Blogger Interview with Travel Experts Nathan and Sofia

Blogger Interview with Travel Experts Nathan and Sofia

Are you looking to take a trip around the world but aren’t really sure where to begin?  Why not take some advice from the experts?!  Nathan and Sofia, the couple behind the blog, embarked on for their first round the world trip in 2008.   They’ve been sharing their knowledge, travel tips, advice, photos, city guides, and videos since 2010 to help all those who wish to achieve their own unique travel goals.  Tours4Fun had the opportunity to interview these travel enthusiasts, and today we’re going to share their insight with you.

Tours4Fun: What inspired the two of you to do a RTW Trip?
Nathan and Sofia: It had been Sofia’s lifelong dream to travel the world, something she had decided to do as soon as she graduated high school.
She asked Nathan, who had just quit his studies, if he wanted to join her – and a few months later we set off, with little money and no plans (for some reason Nathan insisted it would be more fun having no plans at all).

Tours4Fun: When you visit a new country, what is the first thing you look forward to doing?
Nathan and Sofia: To just walk down a street and soak up the atmosphere and everything around us. When you travel you have to be like a human sponge, taking in everything; the good, the bad, the ugly and the smelly – it’s all part of the experience.
Studying the people are definitely the most fun and fascinating.
Another thing we look forward to is tasting the food! The cuisine tells you a lot about the people and their culture, and being vegetarians we look forward to seeing what veggie options and desserts they offer.

Tours4Fun: How do you combat a language barrier and get to know the locals of every place you’re in?
Nathan and Sofia: Body language is key – and a huge smile on your face.
We’ve also found that body language is one of the things that can truly insult people, and that it’s more important to know the customs about body language than necessary words.
In some countries, for example, pointing with your index finger or foot is considered very rude.
Getting to know locals is easier when you’re staying in places for longer periods of time, for weeks or months.
The best way is to simply become a “regular” at a few different places, and soon enough they will open up to you (in some places this happens the second time you’re there, in others it takes longer).
Of course in this situation knowing the basics in their language will help a lot!

Tours4Fun: Budgeting a RTW trip must be time consuming and confusing. Can you give us few tips on how you got through it and how much time is necessary to plan for long-term travel?
Nathan and Sofia: The first time we traveled we had such a small budget that we survived on couscous and raisins for our three daily meals, and slept in a camping tent. I guess that’s when we learned how to make it work no matter what your budget is.
Nowadays we give ourselves a monthly budget, and try to stick to it. Some countries will be more expensive and some cheaper, so it all evens out in the end.
When we travel to a country or area of the world we look at how much money we spend during the first few days, and that way we can see how much we will be spending during the rest of our time there.
Doing some research before traveling to a new country helps a lot, but we normally don’t spend that much time planning. It’s more fun just going there and see what happens. 🙂

Tours4Fun: Out of all the people you’ve met on your travels, was there one particularly influential person that sticks out in your mind?  Who were they and in what way did they affect you?
Nathan and Sofia: When you travel you meet so many people that make big impressions on you, often without you even realizing it until months later, when you’re in a situation and suddenly get reminded of a person you met, and he/she inspires or affects what you do.

Tours4Fun: Tell us the craziest thing you have experienced in a foreign land.
Nathan and Sofia: The great thing with traveling is all the crazy culture clashes you experience, from Cambodians snacking on tarantulas to the extreme friendliness in Vanuatu.
In one place we visited in Laos, we noticed that there were coffins under every house. We found out that when someone turned 50, they had to start carving their own coffin to prepare for death. This along with the little children carrying around massive machetes and smoking big tobacco pipes was a bit of a culture shock.

Tours4Fun: How important is it to have a travel bucket list?  Did you accomplish everything you wanted to on your 2012 Bucket List?
Nathan and Sofia: We tend to be pretty spontaneous, and never really manage to stick to the plans we make. Having a bucket list is a great inspiration, but it’s really just a guide.

Tours4Fun: What has been the most challenging part about continuous travel for the two of you?
Nathan and Sofia: The most challenging part has been to juggle work and travel. You want to be out there exploring, but meanwhile you have to work just like everybody else.
The past year we have started to travel slower, and have really enjoyed that. But we also notice how we suffer from the “travel bug”, and get restless when staying in one place for more than a month.

Tours4Fun: Finally, where will your next adventure be?
Nathan and Sofia: Like most times, we’re not yet sure. We know we will be leaving in two weeks, but have yet to decide where. Italy is tempting, though 😉
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