This week our Meet the Travel Bloggers interview is with Kimmy and Drew of AfterGlobe, two travel bloggers with a dream and a plan. Sadly, Kimmy Hayes was killed in a car accident on Friday, February 7, 2014. RIP Kimmy.
When, why and how did you start AfterGlobe?
At the end of last year, my husband, Drew, came home from work and I threw this crazy idea at him to sell everything, get out of debt, and go travel the world. Luckily, for me and our marriage of only 6 months (at the time), he jumped on board pretty quickly. I started working on AfterGlobe at the end of January as a way to track our progress and hold us accountable. I thought it would be just that, but it’s taken on a life of its own.
After I got a bit done on the site, In the middle of March I let others know about it and our plans. Almost everyone has been really supportive and happy for us. Since I didn’t want to only talk about finances until we left, I started talking about what travels we’ve already done and continue to do with each other. Including those travels in AfterGlobe is what really kicked things off.
How did you get the name and what does the name mean to you?
I read somewhere that afterglobe is the warm, fuzzy feeling you get from an immensely satisfying trip. We liked that. We changed it to AfterGlobe. We want it to convey that not only do we enjoy that feeling, but we also plan on going after the globe to feel more of that afterglobe. I guess you can say we’ve come a bit addicted to afterglobe.
How did you meet and how long have you been together?
We’ve been together for almost seven years, married for about a year and half. We met on a bar crawl where instead of walking from bar to bar, you are shuttled on a school bus. Basically it’s a party on wheels. They are crazy fun and a great way to meet others. We connected even before we got on the bus.
You are currently trying to get out of debt so you can travel full-time. How long do you think it will take to get there?
January 2014 will mark our one year anniversary of working towards getting out of debt. We’ve already made great progress. We are confident we will meet our goal to leave March 1st, 2015. That date has already been moved forward twice. The only thing that would move it forward again, is if our house sells much quicker than we estimate.
What catalyzed the decision to do this?
I moved around a lot when I was little, I always thought I wanted to buy a house and settle down. We did that and I realized it wasn’t what I wanted at all. I didn’t want to stay in Portland, forever.
Drew’s lived in Portland his entire life. We started talking about living somewhere new, so he’d have a different experience. Every time we visited warm sunny places we didn’t want to go back to the cold rain in Portland. Those travels to warmer places got us talking about moving.
We had a lot happen last year that really got us thinking about what we really wanted out of life. One of my best friends lost her husband to cancer at only 43. My daughter, (who I had as a teenager) turned 18 and moved out of the house. There were all these things that kept reminding us how short life is and we needed to go after what we really wanted– to travel the world.
Are you suspending all travel until you have gotten out of debt and have some travel money saved?
No way! We love travel too much to do that. For now we’ve changed the way we travel. It’s good practice for when we leave to travel long term. We use airline miles to get free flights and only do things if we can afford to pay for it with cash. No more charging our travels.
Do you have a time-line for the proposed trip?
Only the very beginning of our travels is figured out. We will kick it off with a four month road trip through the US. After that we head to Hawaii to volunteer on different islands for almost a year before we head out to see more of the Polynesian Islands. We will keep moving forward from there. That’s the only time-line we have.
Do you have an idea of where you want to go?
Everywhere. No really. Besides our US travels together we haven’t been to many different places. I’ve only been to two countries- the US and Canada. Drew’s been to more. He went to Europe for a month, but that was over a dozen years ago. We have a lot of catching up to do. The more we learn what’s out there, the more we want to visit.
What will your travel style be?
A little bit of everything. We plan on road tripping, flying, walking, biking, motor biking, boating, and train riding. Once at our locations we will camp, stay in hostels, hotels, timeshares, and house-sit. We will probably even do some short-term apartment or house rentals depending on where we are and how long we decide to stay. We are open to all of the possibilities and can’t wait to try them all.
Do you have a plan to support yourselves as you travel?
We will have some savings and profit from selling our house to live off of. We will volunteer some places in exchange for room and board. I do freelance writing on the side and Drew can always pick up side jobs in construction and tending bar. I’m also working on getting my certification to teach American English. That way, if we want to stay put in one location for a while, we can.
Have you traveled a lot togetherWe’ve traveled a good amount together. We hear from others that it seems like we are traveling all the time. We try to get a weekend road trip in every month and go on longer trips two to three times per year. The longest trip we’ve been on together, so far, is three weeks.
We also had a destination wedding. If we can have a wedding with wedding guests to also take care of while we travel and have everything come together smoothly, we feel like we can take on anything while traveling! It’s a lot of work planning and executing a wedding; so is travel.
What are your similarities and differences when it comes to travel?
Drew just likes to show up and be pointed in the direction he needs to be. I like to research and know what’s going on before we get there. Because of this, I do all the research and planning. I then point him in the direction he needs to be once we get there. We both love trying new experiences, food, and adventures. We love to learn new things not only about the places we are visiting, but also about ourselves. We also love everything that means spending time in the water.
What are the best and worst things about traveling as a couple?
Kimmy: The best is being together and sharing the experience with each other. We’ve had some amazing experiences together while traveling and I love that. The worst is that both traveling and blogging can take their toll. You have to remember to take time for all of it and have time where you are just enjoying being in the now together.
Drew: Best thing about traveling as a couple is sharing all the great experiences and memories together and growing through trial and error. Worst thing is when things don’t work as planned or one of us gets irritable and the other has to deal with it. We are both guilty of this.
What keeps you the most jazzed about blogging?
Kimmy: I love the artistic outlet blogging provides. I used to write and take photos all the time. When I became a mom so young, somewhere along the way I stopped doing both of these things. Starting AfterGlobe and blogging has given me back something I love to do. Plus, it gives me the opportunity to connect with others all over the world. Blogging has provided me with so much. It’s pretty amazing when you think about it.
Drew: The possibility of long term world travel; encouraging others to achieve their own dreams and goals through travel; the great feedback from readers; the reality of being able to quit our jobs, unload all of the possessions that weigh us down; and being free to go and explore the world beyond our usual experience.
What excites you the most about travel?
Kimmy: Seeing new places, learning new thing, meeting new people, and trying new foods. In a nutshell, it’s about experiencing the unknown and walking away with new knowledge. You never know what you will gain from a new experience and that’s what makes it so exciting.
Drew: Changing my reality.
What is the place you most want to go to on the trip?
Kimmy: I’m excited to go to Southeast Asia — especially, Thailand. I’ve wanted to go to Thailand since I was a little girl. I had this old postcard of the girls in their traditional dress with super long finger nails doing a traditional dance. I thought they looked so awesome and wanted to see them in real life.
I’m also looking forward to spending almost a year in the Hawaiian Islands. It’s one of our favorite places to go together. Even though we go every year, it never feels long enough. This will finally give us the opportunity to feel completely satisfied on our time in Hawaii.
Drew: I look forward to visiting Australia. We have friends there and I find that when traveling to places where there are people you know and enjoy, you leave with an enlightened and more positive view of the place.
At the end of 2012, Kimmy Hayes & Drew Evensen took a good hard look at their lives and realized they were no longer living or working towards the life of their dreams. Instead they were living the American Dream of too much debt, not enough time, and always being exhausted. AfterGlobe is their story of how they quit the “American Dream” and went after theur own to travel the world. You can find them on Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram.