WanderWomanWednesday; Rachel

A huge part of travel for me is the people I meet and the friends I make in the places I get to experience. Some of, well most of my best friends are people I have met while living overseas or travelling and the number one thing we have in common is that we get it. Get what? The whole travel life. The coming and going frequently, the moving towns often and regularly. The fact that we will rarely if ever live in the same place for long. And the feeling of saying goodbye/reuniting with each other. Soo when I meet people who share this passion and understanding I immediately want to know more about them and where their adventures have taken them. I find myself drawn to these sorts of people even if I've never even met them in real life, enter Instagram, Facebook & Twitter. The whole wide World of blogging has given me the opportunity to (virtually) meet people I would never have if it wasn't for this passion project I have.

Let's rewind to..2015? Hard to remember as it seems like ages ago, but you get the point. Somewhere around there I found myself in a facebook chat group with a few other blogger babes. We helped each other with writers block, content creation, ideas, edits, and anything we needed really. Now, that chat doesn't exist anymore but I still have some great friendships with some of the ladies from that group, one of which is Rachel! One half of www.thekiwicouple.com and an all over awesome human being and world traveller extraordinaire. Her and her husband Jeremy have been travelling the World for the last several years. Originally from New Zealand, and recently spent 2 years living in Canada (although we never got to meet up) find out more about the amazing Rachel in this Month's WanderWomanWednesday article.

Alright, tell all these wanderers about yourself…

My name is Rachel, I'm a 29 year old Kiwi and I've been to 54 countries so far. I'm obsessed with musical theatre, cats, and my favourite fruit is the humble feijoa!

What is something people might be surprised to learn about you?

I'm not interesting enough for this question...I feel like I have no fun facts. Umm... I'm a huge Demi Lovato fan, and I've seen her live in London, Toronto and Montreal!

Did you always want to travel/what made you start?

I think I always wanted to travel, I enjoyed going on little trips with my husband Jeremy when we were in our late teens/early twenties. We had so much fun going to the Gold Coast, Fiji etc, plus it was always a really good break from work. We got a little burnt out from working, which sounds strange - but we were working for a company that was exploitative towards young people. By the time we got married, I was 23 and ready for a fresh start - so we moved to London, UK!

Once we were in the UK and spent time discovering Europe, we got really, really addicted to travel. We like to take our time and see places - so we didn't do so many just weekend trips, but had contract jobs allowing us to take lots of days off. Jeremy even flew to Berlin for a night just to watch the football! We did our longest trip while we lived in the UK - to Norway and Austria - it was only 3 weeks, but we just didn't want to go back to that work life after that... which led us to plan 11 months on the road.

How do you decide where to travel to?

It's all a very mutual decision with my husband. We haven't been to a place that either of us didn't want to visit, we both have to want to go. But we are pretty much open to going anywhere, so it's not too hard to figure out! Sometimes we just look at a map and figure out what makes sense, what the cheapest flights are, or we've seen pictures on social media before and decided to go there. I do have a wish list though which I'll make happen at some point.

How does being married affect how you travel versus how you traveled before you got married?

To be honest, we started dating when I'd just turned 18 (been together for over 11 years now!) so I've never really travelled on my own - prior to that it had all been with my family. I love travelling with Jeremy - we've done it for work, for fun, and we've done it for a long time. I've said that we've worked together, lived together, and travelled together - so we know that we'll survive anything.

Top 3 bucket list places you’d love to visit?

I really want to travel China for a month at least, as a way of connecting with my roots, and I never did the Greek Islands or Turkey which I'm dying to do!

What is something you wish you could share with your pre-travel life self?

Work should not be your life, find a balance and see the world. You'll meet so many people and learn to see from so many other perspectives. It's valuable and it'll help you in so many situations.

Best & Worst travel moments?

I don't think I could ever choose a best because there are so many that are so different, and I've loved them all. Getting engaged in Fiji was pretty special, travelling by boat from Colombia to Panama was SO much fun, the food in Vietnam & Japan is amazing... then there's the time we went camping in 3 completely different environments: Alaska's bear country, the bottom of The Grand Canyon and on The Great Wall of China... how do you choose???

Worst was getting food poisoning in Guatemala - in the middle of the jungle... after taking a 12 hour 'bus' ride to get there. It was basically a big van, with extra seats put in and a whole lot of tourists crammed in. We had no internet, no energy to get out of our room and we basically died for 4 days. AND our bathroom wasn't in our room - lots of sprinting outside and up some steps (I'll be honest, I didn't always make it before I threw up). Any longer and we definitely would've had to figure out a way to a doctor!

You’ve recently returned from living in Canada, what are 3 tips you would give someone who wants to apply for that visa?

It was quite easy coming from New Zealand - I think pretty much everyone who applies gets it. Just make sure you have all your paperwork in order, the steps are laid out pretty easily. And get 2 years of insurance, I've heard some people don't get granted the full visa if they only have 1 year!

Do you think social media has changed travel, and if so, how has it changed?

Definitely! You see so many people taking shots for the gram at every hot spot, it's pretty funny. I'm constantly saving pretty pictures on Instagram to my collections of places I want to go in the future, so I don't forget. I love it, but also hate it, places are getting overcrowded and ruined... I guess I'm part of the problem!!!

Famous last words for all the wanderers out there..

Enjoy it, don't let the little things bug you, and go with the flow!

To find out more about what Rachel (and Jeremy) are up to, check out their social channels below!

Website www.thekiwicouple.com Instagram @TheKiwiCouple

Facebook @TheKiwiCouple

Twitter @TheKiwiCouple Youtube @TheKiwiCouple

TikTok https://vm.tiktok.com/qut4Mg/

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