We had the pleasure of meeting Steven and Jess from finelinetravels virtually through our website, and were able to exchange info about Chiang Mai with them. Then one day as luck would have it, Liz and I were eating breakfast at local Thai restaurant, when Steven and Jess recognized us and came over to introduce themselves. What a small world it really is!!! We instantly hit it off, but who wouldn’t with these two. Days later we met up with them again at our going away dinner in Chiang Mai, as we gathered with a number of other travel bloggers. We are big fans of these two. Meet Steven and Jess and learn about how they are exploring the world!
Tell us a little bit about yourselves and how finelinetravels started.
Hello! We are Steven and Jess, two thirty-somethings with a love for travel and seeing the world. In 2014 we made the decision to pack up our lives and head out to do just that, circumnavigate the globe. Our main reason for starting finelinetravels was to document our adventure firstly for ourselves, but also for our family and friends. Little did we know it would also connect us with many amazing people around the world, including you guys at Peanuts and Pretzels!
What made you two decide to go on an extended around the world trip? What about returning to your normal lives in Newfoundland do you fear will be the most difficult?
In December 2013, we spent one month exploring the east coast of Australia on our honeymoon, and it sparked a travel bug that all the deet in the world wouldn’t thwart. While researching for our trip to Australia, we stumbled across so many travel blogs; many written by couples just like us, who had given up successful careers to travel. This really inspired us to take a leap of faith and follow our dream to see the world. Two months after returning, we had a ‘For Sale’ sign in front of our house and approved one-year leaves of absence from our jobs as an accountant and consultant. On our one-year wedding anniversary in June 2014, we were officially homeless and unemployed, but ready to take on the world!
We have just a couple of weeks left on the road before we head back home. We’ve got so many different emotions about the end of the trip; we are super excited to see friends and family, proud of ourselves for making a plan and sticking to it, nervous to see how it feels to be back in familiar environments after a year of seeing so many amazing things. As for our biggest fear on our return… perhaps the weather! We’ve just spent the last ten months escaping winter! However, we are ‘Made in Canada’ so we’ll handle it.
How much of your trip did you plan out and how much of it is spontaneous?
We aren’t the most decisive of couples, so while we had an idea of continents for the trip, we left with just the first week planned and booked. From there, we booked along the way, balancing our decisions based on places we wanted to see with costs to get there. This meant we made some sacrifices along the way, but we’re happy we took this approach as we ended up visiting some countries not originally on our list. Booking based on seat sales also gave us the chance to go back to Australia (believe it or not!), one of our favorite places in the world, and the country where finelinetravels was born!
You two recently did an African Safari trip with G Adventures. What did you think of your experience on the tour and would you do something like that again?
Yes, yes and yes. Our trip with G Adventures was without a doubt the highlight of this whole adventure for us. We spent 20 days camping and traveling overland from Kenya to Zambia. We pushed ourselves, saw amazing animals in their natural habitat, swam on the edge of Victoria Falls in the Devils Pool and met some really great people. We actually had the chance to meet up with some of those friends in SE Asia and Australia. We recently read a book written by the CEO of G Adventures, that outlines his vision behind the company. The way G gives back to the communities in which it operates make us even happier with our decision to choose G Adventures.
The two of you have traveled to so many great places on this trip around the world. Which destination surprised you the most (good or bad)?
Our best surprise was Bosnia and Herzegovina. We had read some mixed reviews about Sarajevo before our visit, and weren’t really sure what to expect. What we got was incredible hospitality, delicious food, and a history lesson we could never get from a textbook. If you don’t have Bosnia on your list, you should add it immediately.
You two have stayed at some unique accommodations along your trip. Which one that will always stand out to you, and why?
This is a tough one for us, as we use Airbnb a lot, which often gives us a chance to get an authentic local experience. However, we recently spent a week in Kuta, Lombok in Indonesia, where we were the first ever guests at a brand new homestay, Drop In Café and Bungalows. It was such an incredible feeling to share in the excitement with the owner, who had worked so hard to make her dream a reality.
What can we as readers expect from finelinetravels in the coming year?
While our around the world trip might be coming to an end, we’ve still got so many stories and photos to share. Even though we are going back to work, we still plan to maximize all of our vacation time and weekends to continue exploring and sharing our experiences! On top of that, we have an across Canada road trip planned for this spring, so stay tuned and thanks for reading!
** All photos were kindly provided by Steven and Jess of Finelinetravels.com
We want to thank these two so much for taking the time to chat with us. We were so happy to be able to meet them in Chiang Mai and would love to meet up again on the road some day in the future. As for now, they have just returned back to their homes in Canada. No doubt, they are planning their next adventure.