Brigitte and Jake are the traveling couple behind Nothing Familiar. The duo hit the road in 2014 on what was supposed to be a short European backpacking trip and just never stopped traveling. Now, two years later and with 50 or so countries under their belt, they're inspiring us with amazing Instagrams and expert traveling tips.
We’re huge fans and have loved following along on their journey. We’re so excited to have them sharing their story with us!
What made you two want to start traveling?
I (Brigitte) have always been in love with traveling, like in a strange way. When I was twelve my parents homeschooled me and my siblings for two years as we traveled the world. This was way back in the day when the thought of taking your children to Asia was almost the craziest thing in the world. We lived in Mauritius, Singapore, Bali, Timon Island, and New Zealand. After that I was hooked for life!
Finishing college I knew I wanted to do a big trip, but Jake’s desire to work and make money (I know horrible qualities) kept us on hold. The instant he started talking about switching his job I knew it was the perfect time. It was only a few short months before we were on the road.
We love your "Travel Tales" series. What is your favorite tale?
Thanks! We are really excited about it. I quickly realized that every traveler has their own amazing take on different ideas so I thought it would be a fun way to share them. I am a sucker for street food so I think that was my favorite, but our most popular was definitely hiking around the world. It’s always great to get so much feedback from our followers!
What's the most important lesson you've learned while traveling?
Go with the flow. When Jake and I left on our trip I wanted to have everything planned. I just wanted to make sure we didn’t miss anything, but quickly realized that by over-planning we wouldn’t have as genuine of an experience. By the time we made it to Southeast Asia we were carefree and it just changed the whole flow of our trip. If we met cool people or heard about an amazing destination, we never missed out because we had already planned to be somewhere else for those dates. It’s true, sometimes the best plans are no plans!
One of the best examples of this was when we were on the island of Koh Rong in Cambodia. The day we were planning to leave and head back to the mainland, someone told us about these amazing bungalows on a neighboring island. Along with another couple, we hired a small boat and went for it. When we arrived we were greeted by an Australian man who said we only had two days before all bungalows were booked solid for three months! We spent two amazing days on the most amazing beach I’ve ever seen, which we had all to ourselves and it only cost us $20 a night!
How many countries have you traveled to? Do you have a favorite? Why?
I think the last time I tried to figure it out I was shocked to find that I have been to around fifty countries, and Jake around forty. The thing that continues to blow my mind is that there are still so many amazing places to see! I think only fellow travelers can relate to this. I remember meeting someone and their response to how much we have traveled was: “If you see everything now what are you going to do when you’re older?” After twenty-six years of desperately trying to see as much of the world as possible, I don’t think I’ll have a problem with running out of places to go!
As far of a favorite, that’s a hard one because there are so many destinations that are special to us in their own way. Southeast Asia definitely stole our hearts, especially the food in Vietnam. However, one place that we can’t get off our minds is the island of Roatan, Honduras. The island is so pure and pristine with some of the most amazing water in the world. We spent our days hopping from beach to beach on motorbike, and snorkeling the second largest reef in the world. Unfortunately, Roatan is becoming a hot spot for cruise ships, so who knows if the island will still be the same when we return.
If you had to give one piece of travel advice, what would it be?
Don’t let money or fear stand in the way of your travel dreams. Save, plan, and go. If you keep putting if off, it won’t happen. It doesn’t matter if it’s for only a week or a year, do it! The one thing that I tell my friends is when you looking back on your life in thirty years, are you really going to miss the money that you spent on your trip? I haven’t met a single person who has ever regretted traveling the world, only those who wish they could have!
From the Adventurers: Thanks so much to Nothing Familiar for sharing their story with us! Be sure and head over to their blog and follow along with them on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram for some wanderlust inducing travel tips and stories.