Cape Town - We often hear about the adventurers who drop everything and follow their dream of travelling the globe. But when it is South Africans leaving the Motherland to do just that, we're even more inspired (read jealous).
Trading everything for a round-the-world dream is a scary thought... but that's exactly what Chanel Cartell and Stevo Dirnberger did when they ditched their comfortable lives living as creative professionals in Johannesburg and embarked on the adventure of a lifetime 2 March 2015.
But the risk payed off, as the couple recently returned home with a thriving online brand and viable social media business born from their howfarfromhome journey.
If you're thinking of following your travel dream too, allow their story to inspire you. But, be warned, you have to be able to face the good AND bad of globe-trotting on a budget.
Be ready to scoop poop
Traveller24 reported last year that, six months into their 'year of adventure', the couple shared some of the downsides to giving up comfort for adventure.
Over the last 14 months, they have done some interesting jobs, including "moving a ton of rocks, spreading 250 kilograms of cow dung, cleaning 135 dirty, stinky toilets, enjoying 90 sessions of dog poop-scooping, laying down 60 metres of pathway, making 57 beds, building 1 awesome jungle gym, and cleaning 1 smelly chicken coop," Chanel remembers.
"Don’t get me wrong... It’s bloody amazing," Chanel wrote at the time. "But it’s not all ice-creams in the sun and pretty landscapes. Noooooo....
"The budget is really tight, and we are definitely forced to use creativity (and small pep talks) to solve most of our problems (and the mild crying fits)."
At least if you're going into the experience knowingly, the battle is halfway won.
SEE: SA couple who quit their jobs to travel the world now cleaning toilets
'Collect experiences, not things'
Firstly, it can be expensive collecting 'things' if you're travelling to so many countries.
Chanel says their motto is "to spend our time and money on spectacular experiences, to be left with incredible learnings and memories, not tangible objects. This way, we’re sure to keep our lives light without additional luggage, but also be the change we want to see in the world."
You can avoid so many unnecessary medical costs if you just look after yourself.
Plus, your travel dream doesn't include feeling drowsy or snotty while seeing the Taj Mahal for the very first time, does it...? On the How Far From Home blog, the couple say "If you’re stuck in bed and battling with a cold, or you’re on crutches trekking through busy markets, you’re not exactly getting the cultural experience you signed up for...
"Lemon tea with honey may be nice, but if you’re in the Rum capital of the world, you’re going to want to taste the honey infused Rum instead!"
Check out their 10 Tips for staying healthy here.
Don't spread yourself too thin - socially speaking
Chanel and Stevo only launched a Facebook page 14 months after their adventure kicked off. Crazy, right? Perhaps not. Chanel writes on the howfarfromhome blog that the couple made a strategic decision in the beginning to build their brand on Instagram. Here, they say, is where they assosiated best and could focus on delivering an interesting and quality product.
"Every platform has its purpose and its place," Chanel says. "And it’s up to each brand to decide what they are trying to achieve, and what is the best platform for those goals and objectives to be met. This may change over time, as the brand evolves or priorities change, or it may be influenced by the time you launch your brand and what platform is “on trend” or where your market is, so it’s important to review your marketing plans and social strategy often. Our only rules are: don’t spread yourself too thin, and be true to your brand."
Stevo said that from their crazy year of adventure, they've created a sustainable living platform through social media. The couple say they are now also presenting online courses on how to travel the world on a budget.
You can check out what they're up to here.
Find new, inventive ways to travel the globe
There's more than one way to follow your travel dream. Whether you sign up with Google Maps to become one of their world mappers, or start working on an high-end yacht to fulfill your travel dream - there are options to get out there.
Check out these inspiring stories of other budget-conscious world-travellers:
PICS: This guy made R12.8m working from his laptop and traveling the world
Google guy walks 500km across Thailand to capture incredible Street View data
19 clever ways South Africans can save travel money in 2016
6 Ways travelling is making you a better entrepreneur
What to read next on Traveller24:
- SA couple who quit their jobs to travel the world now cleaning toilets
- PICS: This guy made R12.8m working from his laptop and traveling the world
- Google guy walks 500km across Thailand to capture incredible Street View data