In our continued quest in introduce you to some of the most interesting traveling couples, this week’s installment is one of the best. Meet Dan and Linda of www.aswesawit.com. This empty nester duo found freedom and a bucketload of adventure on the road. Together they have visited over 40+ countries on five continents! Best of all? They met online! They have been together for over 14 year. Congrats!
1) Our fave post of yours is “The Day Ecuador Kicked Us Out”. Give us the quick version. How did you keep your cool?
She said: I kept reminding myself that they were only doing their job and that I’d never win, plus nothing could be accomplished by breaking into tears. Then we started brainstorming to figure out our options.
He said: Easy… I have a saying: “It is what it is” and thus you just deal with the problem at hand. I am an entrepreneur and a problem solver. So once we figured out the situation, we made plans, proposed solutions to the authorities, won them over by our cooperation and ability to provide choices from a humble position and moved on.
2) If you had to travel with someone else besides your travel partner, who would it be? (this person can be living, historical or mythical?)
She Said: My mom. It’s a lifetime dream I’ll never accomplish. When I was younger I watched her enjoy a series of trips with her mother including a Scandinavian cruise and an opportunity to watch the Oberammergau Passion Play in Germany. Unfortunately, at 89 and in a wheelchair, she’s unable to travel as she’d like so she prefers to stay at home.
He Said: That would be Yeshua the Messiah (known in the Christian world as Jesus) since He would be able to teleport us anywhere and save the long-haul flight time and bring an interesting perspective to people and cultures since he can see through the lies.
3) Being empty nesters, how do you keep in contact with family and friends? Is it tough to live the nomadic lifestyle?
She said: All five of our children and Dan’s parents visited us when we were living in Panama. Email, Whatsapp, Facebook and Skype help us stay in touch. The toughest part is knowing that my mom is so far away and can’t visit. I miss her and it’s hard to keep in touch with her because she doesn’t have a computer or cell phone.
He said: We use Skype and Facebook to keep in contact. Our family follows us there and for the most part we are fairly independent.
4) We know you two are huge foodies…. If you had to eat one last meal, what/ where would you eat?
He said: My last meal would be a Middle-Eastern style meal in Jerusalem… Those meals can go on forever and the food never stops.
She said: Oh, that’s a hard question because I’m crazy about Greek salads and their massive hunks of feta cheese. On the other hand, I also adore hummus and could happily consume bowls of it with a spoon. So I sort of agree with Dan … except for one thing: It wouldn’t be in Jerusalem. There was a lovely Arab restaurant atop a rooftop in Yafo (Jaffa) that brought out 20 – no kidding, 20 – mezze dishes and a mega basket of laffa bread, before our entrées even arrived! And their lemonade was amazing.
5) What is the great challenge as a couple and individual living and traveling abroad?
He said: Traveling for any extended period can be a great task on a relationship as well as a great building experience depending on how you handle it. No matter how close you are as a couple, you still are different people and must learn and adapt to those differences, either by helping your partner change their habits or changing yourself to accept the differences.
This goes back to one of our first long term trips through Europe and dealing with a travel difference that hit me in the face in Venice, dragging our suitcases over all those bridges. For me it was like I had to do everything and it just boiled over. After the trip, I reflected on the experience. At first I was mad at Linda for her travel style. Everything she did seemed to rub me the wrong way. As the time went on through that year, I kept on looking back at that trip and dreading the upcoming long-term trip. Time has a way of revealing yourself in situations!
I realized that much of this was on me and thus I decided to make a conscientious decision NOT to get upset on the next trip and to be more patient and understanding with her travel style. This decision was seriously put to the test after about a week into a 3 week trip when another business situation crept into sight.
We found out that we needed to go to Asia so we ended up on a 10-week trip while packed for a 3-week one. The change in my mindset ended up with us having the best time ever and brought us, if possible, even closer as we thoroughly enjoyed our private pool time in our own villa in Bali, Indonesia.
So from that point forward, travel has still brought us closer together with each trip and the challenges they bring.
She said: Dan and I are wired differently. He can easily multitask whereas I get completely lost whenever I focus on more than one thing at a time. It’s been hard for him to understand and just as hard on me, trying to do something I’m unable to.
6) If you could solve one problem in the world what would it be?
He said: Religion. I would eliminate it since religion is used to separate and kill one another.
She said: I’d teach people not to take offense and to let go of anger, envy, bitterness and resentment. None of those produce anything beneficial.
7) You knew it was coming…. What has been your greatest travel fight/disagreement?
He said: Actually this is a very good question because I actually can’t find a “great fight,” travel or non-travel. I’d have to say it would have to be in Richmond, Virginia, where for some reason which I can’t remember, I got mad and went off to photograph a building, then got separated from Linda and couldn’t find her. So I just went on shooting around downtown Richmond. Finally I thought this was totally stupid and we started texting to find each other. To make it worse, Linda’s phone was dying and that added to the stupidity of the fight.
She said: I’d say it occurred during that first long trip we took together. Lugging a suitcase up and down stairs takes a lot more effort and time when you’re as short as I am. Dan kept coming back to help me with my baggage so we could keep moving. By the time we got to Venice’s many bridges Dan was so exasperated with my slowness that he finally blew up, “I am never going to travel with you again! From now on we are taking separate vacations!” Fortunately he changed his mind before we had another opportunity to travel.
1000Fights: Linda, we had the exact same fight!!!! Who knew there were so many stairs in Venice?
A hearty thank you to Dan and Linda from As We Saw It. What a great example of couples that make traveling work for them. Thank you for taking the time to visit with us and our readers. Happy travels!