What are the best things that could possibly happen to anyone in their life?
A 4-year old would say being dunked in chocolates or toys, a regular student would say landing in his/her dream job or if you ask any single girl/guy this Valentine’s Day… they would probably say, finding their ‘true love’! But let us all agree to the simple fact that the best things in life are the people we love, the places we travel and the memories we make along the way. What if we can have all the three together?!
Travelling to places with our loved ones to make every single moment of our lives, a treasure worthy memory. That sounds like being gifted for a lifetime to me! And while thinking if this could actually be possible…I came across a few couples who make us believe that it doesn’t matter where you are going, it’s who you have beside you.
So, this Valentine’s Day, let us take you through a lovely journey that this lucky and gutsy couple have set themselves on!
Ankit and Andrea…A&A as I would like to introduce them, are a photographer-writer pair, set out on their journey around the world. Leaving their well-paid jobs, selling out everything they own and carrying their backpacks, this couple has set us a challenge to follow our own dreams…together!
Let us know them a little deeper through their own words.
Hello Ankit & Andrea!
Can you please tell us the story about how did a passionate journalist and an ambitious engineer come together on their first destination called love?
Andrea Anastasiou: How we met is a pretty funny story! Back in 2012, we were both living and working in Dubai. I decided that I wanted to travel the world, so I quit my job, sold all my belongings, got rid of my apartment and booked my ticket. Three nights before I was due to leave, I walked into a bar and met Ankit. We exchanged numbers and met every night before my day of departure. We got on so well that after I left Dubai we stayed in touch every single day for three months. On my way to Bangkok from the UK, I stopped over in Dubai and we met again, and I decided to stay and give the relationship a chance – let’s just say it was definitely one of the best decisions of my life! Fast-forward to two and a half years later and here we are, travelling the world together!
Having to set off on a journey as a couple, not just with a strong wanderlust but with even stronger desire to follow your own dreams, what little or more significant qualities you think that you have taught each other in the course of your travels?
Andrea: Lovely question. Ankit has definitely taught me to be kinder to myself; I am my own worst critic, and he always highlights it to me when I’m being too harsh on myself. For example, freelance journalism is a tough industry to be in – you have to deal with rejection pretty much every week. Now that we’re on the road, there’s even more pressure to get work done in shorter amounts of time, so I’ve been guilty of expecting too much from myself. He’s taught me not to take rejection so harshly, and to look at my achievements instead of just looking at the negatives. He’s also taught me to be more patient! I have a bit of a short fuse at times, which is something you really can’t have while on the road. When things can go wrong, they do go wrong – there’s no room for being grumpy or a diva! But the best thing he’s taught me? That real, true love really does exist, and for that I’ll be forever grateful to him.
Ankit Rawat: Andrea has taught me to appreciate my work as a photographer. To be honest, she’s been the only critic to my work so far. Everyone else does see it and occasionally comment on the nice shots but she’s the one who’s shown me what I need to improve on and every time I’m falling short of creativity, she just gives me a big boost, which I absolutely love. She’s teaching me how to manage my time, as now I am my own boss and that has been quite overwhelming to me, and her time management skills have been very, very helpful. Most importantly, she’s been really supportive of my creative side and she’s really helped me bring it out and try new things, and basically find my true passion – and I just love her for that.
Can you tell us about that one special place with which you have unforgettable memories?
Andrea: Wow, there are so many! I think, though, that Vietnam as a whole will always have a special place in our hearts as a couple. We first came here in May 2014 on a one-week holiday while we were still working in Dubai. We had an amazing time, and it was that trip that put the wheels in motion for the trip we’re on now. Hoi An in particular holds many special memories for us – it’s such a romantic and charming town! We celebrated my birthday there last May, and when we went back in October all the memories came flooding back!
Ankit: Hoi An as Andrea has rightly mentioned. When we were there in May for Andrea’s birthday, the place and the people got to me. The people in that town are relatively poor and still very happy and content. I sort of realised then that the corporate 9-5 job was not for me. I realised that money was not my only desire and I just couldn’t justify being in an office to my conscience after that. Andrea has a big role to play in this realisation. She listened to what I felt and she understood. Honestly, I just love how understanding she is and how she takes me seriously when everyone else might think I’m being ridiculous.
What are the challenges you face travelling as a couple and how do you manage them?
Andrea: When you travel as a couple, you’re in each other’s face pretty much 24/7. It’s not like when you’re back home, working in a 9-5 job, and seeing each other in the evening and at weekends. This is full-on time together! And no matter how much you love someone and how well you get on (we can be together all the time and I still never get bored of him!), if you’re with someone all the time, you will start to get on each other’s nerves at some point. Over time, we’ve learnt to give each other space when the other person needs it – whether that’s by simply going in the next room and listening to music or taking a walk, we make the effort to give each other a breather now. Definitely a must when you’re on the road together!
Ankit: Again, I’m with Andrea on this one. The only challenge we face is I think we’re in each other’s face quite a lot. We tend to get frustrated with our work/other things and that comes out on each other and leads to silly arguments. Thankfully we can’t stay mad at each other for long, which is one of the key points of our relationship. The way we’ve been managing this issue is by sitting and working in cafes and if we’re working from home, we sit and work in separate rooms.
What would be the next place that you would like to strike off your bucket list?
Andrea: There’s are so many places we still want to visit, but for me personally the big one right now is Japan. It’s been a dream of mine to visit for years, and we’re really hoping to make it there over the next few months. I’ve been fascinated by Japanese culture and literature for a long time now, and it seems like a fairytale place to me. Can’t wait!
Ankit: Mongolia. I don’t know anything about the place other than where it and what the capital is and strangely I’ve never heard anyone mention it in their blogs/magazines etc and it intrigues me. I would really want us to check it out and write about it.
So that’s their adorably inspiring story of travel, set by love! So, all those enthusiastic travel lover couples out there who must be still thinking if they could accept the challenge…don’t keep thinking, just do it!
Let us all wish Ankit & Andrea all the love in the world and you can follow their travels through their blog Scribble Snap Travel at http://www.scribblesnaptravel.com/ . Also, you can catch them on https://www.facebook.com/scribblesnaptravel and at https://twitter.com/ScribbleSnap.