Next up in our Big Blogger Interview series are Sofia and Nathan, otherwise known as the masterminds behind As We Travel. Incredibly talented – not to mention good-looking –, this pair bring travel to life with their personal experiences, tips and advice and expertly crafted videos.
You say that for you, travel = freedom – how often do you go to your respective homes, and how do you feel when you are there?
In the last 4 years we have spent about 10 months in Sofia’s home country of Sweden and Nathan has only spent 4 months in the last 8 years in New Zealand – for us neither Sweden or New Zealand is home anymore – we don’t feel that connection, so when we are there we still feel like we are traveling – for us home is where we can have the freedom to do everything we want; right now neither Sweden or New Zealand can give that to us. That is why in a few months we will be moving to Austria – which is one of our favourite places in Europe.
Our favourite videos are the ones from our Europe Train Challenge last year – mainly because we had to create 33 videos from 33 different countries in 75 days, and since it was so stressful and crazy we were really forced to step up and create great content – we are very proud of what we did during that trip – so every video from that time is close to our hearts.
You’ve confessed that on your first RTW trip, you packed far too much stuff! Since then you’ve obviously learnt a few things – but are there any ways you think you could still improve?
Haha, yes we took way too much stuff that time, however after one month we threw most of it out and starting using only carry-on bags – since then the only real hassle has been all our film equipment, camera gear and microphones etc – most of Nathan’s bag is full of gear – but over the years we have still been able to only use carry-on bags which has been great.
How do you split your blogging responsibilities – do you have different strengths, or do you share everything 50/50?
How we split everything really just depends on the projects we work on – Nathan is an expert at the technical side of blogging, designing, filming, and editing, while Sofia really has a passion for writing, photography & trip planning so that is normally how we work – it was never planned that way, but as time went on over the last few years, we each found our role within the company.
You come from opposite ends of the Earth (Sofia is from Sweden and Nathan is from New Zealand). Are there any cultural quirks or customs one of you embraces that the other just cannot understand?
Um… Not that we can think of. Our humour, views on the world, and values are very similar – but maybe that is because we have both spent so much time away from our own countries, and traveling the world has brought us closer to each other.
As you know – and blog! – things don’t always go to plan when you’re travelling. What is the most positive result of a plan going wrong that you’ve experienced?
Earlier this year we had just arrived in a beach town in Sri Lanka when they announced a Tsunami warning telling everyone to evacuate.
We rushed inland and randomly ended up in a rural village in the middle of nowhere, with no hotels, no tourists or restaurants – a family we met welcomed us into their home, fed us, and let us stay the night – it turned out to be an amazing experience.
Image by Greenwich Photography
Apparently you have a ‘secret project’ in the works at the moment which you are working on in Northern Thailand…can you give us a hint?
Haha, yes we are working on something very big, however it isn’t directly related to the travel industry, or travel blogging – we are working on a project which will have a large impact on the ski & snowboard industry.
What are your plans for the future? Is long-term travel something you would like to sustain permanently?
Long term travel isn’t something we believe you can maintain – or would want to do -, it often is a dream reality for many people who don’t have the freedom to travel full-time. We have had an incredible last 3 years travelling the world full-time but it really does get tiring and we have noticed ourselves slowing down, spending more time in each place and really feeling a desire to create more consistency in our lives.
Related to the previous question – we are travelling back to Europe in a few weeks and in September we will be moving to Innsbruck (Austria) to focus on the above mentioned project – Innsbruck is one of the most beautiful cities in Europe and it also offers 9 large ski resorts nearby, so it will be a perfect base to build our new company.
We will never stop travelling – it is something we love unconditionally, but the focus from now on will be: create a base, and take shorter trips throughout the year instead of just travelling from one place to another.
Your blog is a nice mix of personal experience and handy tips and guides. If you knew four years ago what you know now, would you have done anything differently when embarking on your RTW trip?
We wouldn’t have taken so much stuff, and maybe would have planned a bit more (we didn’t really plan anything on that first trip). Many people plan way too much, but you can also not plan enough and it really adds to the stress – which makes travelling much harder – and we also wish we would have started a ‘real’ travel blog in 2008 instead of 2010.
Which three countries are on your must-see list, and why?
Iceland for the incredible nature, Mongolia for the culture, and Mexico for the food!
Image by vicmontol
What one piece of advice would you give couples planning to travel long-term together?
It will be a lot of hard work, and will test everything your relationship is about – learn how to compromise, assume the best intentions from each other, and make sure your partner knows every day that traveling with them is the most amazing thing in the world.
Remember that relationships magnify human experience, and there is nothing better than exploring the world with the person you love.