One of the latest travel blogs that I’ve been following is called Suitcase Stories, run by an Australian couple, Michael and Nicole. Michael and Nicole recently decided to pursue long term traveling after selling most of their stuff back home. Prior to becoming long term travelers, Michael and Nicole has traveled to a lot of countries already since 1999.
Suitcase Stories provides a lot of helpful information for couple travelers and for other other independent travelers as well. My favorite segment in their blog is the Photo Essay which I highly recommend you check out after reading this post.
Get to know more about Michael and Nicole and follow their journey at Suitcase Stories. But before you leave this page, check out my short interview with Michael and Nicole.
How did you discover your passion for travelling?
“For both of us we had a passion for traveling from a young age. Just hearing stories from others who have traveled makes our mouth water. We were fortunate to travel a fair bit in our late 20s and early 30s, which wet the appetite even more, but it was when Nicole started reading travel blogs that we realized perpetual travel could be a way of life for anyone!”
What’s the most horrible experience that you’ve had on the road?
“We are lucky and have not had a horrible experience on the road to date. We have left some stuff behind at hotels and had our credit card put on hold by the bank a couple of times and that sort of thing, but nothing that that couldn’t be easily fixed or we could sort out (though leaving Michael’s iPod behind in a rental car with thousands of songs on was not ideal!).”
What’s the best travel experience that you’ve ever had?
That’s a tough one. We could list about 40 and say it was a tie! One that does really stick out was when we flew into New York City at Christmas a few years back and looked outside to see it snowing. Neither of us had seen snow before and it was our first time in NYC. It looked like a winter wonderland! We both looked at each other with the ’that’s awesome’ look. We were lucky as we were one of the last flights in before they closed the airport!
What’s the biggest realization that you’ve got out of travelling?
That the world if full of beautiful places and beautiful people! Everywhere we go we encounter beauty on so many levels. I don’t think people realize this until they are out in the world. It’s also a lot safer than people think! After 13 months of non stop travel we have not once felt unsafe, and that includes in South and Central America! The media tend to blow things our of proportion, its really no where near as bad as people think.
What keeps you going? Whatkeeps you motivated?
To experience the world. Everywhere we go we see something / experience something / feel something that will blow our mind / put life in perspective / make you experience something new / change your outlook on life. And some things will do all the above at the same time. Those are the moments that keep us going.
This is a silly and hypothetical one. If you would be given a chance to travel with a popular person or a celebrity, who would it be and why?
I think Steve Carell would be awesome to travel with! I love a good laugh and I think he would be able to turn any bad situation you might find yourself in into a funny story to tell!
Where’s your favourite place in this planet and why?
For Nicole its New York City! There is a vibe there like no other city. There is so much to see and do all within a short subway ride. I also like the architecture there!
For Michael – Whatever the next place is that I’m going to! (and also Barcelona because of the architecture, the history, the people and the food)
What’s your best tip for newbie traveller?
Do it! So many people have so many excuses why they aren’t traveling – I don’t have the money; I don’t have the time; I have kids; I’m scare about safety – They are all just excuses! No one has ever said they regret traveling! There is a world of information out there to help any new traveler so utilize it and make it happen!
What’s the funniest and silliest thing you’ve ever done while travelling?
Nothing major other than the standard problems you have with language barriers while in a non-English speaking country. We have had orders of food we don’t really want, caught a bus / subway in the wrong direction and trying to explain ourselves using hand movements on way too many occasions. It’s all part of the experience though.
How do you keep yourself safe on your travels?
“Traveling as a couple helps. Having two people makes you less of a target. We also use common sense e.g. we do our research and make sure we book our hotel in a safer area of town, we don’t hitchhike, we don’t go down dark alleys at night etc. It also helps that we aren’t big party animals, so you won’t find us out at 2am drinking and wandering around the streets.”
What do you think about yourself?
“I think we are incredibly brave for perusing a life so unpredictable. Michael thinks he’s hilarious while Nicole thinks she’s braver than she used to be – Although she finds her inner coward with heights and bugs!
We started our blog a year into our nomadic travels. We waited because 1: we wanted to have stories to tell; 2: We wanted to learn before we taught; 3: To inspire people you need to be living an inspiring life. And after 12 months in we knew this was going to be our life for some time.
Suitcase Stories is a place where we tell our travel stories, share our photos so people can see how much beauty there is in the world, educate people so they can see how possible this life really is if they want it and to help people turn their dreams into something extraordinary.
If we inspire just one person to travel this world we are doing something worthwhile.
Bio: Nicole and Michael are an Australian couple in who gave up their careers, sold their possessions and left their ‘conventional’ life behind for a life of travel. They have been living a nomadic life for 13 months and see no end in sight. They recently launched Suitcase Stories, a website where they share their stories, travel tips and destination guides. Their main goal for this website is to inspire others to travel and to show people how long term travel is not only possible but affordable.
Editor’s Note: All pics are provided by Michael and Nicole.