A couple from Johannesburg who quit their high-paying jobs in advertising to travel the world have recently shared the less Instagram-friendly side of their nomadic reality.
Chanel Cartell and Stevo Dirnberger set out on their world travels six months ago, and have been documenting their trip on their blog, How Far From Home, and on Instagram.
Each stunning photo shows one or both of the South Africans in the middle of some new and beautiful foreign landscape, accompanied by an ever-changing sign that has how many kilometers away from their home the couple has gone.
Cartell and Dirnberger left their lucrative advertising jobs and now make a living through odd jobs they find using the volunteer and cultural exchange network WorkAway. The couple are mainly funding their world tour by doing volunteer work in exchange for free food and accommodations.
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“But it’s not all ice-creams in the sun and pretty landscapes,” Cartell writes in a blog post put up to reveal the “uglier side” of the trip. “We’re toilet cleaners, dog poop scoopers, grocery store merchandisers and rock shovelers. It’s painstakingly hard and dirty work.”
“So don’t let the bank of gorgeous photography fool you,” Cartell continued, “I am not at my fittest, slimmest or physically healthiest. We eat jam on crackers most days, get roughly 5 hrs 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 experience, however gritty and grueling and far removed from the luxury and comforts of their life in South Africa it may be, is still an adventure that the couple feel lucky to get to experience.
“We have time to brainstorm our own ideas, and push our own creative experiments. It’s like heaven for us,” Cartell wrote on her blog.
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“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,” Cartell concluded.