Life on the Road: Bert & Patty
[singlepic=1579,250,,,right]It has been three months since the three couples from our Career Breaker Round-Up have hit the road, so we thought it would be fun to check in and see how they have been adjusting to life on the road! The fun part is that all three took off in completely different directions, so they’ll have very different cultural experiences to share as well.
We’re checking in next with Christine and Paul of Bert & Patty, who started their travels by getting married in the Cook Islands! They have just started exploring Australia after spending that past couple of months in New Zealand.
What has been the most difficult thing to adjust to on the road?
There are so many things to adjust to while traveling for an extended period of time. For us, the most difficult thing has been having to continually carry around our food, and creative menu planning. While we were traveling in the US, we had a rental car and could keep a cooler in the car and transfer our groceries to the refrigerators once in a hostel. That was really convenient. Now that we’re traveling by the Stray Bus, we have two bags of groceries that we carry with us. One bag is for food that needs to be kept cold (milk, etc), and one for food that can be kept at room temperature (apples, oatmeal, etc).
When we were at home, like most people, we would shop for 3-4 weeks worth of groceries at a time. On the road, we aren’t getting that wonderful Costco buy-in-bulk discount. We can only shop for 2-3 days of groceries since we only have two bags for storage. We’re eating a lot of the same staple foods as well: muesli and oatmeal for breakfast – rice and pasta dishes for dinner – Leftover rice and pasta dishes for lunch the following day. It can get very monotonous.
Are there any thoughts of what you left behind that keeps you up at night?
Well, we’re not like most travelers. It seems that most travelers put their lives on hold and put everything in storage, or in the basement of a friend or family members house, knowing that they’ll be back to continue their lives in the same city they left behind. Since we are moving to Edinburgh, Scotland we won’t be coming back to Seattle. That has allowed us to effectively close a chapter of our lives and come to terms with what has been left behind. What we’ve left behind are not tangible things, restaurants or other familiar comforts of home. We’ve left behind our friends and family. Tragically, we lost a friend to cancer since beginning our travels so it reinforces how valuable and precious our relationships are.
What has been the easiest thing to adjust to?
Getting up each and every day and it being a holiday. We like having the day to explore, hike, walk around, meet people and ride around on our bus–the scenery is fantastic! We don’t have to do anything if we don’t want to. That’s a great feeling.
What has surprised you the most?
Traveling is work!! Seems like we are constantly planning the next leg, finding the next hostel, getting to know new towns every day or so, even finding the bathroom in the middle of the night can be work. We aren’t complaining mind you, just surprised. But the good thing is, most of the people we are meeting from the UK have done the route we are doing only backwards so we are getting a lot of great travel advice from them. We feel more confident about where we are going and what we want to do.
Another surprise for me (Christine–not being tech savvy), was I thought we would have free wifi everywhere we went. I couldn’t believe how expensive the internet can be. So, we are always happy when we can get a good deal–speaking of which, in New Zealand you can buy a month’s worth of wifi through the YHA for only $40–a real steal.
Tell us one highlight from your trip so far.
Well, an obvious highlight is that we got married on the island of Aitutaki in the Cook Islands. September 1, 2009. It was a beautiful wedding on the beach planned by the Tamanu Beach Resort. Bare feet in white sand, a local string band, and the sunset as a backdrop. It was a perfect day.