G’Day we are Jayne (the author) and Vaughan (corrects my spelling mistakes) Aussie married couple who have been travelling since January 2017
Actually, I tell a small lie! We have been travelling on and off for the last 20 years but currently on our second big world trip together.
So, who are we really? We are 40 something addicts of travel, adventure and all things outdoors which includes diving, hiking and nature as well as been lovers of history, culture, food and wine. What we don’t like is fancy shopping, nightclubs, theme parks (well Vaughan does) or anything that involves expensive package tours and glitz. As much as we wouldn’t say no to the occasional spoil in a 5 star resort we are mostly budget travellers, aiming to make our savings stretch as far as possible so we can travel for longer but not so budget that we sacrifice comfort and have the occasional splurge, so I guess that puts us in the category “flashpackers”
Let’s start from the beginning…
I’m what the Aussies would call a “pom” I hale from Old Blighty, I spent the first 30 years of my life growing up in Shropshire, a rural county bordering North Wales. I graduated with a BSc in Computing Science then ended up in the South East of England as most IT Professionals do. I’ve always loved travel but never really could afford to until I started to work. The idea of doing a backpacking trip when I finished my studies or travelling and living abroad really excited me. I started to investigate different visas for Australia, I fancied Australia because I hate the cold and I love the outdoors and beach life and Australia has it all. I decided to go for a permanent residence visa, back in the mid 90’s they were cheap, it cost me 200 pounds! After working some years in London after I graduated I was awarded my Australian residence visa and in 1998 I quit my job, packed what little stuff I had into storage (mum’s house) and took off on my first solo backpacking adventure with stops in Hawaii, Cook Islands, four months in New Zealand landing in Sydney almost 6 months later. I spent the next 18 months working my way around Australia with a quick visit to the UK in 1999 and a stop in South East Asia on the way back to Australia. It wasn’t until March 2000 that I decided I had enough of living out of a backpack and doing crappy jobs, so I decided to finally put down roots and get a proper job and so ended up in Melbourne and that is when I met my life long travel partner.
Born in Melbourne, I spent most of my childhood and teenage years growing up in country Victoria, I didn’t really travel much, our holidays when I was young consisted of family camping trips. My first overseas trip was a family trip to Bali when I was 14, I never went overseas again until I met Jayne. I spent most of my youth enjoying the great outdoors and engaging in my passion for scouting, over 20 years later I am still involved in the scouting movement, when I’m home I am a Cub Scout leader. I met Jayne in 2000 and found we both share the same passion for the outdoors and have done many camping and hiking trips together. In 2003 we were married and since then my travel experience has grown from 2 countries to over 60. I love history especially English history, 2002 was my first trip to England and it was one of the best trips I had done. My other passion is beer! I aim to try as many different beers as possible on my travels so far I have logged over 300 unique beers in “untapped” and that is only from May last year when I first learnt of this app (feel free to friend me!).
First World Trip 2013/2014
Having spent the last 13 years living a normal life, we had got married, we bought the house, we had the pets, we had our holidays and we both had 9-5 jobs. It was great to have the stability and we enjoyed it but in the back of my mind I always yearned for another extended trip. One day in early 2012 I said to Vaughan “Fancy taking a year off to travel the world?” and so, the wheels were set in motion, we put away as much money as possible over nearly two years, I asked work for a sabbatical, Vaughan put in his resignation and October 2013 we were on a one-way ticket to Beijing. Over 12 months we visited 29 countries over 5 continents fulfilling some amazing dreams like an overland trip through East and Southern Africa, a visit to the Galapagos Islands and hiking the Inca Trail. It was an incredible adventure where we saw some amazing places, had unforgettable experiences and met some wonderful people most of which are now lifelong friends.
Coming Home, the mission for change
Going home was like falling off a cliff and coming to a sudden stop, colourful sights and sounds and extreme happiness was now replaced with 4 walls of a grey cubical and misery. The positive was Vaughan was able to get his job back, the negative I hated my job, I just could not settle back in, things had changed during the year I had been away, I had changed, and I realised even more how much I disliked this mundane boring job I was in. Computer Security was just not me, the people around me didn’t share my passions, I had no connection with either, I just didn’t belong, it was time for a much-needed change. I didn’t have to think too hard where my passion lay it was obvious, so I enrolled in a Travel and Tourism course and in 18 months I was on the road to a new career.
Changing the direction of my career was not the only thing that changed, we also made the decision to do another trip but this time with a more flexible end date. For the next two years we once again saved every cent, made sacrificed and in 2016 put our house on the market. Not only was a change of career needed but also a change of location. By Christmas 2016 our house was sold and in Jan 2017 we both quit our jobs with a one way ticket to Buenos Aires.
Where we are now
We have been travelling since Jan 2017 and we haven’t regretted our decision at all. 2017 took us to one destination that seemed like an impossible dream, but we saved hard and made it happen, we made it to the 7th continent, an 11-day cruise to ANTARCTICA and what an epic trip it was! During our 2017 trip we spent 3 months exploring Argentina, southern Chile, Easter Island, Uruguay and Antarctica. We went to Japan, South Korea and Mongolia where we picked up the trans Mongolian/Siberian railway and journeyed one month across Russia. The Trans-Siberian has been a lifelong bucket list item for Vaughan.
We spent July through to October in Europe then as the weather turned colder we headed down to southern Africa. We returned to the UK for Christmas, saw the New Year in Budapest. January took us to Southern Florida, Cuba, Mexico and we are currently makng our way through Central America.
In June we will return to Europe where we plan to buy a campervan and spend the rest of this year until it gets colder exploring Europe and the UK.
About Blue Planet Nomads
I originally started this blog in 2014 but found overtime I could not keep up with it especially while travelling. I have decided to revamp it and build it up again. I’m hoping over the next few months I can blog all our amazing journeys and provide helpful tips and information on the places we have been and the activities we have done.