About Kate & Colby
We are Kate and Colby, a couple of Engineers in our late thirties from Perth in Western Australia. We began our long term travel journey in March 2016, commencing in the UK. We have since travelled in England and Scotland, and widely through France, Northern Italy and Northern Spain. We have no set itinerary (which is not always the most efficient way to travel!) although we are keen cyclists and have loosely molded our plans around some of the big cycling races in Europe (Giro d’Italia, Tour de France, Vuelta a España and the 2017 Spring Classics).
1- What inspired you to decide to live this nomad lifestyle?
We both worked as Civil Engineers/Project Managers in the WA construction industry for close to 12 years. We enjoyed our jobs but they involved long hours, high stress, and a lot of time away from home and each other. We were preparing to settle down, build a house and start thinking about a family when we looked at each other and said ‘There must be something ‘more’ than this? Something more than being a slave to a mortgage and plodding away in the same old hamster wheel day after day?’ So we set about looking into a complete change.
Because we’re both cyclists, we were inspired by all the spectacular European scenery, the big races and the challenges presented by the long list of ‘bucket-list’ mountains. We felt that cycling would provide us with just that little bit of structure and purpose in our newly nomadic lives . . . after 12 full-on years of discipline old habits die hard!
2- Is a travel lifestyle as glamorous as people think?
I didn’t feel too glamorous throwing my guts up in a tent, in the pouring rain in the middle of no-where a few weeks back . . . ; ) But seriously:
Yes and no. Travel is amazing of course. But aside from selfies in front of famous sights and doing ‘what you want, when you want,’ travel can be tiring. You’re constantly packing, and moving, and planning. You’re adjusting to new customs and meeting new people. But above all, you’re learning about yourself and changing all the time. Overcoming habits you formed at home, that no longer serve you on the road. Taking a different look at yourself which is not always easy (. . . and what you see is not always glamorous!). It’s all awesome, but it’s not always ‘glamorous’. Sometimes it’s hard work!
3- What keeps you motivated to keep on travelling?
All the amazing places to see, things to do and mountains to ride up! And of course all the inspiration that other travellers share on social media. We’ve got forever, but it still doesn’t seem like enough time!
4- What do you love most about long term travel and what do you dislike most?
What we love most is meeting so many beautiful and genuinely kind people. We’ve been welcomed into so many homes and communities as if we were family that in only 6 months we’re beginning to feel as though we have an amazing support network across Europe.
What we dislike most is packing. Ugh. I’m not the greatest at travelling light, so packing for me is a bit of a chore.
5- Have you had any major troubles on your travels?
No touch wood. After having our wallets stolen and drinks spiked (in two separate incidents) on a previous trip the ‘worst’ thing that has happened on this trip was turning up at an AirBnB after driving for 12 hours, feeling completely uncomfortable and being left with nowhere to stay in the middle of the night after we packed up and left. So really we have nothing to complain about!
6- How can you afford long term travel?
At the moment we are using our savings. We are house-sitting as much as possible which eliminates the massive cost of accommodation and are self-catering to keep food/eating out costs at a minimum. In the coming year we might look into a bit of work depending on where our journey takes us.
7- Where are you now and where are you going next?
We’re currently in the beautiful Dordogne region in the South of France. but we’re soon heading up into Germany for Christmas and New Year. We’re very much looking forward to the magical Christmas Markets and hopefully some snow.
8- Of all the places you’ve been, which one would you recommend for digital nomads and why?
Wow! Tough question. Not only does everyone travel so differently, what inspires one might not inspire another, but everywhere we’ve gone is great.
If I had to choose one place I’d say the North-West coast of Spain. It’s pretty, not overcrowded with tourists and really cheap! The weather is great, the people are really lovely and it gives you a chance to experience the culture without breaking the bank.
9- What item/gadget don’t you travel without?
Definitely iPhone! It’s our booking tool, contact with the outside world, sat-nav, entertainment, torch, get-out-of-jail-free card . . . oh and a phone. How did we ever travel before iPhone!?
10- What advice would you give to someone who is about to start long term travelling?
Take your time. Don’t just ‘see’ things, experience places, cultures and ways of living. Travel is amazing but it can also be tiring so don’t rush it. Think about staying a little longer at various places along your journey to give yourself time to regroup and recover.