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Dublin: 11 °C Friday 25 May, 2018
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Dream of quitting your job to travel the world? This couple say it isn't as glam as it might seem

“t’s not all ice-creams in the sun and pretty landscapes.”

YOU KNOW THOSE absolutely sickening stories of people quitting their jobs to travel the world that conveniently never mention money?

Well, it seems that the reality of such trips might not be so glam after all.

South African couple Chanel Cartell and Stevo Dirnberger made headlines earlier this year when they quit their advertising jobs and embarked on a trip around the world.

Since then, they have been documenting their travels on their blog How Far From Home.

Source: howfarfromhome/Instagram

It looks like the most charmed existence of all time. So it might surprise you to hear the couple say it’s anything but.

In a blog post published yesterday, they state that their day-to-day life isn’t as idyllic as their Instagram feed might make it out to be.

Browsing through our blog posts and Instagram feed, it seems like we’re having the time of our lives. And don’t get me wrong – we are. It’s bloody amazing. But it’s not all ice-creams in the sun and pretty landscapes. Noooooo. So far, I think we’ve tallied 135 toilets scrubbed, 250 kilos of cow dung spread, 2 tons of rocks shovelled, 60 metres of pathway laid, 57 beds made, and I cannot even remember how many wine glasses we’ve polished.

21 724km // Hallstatt // Austria This is Steve's epic Titanic moment. After a 60-minute hike we came to the World Heritage Skywalk hovering 350m above the town and offering a breathtaking view of Lake Hallstatt. We'll let the picture tell you the rest. Tag someone you would want to do this with! Follow our story )) link to blog in profile. #HFFH_travels Source: howfarfromhome

The couple do volunteer work through a service called Workaway, which sees travellers do work in exchange for accommodation and food.

And it’s fairly grotty.

We’re toilet cleaners, dog poop scoopers, grocery store merchandisers, and rock shovelers. It’s painstakingly hard and dirty work.

Seriously, this isn’t high-end living.

I am not at my fittest, slimmest or physically healthiest. We eat jam on crackers most days, get roughly 5hrs of sleep per night, and lug our extremely heavy bags through cobbled streets at 1am, trying to find our accommodation (because bus fares are not part of the budget, obviously).
The budget is really tight, and we are definitely forced to use creativity (and small pep talks) to solve most of our problems (and the mild crying fits).

24 829km // Hydra // Greece This has to be one of the most impressive sunsets we have seen. Watching the sailing boats come into the harbor for the night, with that backdrop, was unforgettable. Follow our story )) link to blog in profile. #HFFH_travels Source: howfarfromhome

Hardships aside, though, they still maintain that it’s totally worth it, despite the dirt, crap food and intensive labour.

… this crazy lifestyle allows us to enjoy the freedom of exploring rich Swedish forests, never-ending Nordic fjords, Italian cobbled alleyways, and cosmopolitan cities.
You work under your own schedule, using (a lot of) spare time to jog around mirrored lakes, craft inspired creations and breathe the Arctic air. There’s nothing quite like swopping million rand advertising budgets for toilet scrubbing to teach you about humility, life and the importance of living each day as if it were your last.

Okay, we’re back to being jealous again.

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About the author:

Amy O'Connor

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