If you’ve been thinking about planning a vacation, you might find inspiration from Joanne and Kara, who are pinning their way through Europe and documenting their adventures on their blog The Wanderlust Project. In today’s pinterview, we hope you enjoy hearing about travels and living vicariously through this traveling duo.
Hi Joanne and Kara! First, can you tell us a little about yourselves?
We’re two recent university graduates (Joanne from Carnegie Mellon in Pittsburgh and Kara from Columbia College in Chicago) with a passion for travel, food, and people. For 6 months (June - December ‘12) we’ll be backpacking around the world, immersing ourselves in the various cultures and connecting with its people. It all started last summer, when we realized that we wanted to take some time to see the world before starting the next chapter in our lives. Things took off from there — we put together a list of countries, booked our set of flights and Skyped every week throughout our senior year to plan the trip.
We saved up about $5-6,000 each and booked our first set of flights at least 6 months in advance. The bulk of our expenses went towards transportation (plane & train tickets), and we have a daily budget for food. For the rest, we’re CouchSurfing our way through Europe and we plan to do the same through Asia and Oceania.
We also knew that we wanted to document our journey through a collaborative project, drawing our strengths in design, photography and video. While we’re traveling, we maintain the blog so that anyone can follow along with us, as well as update our Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest pages.
How many countries are you visiting during your adventures and why did you choose them?
We’re visiting 14 countries (in order: Ireland, Portugal, Spain, France, Switzerland, Italy, Turkey, Malaysia, Singapore, Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, Thailand and New Zealand). We picked some of them based on interest (places we’ve never been to before), familiarity (family and friends) and some out of pure curiosity. Our route involved some strategy as well — we’re moving west to east in order to stay with the warm weather so that we don’t have to pack as much clothes. By the time we get to New Zealand in December, it’ll be their summer as well so we don’t have to worry about winter, at least until we get back to the US!
We’re spending about 2 weeks in each country (some a little more, some a little less) so that we can take our time and truly experience what each country has to offer. We continually desire to archive the world around us.
We’re drooling over your World nommin’ board. What’s your favorite dish so far?
We LOVE to eat so this is a hard one.
Joanne: I’d say the grilled octopus tapas we had in Barcelona were some of my favorite. I’ve never had seafood that fresh! We were also treated to a hand-crafted lasagna by our host in Rome. He spent 2 hours preparing the ingredients and the dough, and we could definitely taste the love in every bite.
Kara: The pizza of Napoli is one of my favorites! It’s soft and simple. It’s impossible to have a pizza like it outside of Napoli, even in surrounding cities. Something about the time, local ingredients and the recipe make it so unique.
Did you discover any of your travel ideas on Pinterest? If so, tell us more about it and what inspired you.
We hadn’t started our Pinterest until about a month and a half into the trip, but now we’re definitely using it to help plan our future destinations. We started a board called Wanderlust — places we want to visit / image ideas for the countries on this trip, as well as areas we’re lusting to wander to for future trips :)
What do you hope to achieve at the end of your trip?
We hope to inspire people through our trip. Yes, it may seem crazy that we’re traveling to so many countries, but it’s something we wanted to do/places we wanted to experience, and we’re actually doing it. We saved up money and planned for a year, while simultaneously working on schoolwork and senior projects. In Napoli, they say that “anything is possible”, and it’s something we wholeheartedly believe. To travel the world and to meet so many wonderful individuals, each with their own stories and experiences, is eye-opening and nothing short of life changing. 2.5 months into the trip and we already feel ourselves and our mindsets changing. Travel is great because it forces you out of your comfort zone, makes you more independent and self-sufficient, gives you the confidence to talk to strangers, and provides understanding & acceptance for the strange and unknown. If our trip helps others start journeys of their own, we’d certainly call that an achievement!
We’re so excited to share our project and our travels, thanks again!
Thanks for the pinterview, Joanne and Kara! Safe travels and we look forward to seeing more photos from your adventures. Happy pinning!