(all photos courtesy of Stilts and Chris)
I’m not sure if I would have done all the travel in my life if it wasn’t for this weeks y travel guest, Stilts and his lovely wife Chris.
Stilts, otherwise known as Geoff by his family, left to live in England in ’94 to play cricket, and never returned(to live that is). He met Chris while working in a bar in London, and they married in ’06 in a gorgeous Cape Town wedding. They are travel addicts, who have traveled to over 50 countries and counting.
What does all this have to do with me? Well, Stiltsy is my brother, and it was his tales of his life in London, and campervanning around Europe that fired me up to do the same thing. Stilt’s and Chris’ stories still continue to inspire me to venture to new areas and to never lose the love of travel. Whenever I need advice, he’s the first person I call. He always points me in the right direction.
Craig and I haven’t done a lot of global travel with Stilts and Chris, we always seem to just miss them in places we go. However, they inspired us to work on the pearl farm in Kuri Bay, so we did get to live with them for 4 months chipping shell on the beautiful Kimberly coast. And of course we had an awesome South African wedding experience with them. Fingers crossed that on their next journey our paths may end up in the same place again.
How have you seen travel change over your 16 years of around the world travel?
Well the advancement of technology has made researching, planning, and booking a lot easier. However it has taken a little of the true
travelling experience out of it. Backpackers these days spend way too much time in internet cafes instead of bleeding the locals for information. Airports are more of a hassle as well. The best change has been from travellers cheques to a cash passport card – truly a great time-saving, hassle-free change.
You have worked in 5 countries, what has been your most interesting work so far?
Well most of my jobs have been involved in hospitality, however, there are two that stand out as the most interesting. Furniture removal in New york, was really great money, and a fabulous way to see N.Y and nearby cities. Working in the north west of Australia on the pearl farms would be the highlight of my global working career. A truly unique job, working on the ocean each day, and taking care of pearl shell in order to grow some of the world’s best pearls. The money was amazing, our lifestyle was incredibly healthy and carefree, and the weather was hot all year round.
Why would you recommend people live and work in another country as opposed to just travelling the world for a year?
Simply because you truly get to know the locals and their way of life
What advice would you give someone who is first setting out on their around the world travel adventure?
Don’t plan or book too much. Things change and it is better to have the freedom to change with it.
Do you have a favorite travel destination and why?
Tough question. A lot of places in there own way are our favourites….Africa, Jamaica, South America. If I was forced, I’d probably say Colombia! Despite what you hear…the people are wonderful, the scenery is stunning, the weather is perfect and the beaches are beautiful. Colombians are non-materialistic and live each day to the fullest. Their music and dance is infectious….great partiers !!!
What has been your most memorable travel moment?
Climbing the mountain early morning and being the first to Macchu Picchu for sunrise. Words truly can’t describe.
What kind of a difference has travel had on your life?
It has broadened my mind, given me wonderful friends worldwide, who I often still visit, and it has made me non-materialistic which I believe is a curse in our western world.
What are some of the challenges that come with living and traveling around the world?
Language difficulties, visa requirements, and hygiene issues in a lot of places!
You have done most of your traveling together as a married couple, how do you think that has strengthened your marriage?
Having someone to share such memories with, as well as overcoming all sorts of traveling issues together.
Do you have any regrets? Do you ever wish you stayed at home and lived a conventional life inside the box?
One regret is not having the courage to ask Ziggy Marley for a toke on his cigarette !! I absolutely do not wish I remained living life in the box, as long as I can physically, I will continue to travel….it is like a drug for us both.
Where to next? I mean you have been everywhere?
The world is too big for us to have been everywhere, although we try. We are heading to South Africa for the world cup which will be awesome ( go Aussies ). After that Uganda to spend time with the gorillas (Stilts gets to ask me for advice for a change), and Kenya. We will then return to home to drive our 4WD from Broome to Cairns, camping the top end of Australia. After that we will backpack Asia, which we haven’t done a lot of. We plan to visit Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, Nepal and China. ( again more advice from me. Am I catching up? ) Of course, you know us, it won’t finish there. We’ll head back to South America and play it by ear….Ideally we would like to own/run a backpackers by the beach somewhere overseas.
How do you choose a new destination and what type of experiences are you looking to have?
Many ways…talking to other travellers about their experiences, watching travel programmes or reading. These things inspire us to see such natural wonders and experience such different ways of life
The world is such an amazing, diverse wonder . We are all human beings that inhabit Earth, we live in such similar but different ways. Travel broadens your mind and makes you tolerant of other cultures. I believe school leavers should all go away for a year…..it will make you grow up very quickly, as well as learning how to respect others.