In our never ending quest to introduce you to traveling couples that make the whole: relationship + work+ travel thing work, we want to introduce you to Bell and Alex of Wanderlust marriage.com. Have you ever just wanted to pick the brain of a traveling couple, find out how they make it work? Hear some great couple travel fights? Now is your chance!
Here is how to follow them:
Facebook: Wanderlust Marriage
1000Fights: Ok, start off by tell us how you two met?
We met over a decade ago (ouch!) in a dingy hostel in Brugges, we were bunk mates in a mixed dorm. Alex’s favorite line… “we were thrown into the same bed, it was meant to be!”
1000Fights: Wow! Ok….enough info…..
1) How many countries visited between the two of you?
We have been to 43 Countries! This travel thing is addictive isn’t it?
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: The Pope. I would love to ride in the Pope Mobile and get a keen insight into the Vatican’s wonderful fashion sense ;)
She Said: My dad, he passed away 20 years ago, but before that he loved to travel, camp, and take us kids with him into the Australian outback.
3)What has been your favorite destination in your wanderings?
He said: Probably Thailand. Such great food, scenery, shopping and great value. Thailand holds a special place in our hearts because Bell and I met up there again after not seeing each other for 2 and 1/2 years. We got engaged 8 days later on the island of Ko Phangang, a day after the full moon party!
She said: Such a difficult question, probably Vietnam, such a beautiful country and just crazy, crossing the road there is truly a “leap of faith!”
4) Looks like you guys have spent some time in Greece. Many couple travelers have Greece on top of their list. Tell us about your suggestions for couples.
He said: Over the years I’ve spent more time in Greece than Bell because my Dad is originally from there (born in Pyrgos, near Olympia) and through him I also have Greek citizenship, along with American. Greece can be one of the most hospitable countries in the world. It is a great trip for couples! If you’re courteous when you’re out in restaurants and bars, you’ll surely get a few free coffees and spirits in your travels from staff or fellow patrons :) Particularly for couples: In Athens- find a nice roof top bar with a view of the acropolis lit up at night and enjoy some nice food, wine and traditional Greek music. I’ve seen a lot of Greece and there are loads of romantic spots on the islands and main land. Santorini is really quiet during the off-season but it’s so beautiful that couples can rent a car and feel they practically have the island to themselves, which is really special if you don’t care about swimming and lounging in the unique black sand beaches.
She said: It is really romantic to visit Syros in the off-season and rent a little apartment. We only had a few nights there, but I could have spent a week there relaxing and enjoying great food, wine and hanging with just Alex. Syros is a great island because along with being gorgeous, it’s the capital of the Cyclades, so a lot of Greeks continue living there year round and there is FAR more happening in the off-season than Mykonos.
5) You guys have some great posts about how to live and travel abroad. What are the keys to surviving as a couple abroad?
He said: We’ve been living in Europe 5 and 1/2 years now and I kinda feel like the 5 year point is where the term “expat” really sunk in for me. I currently find myself in a strange place ideologically…Couples should make sure to keep the adventure alive. Try and have a nice short trip booked semi regularly because when westerners move countries it’s often for adventure. If that dies the whole ship can sink.
She said: It’s a miracle we’ve not killed each other on a couple of occasions! It’s tough, we love our families and friends, so we both get some sort of “homesick” and can feel a little isolated at times and take that out on each other… The key, not sure, but trying to find some good friends in your new home helps a lot, and have a balance of people who are locals and expats. Expats are easy to get in with, but they are more likely to move and perhaps be unhappy about the country you’re in… try not to get caught up with that group, it’s too easy to blame small annoyances on *insert country* when the reality is there are similar problems everywhere.
6) If you could solve one problem in the world what would it be?
He said: At the risk of sounding like a ditzy beauty pageant contestant world hunger. There’s too much discrepancy of wealth in this world. The first world lives off the backs of the 3rd world. Programs like the World Bank and IMF are meant to help bring people out of poverty but first and foremost they cater to Western interests, so often programs to 3rd world countries that provide loans have stipulations for poorer governments to actually cut programs for their people in order to re-pay the loans. It’s a tricky problem but it’s one that wealthy countries can do a better job at if they want.
She said: Education for everyone, if people are educated it helps to empower them, and while it isn’t a quick fix solution to world problems, I believe we have to stop thinking about issues with a short-term, quick fix mentality.
7)You knew it was coming….What has been your greatest travel fight/disagreement?
She said: We look sweet, but we can argue! Especially if Alex is tired and I am hungry, this is a recipe for disaster! We actually had to discuss which fight to talk about, but I decided upon a recent one on our last trip to Australia, my home country. We’d flown direct from a few days in Dubai with friends. Between the 2 of us I think we’d clocked about 3 hours sleep. Alex was drunk and I was tired, hungry and my usual emotional self when going back to Aus. It started when I woke Alex for breakfast (he’d asked me to). He was still drunk and now really tired and it started small, but by the time we arrived at immigration we were being horrid to each other, names were involved and this is all while standing in line for immigration. I’d actually filled in Alex’s slip because he wasn’t really able to and had accidentally left “job” blank, so when we arrived at the immigration desk after a scene in the line, the lady processing us was less than kind… we totally deserved it though and at least we did not get pulled aside! Advice -> take sleeping pills on long haul flights!!
1000Fights: Great Story!
He said: The Aussie one was good! Another one was early in our marriage when Bell first moved to the US 8 years ago. We went to Las Vegas and we realized we could score truly free drinks by sitting at the hotel casino bars and putting a $10 note in the video machines on the bar. We would slowly play 25 cent hands and since we had 10 bucks in, we would get free drinks easily because the bartender is right there! But Bell hates gambling and when she went down only $5 after an hour she was complaining about it. I didn’t get it because that was paying for the drinks so she wasn’t even down. And it was only $5 anyways! We kept drinking and the annoyance built up on both ends. We eventually got into a huge shouting match on Las Vegas Bouvelard at 3am. Luckily there weren’t many people around because it was not very nice!
1000Fights: Something tells me it wasn’t the first couple fight on the boulevard at 3am in Vegas?
We want to thank Alex and Bell for sharing a little about their traveling style and a couple of great fights! Give their blog a look!