our lives and embrace our notion of driving from Brazil to Australia. Besides working in the bank, I was already involved with photography and Rachel always had some interest in food and gastronomy. We had both been preparing for many years to live out the dream of travelling, and the trip was our way of embracing all of our interests and passion and in developing new skills.”
Both of you had good jobs and a good quality of life in Brazil, but you still decided to leave everything behind to live an adventure. Was it difficult to make that decision?
“Normally, we say that leaving our jobs behind was the hardest part. Everyone thought we were crazy to leave a secure career to live in a car, but on the other hand, we knew it was the right time in our lives. Neither of us had kids yet, we had savings and were young enough to have a fresh start (we hope). In all seriousness, though it may sound weird, we love to work and we feel that it is one of the reasons we devote so much time to our project.”
Why did you decide to travel on your world tour by car and not by airplane, for example?
“Actually we never even considered the idea of taking an airplane. In early 2012 I read a book about a Brazilian couple who had taken a worldwide road trip in 2003. There were some similarities between us and I thought: “I can do it, it looks amazing!” One year later, in May 2013, we hit the road to start the journey. Rachel, to my surprise, liked the idea and quickly started to research the places to go. She also drew the route, and more!”
You´ve visited 70 countries during 42 months. How did you decide the route? Were you flexible and open to change it on the road or was everything planned from the very beginning?
“Well, we are still in the middle of the journey. It’s been 19 months since we left Brazil and have crossed 43 countries so far. In March, we may be in South Africa and will then start to drive north until we reach Kenya and then, from there, we will have to ship our car to India and heads to Singapore, crossing South Asia. In terms of the route, we kind of planned everything from the beginning, mostly because we want to estimate the mileage of the whole trip and also the cost. But, although we try to follow the original route we have some flexibility to make small changes. The important thing here is to respect some deadlines, like if you want to see the animal migrations in Kenya you need to be in the right season, if you want to avoid the raining season in India, you need to respect some dates. So yes, there are some things like that we take in consideration, too.”
Can you describe your daily routine?
“Well our daily routine changes a lot, mostly because in the almost 600 days we’ve travelled, we had more than 200 invitations through our Facebook page to stay in peoples homes on the way. This has brought a large, new experience in our trip and life as well. We were not only able to save some money, but also to have a much bigger understand of the local culture through these people. But, in the normal days, we camp on our roof top tent, make our breakfast while driving to some nice place; spend the day making photos, talking with people, observing the places, and more! Before dark we head to a camping (generally a place we previous know the coordinates – (so we don’t get lost), try to connect to the internet, update our media files, play some guitar, make dinner, read a lot (we love) – well, that was our routine in the Sahara Desert few weeks ago when we were in Morocco!”
Tell us how you pass the time in the car. What type of music do you listen to? Do you have a play list you can tell us about?
“Driving consumes a lot of our time. We estimate that since we left, we’ve driven about 2,029 hours or 84 days. So yes, we need a lot of patience and also, we take care not to drive at night. We also always let our parents know where we are, in case we are taken off the track route. In our time in the car we talk a lot; every topic you can possibly imagine, chances are we’ve covered it. We also download many podcasts, and sure, we have almost 10,000 music tracks. We like a lot of Brazilian music, and now we are listening to a lot of “Maria Rita”, one our famous signers from back home. Besides that, Joss Stone, Belly and Sebastian, Marcelo Camelo, Bob Marley, Maroon 5, etc. Our musical tastes are very eclectic.”[iframe src=”https://embed.spotify.com/?uri=spotify:user:1120984926:playlist:5ndi6TipXjUCvthiC0PCsN” width=”300″ height=”380″ frameborder=”0″ allowtransparency=”true”][/iframe]
What is your daily budget, approximately?
We have a $100,00 budget, which includes everything; from the money we pay to park the car in the street at times, to the funds we need when we ship the car and all of the other costs. So far, it is $99.1 right now. We try to be very open when about talking about our costs and expenditures. Our webpage even has a breakdown of how we spend and where we spend it. We do everything we can to try to help future travellers!”
You have a blog dedicated to gastronomy around the world. That means that trying new flavours must be an important part of the travel experience. What is the place that surprised you the most from this point of view?
“Peru was a big surprise. We have stayed for 60 days, and we did not have time enough to try all of the delicious dishes they make. The “Ceviche” made with raw fish marinated in lemon and other local ingredients is great. You can have it every single day! Peru has a growing gastronomy scene, with new chefs, new people are coming to mix the flavors, to create new plates, etc. We will be back, for sure!”
What has been the most special moment of your trip? And the most difficult one?
“The most difficult was in Chile, when we were robbed. They took my photo equipment (luckily they have insurance), we had to go to the police department and explain, and they didn’t seem to care much. That was stressful. Our best moment may sounds cliché, but it is every day. We were happy to cross our first border, then we were happy because we got into our third country, then because we reached USA, then Europe, etc. As you can see, we are stoked about everything! We really feel blessed to be taking this trip!”
Talking about stressful moments, how you deal with them? Do you have any special trick to stay calm?
“The trick is to remember that 99% of the people we know would love to be in our place. Sure it’s not that easy, but we try to remember that very often. Besides, I often say “take it easy, calm down. Everything is going to work out.” It’s so important to have a positive outlook!”
Could you tell us how it feels to travel with your partner?
“Great! Having the opportunity to share all these experiences is amazing! To have someone you trust by your side is priceless. We help each other when we need it, we push each other to grow and we respect each other a lot. Simple things that make all the difference.”
I travel therefore, I am. This is what Rachel and Leo’s blog is aptly translated into. It’s also a token of pure inspiration for those who love to travel. Do you have the urge to travel, too? Leave us a comment below and tell us where your dream journey around the world leads!