About Us


Our Story
 

Two Monkeys Travel Group is a travel blog and website started by Kach Medina Umandap- Howe from the Philippines and Jonathan Howe from the UK. They share their experience and knowledge of traveling the world since 2013.


We’re Kach & Jonathan Howe

We had both started out on the same path before we ever knew each other existed. We both decided to leave the nine-to-five career lifestyle, sell off our possessions and travel the world. Our paths first crossed in the small, historic town of Luang Prabang in Laos. I (Jonathan) was on a budget motorbike trip around Asia, while Kach was backpacking with her brother and sister. We spent a lot of time together for a couple of days, visiting waterfalls and exploring the countryside on my motorbike, but then it was time to continue on our separate ways. Kach traveled on with her brother and sister for another month, before starting a month-long yoga retreat in Thailand and I traveled on to Hanoi, Vietnam to look for work teaching English. We kept in touch online, talking every day and I convinced her to come visit me in Hanoi for two weeks. Well, two weeks came and went and we’ve been together ever since! After seven months of teaching English to save money, we flew to India, where we studied to become yoga teachers and Ayurveda massage therapists. Since then, we’ve traveled to over 100 (as of December 2017) and all the 7 continents together.



Our Sustainable Travel Lifestyle

We have a unique travel style which is a blend of luxury and adventure – seeking out the most incredible experiences on foot, mountain bike, motorbike, up mountains, through rivers and out of aeroplanes, before arriving at a luxury hotel, to be soothed back to life with a spa, a massage and some fine food! We love volunteering! We started volunteering while investing in our Tantra Yoga certification and Ayurveda massage therapy. After getting certified, we practiced and made a living out of it. After all of those experiences, we decided to have our own travel blog as our main source of income.

Our Travel Website Goals

The goal of Two Monkeys Travel – Community Travel Blog is to create and grow a leading community travel and lifestyle resource, which offers valuable information, opportunity and inspiration, as well as being a forum where our travel writers and fellow travelers can help and inspire each other to live their dreams.

About Kach & Jonathan

1. How old are you?
Kach —>  29 years old  (born in 1988)
Jonathan —> 33 years old (born in 1984)

2. How do you pronounce “Kach”?
It sounds like “catch” =)

3. Where are you from?
Kach —> Laguna, Philippines
Jonathan —> Stroud, United Kingdom

4. What passports do you have?
Kach —> Philippines
Jonathan —> UK (British)

Unlike what other people think, it’s not easy to change your nationality even though I’m married to a British citizen. I’ve been traveling the world with my Philippines Passport! It’s hard but doable. You can read my visa experiences, here.

5. How long have you been together?

4 years since 2013! =)

  • We met on May 14, 2013 in Luang Prabang, Laos.
  • We officially became a couple on my birthday, July 31, 2013, while in Hanoi, Vietnam.
  • We got engaged on June 07, 2015 while sailing in San Blas Islands, Panama.
  • We got MARRIED on July 12, 2016 in Henley-on-Thames, United Kingdom.

6. What were you doing before traveling?
Kach –  OFW (Admin/ Quality Assurance) in the Middle East (Kuwait and Kurdistan, Iraq)
Jonathan – Architectural Technologist in Wales, UK

You can read my article that I wrote in 2014 on why I quit my job to travel the world =)

7. How do you fund your travels?
We started with our own savings then Teaching English in Vietnam where we saved almost 12,000 USD. You can read our teaching experience in Hanoi, Vietnam here! We also love volunteering! We started volunteering (waitress, hostel cleaner, cook) while investing in our Tantra Yoga certification and Ayurveda massage therapy in India. After getting certified, we practiced and made a living out of it. After all of those experiences, we decided to have our own travel blog in 2014 as our main source of income.

Here’s the list of jobs we did to support our sustainable travel lifestyle =)

8. How many countries/ territories have you been to?
Together – over 70 countries
Kach – 95 countries (as of August 2017)
Jonathan – over 90 countries

Come back after few months, I will start writing it down!

9. When did you start Travel Blogging?
We had an idea to start the blog in May 2014 but we officially launched it in the last week of October 2014.

10. How do you manage your finances on the road?
We didn’t have a credit card until last year (2016).. we only used Cash, PayPal, my PHL’s bank account and Jonathan’s Debit card. You can read how we did it.

11. For KACH – How do you apply for visas if they are required for Philippines passport?
I usually go to the Embassy of the country where I’m traveling. First, I check and read the Foreign affairs website of that country and from there, I go to the Embassy office and bring all the required documents. I’ve never tried applying for visas in the Philippines.

Some of the required tourist visas I got abroad:

  • USA Tourist visa in Bogota, Colombia (they gave me 10 years Multiple Entry)
  • UK Tourist visa while in Hanoi, Vietnam
  • UK Marriage visa in Los Angeles, California
  • Australia Tourist Visa (valid for 2 years) online while in Buenos Aires, Argentina
  • Croatia Tourist Visa while in Los Angeles, California
  • India 6 months Tourist visa in Hanoi, Vietnam
  • Panama Tourist Visa in San Jose, Costa Rica
  • Jordan Tourist Visa in Kuwait
  • Turkey Visa in Kuwait and E-visa because of my USA visa
  • Cuba Tourist Card in Cancun, Mexico
  • Thailand 3 months Tourist visa in Phnom Penh, Cambodia (we are free visa for 30 days)
  • Chile Tourist Visa in Arequipa, Peru
  • Lebanon Tourist Visa in Kuwait
  • Azerbaijan Tourist Visa, online while in Bogota, Colombia
  • Armenia E-visa in Kuwait
  • Kurdistan, North Iraq visa in Kuwait
  • Ukraine Visa in New York

and a lot more… stalk the blog and you’ll find the details

12. We want to know more about you….
You can read our media features and some interviews, here.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

1. How to start a travel blog?

Here’s a full article I wrote about it and some tips =)

2. How to make money from Travel Blogging?

If you’re just starting a blog, here are my tips on how you can start making money.

If you’re already blogging and want to take it to the next level, read my article on how these bloggers earn more than 5,000USD per month! Some are even earning more than $25,000 per month! Yup, per MONTH. =)

3. Can I travel with my Philippines passport?

Yes, I’ve been traveling full-time since 2013 with my Philippines passport. You can read my passport and visa experiences here.

4. For Filipinos: How can I apply for a tourist visa?

You don’t need to hire a travel agency to help you with the visa because you can do it directly at the embassy or online. Below tips are only about Tourist visa and NOT work visa.

5. For Filipinos: Do I need a return flight ticket to the Philippines when I travel long term?

If you’re already based abroad, you will only be required an onward flight ticket and not necessarily a ticket back to the Philippines. This is based on my personal experience,  I left the Philippines in 2013 and only returned on 2017 after visiting 100 (as of December 2017).

However, if you will begin your journey from Manila or Cebu then the immigration official will ask you to provide a return flight to the Philippines. Long-term travel is not yet a common thing in the Philippines.

6. How can I become a backpacker?

Get a backpack, travel on a minimal cost and stay in a cheap backpackers hostels (you can find our recommended lists here in Asia etc)

7. Where can I find volunteering opportunities?

We have a detailed article here. =)

8. How can I travel the world if I DON’T HAVE MONEY?

Here are my very detailed 50 tips on how you can travel without money, earn money on the road and even how you can prepare yourself before going on a big trip!

9. What’s the best route to travel around South East Asia?

There are different routes but I usually suggest our readers (who are first-timers) to start in Thailand then follow the “pancake trail” – Here’s our complete itinerary guide on how you can do it!

10. What camera do you use on your travels?

We have Olympus, Huawei Phone, Nikon and now a CANON G7x for blogging. But you can find a lot of options here that are cheap and not-bulky.

11. What’s the easiest and cheapest way to go to South America from Manila?

We wrote 5 different routes here for you guys, you have to consider your budget and the visa. Here you go. =)

12. Can I really make money from teaching English?

Yes, we were teaching in Vietnam last 2013. I’m a Filipino citizen but my first salary was $17 per class but when I left in 2014, I was getting paid $25 per hour. My degree is not even teaching and I didn’t have experience.

However, you need to get a TEFL certificate (usually 120 hours is the requirements, read my personal TEFL experience here.

13. How do you handle criticisms of being in an “interracial relationship” – specifically the negative stigma of being a “Filipina with Foreigner?”

Love this question and I know a lot of people can relate, I wrote a very popular article here on the Truth and Lies about Filipina with Foreigners.

 


Contact Us


Do you have more questions? Feel free to comment below or fill out the form below! Will try to update our Q&A list.

Comments 21

  1. This is Ed 🙂 I am not sure if my name rings a bell as I have been following your social media accounts for a while now. I wanted to meet you, guys, here in Cebu however timing wasn’t in my favor at that time. But I am still hoping to see you, ate Kach and kuya Jonathan (nakikikuya lang :’D) someday. This blog has helped me a lot and your stories still inspire me and make me do what you have been doing. Safe travels across the universe and to Empress, stay pretty <3
    -Ed

    1. Post
      Author

      Just read this, salamat naman sa message mo Ed!! Thank youu so much! I’ve taken a break from blogging esp this year but a message like this just motivated me to keep going! I also have my personal blog na over at mrandmrshowe.com! Thank you again, Ed! Hope to meet you one day! =)

  2. It is almost 2 years now since I bumped on your IG account. I was in Cappadocia back then and you were featuring it also. I was planning to meet you that time but then it didn’t pushed through. from then on, I was a silent follower, browsing most of the time your adventures. Now you are married, having honeymoon and started a new set of adventures. Hope to finally meet you either this year of next year. More power.

    1. Post
      Author

      Oh my I just saw this!! Wow, thank you for this message! Our life has turned upside down and incredibly grateful!! Hope to meet you, feel free to private message me! =)

  3. All details, on point! Galing nyo talagang dalawa. The two of you are one of the people that my husband David and I are following, to tell you honestly. We just started blogging last January and we wanna be nomads, and share our adventures to everyone. Enjoy traveling sweet couple! Hope to meet you guys someday.

    1. Post
      Author

      Thank you Kuya! I will be following your journey (travel and blogging), it will not be easy po but you guys can do it!! <3 Hope to meet you po, if you'll travel to Florida anytime soon (while we're here) sana takits po tayo! <3

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  5. Pingback: Interview: Kach and Jon of Two Monkeys Travel - The Travel Debugger

  6. Hi Guys,

    Trust me, have read may be 100s of Blogs, but never hit like your blog. Its so inspiring, and posts are so to the point, as if we are talking to each other.

    Even I have managed to travel, but never hit in my mind to create such website and share to many other travelers.

    So, here I take a pledge, 10 – 15 days, I will start my own blog. Not sure how, but will do it.

    Keep up the good work.

    Warm Regards
    Sauarabh Vasa
    Proud Indian. 🙂

  7. You’re such an inspiration Kach, I just stumbled upon your blog recently and I’m actually hooked with it. Like you, I have been working here in the middle east as a typical OFW, but I am at this point of life where I am contemplating whether I follow what others have done (eventually ending up getting a stronger passport) or embrace the nationality that I am blessed with. So far, I am aiming to visit all the visa-free countries that are up for grabs for us. I have been to Armenia, Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Bahrain, Macau, Malaysia, Singapore, Hong Kong, Thailand, Indonesia, U.A.E., and Saudi Arabia. I hope to write all about these trips too and share to the world. Thank you for inspiring me, and may I also find the love of my life along the road. All the best to you and Jon.

  8. i can see pics India in this article , its really enjoyable to travel world and enjoy with your love. i also planning to travel world, i have also brown monkey from davao haha! hope soon i will go there and start my journey as well. Nice to see you in pic at Taj Mahal and Jaipur, Hope you enjoyed the India.

    1. Thanks Manoj, I’m actually planning to redesign our about us page but of course add more India photos! <3 We really love India, we were there for 3 months, cant wait to go back! Anyway, I hope your brown monkey from Davao City and you will have a blast and cant wait to meet you on the road!

  9. I’m enjoying your blog. Hi I lived in the Philippines for several years. I have also traveled in India. You Tantra Yoga teachers and Ayurvedic massage therapists. Where are your posts about India? Maybe I just missed them.

    1. Hello Brian! We actually only have one Indian article! We have a lot of pending and also we have our article to be published soon as Yogis on the road!

      Message me on facebook or email so I can answer your questions if you’re interested about Ayurveda and Tantra Yoga!

  10. Hi Kach! I stumbled upon your blog in facebook and I find this very interesting. I’ve been dying to ask how this lifestyle is done, however, I just couldn’t find the right person to ask. Finally I found you, my fellow-Filipina traveller! I just want to ask how do you fund your travels? What kind of job do you have that takes you to lots of places? I have detached myself too from the corporate world and have the same goals like yours. I now work homebased and starting to save for my future travels, but I’m still willing to know if there is anyway I can expedite my travels sooner. Hope to hear from you! Thanks!

    1. Hi Anna! Just read this, sorry just now! Here’s the list of jobs we’ve done on the road- https://twomonkeystravelgroup.com/jobs-on-the-road/

      Basically, our main source of income is by Teaching English and doing Ayurveda Massage Therapy business. We’ve been moving around and only have our skills. Maybe in the future we will earn more from this blog! Email me and we can talk – kach@twomonkeystravelgroup.com

      INVEST ON SKILLS and CERTIFICATIONS!

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