Why are you doing this?
Why not? We are in a very unusual yet fortunate position. We don’t have kids, don’t have debt, we love to travel and experience new things and are still at the point in our relationship that we can’t get enough of each other.
How did you decide where to travel?
We knew we wanted to get married on a white sand beach, and ended up choosing between Cat Island in the outer islands of the Caribbean and the Cook Islands in the South Pacific. We knew that it would be easier to travel to the Caribbean once we lived in Scotland so we chose a travel path that would take us through the South Pacific, Oceania then South East Asia.
How are you going to pay for all this?
Well in a few ways. Both of us pay off our credit cards monthly so we don’t pay interest charges which saves us a lot of money monthly. Paul sold his car back in 2005 – no car payment/fuel/insurance/maintenance costs. Christine’s car was paid off, was very reliable and got great mileage. We stopped eating in restaurants, going to movies, going to live shows and drinking expensive coffee drinks. We made large dinners at home and used the leftovers to pack lunches for work everyday. We also drank water at dinner instead of beer/wine/soda. (that one was easy, every time we wanted a beer we would say ‘we could buy one beer now or four beers in Thailand!’)
Why did you decide on the Cook Islands to get married?
Christine’s dream has always been getting married on a white sand beach in Greece (she has Greek ancestry). But, we soon found out that white sand beaches in Greece aren’t that abundant. Enter “Plan B”. Literally, we did a Google Image search for ‘White Sand Beach’, and found that the Caribbean or the South Pacific would offered the best opportunities. We then chose to travel to and get married in the South Pacific since, once we lived in Scotland it would be easier to travel to the Caribbean, and much harder to get to the South Pacific.
What one word would you use to describe each other?
Christine would describe Paul as patient.
Paul would describe Christine as beautiful – of spirit, mind and body.
What is the hardest thing about traveling?
There are quite a few, and they seem to change as we enter different countries. Waking up in a strange place and having to figure out the system in every city or town we visited seems to be the toughest. In the US, New Zealand and Australia – we carried food bags (one for cold food, one for canned/pasta/rice) and eat in the hostels daily since eating out was too expensive. They were the canvas grocery bags, and that became rather cumbersome. Also, having to shop every three days or so to prevent carrying too much food at any given time. It seems odd, but being around each other 24 hours a day is really, really hard. (see our post: “Dirty Little Secrets of Long Term Travel“)
What is the best thing about traveling?
Traveling to places that we’d only seen on TV, or read about in books. Meeting fellow travelers and hearing their travel stories, whether backpackers or pensioners. Also, meeting local residents and gaining an insight into their community and see a little slice of their daily life.
Have you been meeting any nice people?
The best people that we’ve met so far have been several couples we met while staying at the Tamanu Beach Resort on the island of Aitutaki in the Cook Islands – you know who you are . . . .
We’ve met many nice travelers and have exchanged many email addresses and websites (see “Some Sites We Like” in the right sidebar for some of those particular websites). Also, we’ve met some amazing guides as we’ve traveled, Jake in Ayers Rock Australia, Ta Noi in Luang Nam Tha Laos, Minh in Nha Trang Vietnam. You’ve really enriched our travels!
Do you have any boring days, or are they all filled with activities?
Of course there are boring days. Foul weather days are the most frequent. We have our cribbage board, iTunes, reading books/travel books to help pass the time. Also, when we have wi-fi in our room (which is more common than expected), we can spend the day updating our website, writing emails, uploading photos to Flickr, Facebooking/Twittering, watching movies on the laptop, or just talking with each other about what we’re doing and how it’s affecting us personally.
Do you miss your friends?
Of course. But through the wonders of modern technology we have many resources at our disposal for keeping in touch. Our website, Skype, Facebook, email and Flickr are some of the main ways we keep in touch.
What are some travel items you can’t live without?
Christine: Eagle Creek Travel Cubes, collapsible grocery bags, laptop
Paul: Duct Tape, first aid kit, camera, my running shoes, bright LED headlamp, laptop, the internet
Where are the coolest places you’ve been to?
Nusa Lembongan, Bali. Everywhere in New Zealand. The Cook Islands. Ayers Rock, Australia. Melbourne, Australia. Puala Perhentian Kecil, Malaysia. (Actually, the entire country of Malaysia!). The entire country of Laos. Queensland, Australia. Halong Bay, Vietnam.
What is the worst hotel/hostel you’ve stayed in?
We’ve had our share of sub standard hostels and guesthouses, although the YHA International in Auckland smells of dirty feet and 19 year old male body odor!
What are the best hotels/hostels/guesthouses you’ve stayed in?
Staying with Sonya and Aaron in Melbourne!
Raglan Backpackers – Raglan, New Zealand.
Thai Son – Nha Trang, Vietnam.
The “Alexander Stewart” sailing ship – Whitsundays, Australia.
The Small Hotel – Chiang Mai, Thailand.
Zuela’s – Chiang Rai, Thailand.
The Check Inn 2, Chinatown – Bangkok, Thailand.
The Rock Tour – Alice Springs, Australia (slept in swags by campfire beneath the stars)
Are Mango – Rarotonga, Cook Islands.
Travelers Oasis – Cairns, Australia.
Maya – Puala Perhentian Kecil, Malaysia.
Tune Hotel – Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
What place could you stay in forever?
Nha Trang, Vietnam.
Wellington, New Zealand.