Inflow Travel Summit in Istanbul, Turkey
(April 18, 2017)
I have had so many fears throughout my life, which is why I quit everything for the life of the unknown until I met a guy who is full of dreams and eventually became my husband!
Having met in a backpackers' bar in Luang Prabang in 2013, we've been traveling the world together through more than 80 countries and every continent, including Antarctica (but Kach has been to 125 countries as of May 2019, read here.)
Having travelled the world and lived a life of freedom and excitement for more than three years, we finally got married in July 2016 and now we're looking to the future.
I never would have guessed that after several years of nomadic life, I'm finally ready to start thinking about finding a home, settling down, even learning how to do things around the home! In May 2017, we bought our own SAILBOAT named EMPRESS but we sold her after 2 years of sailing in the Caribbean with our two cats, Captain Ahab & Zissou (read our sailing stories here).
We recently moved to Montenegro on May 2019 to continue our adventures. You can read our Daily Blog here.
We had both started out on the same path before we ever knew each other existed. We both decided to leave the nine-to-five career lifestyle, sell off our possessions and travel the world. Our paths first crossed in the small, historic town of Luang Prabang in Laos. I (Jonathan) was on a budget motorbike trip around Asia, while Kach was backpacking with her brother and sister.
We spent a lot of time together for a couple of days, visiting waterfalls and exploring the countryside on my motorbike, but then it was time to continue on our separate ways. Kach travelled on with her brother and sister for another month, before starting a month-long yoga retreat in Thailand and I travelled on to Hanoi, Vietnam to look for work teaching English. We kept in touch online, talking every day and I convinced her to come visit me in Hanoi for two weeks. Well, two weeks came and went and we’ve been together ever since! After seven months of teaching English to save money, we flew to India, where we studied to become yoga teachers and Ayurveda massage therapists.
Since then, we’ve travelled all over South East Asia, India, the Maldives, the UK, the United States, South America and Central America. (Before long term travel, Jonathan grew up in Kenya and Malawi and travelled to almost 20 countries with his family and friends while Kach had already visited over 15 countries in the Middle East and other parts of Asia)
1. How old are you?
Kach —> born in 1988
Jonathan —> born in 1984
2. How do you pronounce “Kach”?
It sounds like “catch” =)
3. Where are you from?
Kach —> Laguna, Philippines
Jonathan —> Stroud, United Kingdom
4. What passports do you have?
Kach —> Philippines
Jonathan —> UK (British)
Unlike what other people think, it’s not easy to change your nationality even though I’m married to a British citizen. I’ve been traveling the world with my Philippines Passport! It’s hard but doable. You can read my visa experiences, here.
5. How long have you been together?
We’re together since 2013 and married since 2016! =)
We met on May 14, 2013 in Luang Prabang, Laos.
We officially became a couple on my birthday, July 31, 2013, while in Hanoi, Vietnam.
We got engaged on June 07, 2015 while sailing in San Blas Islands, Panama.
We got MARRIED on July 12, 2016 in Henley-on-Thames, United Kingdom.
6. What were you doing before traveling?
Kach – OFW (Admin/ Quality Assurance) in the Middle East (Kuwait and Kurdistan, Iraq)
Jonathan – Architectural Technologist in Wales, UK
You can read my article that I wrote in 2014 on why I quit my job to travel the world =)
7. How do you fund your travels?
We started with our own savings then Teaching English in Vietnam where we saved almost 12,000 USD. You can read our teaching experience in Hanoi, Vietnam here! We also love volunteering! We started volunteering (waitress, hostel cleaner, cook) while investing in our Tantra Yoga certification and Ayurveda massage therapy in India. After getting certified, we practiced and made a living out of it. After all of those experiences, we decided to have our own travel blog in 2014 as our main source of income.
Here’s the list of jobs we did to support our sustainable travel lifestyle =)
8. How many countries/ territories have you been to?
Together – over 80 countries
Kach – 135 countries (as of July 2019)
Jonathan – over 90 countries
Come back after a few months, I will start writing it down!
9. When did you start Travel Blogging?
We had an idea to start the blog in May 2014 but we officially launched it in the last week of October 2014.
10. How do you manage your finances on the road?
We didn’t have a credit card until last year (2016).. we only used Cash, PayPal, my PHL’s bank account and Jonathan’s Debit card. You can read how we did it.
Now that we’re sailing full-time, here’s how we earn money to fund our lifestyle.
11. For KACH – How do you apply for visas if they are required for Philippines passport?
I usually go to the Embassy of the country where I’m traveling. First, I check and read the Foreign affairs website of that country and from there, I go to the Embassy office and bring all the required documents. I’ve never tried applying for visas in the Philippines.
Some of the required tourist visas I got abroad:
USA Tourist visa in Bogota, Colombia (they gave me 10 years Multiple Entry)
UK Tourist visa while in Hanoi, Vietnam
UK Marriage visa in Los Angeles, California
Australia Tourist Visa (valid for 2 years) online while in Buenos Aires, Argentina
Croatia Tourist Visa while in Los Angeles, California
India 6 months Tourist visa in Hanoi, Vietnam
Panama Tourist Visa in San Jose, Costa Rica
Jordan Tourist Visa in Kuwait
Turkey Visa in Kuwait and E-visa because of my USA visa
Cuba Tourist Card in Cancun, Mexico
Thailand 3 months Tourist visa in Phnom Penh, Cambodia (we are free visa for 30 days)
Chile Tourist Visa in Arequipa, Peru
Lebanon Tourist Visa in Kuwait
Azerbaijan Tourist Visa, online while in Bogota, Colombia
Armenia E-visa in Kuwait
Kurdistan, North Iraq visa in Kuwait
Ukraine Visa in New York
and a lot more… stalk the blog and you’ll find the details
12. We want to know more about you….
You can read our media features and some interviews below.
1. How to start a travel blog?
Here’s a full article I wrote about it and some tips =)
2. How to make money from Travel Blogging?
If you’re just starting a blog, here are my tips on how you can start making money.
If you’re already blogging and want to take it to the next level, read my article on how these bloggers earn more than 5,000USD per month! Some are even earning more than $25,000 per month! Yup, per MONTH. =)
3. Can I travel with my Philippines passport?
Yes, I’ve been traveling full-time since 2013 with my Philippines passport. You can read my passport and visa experiences here.
4. For Filipinos: How can I apply for a tourist visa?
You don’t need to hire a travel agency to help you with the visa because you can do it directly at the embassy or online. Below tips are only about Tourist visa and NOT work visa.
Guide on How to get a USA Tourist Visa
Guide on How to get a Schengen Visa (for Europe travel!)
Guide on how to re-apply for a Schengen visa if you get rejected – Remonstrance Process of Schengen Visa
Guide on How to get Japan Visa
Guide on How you can travel to visa-free countries around the world based on Kach’s travel experiences to over 80 countries!
Guide on How to get AUSTRALIA tourist visa
5. For Filipinos: Do I need a return flight ticket to the Philippines when I travel long term?
If you’re already based abroad, you will only be required an onward flight ticket and not necessarily a ticket back to the Philippines. This is based on my personal experience, I left the Philippines in 2013 and only returned on 2017 after visiting 70 countries.
However, if you will begin your journey from Manila or Cebu then the immigration official will ask you to provide a return flight to the Philippines. Long-term travel is not yet a common thing in the Philippines.
6. How can I become a backpacker?
Get a backpack, travel on a minimal cost and stay in a cheap backpackers hostels (you can find our recommended lists here in Asia etc)
7. Where can I find volunteering opportunities?
We have a detailed article here. =)
8. How can I travel the world if I DON’T HAVE MONEY?
Here are my very detailed 50 tips on how you can travel without money, earn money on the road and even how you can prepare yourself before going on a big trip!
9. What’s the best route to travel around South East Asia?
There are different routes but I usually suggest our readers (who are first-timers)to start in Thailand then follow the “pancake trail” – Here’s our complete itinerary guide on how you can do it!
10. What camera do you use on your travels?
We have Olympus, Huawei Phone, Nikon and now a CANON G7x for blogging. But you can find a lot of options here that are cheap and not-bulky.
11. What’s the easiest and cheapest way to go to South America from Manila?
We wrote 5 different routes here for you guys, you have to consider your budget and the visa. Here you go. =)
12. Can I really make money from teaching English?
Yes, we were teaching in Vietnam last 2013. I’m a Filipino citizen but my first salary was $17 per class but when I left in 2014, I was getting paid $25 per hour. My degree is not even teaching and I didn’t have experience.
However, you need to get a TEFL certificate (usually 120 hours is the requirements, read my personal TEFL experience here.
13. How do you handle criticisms of being in an “interracial relationship” – specifically the negative stigma of being a “Filipina with Foreigner?”
Love this question and I know a lot of people can relate, I wrote a very popular article here on the Truth and Lies about Filipina with Foreigners.
SINCE WE OFFICIALLY STARTED BLOGGING IN OCTOBER 2014, WE HAVE ALREADY BEEN NOMINATED AND WON VARIOUS TRAVEL BLOGGING AWARDS IN THE USA, UK, PHILIPPINES AND SOUTH AFRICA. HERE ARE THE LIST OF ALL THE AWARDS, RECOGNITIONS, FEATURES AS WELL AS OUR WRITING PORTFOLIO.
2016 & 2017
2017 UK Blog Awards – Highly Commended: Best Travel Blog (Company)
2017 UK Blog Awards – Top 5 Finalists, Best Lifestyle Blog (Company)
2016 UK Blog Awards – Top 6 Finalists, Best Travel Blog (Company)
Best Travel Blog- People’s Choice Award Finalist – The Blogger Network, USA
Finalist: Top 6 Blog in Travel and Places Category – Bloggys Philippines 2015
The Expeditioner – # 4 Top 50 Travel Blogs 1st Quarter 2017 – Visitor Traffic
The Expeditioner – # 7 Top 50 Travel Blogs 4th Quarter 2016 – Visitor Traffic
The Expeditioner – # 9 Top 50 Travel Blogs 3rd Quarter 2015 – Visitor Traffic
The Expeditioner – # 16 Top 50 Travel Blogs 4th Quarter 2015 – Visitor Traffic
The Expeditioner – # 12 Top 50 Travel Blogs 1st Quarter 2016 – Visitor Traffic
The Expeditioner – # 29 Top 50 Travel Blogs 1st Quarter 2015 – Visitor Traffic
The Expeditioner – # 33 Top 50 Travel Blogs 2nd Quarter 2015 – Visitor Traffic
The Expeditioner – # 28 Top 50 Travel Blogs 3rd Quarter 2015 – Visitor Traffic
Open World Magazine – Top 30 Adventurers in the World Under 30 – 2015
When In Manila – Top 5 Foreign Bloggers Who Love the Philippines
Man in the Lam – Top 100 Travel Blog Posts of 2014 by Social Media Shares
When In Manila – Top 10 Filipina Travel Bloggers We Love
Inflow Travel Summit in Istanbul, Turkey
(April 18, 2017)
(February 17, 2017)
World Tourism Forum in Istanbul, Turkey
(February 4 to 6)
AS SEEN ON
CNN Turk – Modern çağ gezginleri buluştu
BBC News – How to be a B&B World Beater
The Stream, Al Jazeera English Channel – Quitting your Job to Travel the World
Forbes.com – 10 Best Budget Destinations for 2016
Business Insider – How we fund our 2 years of Travel
Business Insider – 16 People Who Are Living the Dream without spending fortune
Rappler Philippines – Choose your career or go travel? Why not Both?
News.com.au – What it’s like being an Expat in the Middle East
YAHOO! Travel – Love on the Road: I met my Fiance in Laos
Definitely Filipino – A Filipina Traveler on Around the World Journey including Antarctica
GMA NEWS – Dreams do come true: Pinay Backpacker on RTW
Rappler – Why I’m Proud of my Philippine Passport
Rappler – What I’ve learned from dating a Filipina VIRAL
Girl Gone International Magazine – Magazine Issue #8
Illustrado Life – From Middle East to Antarctica: A story from a Pinay Backpacker
Forbes.com – The App that Will save your Next Vacation
Visit Greece Official Website – Exploring Greece with a Two Monkeys Travel Writer
Matador Network – You don’t have to be a Privileged White Girl to Travel
ABS CBN Lifestyle – #ThisModernLove: Let’s Talk about Love
ABS CBN Lifestyle – #ThisModernLove: This Is How It’s Like Exploring the World With Someone You Call Home
The Huffington Post – Travel around the World on a “3rd World Passport”
The Huffington Post – 10 Filipino Lifestyle and Travel Bloggers to Follow in Snapchat
Business Insider – This Couple Left Everything Behind to Travel the World
Forbes.com – Five Best Spring Break Beaches In America
Forbes.com – The 27 Best Budget Travel Destinations
The New York Times - A Beginner’s Travel Guide to Haiti, El Salvador and Africa