Welcome to another installment of a Rendezvous with Rovers on Weekend Travel Inspiration where we meet up, virtually, with some intrepid travelers and share their stories. This week, we are talking with the brave and location-independent Frank and Lissette, BBQ and Spanky, who’ve been traveling continuously for a couple of years. Jim and I met up with then in Prague, shared a beer, and a ton of laughs. There’s something special about hanging out with like-minded folks. I hope you enjoy their escapades and find their journey inspirational.Tell us about yourselves. Where do you live or are you location independent? How did you start traveling?Hi Corinne. We’re been full-time travellers since 2014. I’ve always travelled and actually lived in Africa for a few years as a kid. But I’ve always dreamed of being able to travel full-time and we finally achieved that.Describe your travel philosophy. What is your style? Do you like to be in control and do all your own planning, or do you like to let go and go on tours or go to a travel agent to help out? Do you like to pack a lot into a day or take it easy and follow your whims?
We’re slow travellers, renting apartments and staying in a place 1, sometimes even 2 months at a time. That’s partly because my wife Lissette (Spanky) still works as we travel. But it’s also because we like to have a place to come back to as a base. No, no tours or travel agents, we do everything on our own.What types of things are you interested in while you are traveling? Is it adventure/adrenalin or history/culture?
I like the adventure stuff: hiking, climbing towers, even paragliding. Lissette prefers the more cultural aspects (museums, food and wine tours etc). So we do a mix of everything. Generally, because of the way we travel we don’t rush things too much.What are some of the places that you just found enchanting during your travels? Are they in the country you are living in or elsewhere? Why would someone like to go there? What is so special about it?
A recent highlight for me was South Africa where I did a lot of hiking, including climbing Table Mountain. It’s one of the most beautiful places I’ve been. Lissette didn’t like it as much as I did, her favorite country so far is Croatia because of the beauty and history. She also loves Budapest which in a way reminds her of her native New York.
How did you get started travel blogging? Do you think it enhances your travel experiences or makes it a little more stressful? Are there any lessons you can pass on to us about travel blogging? What do you think is the most rewarding part of blogging? The most difficult?
I actually started blogging on one of those hosted websites many years ago. I did it for myself, to record my memories and post my photos. It got no traffic or comments but I enjoyed doing it. Then in 2013 I decided that I wanted to get more serious about it and get my own site. My one regret was having waited so long. Lessons? Write what you feel and don’t be afraid of offending people. Too many people are generic, politically correct and just plain boring. Write for yourself and enjoy the process. At the end of the day, you’ll be the one looking back at your posts in the future and reliving the memories.
The most rewarding thing for me is when I feel that I’ve done a post that really captures the essence of a destination to us. It’s about conveying in words and photos what we’ve felt and seen and the people we met along the way. The most difficult? Technical aspects and social media because it bores me. I love working on content. Writing and photography. I also enjoy reading other people’s blogs and commenting. But I don’t like the blogger circles or media outreach, I find it all takes time away from the stuff I really enjoy doing.What is your next destination and what are you looking forward to doing there?
We’ll be in Croatia for the next 3 months and we’re looking forward to hiking and visiting many of the islands. Croatia is spectacular.If you could inspire someone to start traveling, which place would you recommend to him or her as a good starting destination and why? Are there any places that you wouldn’t travel to your first time out and why?
It depends on the person. My first independent travel was through the Dominican Republic, travelling by public transport. The 2nd was through Colombia. I met so many great people. For me it was the adventure and challenge that got me excited. I think people have to challenge themselves to some degree, whatever that is for them. Europe is always a good starting destination, especially if one has been thinking of travelling solo but is nervous. I actually think that Germany, where you are, is actually perfect because there’s so much to see and because everyone speaks English. It all depends on you: where have you always dreamed to go and what’s stopped you? Then you do your research…Is there anything else you’d like to share with us?
Travel is really not as scary as we sometimes make it out to be. I know too many people who have not travelled just because they haven’t overcome their fear. Push yourself, travel independently once or twice and you’ll never travel the same way (package tours, all-inclusives) ever again. It will open up a whole new world to you.Wow! I love the great advice you have given us, and I wish I could spend the next three months in Croatia. What fun!
Author Bio: Corinne Vail is a travel photographer, food lover, and a perpetual traveler who has been travel writing for over 14 years. For many years she lived overseas in Germany, Japan, Turkey, South Korea, and the Netherlands teaching the children of the US. military. She’s visited over 90 countries, and she’s not stopping anytime soon.
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Monday 11th of April 2016
Thanks so much for the mention Corinne & Jim. We really had a great time with the two of you, you're a lot of fun. We really hope to get to see you again somewhere. If you make it to Croatia would love to show you around :) Frank
Tuesday 12th of April 2016
Frank, I told you about inviting us places. We come. Thanks for the interview. I hope you guys are having a great time in Croatia. It's beautiful this time of year!