This week Meet the Travel Bloggers highlights travel bloggers Jess and Dani who slowly travel the world.
When, why and how did you start your blog GlobetrotterGirls?
We started GlobetrotterGirls in April 2010, just as we were leaving to travel the world. The original goal was to create a space for Jess, who was a copy writer at the time, to improve her travel writing skills in the hopes of becoming a freelance travel writer, and for Dani to showcase her travel photography. We bought the domain and popped it up on Hostgator just a few days before we left London, where we lived at the time.
How did you get the name and what does the name mean to you?
We thought up the name to represent two girls traveling the world. It is a simple name and pretty self-explanatory.
You travel full-time as a couple. How long have you been together?
We have been together now for over seven years – since 2006.
Does being a same-sex couple affect your travels at all?
It does affect our travels, although not in an obvious way. We have really never had any major issues, or minor issues for that matter. But we are more careful about how we handle our relationship, and aren’t as obvious as a couple as we are back in Europe or in the U.S. We don’t hold hands or show public affection in places where homosexuality is illegal, for example, and when we get offered two single beds while checking in instead the double bed we booked, we have to evaluate every single time if it’s worth asking to be given a double bed.
What are the best and worst things about traveling and blogging as a couple?
Traveling together as a couple has way more advantages than disadvantages! Sharing these memories with each other is priceless, as is the understanding of the highs and the lows, which do not always come at the same time for us both. The only disadvantage is the bickering that ensues after long periods of difficult travel. Blogging is much easier as a couple since we are able to divide the responsibilities between us.
How do you divide up the blog duties?
Our roles are perfectly split along our own interests and drive. Dani is in charge of marketing and advertising, research, finance and photography while Jess pushes us forward through business development, branding, runs our Break Free podcast and is our main writer and Editor-in-Chief.
What keeps you the most jazzed about blogging?
GlobetrotterGirls.com is a way for us not only to set an example of two women living life on our own terms and experiencing the world, but also the connection we have with our readers and our community and hearing about their inspiration to travel. The fact that, being nomadic, we never run out of travel stories is also such an inspiration for us to continue publishing stories on the site – we always have something to write about.
What style of travel do you each prefer?
Slow travel is by far our preferred method of travel. When we go too quickly everything flies by in a blur and making a real connection to a place is more difficult. Six to eight weeks in a city is an ideal amount of time, and after two months we usually itch to move again. In small towns we love spending five days to a couple of weeks. It doesn’t always work out that way, however. We are planning to slow down even more in the future, with three to four month stints in each place we visit.
You’ve done a lot of house-sits. What does that entail and what are the pros and cons of traveling this way?
Since 2010, we have done 15 housesits on four continents. As housesitters, we care for a person’s home and pets while they are away. We tend to accept housesits that range between two weeks and two months. The pros include free accommodation in exchange for caring for a home, having access to very comfortable living conditions which far surpasses hotel life, being able to cook in a fully-equipped kitchen, and caring for pets – which we miss while traveling around the world. Comfortable beds, living as locals and really absorbing into a city/town/culture are also advantages. The only true disadvantages involve housesits being on the homeowner’s schedule not yours and the risk you run is that the housesit isn’t as convenient/enjoyable as you hoped it would be. We are so passionate about this unique way to see the world that we even Break Free: The Ultimate Guide to Housesitting
What excites you the most about travel?
It’s really a balance between constantly learning new things and absorbing other ways of life, witnessing the natural beauty of the planet and then, of course, the food! We love hunting down little details like a great piece of street art or a food truck that locals love as much as seeing the big sites or world famous attractions.
What are the most important things to you on a trip?
Absorbing real life in the places we visit is the most important aspect. That means seeking out food/restaurants/markets where locals eat, choosing a hotel that has a connection to the town over a faceless chain, taking tours run by locals that do not focus on tourist attractions. We also love street art and seek it out wherever we go. We do not travel to run away from anything, but rather toward life happening around the world.
Is being in your comfort zone important to you?
Our comfort zone has been adjusted so many times in recent years that for us, all we need is a comfortable bed, privacy, super fast Wi-Fi and a healthy food option wherever we go. Everything else is an exciting and welcome experience. We will occasionally get far out of that comfort zone in order to experience a once-in-a-lifetime thing, for example when we hike Machu Picchu or drive for four days across the salt flats of Bolivia.
You’ve been on the road since 2010. What’s your biggest recommendation for people who want to travel full-time?
Dani: Make sure to have either enough savings or a steady reliable income before you leave.
Jess: Go slow.
How do you support that life-style?
As travel entrepreneurs, we have grown GlobetrotterGirls.com into a travel publication and business that supports our lifestyle through a variety of income streams, including the revenue from our book, affiliate marketing, travel itinerary planning and some freelance writing.
What’s your favorite place that you’ve been to on this journey?
That’s a very difficult question – there have been so many places.
Dani: Guatemala, Mexico, Cambodia and the U.S (especially New York and the Southwest)
Jess: Mexico, Nicaragua Berlin and California are just some of my favorites.
Where are you now?
We are currently in Chicago before spending a few days in New York City next week from where we’ll fly to Chile to continue our travels through South America.
What’s your most memorable experience you’ve each had on the trip?
This is also really hard to answer; there have been so many amazing things. Three years ago I think we would have chosen our swimming and snorkeling with sharks adventure in Belize, last year Dani would have said the visit to Hampi, India and for Jess, possibly at that point living on a remote beach in Mexico with the world’s second largest reef in our back yard. But then we went to South America and there were the two months we spent traveling through Patagonia to the southernmost city in the world and all the penguins, glaciers and crazy bus rides that ensued, or a trip to the highest and driest desert in the world, the Atacama in Chile. But we had just as much fun living in New York and Berlin for two months each, too. It’s tough!
What is your favorite place on earth?
Wherever we’re with each other. Cheesy answer? Yes, but honestly there have been too many places and we can’t possibly pick one.
Where are you off to next?
We will spend the next six months in South America, starting in Chile then traveling through Bolivia, Peru, Ecuador and Colombia.
Dani and Jess are the German-American couple behind GlobetrotterGirls. They set off semi-spontaneously to travel in 2010 and have never looked back. Today, through their travel website, podcast and e-book, their mission is two-fold: to inspire people to travel as often as possible and to provide information and tools necessary to make the most of every trip. You can connect with them on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram.