Being able to share your travel experiences with a loved one is great – especially if you are lucky enough to be with someone that shares the same passion for seeing the world. Exploring a corner of the world as a pair gives you a different perspective. What did you see together, how did it make you both feel, what experiences did you take away, how are they different considering you both just did the same thing – these are all things that couples can chat about as they dose off to sleep. On our adventures through Patagonia we met another couple from the UK – Carrie and Stevie – that also share the same passion for travelling.
The obligatory get-to-know-you chatter will inevitably occur as you meet people for the first time. How long have you been travelling? Where are you off to next? Do you have any recommendations for X? When it’s a couple you will always get to – so, how did you two meet? As is especially the case when Carrie and Stevie share their story, our eyebrows certainly raised. They met in prison. Yes – you read that correctly. NOT because they got into any trouble, but because that is where these two jailbirds lovebirds both worked. It is there that they started their relationship and found that they shared similar values, sense of humour and desire for travel.
Meet Carrie & Stevie.
Name: Carrie Gardner & Stevie Fields
Home Base: Aberdeen, Scotland
//WHY DO YOU TRAVEL?
C: To remind myself of the beauty and awesomeness that there is in the world. I love to visit unusual and varied landscapes. I love seeing wildlife in natural environments rather than stuck in cages. Experiencing different cultures helps keep me open minded. I believe that memories are more important than possessions – creating memories makes me happy. Travelling just makes me a better person.
S: It all started when I went to Vancouver between semesters at University. I travelled around Canada and I was immediately hooked. I knew from that moment that I wanted to try to see as much of the world as I could.
//WHAT’S THE BEST TRIP YOU’VE BEEN ON AND WHAT MAKES IT STAND OUT FROM THE REST?
C: It’s difficult to answer this because they have all been amazing in their own way. Cambodia stands out because it was my first experience in a country so very different from what I was used to. In terms of my most memorable trip however I would probably say Borneo. The wildlife was incredible and being able to dive in Sipidan was simply unforgettable. I’ll always remember my elation at seeing a blue ringed octopus only for Stevie to comment on not seeing any turtles during the dive (despite seeing more than 40 turtles the day before…).
S: I think for me it has to be the Arctic. It was such a unique environment and we got to see all of the wildlife up there. Everyday we were absolutely blown away by the scenery thinking that it couldn’t top the previous day. It always did.
//WHICH TRAVEL PLANNING TOOLS DO YOU FIND MOST USEFUL?
C: I tend to just use Google to research a destination and I enjoy looking through Google Images to get a feel for an area. Scanning through my friend’s holiday photo albums and talking to other travellers about their adventures can also provide some inspiration.
S: I tend to look on Trip Advisor. It means we get the opportunity to find a mix of the main sights while also outlining things which are slightly off the beaten track.
//WHAT’S YOUR FAVOURITE WAY TO GET THROUGH A LONG FLIGHT?
C: Unlike Stevie I just can’t sleep on a plane. So, I rely on listening to music and audiobooks and watching inflight movies. Long periods of travel is a necessary evil of reaching fantastic destinations and it’s something that gets easier over time.
S: Sleep… Much to Carrie’s disgust haha!!
//WHAT IS THE MOST MEMORABLE MOMENT OF ANY TRIP YOU HAVE BEEN ON?
C: It’s too difficult to pick just one! One of the best moments was witnessing a lioness kill a young wildebeest, disappear and then return about 5 minutes later with her two cubs. That was incredible, but so was the smell that hit us when the stomach was ripped open! I’ll never forget the image of that lion looking up at us, her muzzle covered in blood, before returning to eat again.
S: When we were in Kenya, we were driving through a National Park. I thought I saw a leopard in the tree but doubted myself. I mentioned it to Carrie who then proceeded to shout to stop the bus and reverse. Sure enough there was a leopard in the trees watching us.
//WHAT ARE THE TOP 3 DESTINATIONS LEFT ON YOUR TRAVEL BUCKET LIST AND WHY?
C: The more I travel the bigger the list gets! At the moment I would say the Galapagos Islands for the diving, Easter Island for the Moai statues, and Costa Rica for the biodiversity.
S: My top three tends to change regularly so if you ask me next week the list would likely be different. At the moment it’s Colombia due to the diversity, Bhutan because of the scenery and Easter Island to see the Moai statues. Hopefully over the next few years I’ll get the chance to get to them.
I loved talking with both of them over the course of our trip and hearing about all the cool places they have been together. They share the same travel mentality that I outlined when discussing how to plan big trips – it’s impossible to see and do everything that you want to. Appreciate the experiences you are able to have and make the most of them. Carrie mentioned seeing too many people often having a quick look around, taking a couple of photos and then moving on. Travel is not about ticking boxes. It is also not about only seeing the world through a camera lens. Make sure you take the time to get your nice pictures, but then be sure to put the camera down and enjoy.
Too true both, too true.