We’ve been travelling together for exactly two years today! July 31st is Kach’s 27th birthday and the 2nd anniversary of the day we decided to be together and travel the world.
We’re really happy to be able to use our connections with tour companies, hostels and online TEFL courses to offer freebies and giveaways to our loyal readers. This is our way of saying thank you. Thank you for your support, your kind words and the motivation that you give us to keep doing what we do!
Because it’s Kach’s birthday today (31st July) and Jonathan’s birthday in two weeks (14th August), we’ve had a lot of kind and generous messages from readers asking how they can send us birthday gifts, but unfortunately, constantly moving from place to place and only having backpacks to carry our limited possessions, there’s really no way we can accept accept those generous gifts.
For anyone who really wants to send us something, to say happy birthday, or just because they love reading Two Monkeys Travel and want to help us keep doing what we do, inspiring others to find their own paths – we would be extremely grateful to accept any gifts in the only way that we can – Donations!
We’re simply happy to have all of our readers following our travels and sending us their own amazing stories, but if you would like to give something to help us get to Antarctica – no matter how big or small – our Paypal and BPI details are below!
For anyone who doesn’t already know us, what we do and how we came to be here, here’s a very brief recap of our traveling lives so far.
The first day we met in Laos
Before we had ever met and when Two Monkeys Travel wasn’t even a spark in anyone’s mind, we both quit our jobs and our 9-to-5 lifestyles around the same time in 2013; Kach in April in Kurdistan, Iraq and I a little earlier in March, but in the UK. We both had very loose, yet completely different plans for the rest of our lives, although the only thing we really knew for certain was that we would be starting in Southeast Asia and traveling until we needed to stop and work again. Our paths first crossed in Northern Laos, where we spent a few days together before separating ways to continue our own journeys. We kept in touch for the 2 months we were apart and I eventually convinced Kach to visit me in Hanoi for a couple of weeks. Two weeks came and went and we’ve been together ever since!
Our first motorbike trip in Vietnam
After 7 months of living and working in Hanoi, where we taught English to support ourselves and save money, we decided that it was time to move on and keep traveling the world. We spent 3 months backpacking around India, where we studied to become Yoga teachers and Ayurveda massage therapists, so we can always have other forms of income as we move around from place to place. While exploring India we travelled by almost all means possible and volunteered in different places to keep the costs down. It was also in India, Kolkata to be exact, that Two Monkeys Travel was first conceived, although we didn’t really take it seriously until a few months later.
When the time came to leave India, we were headed for our next big destination; South America – so we took the chance to visit my parents in the UK on the way over. They hadn’t seen me in over a year and it was the first time they had met Kach, too, so it was a pretty big deal for all of us. We visited old friends, family and famous places in the UK for about three weeks before saying our goodbyes once again and moving to the next stage of our lives – Peru!
Dinner with the Howe Family – UK
When we first arrived in Peru, although we didn’t like to admit it, we were flat broke – just a couple of hundred dollars in the bank and the bags on our backs, but at least we had something; skills and determination. We found a volunteering job in a hostel where we cleaned rooms and cooked breakfast for a free bed and food, we found a massage table and I carried it around with a wheelbarrow to all the hotels in town so we could make enough money to move to Arequipa and rent a small apartment. We quickly found jobs teaching English, bought a new massage table and began to work again! Around this same time, we really started to work hard on Two Monkeys Travel, finally launching our self-hosted website on October 24th 2014, which timed perfectly with Kach’s first featured article with Rappler – ‘Career or Travel – Why not choose both?’ This gave us the motivation to write more and dedicate more time and effort than ever before and Two Monkeys Travel began to grow rapidly. Since then we’ve been really lucky and had more articles published with Rappler, Definitely Filipino, Cosmopolitan, When in Manila and most recently, Forbes.com!
Our mobile massage business in Cusco, Peru
We even managed to save up enough cash in Peru to sneak in a 6 week backpacking trip through Peru, Bolivia and Chile, where we hitchhiked the Carretera Austral, Patagonia in pickup trucks, freight wagons and flat-bed trucks!
Since then, we spent 3 months working as volunteers in a backpacker hostel in Costa Rica, in exchange for our bed and breakfast. Kach traveled alone to Nicaragua, while Jon spent a week working with the tourism board in Croatia.
We crossed the Caribbean Sea from Panama to Colombia by sail boat, where we Jon proposed to Kach on a desert island!
We travelled by riverboat through the Amazon, sleeping in hammocks, to reach Brazil where we met Kach’s Mom in Rio de Janeiro and she will travel with us for 2 whole months, through Brazil, Bolivia, Peru, Ecuador and Colombia.
A big part of Kach’s ambition to travel is to step on all 7 continents, purely by backpacking; no expensive around the world tickets to complete the challenge in a week – this is real travelling!
I’m extremely fortunate that I was able to see so much of the world as a child, (mainly due to my father’s job overseas) that Antarctica will finally be my last continent, not that that’s going to stop me from seeing all of the countries on all the other 6 continents!
One of the things that attracts us so strongly to Antarctica is the fact that it’s so difficult to get to in the first place and it’s not just the cost, which at around $8000 per person is enough of a barrier to keep most backpackers away, but you first have to travel all the way to the very southernmost point of Argentina before you can think about starting your journey. It’s going to be a lot of work to get there, but we know we can do it!
After we’ve visited Antarctica we’re going to start making our way back to the Philippines, very slowly! We plan to take a boat from South America to Oceania to travel Australia, New Zealand, Fiji and anywhere else in between that we can get to. By this time we’ll be ready to return to the Philippines to try and find the perfect piece of paradise to settle down and live the rest of our lives.
and oh, we will be publishing our first book by December 2015 or January 2016. Watch out for it!
As you can already see from reading all of this, we don’t have rich parents bank-rolling our travels, we didn’t win the lottery and I don’t have a big pot of gold sitting back home in the UK! The biggest part of what we do is to try to show people all around the world how they can achieve a sustainable travel lifestyle, through building skills and changing your mind-set about what constitutes success. We will continue to teach, massage and write our way around the world until we reach our goals!
We never ask other people to pay for our travels; we believe that this is a self-sustaining lifestyle and we work hard for it, but if people enjoy what we’re doing so much that they want to help us keep going by donating to our Antarctica fund, then we feel extremely grateful that we’re able to do that. We are extremely grateful to all of our readers, because without you, we wouldn’t be doing this – There would be no Two Monkeys Travel.
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