So far on Trekking with Twins we’ve featured stories, photos, and other content based on our own travels. But the more we travel the more we meet other awesome travelers that inspire us, and we want to share some of their stories too.
Starting today we’ll occasionally publish interviews with fellow travelers of all types, to give you even more reasons to get out there and explore. First up are Stefanie and Christoph from Join Our Journey.
We met Stefanie and Christoph while we were diving at Balicasag Island in the Philippines. These guys are super fun and we wish we had more time to chat with them about their adventures. Their blog features some really excellent photography so check it out, even if you can’t read German!
Here we go… Stefanie and Christoph take it away!
Tell us a bit about yourselves.
We are Stefanie (29) and Christoph (32) and for the second time now we have left our Bavarian home to embark on a long-term journey. Four years ago we traveled in South America for 8 months, and this time we want to see some other parts of the world.
Why is travel important to you?
For us, travelling simply is the most intense form of living. The adventures and experiences you have in one year of travelling probably equal 10 years spent at home.
We always want to expand our own limits and do things we never tried before – like driving the whole length of Vietnam by motorbike or doing a long trek in the Himalayas. It’s the things that make you leave your comfort zone and take your breath away that will stay in your memory forever.
That’s why travelling is so much more important to us than career or material possessions can ever be – at the end of their life nobody ever said “Wow, thank God I had a great car when I was 30” or “I wish I had spent more time in the office.”
What made you decide to travel long term? What was the biggest hurdle for you before you set off, and how did you overcome it?
I think the day we came back from our first big trip, we already knew that it was not the last time. Thinking about it, we did not really have any big hurdles to overcome. We had a strict saving plan for two years but, with the upcoming travels in mind, doing without expensive restaurant dinners or unnecessary splurges on clothes was not that big of a sacrifice.
Share a great story from your own travels.
There are so many great or funny moments and experiences, it’s hard to decide on one. Some experiences are funny only in hindsight, like last week when both luggage racks on our motorbike broke at the same time. We were on the most deserted part of the Ho-Chi-Minh-Trail and almost 100km from the next workshop – one motorbike, two people and three backpacks.
Probably the most extreme thing we ever witnessed though was a sky burial in Litang (Northern Sichuan), a city which belongs to the Tibetan district of Garze. In this sacred Tibetan ritual the body of the deceased person is cut into pieces and given to the vultures who are said to carry the person’s spirit into the sky. It truly is a shocking sight that is completely against all of our western moral concepts, but in an extreme way it forces us to open our minds towards different cultures and values.
What are your favorite travel websites, apps, and gear?
We are huge fans of our GoPro Hero 4 that lets us capture practically any moment of our adventures, especially underwater. (Matt comment: We love our GoPro too – it’s the ultimate travel camera!)
Also, for book-addicted travelers like me, e-readers are simply heaven on earth! No more carrying of heavy books and desperate searches for good books in badly equipped bookstores or hostel book exchanges.
The equivalent for Christoph is the Spiegel App, where he can read Germany’s most popular weekly news magazine right on his smartphone. Our most important app while travelling probably is WhatsApp – simply to keep close contact to all our loved ones at home.
Check out more from Join Our Journey
First off I want to say a huge thank you to Stefanie and Christoph for taking part in our interview – this is great stuff. Read more and enjoy the stunning travel photography on their blog Join Our Journey, and also on Facebook.