Our next Meet the Nomads featured guests are cyclists. Amanda and Antonio are cycling around the world while working along the way as scuba diving instructors. They are also helping a charity while they fulfill their own dream. They are truly an inspiring couple and their blog is full of helpful posts about all the places that they have been to.
This cycling adventure of Antonio and Amanda started in January 2013 and along the way they realized that this is not just a long trip that they want to fulfill. This is the life that they want to have for a long time. Get to know more about this adventurous and inspiring couple and visit their blog at Cycling El Mundo.
But before you leave this page, check out my short interview with Antonio and Amanda.
How did you discover your passion for travelling?
“We had done some backpacking trips around Europe and South East Asia in the past. We loved going to new places and experiencing different cultures but felt limited in terms of freedom. We were tied to buses, trains and schedules. We started to realize traveling is not about the destination, but the journey in between. We were missing the best bits. We got the idea to go bicycle touring. It didn’t take long until we were hooked. Everyday we were talking to people of the country that we were in and going to amazing places that you would never venture to as a backpacker.”
What’s the most horrible experience that you’ve had on the road?
“Luckily we don’t have any dramatic horror stories…sure we’ve gotten sick, cycled in a tropical downpour and ran out of water for a few hours but nothing major.”
What’s the best travel experience that you’ve ever had?
“It’s hard to pick just one! We spent a week on Northeast Caye, in the Glover’s reef atoll. After a 3 hour boat ride from the mainland of Belize you arrive at a small island covered with palms. There’s cabanas over the water and campsites. It’s basic conditions but that’s what we loved about it, the simplicity. We’d spend the days scuba diving, kayaking, lobster hunting and eating fresh coconuts. For us it was paradise.”
What’s the biggest realization that you’ve got out of travelling?
“Life is simple, keep it that way. On the bikes we can’t carry a lot of things. When we go visit our family and friends in the US and Spain everyone seems to have so many problems, most revolve around things. People are rushing around either collecting things or working to get enough money to buy more. It wears on people, they don’t have time to enjoy life. We live simply, but we are happy.”
What keeps you going? What keeps you motivated?
“Both of our families are very supportive, they see how happy we are and that is good enough for them. As far as other people go, we’ve stopped caring what people think a long time ago. We worked hard towards developing a lifestyle that allows us to travel. While we don’t work in offices, we work towards what is important to us everyday. Often times people tell us how lucky we are to be able to travel, that they would never be able to afford to. That’s when we point out that we live on about $10 a day, which is not unattainable to most people. In it’s self that is a big motivator, to show people if you want something in life, go for it!”
This is a silly and hypothetical one. If you would be given a chance to travel with a popular person or a celebrity, who would it be and why?
“Seeing as we travel by bicycle, most celebrities I can think of would most likely be put off by the not so glamours places we sleep and pasta, pasta and more pasta camp menu. However, there are some bicycle touring “legends” that would make for interesting travel companions. Salva Rodriguez, Amaya and Eric Williams to name a few.”
Where’s your favorite place in this planet and why?
“New Zealand holds a special place for both of us, it’s where we met. Antonio lived there for 4 years and Amanda for 2. It’s natural beauty and laid back lifestyle is hard to beat.”
What’s your best tip for newbie traveler?
“Don’t spend too much money on organized trips or partying in hostels. You can do that anywhere. Put down the lonely planet, just go and figure it out yourself.”
What’s the funniest and silliest thing you’ve ever done while travelling?
“We were in Baja California camping on a beach on the Sea of Cortez. The only thing on the beach was a row of palapas, wooden shelters with palm thatched roofs. Behind the palapas were a row of outhouses. Instead of building one or two decent ones the owner had decided to build 20 terrible ones.”
“The outhouse was made of wood, the door had no lock only a piece of wood to hold on to to keep the door from opening while you do your business. Antonio was using the bathroom, holding on to the wooden handle when a wind storm came. A gust of wind came and blew the door open. He was left holding the handle while he was on the toilet. Luckily we were the only ones there! He stepped outside to see that the outhouse next to the one he was using had completely fallen over. Good thing he hadn’t chosen that one.”
How do you fund your travels?
“Before we took off travelling we saved as much as we could. We shared a small bed in a small room in a house with 7 people. We cooked almost every night and changed our spending habits to put as much into our travel funds. To sustain us on the road and top up our saves, we both work as scuba diving instructors. It’s great, its a job that gives us the opportunity to work in lots of places around the world. We do our best to balance diving, with cycle touring. We are currently looking to work in the Caribbean for a few months to fund cycling South America.”
How do you keep yourself safe on your travels?
“Trust your instincts, play safe and don’t do anything you wouldn’t do back home. Most of the accidents that happen while traveling are traveller’s fault. So don’t do things like flashing your expensive camera in poor neigbourhoods or walking drunk at 3AM in a capital in Central America, and you should be ok.”
What do you think about yourself?
“We are just two people that want to get the most out of our lives and be happy.”
“Cycling el Mundo is an adventure travel website where you can find our stories from the road, information about cool places to visit, resources for bicycle touring and travel tips.” – Antonio and Amanda
Editor’s Note: All pictures are provided by Antonio and Amanda.