We guess each big step in life involves a great inspiration. Travelling is not an exception. While we were still based in Germany, we were highly inspired by many other bloggers that we were reading for a few years before we actually made our decision to embrace a digital nomad lifestyle. We’ve interviewed 5 digital nomad couples and we’ve have asked them how it is to be on the road with a partner and to work together.

So, we are very pleased to introduce you five couples that have inspired us:

Never Ending Voyage

Simon Fairbairn and Erin McNeaney are a couple from UK who sold all their stuff and started to travel the world in March 2010. They write about their travels and life as digital nomads. Apart from blogging, they have opened their online store where you can purchase their iPhone apps and travel-inspired t-shirts.

Digital Nomad Couples

Simon & Erin from Never Ending Voyage.

How do you share your work on the road?

Erin: It has kind of evolved into our natural strengths. I am not technical, so Simon does the work for our web site and makes apps. I do most of the writing, all the photography for our travel blog, the social media and the marketing to promote the app so it’s a pretty clear division for us.

How do you usually take decisions for next destinations?

(Erin laughs)

Simon: Erin tells me where I am going and I follow.

Erin: I do absolutely all of our travel planning, Simon is just happy to follow along. So that makes it easy. Sometimes he worries about security issues but I just tell him it’s going to be fine and then we go and we’ve had no problems.

Are there any personality changes that you can observe on yourself and your partner since you hit the road?

Simon: It’s hard to see, as we are together 24 hours a day. The evolution is so slow, it would be quite difficult to say unless you stop and look back.

Erin: Yes, we are too close to each other. Before we were digital nomads, Simon was terrified of going to India, but I always wanted to go and convinced him to visit. And it ended up being one of our favourite countries. Simon is now more open to going to new places. We are both more adaptable now, we have to be.

Simon: Just moving from where you were before, from the routine and something regular and stable to something entirely unpredictable in terms of no future security and embracing that.

Living and travelling together 24/7 may bring stressful moments related to disagreements, changes of mood or misunderstandings. How do you cope with these situations?

Simon: We never fight. Never. (laughs)

Erin: We definitely fight less than when we were living in England because we are happier now. We don’t have to drive in traffic and commute and work in the office and do things we are not enjoying. Obviously, there are stressful situations like travel days and I think being aware of that in advance and saying “ok, this is going to be a tough day, we need to be understanding of the other person, we’re  going to get tired and we need to not take anything they say in the wrong way” can help. And just try to be more relaxed about things. Also, the most important thing is to be honest with your partner. If I am doing something that’s annoying you or you are not happy with something then just say it.

Which is the most beautiful moment you are glad you experienced together?

Erin: We are very lucky we have so many nice experiences all the time, but the most recent time I would say is climbing Stromboli, a volcano in Sicily. It is really a magical experience because you climb up late in the afternoon and get to the top in time for sunset. You are watching the gurgling, gushing volcano, all the steam coming out, with a 360 degrees view of the sea, as the sun is setting and the sky is lit up in pink, you just sit there waiting for the volcano to erupt.

Simon: Shared experience is so much better than if one of us did it on their own. It strengthens the relationship.

 

Hecktic Travels

Dalene and Pete Heck are a Canadian couple who have been on the road since 2009. They are passionate storytellers who explore the history and culture of each country they visit. While travelling through 33 countries, they have developed their own social media marketing business, Hecktic Media that helps small travel business to grow online. Dalene and Pete are also very well experienced and active in house-sitting.

Digital Nomad Couples

Dalene & Pete from Hecktic Travels.

How do you share your work on the road?

Dalene: In terms of running the travel blog, I do 90% of the writing, all of the video editing, and most of the social media. I also handle the business side of the things and negotiate the deals. Pete is the photographer, does all of the photo editing and we share Instagram.

Pete: I pretty much handle the sales and marketing, I get our foot in the door and Dalene closes the deals.

How do you usually take decisions for next destinations?

Dalene: It depends. We are the worst at making decisions. We want to go everywhere! One time we had our fans on Facebook decide a whole month of travel for us: we gave them 4 countries to choose from and they decided where we were going to go. Often it is a specific opportunity that takes us to different places, like when we came here to SE Asia it was to work with Language Corps. Pete always wanted to get a certificate for teaching English so it was a great opportunity. We also do lots of housesitting so we get a general idea where we want to go for a few months to work and we pick one that we like. Most often it is completely random.

Pete: Other opportunities are chosen based on cost. We were sitting just outside of New York and we knew we wanted to go to Europe, so we checked what was the cheapest flight to Europe and it was Poland! So we went there.

Are there any personality changes that you can observe on yourself and your partner since you hit the road?

Pete: It was a big challenge going from living a lifestyle where you see your partner 2-3 hours in the evening after work and to being with her 24/7. When we started the journey we obviously didn’t know how well it would work but now we completely fit together. We had to become more patient with each other, more open in terms of communication. If we need time apart, we now can easily say: “Hey, I am going for a walk and see you in the evening”. In terms of emotional side, we are happier, our lives are much richer.

Dalene: I think I’ve lost my independence a bit. We’ve become so dependent on each other that if he is not there, I feel kind of lost. Perfect example: after we were together over 600 days in a row, I went to a conference and he stayed behind. Within the first 3 hours I almost left my Kindle on the plane, because I am so used to him organizing our packing. It has gone so far for us that I can’t imagine doing it (traveling) by myself or any other way. It’s brought us closer than ever.

Living and travelling together 24/7 may bring stressful moments related to disagreements, changes of mood or misunderstandings. How do you cope with these situations?

Dalene: We have little spats of course, that always happens. But we’ve become good at letting the little things slide and understanding where part of it may have been out of just being hurt vs. having a real concrete problem. We just ask for time apart, it could be just an hour. In our previous lives that would be insulting, but now we know that we need space. That was something we needed to learn.

Pete: In the past, we wanted to spend our little and precious free time together, now we know that we also need our personal space.

Which is the most beautiful moment you are glad you experienced together?

Pete: This last summer in Greenland, realising where we were, getting up and saying “wow, I am in Greenland with you”, with hardly anybody else around, it was kind of surreal that this is our lifestyle now and this is just a beginning.

Dalene: I can’t put my thumb on one instance, but there is one thing that makes me especially glad to be with Pete when we are travelling is that he is much more outgoing than I can be, I am a bit of an introvert, especially when we are in a new culture with people. I am always trying to not be intrusive as a tourist; I don’t like taking pictures of people. He asks to take pictures of people and I wander away because I feel really ashamed. He is more willing to talk to people and just open a conversation and this has lead us to beautiful moments of interacting with locals, that I’ve probably never would have on my own.

 

That Backpacker and Nomadic Samuel

Audrey Bergner is a travel blogger, photographer, YouTube video maker, and freelance travel writer. She started her travels when she was 18 and since then she has been in search of markets, street food, jungles and beaches. Samuel Jeffery has left Canada, his homeland, 6 years ago to teach English in South Korea. After three years there he made trips to 26 countries. Thanks to this he developed his country guides on his blog. His travel experience is shown also through photo essays, travel blog and video blog. Audrey and Samuel run BackpackingTravelTv channel on Youtube. They have been on the road as couple since March 2013.

Digital Nomad Couples

Samuel & Audrey from Nomadic Samuel & That Backpacker.

How do you share your work on the road?

Audrey: Well, since we have our own separate blogs, it’s easier because we each write for our own site and do our own photography, but then when it comes to our YouTube travel videos, which we make together, Sam usually takes care of the editing.

Samuel: Yeah, I do filming, video editing, video description and SEO. I also do a lot of the maintenance behind the blogs, checking plugins, and monitoring our databases. Audrey does a lot of the business side of things; she negotiates with PR companies and advertisers.

How do you take the decision about next destinations?

(Samuel giggling)

Audrey: Good question. Well, for this current trip around South East Asia, Sam took charge because he had travelled through the area several times before and I had never been here. He was familiar with where to go, where to stay, what places are really amazing and which are worth skipping.

Samuel: Yes, but when we go to Europe, Audrey will be taking charge since I haven’t done much travel there and she has. When it comes to choosing where to go next, we normally just discuss things and agree on a destination together.

Are there any personality changes that you can observe on yourself and on your partner since you have hit the road?

(both laughing)

Audrey: We are both very messy and disorganized people. When we first met we were both trying to be very neat and organized, but now on the road, when we get to a new place, our suitcases just explode and there are clothes all over the floor. So, that’s come to the light for sure.

Samuel: Yeah, we are both slobs, so it’s double the mess.

Audrey: In terms of our personality changes, I think we’ve learned to deal with problems as they rise. If we miss a train, or if one of our websites crashes, we can pull together and find a solution. In terms of personal changes that have come about as a result of travel, I find that I am now more willing to try new things, and go to places that I wouldn’t have gone to before.

Samuel: Audrey is calm, so now I am calmer and more easy-going.

Living and travelling together 24/7 may bring stressful moments related to disagreements, changes of mood or misunderstandings. How do you cope with these situations?

(both giggling)

Samuel: I sleep on the couch.

(both laughing)

Audrey: Whenever we have a disagreement it’s usually because one of us is tired or hungry.

Samuel: Sometimes we just give each other some space. We usually eat together all the time but if the other person needs some alone time, then we go get our own meals, but that’s rare.

Which is the most beautiful moment you are glad you have experienced together?

Samuel: Visiting Sapa in Vietnam, because of the scenery, the laid-back pace of life and the hiking. We had heard this place was nice, but once we got there, the natural beauty of the landscapes completely took us by surprise.

Audrey: I agree, Vietnam is a country you can’t miss, and Northern Vietnam was really beautiful. It’s such a scenic area. The mountain views were unlike anything else I had seen in South East Asia. It was a little retreat.

 

Globetrotter Girls

The GlobetrotterGirls are Dani and Jess, a German-American couple who set off to travel in 2010 and never looked back. In their travel website they share everything from inspiring travel stories to the hard-earned information and experience to help independent travelers plan and make the most of their own authentic adventures. They also host the Break Free podcast, are the authors of The Ultimate Guide to Housesitting.

Digital Nomad Couples

Jess & Dani from GlobetrotterGirls.

 How do you share your work on the road? Who does what?

Jess: Somehow over the years, Dani and I have evolved our responsibilities into such a clear-cut division, it’s almost scary how little we have to discuss responsibilities at this point. Dani handles marketing and advertising, photography and the rough drafts of the most detail-oriented articles on the site. I do the majority of the writing, editing, reaching out and teaming up with others, plus I am responsible for business development and growth.

How do you take decisions together for next destinations?

Jess: This also just comes naturally. Over the last almost four years we’ve traditionally done 3-6 months of heavy travel with 1-2 months of breaks (usually housesitting or apartment rentals) in between.  We tend to both want to head to certain regions of the world at the same time. For example, after six months in Latin America, we both wanted a good month or two in the US and the same in Europe to decompress and enjoy an easier lifestyle. Then we get bored and need to head back out and travel a new destination again.

Are there any personality changes that you can observe on yourself and on your partner since you have hit the road?

Jess: Absolutely. I think it would be impossible not to change after seeing so much of the world and getting to know yourself in so many different situations. We have both gone through dramatic growth in the last 45 months. Dani is much less possessions-oriented and happy with a simpler lifestyle. Although she still tends toward the dramatic, she has a much more positive outlook on life in general. As for me, I feel that I have learned who I truly am, without the layers of expectations of others weighing down my personality. I am also much more focused on the power I have to create the life I want to live, rather than just ‘letting’ life happen to me. Escaping the nine to five played a huge role in that for me.

Living and travelling together 24/7 may bring stressful moments related to disagreements, changes of mood or misunderstandings. How do you cope with these situations?

Jess: We’re not the best at coping with this. Clashes happen often when we are in stressful situations and less so in easier travel phases. We have learned not to take these moments so seriously, to give them less weight since they are a result of stressful situations, not how we actually feel about each other.

What is the most beautiful moment you are glad you have experienced together?

Jess: I am not sure we can possibly answer this question at this point. After 1,300+ days traveling together and the years we were together before that, it would be so hard to choose one moment or even make a list. I think at this point what we both love is remembering something together and realizing how long ago it actually happened, which then makes us realize how long we have been able to make our lifestyle of independent travel work!

 

Uncornered Market

Daniel Noll and Audrey Scott are an American husband-and-wife couple, full-time storytellers, photographers and adventurers. Their passions are creativity, personal development, technology, public diplomacy, travel and street food. They hit the road six years ago to begin deep and off-beat trips around the world. Uncornered Market provides also New Media Marketing Consulting and training for the travel industry.

Digital Nomad Couples

Audrey & Dan from Uncornered Market

 

How do you share your work on the road? Who does what?

Audrey: We both write and take photos, but divide other work between the two of us to help share the tasks and utilize each person’s strength. Usually, I  take care of social media (with the exception of Instagram), as well as processing, documenting and uploading photos. Dan is the Instagram master, as well as takes care of technical issues connected to the website.  We each edit each other’s writing.

How do you take decisions together for next destinations?

Audrey: We’ll usually decide together where to visit next, but if one person has a particular connection or excitement for that destination then he/she will take the lead on planning. Once we do decide on a next destination we’ll often reach out to our communities on Twitter and Facebook to get suggestions or places to visit, things to do, where to eat, etc. It’s always great having first-hand recommendations from people.

Are there any personality changes that you can observe on yourself and on your partner since you have hit the road?

Audrey: Good question. We realize how little control we have over many things in the world (e.g., weather, late transport, strikes, etc.) that we have let go a bit and try not to get too upset about things that we can’t change. We have become better with dealing with the unexpected, surprise changes. I am naturally an extrovert, but when we’re on the road and face full days with intense external stimuli and engaging with people I find that I need more time to myself now to recharge. Dan is naturally an introvert, and the longer we’re on the road the more he needs to have time to himself and reflect. When traveling long-term sometimes less is more. We need down time to not get burnt out and also to properly process and reflect on what we’ve experienced.

Living and travelling together 24/7 may bring stressful moments related to disagreements, changes of mood or misunderstandings. How do you cope with these situations?

Audrey: Taking a few deep breaths always helps.  Inserting humor to lighten the moment also helps to take the edge off raw emotions. Then it comes down to trying to really listen and understand what the other person is going through. It’s not easy, especially when there are all sorts of external stress and pressures. It’s also good to step back and evaluate whether there are physical issues affecting the situation – hunger/low blood sugar, feeling sick, tired, etc.  Sometimes the anger or tensions can be relieved with a good night’s sleep or a snack. This article – How to Travel the World Together without Killing Each Other – shares more tips on how to travel with your partner.

Which is the most beautiful moment  you are glad you have experienced together?

Audrey: Wow, where to start on this one? It’s hard to narrow it down to just one, but a common theme of the moments that first came to mind were mountain summits or passes. The top of Mount Kilimanjaro, crossing Thorong-La Pass along the Annapurna Circuit, crossing Gongmaru La pass at over 5,000 meters in Ladakh. Not only is the scenery in these moments stunning, but these are times when we’ve been on multi-day treks, having gone through difficult physical and emotional experiences. And through working together and supporting each other through these hardships we reached our goal. These experiences may sound odd to note as “beautiful moments” as we usually don’t look very good from days of hiking and are exhausted, stinky and wearing layers and layers of clothes. But there’s a sense of teamwork and pride in the other person that makes it beautiful.

18 Responses

  1. Frank

    I enjoyed this post, good to see the behind-the-scenes on bloggers we know and how they work together as a couple. It’s definitely a change when you’re with your partner 24/7 and you have to have a strong relationship to survive.
    Frank (bbqboy)

    Reply
    • Ivana

      Thank you, Frank, nice to hear from you. You are right, to survive 24/7 journey with your partner requires a strong relation, but on the other hand, travelling together can definitely strengthen the relationship while coping with all the challenges on the road.
      Have safe trips in 2014!

      Reply
  2. Hitch-Hikers Handbook

    Very nice idea for an interview! I think being on the road with your partner is much easier and in times of crisis seeing your partner deal with a problem with composure is such a morale booster. Sharing your anxieties, fears and joys with another person is always better.

    Reply
    • Ivana

      Thank you, Ania and Jon!
      For now we cannot complain, too, as we are happy to share all of it on the road :)

      Reply
  3. Clayton

    It’s cool to see how many couples and families are out there chasing their dreams. Hi five for all of you!

    Reply
    • Ivana

      Hi, Clayton, thanks for commenting and loads of happy trips to you!!

      Reply
  4. Morin

    Lovely post! We are also a digital nomad couple and I can honestly say traveling+working together is definitely a challenge, but it is also amazing and fun and it just brings you closer everyday. If you can travel together you can do just anything together:)

    Reply
    • Ivana

      Thank you, Morin :) We can only agree, is a beautiful and rewarding challenge :)
      Have safe trips!

      Reply
  5. Life Out of the Box

    As a traveling couple ourselves, we totally appreciate this post, the questions and answers! It takes a special relationship & friendship to travel together year round–it’s great to see so many doing it. Thanks so much for sharing this :) -Quinn & Jonathon

    Reply
    • Ivana

      Glad you like it, guys. Thanks. Wishing you great trips together and may your friendship and love grow on the road :)

      Reply
  6. The Gypsynesters

    We sold everything and hit the road five years ago when our youngest kid left for college. Interesting to see these other people’s stories. Like them we have found our natural strengths and talents and gravitated to the chores hat fit as we travel and write.

    Reply
    • Ivana

      So glad to hear about another happy nomad couple! The road gives a lot to us, travellers, indeed :)
      Many adventurous trips, David and Veronica!

      Reply
  7. Henry Ranger

    Dang man, all these pictures of couples makes me wish I had someone special to share all my travels with instead of dawgone Moonshine and Pablo. Nice pics ya’ll. I really enjoyed them.

    Reply
    • Ivana

      Hi, Henry,

      looking at your travel fellows, you all guys seem to have great fun on the road though :)

      Thanks and cheers!

      Reply
  8. NZ Muse

    Haha, great post! I definitely was the planner – T just came along for the ride wherever we went. I’d have to say we had quite a few arguments though – travel can be quite stressful as you’re always in new places and situations and out of your comfort zone.

    Reply
    • Ivana

      The arguments on the road are not that different from the arguments from the “home”, I guess :) But yes, as you are saying, stress and coping with new situations are the factors that can trigger disagreements that otherwise you would just let go.
      Happy travels to you!

      Reply

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