Daniel and Audrey are often described as avid adventurers, and full-time travelers. This creative and daring duo left their home in 2006 and haven’t been stopping since. They share all their amazing travel stories with the world through their blog, photos, videos, and audiocasts. I am so grateful to have had a chance to talk with these amazing people. And finally here is an interview with Uncornered Market for travel tuesday.
Photo credit: Taken from uncorneredmarket.com
Where are you writing from today, and what made you decide on this place?
At this very moment, we are writing from a converted schoolhouse from the early 1900s that is in the Czech countryside about 75 km outside of Prague. A friend of ours is one of the owners of this country house. When we met up in Prague recently (we lived in Prague for 5 years earlier), we told her we were looking for a place to regroup and write and she offered her house for a few weeks.
Shortly, we will be in Berlin for a couple of months. We visited often on weekend trips when we lived in Prague but only have spent a few days there at a time. When we decided to be “still” in Central Europe this summer for a few months, Berlin jumped to the top of the list as a place we wanted to explore.
What has been your favorite country and why?
This is always a difficult question; there isn’t just one favorite country. Georgia (Republic of), Kyrgyzstan, Peru, Burma (Myanmar), Nepal, Cambodia all rise to the top of the list. Although all beautiful countries in and of themselves, the spirit of people is what really makes these places special.
What is your dream traveling experience to have?
One of our best travel experiences was hiking the Annapurna Circuit in Nepal because it had the perfect combination friendly and hospitable people, culture, incredible landscape and physical challenge. Another important element to a dream travel experience is delicious and cheap street food.
What are your future plans for travel?
We’re taking a break this summer/fall in Central Europe (mostly Prague and Berlin) to catch up on work and try and find projects to take us to Africa and the Middle East next. We also hope to incorporate a few fun trips in Europe while we’re here.
Have you found it difficult to work on the road?
Many times it can be challenging to work on the road due to the combination of weak infrastructure (internet/electricity) and also the distraction of the road and travel. We’ve adjusted our travel schedule so we can spend several weeks in one place (usually a big city or place with a good internet infrastructure) to catch up on work and writing before moving on to a new place.
Were you scared to first start traveling?
There is always a fear of the unknown, but we figured that the danger was more in our heads than in reality. When we started this journey we had traveled quite a bit around Europe and had traveled a bit around Thailand. So, we had a bit of experience in traveling together as a couple and figuring things out as you go.
How long did it take you to prepare for this adventure?
We lived simply (i.e., rented apartment, no car, cooking in a lot) for many years in order to save money. At one point we thought we might use it to go towards buying an apartment, but then we realized that our real dream was to travel around the world. It took almost a year to go from talking about it like a dream to handing in our resignation letters and making it real.
What made you decide to start writing a blog?
There were two main goals behind the blog – 1) to share our experiences with others so that perhaps readers might learn something and/or possibly be more inclined to travel and 2) to be a portfolio for our writing and photography and other creative work. With the second point, it’s important to explain that our previous professions were very left brained and were traditional office jobs. We wanted to use this journey and blog to challenge ourselves creatively and hopefully move into a new professional space.
What made you land on the title for your website: Uncornered Market?
Dan came up with the name a few years before we even started this journey. When we decided to develop a website for our journey, it was the natural fit.
The name is a play on “cornered market,” which is exactly what we don’t want to do with our experiences from this journey. Instead, we want to share human stories and images from our journey with the goal of introducing readers to new parts of the world. We want to engage with readers and locals to broaden the discussion.
Any advice for future travelers?
Have fun on the road and don’t let fear of the unknown or looking stupid prevent you from engaging with different kinds of people, culture and environments. Use the opportunities presented to you when traveling to challenge yourself to develop new skills and to learn from others.
For the most part, we’ve gotten along fine with the combination of the languages we speak (a smattering of French, Czech, Russian, Estonian and Spanish). Perhaps the place with the least amount of spoken communication was China. We were there for three months, but found the language incredibly difficult to pick up. We relied on dictionaries and charades most of the time, but didn’t really encounter any problems.
What is the one thing you would do before you die?
Over a decade ago, Dan and I each made our bucket list of things we wanted to do in our lives. We’re chipping away at the list, adding new things and taking away some items as we change priorities and perspective over time. We’d like to write a book at some point but there is not one definitive thing that is a “I can die happy now” item.
What is the one thing that if you could change about the world, you would?
Intolerance and prejudice and more listening. Unfortunately, we’ve encountered intolerance and prejudice almost everywhere – within societies and also between countries and cultures.
What is your favorite book and why?
I don’t know if it’s my favorite book, but a book that really made me think and question how things developed the way they did (and why we’re still seeing the results of this today) is “Guns, Germs, Steel” by Jarrod Diamond. It’s a macro history of the world and a great book to travelers to read to question why things are the way they are in places they visit.
What is the most nerve-wracking thing about traveling?
When you’re traveling long-term and you’re moving around a lot, it can get tiring to constantly be problem solving and project managing – where we’re going to sleep that night, when’s the next bus leave, what town or region is next, what are the documents needed for a visa, etc. This is why slow travel helps take away some of this intensity and stress.
Thanks for reading,