Travel Pro Interview Series: Luke & Hayley

We have an insane calling to be somewhere new!

By Ankita Seth

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Q: What is the craziest thing that has happened to you while flying or taking a train?

L & H: Luckily, nothing crazy has happened when taking a flight but our train journeys in India were sure memorable. For example, we had an overnight train from Agra to Varanasi and sadly booked very late (due to poor planning) and were only able to get 2 berths in a lower class, I think it was called 'Sleeper Class'. This is the class where you will predominantly find locals. As in we were the only tourists in the whole carriage. So, as we arrived, all seemed fine, we found our berths and eventually chucked our bags under the seat, asked a few locals who were in our place to kindly move so we could sit down. We sat next to one guy who spoke broken English and was the only one in the area who could, so naturally, our broken conversation began. Little did we know, as this conversation was happening, the rest of the carriage (literally about 20 other locals) came into our section of berths to watch us like a family gathering around a TV on a Saturday evening. Slightly intimidated by the crowd and expressionless faces, the conversation went on, even taking a very strange turn to one guy actually looking up our names online on the train ticketing seating schedule website and really surprising us by letting us know he knew who we were without us actually revealing any information since being on the train...

Anyway, in the end, the train journey was fine, uncomfortable and long but fine. Only to find out in the morning that half of the people sharing berths in our section of the train didn't actually have tickets and had to jump off the train several meters before the station so they wouldn't get caught. I guess that was a bit of a crazy and eventful night on the train!

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Q: What’s been your biggest challenge traveling as a couple?

L & H: You know, I don't think we have actually had any challenges as traveling as a couple. If anything, it has made things easier. In a sense of decision making, you can discuss everything and come up with a plan based on two different opinions. Conversation, it's very rare we get bored because we always have the other to entertain ourselves. And times when you see or experience something really amazing, the other one is there to share it with.

Q: What’s the greatest thing about traveling as a couple?

L & H: This was kind of answered in the previous question. The greatest thing about travelling as a couple is the opportunity to share an amazing view or experience with that other person. Having the other one there and seeing the excitement on their face, knowing you feel it too. Sharing memories, you can laugh about forever and really getting to know the other person. Since leaving we have become much closer and stronger as a couple.

Q: Your top tips for couples planning an extended trip together?

L & H: It sounds strange, and slightly official, but know your roles. I think we have a nice split and have had this split since we left. Hayley is the planner and thinker and Luke is the do-er. When it comes planning a day out, week out or month, Hayley is amazing at planning everything from accommodation to getting around. But when it actually comes to it, Luke is the one who talks the broken English and navigates on Google Maps. And it works really well. Finding the balance.

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Q: How did you know you could travel without killing each other?

L & H: We didn't. In fact we thought we would. Knowing how different we are at least. But when you're traveling as a couple in a new location it is literally just you two against the world (not to sound too cliché) and the idea of killing each other sort of goes out the window as your focus is on the location and on the travel. Sure, we bicker like crazy (especially when hungry!) but it'd be weird if we didn’t.

Q: How many countries have you traveled in so far?

L & H: Together on this trip we have visited 10 countries in total, but some of them we have visited more than once. Prior to traveling Asia, we have been on small holidays to places in Europe and America together.

Q: What countries are next on your list?

L & H: Myanmar, Dubai, Turkey, UK (for Christmas), France (Skiing), Morocco and hopefully more!

Q: When did you start traveling, and what made you want to travel?

L & H: We officially left the UK on 26th January 2017. We have always had the idea of traveling, since being at university. But as life goes we fell into jobs and then Luke went back to university again for a year and got another job. So, the idea was there but it was slowly getting pushed further and further back. Then one day we made a decision to work for 1 year and save everything we have and in January 2017 we will drop it all and travel.
And that is exactly what we did.

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Q: Where would you go if you could fly anywhere in the world right now? What would you do there?

L & H: We would fly to Cuba immediately and ride around in the class cars, nice clothes and probably drink a lot of rum!

Q: Do you ever take days off from exploring while you’re traveling? If so, how did you spend those days?

L & H: Yes, actually we have just finished our 'time off' from travel. We had been traveling for about 4 months non-stop, staying in locations no longer than 2 nights and hitting the road again and it got really exhausting! So, we came to the decision we would make it to Bali, as we heard great things about Bali, and we would settle there for a month or so catching up on blog work and start freelancing and just relaxing a bit more. One thing we would probably change from our travels is to actually take a few more days off the road to just relax!

Q: How has traveling long term changed your view of home?

L & H: Traveling long term has really changed the way we look at our surroundings and the location we are in. So now we have this mad desire and new appreciation to explore the UK and take what photography skills we have developed and capture the UK the way we have Asia.

Be sure to follow along with Luke and Hayley on Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest and on Blog.

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