To many of us, the idea of travelling means one holiday a year if you’re lucky, bucket loads of research and planning. But we had the opportunity to sit down with two people changing everyones perspective of what traveling the world looks like. Not only are they making their plans as they go along but they visit towns, cities and sites that many haven’t ventured. They seemlessly capture moments that people couldn’t even dream of and yet they remain incredibly humble, honest and fun throughout. After deciding to take on the wonders of the world, Allison and Eric created their YouTube channel back in 2015 and packed up their lives into back-packs to begin their new Endless Adventures. Over 3 years and more than 27 million views later they’re still taking us along their awesome journeys, educating us all about the epic views and food that awaits us across the globe. We had a chat with the iconic duo on their top travel tips, highlights so far and their craziest moments.
We’re huge fans here at Verge but for those who don’t know, tell us a little about yourselves and The Endless Adventure dream team
Dream team…we like that. Maybe we’ll start putting that on our resume, haha!
We’re Allison and Eric and we met in high school in our small, hometown in Missouri, USA. We moved to the bigger city of Nashville, TN for college where we eventually got married and then in 2010, we moved out to the even bigger city of San Francisco. We worked in the tech industry for a about 5 years, I (Allison) used to work in HR/Recruiting at an online women’s clothing company called ModCloth, and Eric co-founded a company called Sqwiggle which he ran for about 3 years.
Eric was introduced to the world of travel vlogging on YouTube and it really was one of those light bulb turning on moments.
At first it was fun working in tech, but eventually we both got hooked on the idea of traveling. Which is actually pretty strange, because other than our moves across the states, we had almost zero travel experience under our belts. Shortly after deciding to travel, Eric was introduced to the world of travel vlogging on YouTube and it really was one of those light bulb turning on moments. A few months later, we packed our bags, hit the road and began filming our travels as The Endless Adventure!
Our videos focus mainly on local food and fun, outdoorsy adventures from hiking to sailing to urban exploring. Our goal is to show the world to those who might not have the means or drive to experience it themselves, with the hope that they’ll be inspired to find their own adventures. It’s now been 3 1/2 years and the the adventure is still going just as strong!
You both spend a large portion of your time travelling the world, creating new memories and emerging yourselves in new cultures. How did you guys decide that traveling is what you wanted to pursue?
There were a couple things that led to our decision. We started taking French lessons in SF back in 2012, and a few months later took our first, big international trip to London and Paris. That really opened our eyes to other cultures and showed us that there was a big, amazing world out there, which sparked a bit of the travel bug. Then, we found a couple with a blog called Gone With the Wynns (they’re now also hugely successful on YouTube), who were traveling the states in an RV with their cats and we got a bit obsessed. We had two cats at the time so international travel wasn’t really on our minds, but seeing the Wynns traveling in an RV with their pets, we figured that was the perfect situation for us too.
Twice now we’ve actually gone to purchase RVs, cash-in-hand and both times it didn’t work out. We’re still optimistic that it’ll work out one day!
Can you name some of your top locations across the globe, where have you guys had the most fun?
This is always a tough question – every country is so unique and has its own amazing qualities, that it’s hard to pick favorites. That said, some of our favorite memories have been riding ATVs in Santorini, driving around the Golden Circle in Iceland, kayaking in New Zealand’s Milford Sound, hiking across a frozen lake to a glacier outside of Anchorage, eating delicious food in Penang, Malaysia, jumping off waterfalls in Bali, having fresh sushi and sake in Osaka and riding down a mountain coaster in Austria.
What’s the hardest part about constantly being on the go? Do you ever take time out to stay in one place?
Trying to find reliable wifi is probably our biggest stressor – we’re always amazed at how elusive good wifi can be – especially in the most developed countries and cities! Travel days are for sure a close second. No matter how prepared we think we are to catch our flight/train/bus, those days always involve packing, catching buses or walking with all our belongings to train stations, waiting in long security lines, stuffy airplanes, overcrowded busses and trains that are either freezing or unbelievably hot, and then usually landing in a new country where we immediately have to start thinking in a new language and currency. It can get pretty overwhelming, especially when you add in delays, missed connections, etc.
As for taking time in one place, we haven’t quite gotten that part sorted. We always say we’re going to stay in cities for a week minimum so that we can take some days to just chill at a coffee shop and catch up on editing/planning, but we’re always just so excited to see everything in new countries, that we usually end up moving around every few days. It definitely gets a bit exhausting, but the excitement usually makes up for it.
There are a lot of stereotypes that comes with being a tourist, how do you battle the opinions of the natives when traveling?
Honestly, we have a bit of a phobia of being perceived as the stereotypical tourist. One way we combat this is by always trying to learn at least a few words in the native language – hello, excuse me, thank you – which usually goes a long way. Of course it’s impossible for us to master the language of each country we visit, but we find that at least putting in some effort is appreciated. We also do extensive research before we go to new countries to get an idea what the culture is like; from clothing, to tipping to religion and politics. Knowing that in certain countries they remove their shoes before entering houses and even sometimes restaurants and businesses, or that tipping is expected in some cultures and rude in others helps you not look quite so foreign.
What’s the best way to really get in to a different culture, how do you break those barriers?
We always love having a totally free and relaxed first day when we arrive in a new city/country to just walk around and watch everyone going about their everyday life. For us, seeing how people interact in markets, cafes and even at intersections tells us a lot about what we’re in for.
Everyone has those struggles at the airport when you’re lugging around crazy heavy bags, can you give us some tips on how to pack light?
We recommend having pieces that mix and match so you can create multiple outfits with fewer items and bringing shoes that can be dressed up or down so you never end up with shoes or clothes that only work for one occasion.
You can always replace or buy last minute clothing/items on the road, so if you’re on the fence about bringing something, we always recommend leaving it at home
Also, wearing your biggest/heaviest items on travel days saves major space and weight in your bag. You can always replace or buy last minute clothing/items on the road, so if you’re on the fence about bringing something, we always recommend leaving it at home – you’ll either end up making do with what you already brought or you can always run out and grab a replacement.
Investing in folding hair dryers, lightweight shoes with collapsible heels, and 2-in-1 straightener/curling irons are all great ways to save space and weight. Also, getting shampoo and body wash bars or sheets are great ways to cut down on plastic use while saving space in your toiletry bag.
Traveling the world is becoming easier and easier these days with great deals but we always ignore those spam emails! Any tips for finding those last minute deals?
Our favorite booking sites are Skyscanner for flights, Rome2Rio for trains/busses, Cruisesheet for cruises and Airbnb for accomodations. They all make it easy to find the most affordable and last minute travel options without pulling your hair out. Skyscanner’s especially great because you can use their “Everywhere” search option to find the cheapest flights to and from the city or country of your choice. You can also see prices for entire months at a time on the site, so if you’re flexible with your dates, you can easily find the cheapest option.
Traveling as a couple must have it’s challenges, there must be times where you want your own space! Are there any hobbies you guys have separate from each other?
Luckily we don’t get sick of each other that often, but we definitely find ways to have moments to ourselves here and there. I (Allison) fit in a 30-45min workout most days which not only gives me a bit of “me” time, but it also keeps me sane.
Cooking is also something that I really enjoy doing on my own when we have Airbnbs with kitchens. Eric, on the other hand, loves sneaking off and watching random Youtube videos when he needs a break.
And even though we work right next to each other at home and in cafes, we both typically have our earbuds in and are in our own world where he’s editing and I’m planning and researching our next adventure. So while we do obviously spend a lot of time together, we actually have a lot of time to ourselves.
What has been your highlight adventure so far?
That’s a tough one. We’ve had so many fun experiences along the way! We recently got to go mountain carting in New Zealand and that was amazing because it combined our love of epic views and crazy, physical adventures. We also rode a mountain coaster in Austria a few years ago that was pretty surreal. I think anytime we’re doing something crazy on a mountain, we’re in our happy place.
What’s the craziest moment whilst you’ve been traveling?
Cuba. All of Cuba. Haha! We visited the country a couple years ago with a bunch of friends and the whole trip was absolutely wild. There were more crazy moments during that trip than I can count. Unless you go to wifi parks – literally parks where you can pay someone to use a bit of wifi – then internet isn’t a thing in Cuba. So unless you book your travels through a resort or agency, you end up just bumbling around the streets trying to find housing for the night and someone to give you a ride to where you want to go. We only had about 4-5 nights of our 2 weeks planned, so it made for a very confusing, stressful and exciting trip. We obviously survived it, but some days, we weren’t sure we’d make it out of Cuba.
For anyone who is interested in picking up their passport and getting in the traveling spirit, what are your top tips?
Just go for it! There’s never a wrong place to visit or a wrong time to travel. Well, unless you go to northern Alaska in the middle of winter or the Philippines during typhoon season, but even then it just makes for more exciting memories, right?!
we’re all just trying to live the best life we can filled with work, friends, food and family.
If you’re a bit nervous to take the leap, we always recommend starting in a country that speaks your language and/or uses your currency to make the transition into traveling a bit easier. As long as you do a bit of research into the weather and culture, we think you’ll always be amazed at how similar people are all over the world – we’re all just trying to live the best life we can filled with work, friends, food and family.
Check out Allison and Eric’s epic adventures on their YouTube channel here
Also, keep up to date with everything The Endless Adventure via their socials below!