Our very last interview from the Love on the Road series is with our dear friends and avid travellers Natalie and Rob. Enjoy reading and don’t forget to give them some love on Facebook, Twitter & Instagram!
Natalie & Rob are a Brazilian couple exploring the world. In 2014 they sold everything to travel, left Brazil with 2 backpacks, some dreams and few bucks. Street food addicts, sports enthusiasts and sun seekers, you can follow their journey and travel tales on their travel blog Love and Road.
What do you think you would be doing if you were not on the road now?
Nat: I can’t imagine myself doing something different from travelling and working online. But if Love and Road had never happened, probably I would be still managing my company in Brazil, working 14 hours a day, 6 days a week and with a stress level as high as The Himalaya. Leaving a pretty comfortable life in South of Brazil and waiting anxious for my 20 days holidays to travel around South America.
Rob: I would probably reach a higher position in a company, working with foreign trade and getting crazy with all the containers and vessels that would be late because of Chinese New Year. Chasing targets, figures and more business. What a boring life…hahaha
How do you share your work while travelling? Who does what?
Nat: Our workflow happened naturally. You can call me the Social Media Guru and most of the articles on the blog were written by me. I’m the creative side. The business plan, the new ideas for the blog and the freelance writing are done by both of us! We started doing social media consultancy and management, and until now we didn’t figure out how we’ll be sharing these tasks.
Rob: I’m the IT, web designer and photographer (wanna be)! While Nat takes care of the blog posts, I’m the one who think about the affiliate marketing, editing the photos and the maintenance of the website. Also I´m the responsible to keep our costs of living and travel updated.
How do you take decisions together for next destinations?
Nat: We have similar tastes, so it’s easy to plan a trip. Most of the time we want to see and visit the same places, we never argued about where to go or not to go. Travel is our passion so we are up to any adventure. As the blog is getting bigger, our travels plans started to be influenced by work. However, until now all the places we travel for work end up being great fun too! Now our goal is to explore Vietnam, and we are both super excited with the idea!
Rob: She is the boss, that’s it! hahahaha… Just kidding, we choose our travel destinations together. We try to find places that can make both of us happy, we discuss the itinerary and I’m the one who always book everything, and buy the tickets. Nat will be searching about what to do, contacts, thinking about what write about the place while I’ll be sorting out the practical stuff.
Are there any personality changes that you can observe on yourself and on your partner since you have hit the road?
Nat: Oh Yeah!!! I think I have changed a lot. I feel lighter, travelling transformed me into a better person. I even wrote an article few months ago about the powerful lesson I learned from travelling, how I became more friendly and let all the prejudices go away. I realized that we are all the same, people that want to be loved and respected.
Rob changed too. He is more extroverted, funnier. I think the serious man he used to be, stayed in Brazil with his suits. He didn’t put in his backpack that executive business face that he used to carry back home! Definitely we are happier!
Rob: She’s still bossy and a perfectionist, but way more relax and calm. It´s weird to see how she changed. Nowadays she avoid conflict, she hates to argue with people. In the past she would be the first one to stand up for a good discussion (even a fight), now she is taking life easier, I feel she is happier! Myself, well, I´m getting wise! hahahaha
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?
Nat: Almost two years full-time traveling and we didn’t kill each other, so I think we are on the right track..hahahaha… It’s not easy, you have to deal with the best and the worst of each other. However, that’s the best way to build complicity and intimacy in a really deep level. When I’m angry I need my time to cool down. I have to complain, swear, hit the wall until all the bad energy inside me goes away. The secret is to leave me alone, or give me a chocolate and a good coffee! Also, you must respect the person you are with, and after the bad moments forget and forgive, start a brand new episode. If you keep sadness, anger or resentment, your relationship won’t be healthy and happy!
Rob: For me it’s easy, when I´m mad on something I stay quite, I don´t complain. I will talk about it three months later. Not easy, I now. Natalie has to guess what is going on and make me talk about, but I’m trying my best to change. We try to sort out the bad moments straight away, to move on and get back on track. What helps is that I´m a patient person, good balance as Nat is more feisty.
Which is the most beautiful moment you are glad you have experienced together?
Nat: The sunset in the Sahara Desert was magical. Morocco was a dream trip for me, I really wanted to explore the country and the culture. Although our travel wasn’t as perfect and smooth as I dreamed, when we climbed that huge dune and watched the sun set on the endless desert, I forgot everything. It was such a powerful experience that after one year it still gives me goosebumps.
Rob: Our honeymoon in Ukraine. We both are big fans of electronic music and we went to Kazantip, a 14 days music festival on the Black Sea. Those days were quite intense and crazy. Also this trip was the trigger to start our Love and Road project.
Can you tell us about one crazy or risky thing you’ve done while traveling that you would and one that you wouldn’t want to repeat again?
Nat: We never did super crazy things on our travels. Feeling a bit a boring now, maybe it’s time to be more adventurous. There is a moment that scared me a lot, and I might repeat. When in Morocco, after the 3 day tour to the Sahara Desert, we decided to leave the group in Merzouga city to head by bus, and alone, to Fes. But the online timetables were completely wrong, there was no bus service from there. So we end up walking in the middle of nowhere, finding a taxi (with 7 people inside) that would take us to another town, from there get two other buses to Fes. The story is long, fun and adventurous. One day trip became 2 days journey, we met amazing people and discovered new places in the Moroccan countryside.
Rob: The riskiest and most stupid thing we have done on our travels was not to renew our travel insurance. We were going to stay in Bangkok for 3 months, we thought we were healthy and the health care in Thailand is cheap, so we didn’t renew our policy. Bottom line, after one month without insurance I got really sick. Nat had to rush me to the hospital in the middle of the night. A month of treatment and the amount of money we spent would be enough to pay the travel insurance. Lesson learned, never more. For the crazy & risky thing, I would say the boat trips we did in some islands in Thailand and Philippines. Unsafe boats, bad weather but tons of fun!