Let us introduce ourselves: we are a twenty-something couple from Belgium that went on a trip around the world from September 2015 until August 2016. This is what we looked like about 3 months in while sitting in a Tuk Tuk in Cambodia.
From left to right: Birthe & Brecht. Names that unfortunately aren’t too easy to pronounce for those that don’t speak Dutch.
Our life before travel
We’ve been a couple since the summer of 2009 (not married yet, though) and lived with each other for several years in our lovely hometown: Stevoort, Belgium.
I (Brecht) always loved playing and working with computers so it wasn’t too unexpected I got a job as an IT consultant. After 1 year I decided a traditional job just wasn’t for me and I wanted to pursue some projects of my own. Long story short: I’ve been self-employed since 2012 and now earn most of my income selling WordPress plugins through my company: Bootstrapped Ventures.
Birthe got her first job in 2014, working as a planner for a Belgian logistics company. It wasn’t entirely her cup of tea though, so it wasn’t too hard a decision to quit her job in August 2015, about a week before the start of our trip.
We both really enjoy food and love trying new things. Before traveling sports were a big part of our lives, especially football (soccer) for Brecht and volleyball for Birthe. Both of us like card- and boardgames as well, so we’re always up for a game.
Why we started traveling
Being self-employed and working from home I always wondered why I couldn’t be doing that on a beautiful beach in Bali. Reading blogs and listening to podcasts of various digital nomads probably planted that seed and it just kept growing over time.
I offered the idea of a round the world trip to Birthe somewhere in November 2014. It seemed like a good time to do it: she wasn’t loving her job, we didn’t own a house yet and there were no kids running around. She gave it some thought and eventually grew fond of the idea as well.
We’d never really traveled outside of Europe so it must have been a bit of shock to both of our parents. Luckily they we’re all very supportive, even though they would have probably preferred it if we’d just stayed at home.
A few months later our first flight was booked: from Brussels to Bangkok on September 5, 2015.
How afforded traveling for an entire year
Being self-employed and making all of my money online, I have the perfect job for traveling. As long as I have my laptop and an internet connection I can work. Birthe quit her traditional job and now works for our company as well, putting her in the same travel-friendly situation.
Our business isn’t profitable enough to support the both of us traveling indefinitely (hopefully one day it will!), but we also had some savings we were happy to use for this once-in-a-lifetime experience.
Luckily we’re not required to both do 40+ hour workweeks to keep the business running, but we do spend a lot of our time on our laptops. In practice we just travel a bit more slowly, sometimes working entire days or exploring the city during the day and catching up on work in the evening.
We’re not complaining though: at the moment this really feels like the perfect work-life balance.
Our life right now
We loved our 1 year trip around the world but were also happy to get back home and reconnect with our friends and family in Belgium. We decided to settle down and even buy our own apartment in our hometown.
The travel bug doesn’t let go of you so easily though, so we plan on using Belgium as our homebase for frequent, shorter trips. A month in Thailand, an extended city trip, a few weeks on the road, … while returning home in between. It feels like a great balance between exploring the world and growing our roots.
What Wandering the World can do for you
We’re creating Wandering the World not only for our friends and family, but also for anyone who wants to follow in our footsteps.
Our hope is that this website can inspire you to make the decision to go traveling, help you with all the necessary preparations and show you all the beautiful places you shouldn’t miss when traveling to the places we’ve been to.
To achieve that we’re writing about all our experiences with accommodation and activities, listing the things to do and places to eat at and the different travel websites, apps and gear we recommend.
Most importantly we’re also tracking and analysing all of our expenses to be able to give you an idea of the real cost of traveling. We’ll show you the average daily budget you need per country and exactly how much traveling around the world for an entire year cost us.
We have big plans for Wandering the World, so if there is anything else we can help you out with, just let us know!