About Charlie & Graham
We’re Charlie and Graham, a couple from the UK that have been on the go since march 2014. We like to take things real slow, often choosing more of an expat life than that of travellers. Since 2014, we’ve travelled in Australia, Singapore, Vietnam, Laos, Thailand, Mexico, Guatemala, Nicaragua, Costa Rica and Sri Lanka. We’ve also lived in Hanoi for a year during that time, which is where we are now. You can find us at Undiscovered.guide to read about what we get up to, and for city guides.
1- What inspired you to decide to live this nomad lifestyle?
It’s a little different for both of us. Charlie has dreamed of travelling forever, and loves to see new places, culture and animals. Graham has always wanted to start his own company, and not be in formal employment. He’d reached a place in his career where he felt ready to take the leap, beautiful exotic destinations certainly make for a nice background to all the hard work!
2- Is a travel lifestyle as glamorous as people think?
Definitely not. We have so many stories of being hideously smelly, sleeping on airport floors and eating some pretty questionable food (and what happens to all travellers after eating such things is anything but glamorous!). Not to mention some of the shady hostels we’ve slept in. In the past, some of Charlie’s friends have responded to pictures of beaches and sunsets with things like “my clean clothes just came out of the dryer and feel amazing”, or “I’m wearing perfume” because they know just how not glamorous we can be whilst travelling!
3- What keeps you motivated to keep on travelling?
So many things. We love meeting new people from different places and learning about their lives, having our mindset widened by their cultures. Natural beauty is also a big driver. And food. Ok. It’s mainly about the food.
4- What do you love most about long term travel and what do you dislike most?
All the new foods are amazing, and trying new things like zip lining or night snorkelling. The hardest thing is being away from friends and family. We can cope with being smelly and generally gross for long periods of time, and the stress that comes with some unknown situations. The only thing that really gets us down is being away from the people we care about.
5- Have you had any major troubles on your travels?
We’ve mostly been pretty fortunate. There have been times that we’ve been scammed, but only for a few dollars. And Charlie got tonsillitis once and had to have an injection in her rump. I think that’s about it though.
6- How can you afford long term travel?
We stopped in Hanoi so Charlie could teach English for a year and top up our funds, and are doing that again now. Teaching English on Skype whilst we’re on the move also helps. Graham had a great career in London and is mostly living off savings from that.
7- Where are you now and where are you going next?
We’re back in Vietnam, our home from home. We don’t actually have any trips planned right now, asides from some local exploration. There are a few places we would love to go over the next year: Mongolia, Nepal, Myanmar and India are pretty high on our list right now.
8- Of all the places you’ve been, which one would you recommend for digital nomads and why?
I know we keep banging on about Vietnam, but it’s a great base for digital nomads: very cheap living expenses and pretty good internet. We also stopped for a month in Antigua, Guatemala, which has a great digital nomad scene. It is a little more expensive in terms of living costs, though.
9- What item/gadget don’t you travel without?
It’s not very exciting, but our laptops. Because we work on the go we really rely on them a lot. Other than that, our cameras. Some of the things we’ve done over the last few years haven’t been particularly camera friendly so we don’t have any pictures. Buy the ones we do have brought back so many memories or people and places.
10- What advice would you give to someone who is about to start long term travelling?
Go slow. There is so much world to see, but you can only really see it if you’re taking your time. Give yourself time to fall in love with places and let them leave prints on your soul.