Filthy Rich Travelers: Say Hello to Morgan and Wade
This post is also available in: German
Today, I am more than happy to introduce you to two of the most fantastic newbie bloggers of the travel blogosphere: Morgan and Wade, who run richtraveler.com, are currently planning for a gap year abroad, or shall I say, a wine-induced fantasy-turned-real of an American couple that is really prepared to see the world and visit (almost) all of its countries, kicking it all off in spring 2014.
Continue reading to learn how wonderful Morgan and Wade initially got the idea to travel and why it is perfectly easy to quit a job and empty a bank account. Also learn why Wade would never leave home without merino wool socks and see how Morgan will manage to look sexy even after months of backpacking. Are you prepared? Let’s kick it off then…
Morgan and Wade, how did you catch the travel bug?
Neither of us has racked up an expansive travel resume to date. Not internationally at least. Don’t fret – it’s coming! Wade has traveled to Mexico, Belize, Colorado, Louisiana, Florida, Arkansas and New Mexico. I’ve spent time in New York, Florida, Chicago, the Caribbean, Mexico, and in two weeks will add Paris, France to that list.
The desire for something greater out of life and a legendary adventure was an initial connection and attraction (in addition to those dreamy dimples of his) between the two us. After several glasses of wine and a damn good proposition he couldn’t turn down, I made Wade sign a somewhat-legible contract promising to travel the world with me. I consider myself pretty lucky he planned to keep his promise once sober.
What does traveling mean to you?
Wade and I are firm believers that experiences, both the good and ugly, define who we are as individuals. No amount of wealth could ever replace them. The same goes for travel; it affects and changes individuals from the start. Travel awakens the soul and gives your heart a whole new perspective on life. Why wouldn’t you want that for yourself?
You are about to go on a one-year round-the-world trip. Describe your itinerary and the planning process.
Holy Moly has it been a whirlwind. We’ve spent the last seven months sleeping, dreaming, researching, and writing TRAVEL. And we still aren’t done! To add to the planning process, we decided to take on travel blogging pretty rigorously. Blogging has actually been a great preparatory tool, as we are constantly researching and learning from other members of the blogging community. Blogging during the planning process is intended to serve a greater purpose: we want future travelers, those scared to take the plunge or just starting out, to know where to begin and have someone to relate to.
Our actual destination route itself seems to change monthly…usually after I’ve read about a fellow travel bloggers newest voyage. The planning process has certainly altered our perceptions on a lot of places, especially Asia, and we continue to fall more and more in love with our upcoming adventure (launch date next spring). We plan to spend 4.5 months hopping around Europe, 3.5 months visiting temples and beaches in Southeast Asia, one month participating in extreme sports in Australia and New Zealand, two months trekking through South America, and one month frolicking in the forests and jungles of Costa Rica.
At the beginning of the travel planning process we both selected our top destination and committed to spending an extended period of time in each. For me, it’s traveling through Italy (30 days will be spent there) and for Wade, it is spending extra time playing in Costa Rica.
What has been the best and worst part of planning your trip? Who did most of the planning?
The planning has been split pretty evenly between the two us. Wade is a financial guru, so credit cards, budgets, flight patterns, etc. all fall into his hands. I’m an unorganized butterfly, so I tend to focus on specific destinations, attractions within each country, food, and culture. Our personalities and areas of interest complement each other pretty well.
Worst part of planning? There isn’t one! Sure it takes time (more than most imagine), but it’s electrifying to be preparing for the greatest journey of your life. We don’t want to pack our bags and jet set without being as knowledgeable as possible. The planning itself is an adventure and we get excited to share the news with one another.
If you could only cross three items off your bucket lists, which would it be?
Morgan: Sending lanterns into the sky at the Yi Peng Festival, visiting the Crooked Forest or Rainbow Eucalyptus Trees, & obtaining a Piece of Art from every country visited.
Wade: Hiking Machu Picchu, hang gliding in New Zealand, running with the bulls in Pamplona, Spain.
Name the three most important things you take on your journey.
1. Journal – A journal will be my way of tracking thoughts, details on visited sights, future blogging topics, etc. I’ve never been very good at keeping a steady diary, but hope to create a journal full of travel memories, sketches and amazing blog posts.
2. Camera – I’ll be packing my DSR and Go Pro. My favorite travel blogs are typically those run by skilled travel photographers. Creating travel stories through a photo or series of photos is something I’m hoping to accomplish.
3. First Aid Kit – I may be the clumsiest person alive. Walking is a danger I put myself through daily. Dramamine will also be a lifesaver; if it moves, I’ll end up sick.
1. Merino Wool Socks – The most important thing for me is to be comfortable. There isn’t much worse than having to walk all day long with blisters on the backs of your feet. Plus, the merino wool is anti-microbial, which is crucial for my awful smelling feet.
2. iPhone/iPad Mini – Although Morgan will have her fair share of responsibilities, I’m going to be doing the majority of the booking (flights, accommodations, reservations, etc) … so being able to quickly research the cheapest flights and hostels and book them on the spot will be critical.
3. Sea-To-Summit Silk/Cotton Bed Liner – It’s my way of feeling comfortable so I can get a good night’s sleep.
What will you miss most when you’re gone?
Morgan: Most definitely my family and Siamese cat. I’ve depended on my parents and brother for so much over the last 26 years. It’s difficult knowing I’ll be leaving my deepest level of comfort for an entire year, but I’m thrilled to take this journey with my best friend and hunky man.
Wade: Definitely my family and friends. I think for a lot of people, that is probably what keeps them from even considering long-term travel. I can quit my job, sell all my stuff, and empty my bank accounts without the slightest of hesitation … but leaving my family and friends will be pretty difficult.
A great part of the American population doesn’t own a passport and therefore does not travel but within US boundaries. Can you explain this tendency?
Absurd isn’t it? Americans are funny in that regard. We have a presubscribed notion to the path everyone is expected to follow: Schooling – University – Career – Family. It doesn’t really extend much past that. Traveling and experiencing the world is not a priority many parents or adults advocate. When someone says they’re taking time off from school or work to “find themselves and travel” it’s usually met with gasps and awkward stares of misunderstanding. Maybe we are too career-focused? Americans are also typically given only two weeks of vacation per year, leaving us without much time to truly explore.
Telling our parents we were planning to run away and trek the world took some guts and prepared speeches. It’s atypical and the idea of backpacking has been misconstrued by entertainment and news. Our parents certainly have safety and health concerns, but we aren’t the first kiddos to take off on a worldwide journey!
Describe a place in your hometown that you think everyone should visit.
Wade and I are both from Victoria, a small town in South Texas. Oil, gas, ranching and farming are pretty prominent. While there isn’t a ton to do within the city itself (other than visiting Schroeder Hall, the second oldest dance hall in Texas) there are several close-by cities worth venturing to. Goliad, a short 30 minutes drive, is filled with history and an old mission, Presidio La Bahia, said to be haunted. 45 minutes south you’ll find Rockport, a small seaside community filled with charm and fresh seafood. Austin is only a couple hours north and is known for its spectacular music festivals, rad art scene, hippies galore, and scrumptious restaurants. If you’re looking for a true Texas experience a trip to Fort Worth is in need. Its infamous Stockyards, Water Gardens, barbeque, Gilly’s country music concerts, and nearby sports stadiums are some of the many reasons Wade currently calls Fort Worth home.
Wade, why do women always pack too much stuff for their holidays?
Morgan is a “pack addict”. Fortunately for the both of us, she admits she has a problem and is working to overcome her addiction before we start our backpacking adventure. I never understood why women are held to a totally different standard when it comes to clothes though. I pretty much wear the same six outfits for the entire year and have never once had anyone mention anything about that to me. If Morgan tried to pull that off, she wouldn’t last 2 weeks before someone said “didn’t you just wear that last week?” I guess that’s just one of her burdens for looking so damn sexy.
Oh this is a heated question! Men are naturally programmed to fix things (Wade’s a great “fixer” by the way!). I think it’s their desire to personally solve the puzzle at hand that keeps them from asking for help – a trait to be admired in my opinion. Men are fighters, in every facet of life and that’s why we love them. Women just have to remember to be patient – we operate differently.
Wade you promised to eat bugs, while Morgan, you will do a bungee jump. What else pushes you to your limit? Is there anything you won’t do?
This trip isn’t just about seeing pretty places and living stress-free. We fully intend to use it to better our outlooks on life, our definition of happiness, and our perception of culture and its people. Traveling is about challenging yourself and taking steps outside of your everyday comfort zone … even if that means eating bugs and bungee jumping. Would you ever find Wade playing with spiders or me boating through murky alligator-filled swamps – not a chance in hell. Who knows, though? This trip is sure to change us, outlook on spiders in all! **Side note from Wade – This trip will NOT change my outlook on spiders. This trip will have a strict “No Spiders” policy.
Check out richtraveler.com for more information on Morgan and Wade and their upcoming trip. Also make sure you have a look at their in-depth plan for traveling the world. Make sure to follow them on their journey on twitter.