In this installment of our “7 Questions” series, we want to introduce you to the traveling couple: Nick and Dariece of Goats on the Road.
Nick and Dariece have left everything behind in search of cultural experiences, beautiful beaches and off the beaten path adventures. They call themselves Goats On The Road. Their website for budget backpackers encourages others to pack their bags and leave the ordinary behind.
How to give them a follow:
Blog: Goats on the Road
Facebook: Goats on the Road
Sadly, this traveling couple lost everything they owned in the recent Alberta floods. Read about their experience here. They are so brave to face this challenge with such grace and perspective. Lets learn a little more about this traveling couple.
First off…tell us a little about the two of you. How long have you been together? How did you meet? Ect.
The two of us started out as friends. We grew up in the same small town, but it wasn’t until we moved to the big city that we actually met. We were friends for about 3 years until one fateful day on a road trip we got stuck and had to spend the night in a hotel. That was it, from then on, we have been inseparable! We recently celebrated our Six year anniversary together here in China. We’ve been on the road for 4 out of those 6 years and have really grown together as a couple.
Not only have we been travelling together for so long, but we are currently working together as well! We consider ourselves very fortunate to be able to get along so well and to actually really enjoy spending time together. We really think that travel can bring couples much closer and can be a very enriching experience. In a year of travelling you would probably learn more about your spouse than you would after 10 years of marriage!
1) How many countries visited between the two of you?
She Said: Before we started dating, Nick had only been to Disneyland when he was 5 years old, other than that, he hadn’t traveled outside of Canada. I had been to Mexico and the Dominican Republic on the typically North American holiday: The all-inclusive resort package. Since being together we’ve been to 32 countries. It’s a running joke between one another that I’ve been to one more country than Nick, it drives him nuts! We’ll be adding 7 more countries to that list in July, can’t wait!
He Said: I’ve devised a plan to equalize our “countries visited” rivalry. I’m going to schedule a trip to the Dominican Republic and then we’ll both have been to the same amount of countries. Before, I had this plan I was just going to sneak out in the middle of the night and quickly visit a bordering country that Dariece had never been to.
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?.)
He Said: I suppose if I could travel with anyone other than Dariece, it would be me. I would travel by myself and although it wouldn’t be nearly as fun as travelling with the person I love, I do see some benefits of such an adventure. I would be able to look over the edge of high cliffs without someone saying “hey, get away from there”, and I would be able to walk down the beach without hearing “why don’t you take a picture, it lasts longer” (when really I was checking out her iPad). Other than that, I can’t imagine travelling without Dariece. Not having someone to share the experiences with would leave a gaping hole in the experience itself.
She Said: Hmm, it would be really hard for me to travel with anyone besides Nick, he’s probably the only person who could put up with me! But if I had to choose, I’d probably say the guys from the t.v. show, Departures, they were our initial inspiration for giving it all up at home to backpack around the world.
3) What has been your favorite destination in your wanderings?
She Said: This is a hard one! I have many top choices each for a different reason. But if I had to choose, I’d probably say India or Egypt. India is such an assault on the senses and so insanely different from anywhere back home, which is why I love it! Egypt is also an unbelievably awesome destination. We were there when the revolution was just about to end and had the country to ourselves. The people we met, the villages we went to and the experiences we had will be forever thought about, and talked about!
He Said: Ya this question is always nearly impossible to answer. On our first trip I could answer it without much thought: Indonesia. But after visiting more places and having new experiences, it’s really hard to choose. I would have to agree with the places Dariece listed above. Everywhere has something that sticks in your heart for a different reason.
4) Ok…we have to ask. Tell us about the name. Goats on the Road?
She Said: For two reasons. The first being that wherever we travel there seems to always be goats on the road! They are everywhere. In Morocco, they were even in the trees! The second reason being that we started calling each other “goat”, and since we are on the road, we are called Goats On The Road!
He Said: Yep, what she said!
5) Looks like you two have focused you travel in Asia. Conventional wisdom is that couples travel to Europe. What does Asia offer couples?
He Said: Asia feels like home away from home for us. It was the first place we really traveled together and that gives us a special bit of sentiment for us. Asia offers an incredible vibe and laid back atmosphere. It’s can be an extremely romantic place, but it still has so many cultural experiences to offer. Asia may always remain our favorite continent for these reasons.
She Said: For us, the draw to travelling to Asia when we were in our early 20’s and part of the reason why we have continued to go back is that it’s a very budget friendly region. Couples who travel to Europe will spend considerably more than if they were to travel to Asia. Apart from the great value for money, we absolutely love the culture, the food, the jungles, the beaches and the friendly people. This can be a very romantic part of the world for traveling couples. Watching the sun set with a bottle of wine on the beach makes for a great date night. Asia is the perfect place to rent scooters. Whenever we rent them, I ride on the back, holding on tight to Nick. It’s a fun way to spend the day together.
6) Tell us about India. We are considering a trip there next year. What were your highlights? ….And Luci wants to know if you got sick..
She Said: That is one of the questions we’re always asked! Yep, Nick got sick a few times. I had food poisoning only once though, which is amazing considering we always eat on the street and since we’ve traveled there for a total of just over 5 months. Ok, as for the highlights, there are so many, but mine are spending 3 weeks in an ashram in Rishikesh doing meditation and yoga, sailing down the Keralan backwaters on a houseboat all to ourselves and going on a Camel Safari with just us, our guide and 3 camels! We spent 3 nights out in the Thar Desert and loved every minute of it.
He Said: For me, the highlight of India is India itself. In other places, you go to see the sights and meet the people, and you do this here as well, but in India, you can just sit on the street and let India come to you. People watching is brought to new levels in this dizzyingly chaotic sub-continent and we spend hours just sipping chai (Indian tea) and watching the world go by. You’d be amazed what you can see on the streets in India. We’ve seen a cow give birth on a busy backstreet in Jodhpur, and we’ve seen 2 dogs fighting over a human hand in Varanasi.
7) You knew it was coming….What has been your greatest travel fight/disagreement?
He Said: I know Dariece is going to talk about our fight in South India. I must admit, I’m a real ass when I’m hungry. Luckily it doesn’t happen anymore because she carries sufficient food supplies and makes sure I’m properly fed (like a pet). There was one time when she was really mad at me though. We had just started our first trip and we got pretty intoxicated on Koh Chang in Thailand, I went to 7-11 to get us more beer and in my drunken state I was drawn to some live music like a fly to a light. I ended up rocking out in the bar by myself for about an hour before I realized that I had left Dariece behind. When I finally found her she was pretty peeved as she had spent the hours scouring the beach for me, thinking I may have gone on another one of my drunken swims.
She Said: You’re probably going to hate us for this answer, but we don’t really fight! The only time we have any sort of disagreement or argue is when Nick is hungry, or I’m tired. We don’t handle hunger and fatigue all that well. There’s one time that sticks in my mind though: we were in the South of India, it was like 40 degrees celsius (seriously), we had our heavy backpacks on and were walking around looking for a room. We had been on a train and a bus for many hours and had only eaten a few snacks. We were hungry, sweating buckets and were so annoyed that we couldn’t find a room. We yelled for a few minutes out of frustration, found a room finally, showered and went out for a nice meal. Fight over.
**A Note From The Goats: We are packing up our lives here in China and taking off on a 5 month backpacking journey! We will be camping, trekking, fishing and exploring Mongolia, Central Asia and Iran. Follow our adventure for tips, photos, videos and cool stories from this off-the-beaten-path region. We look forward to having you along for the ride!
A huge thanks to Nick and Dariece! We cant wait to hear about the fights! What a great inspiration to all of the traveling couple out there!