Every month we interview another traveler for our Interview of the Month. This time we talk with the awesome travelers Claudia and Ethan, or Lovegunkisses. They have been traveling for six months and never really planned anything, other than a train from Russia and trains throughout China. For them, traveling should have no time restraints or fixed times. That way, they have the real travel experience and make the most of their freedom. Read on for our Interview of the Month April with Lovegunkisses.
Hi guys! Please tell us a bit about yourself.
Six months ago we packed our bags and left London, since then we have been traveling through Central Asia, Southeast Asia and now Australia. Currently we’re enjoying the outdoor lifestyle Australia has to offer. Of course, we’re making the most of Sydneys surf city vibe and in the meantime we’ve got some exciting personal projects and collaborations coming up. We’re also really looking forward to exploring more of Australia and going further into Oceana. Our Instagram page is a taster of our journey, reflecting our moods and inspirations along the way.
How did you guys meet?
Our friends set us up at her sisters 18th birthday party. This was nearly 13 years ago. You could say we are childhood sweethearts.
You’ve been to some cool destinations. What is your favorite one so far?
We can’t pick one definite favourite destination, due to our different experiences in every different country. However, one of the destinations that really impressed us was Mongolia. Traveling through the vast steppes of Mongolia, then arriving on the Trans-Siberian railway. Seeing wild horses running free, tents dotted along the horizon and camp fires under the Milky Way. In Mongolia we saw the true nomadic way of life against the backdrop of a stunning untouched landscape. This was a very surreal and magical time for us both.
Did the Trans-Siberian live up to your expectations?
It was an adventure we could never have imagined. Our experience was very different to anything we’d read about before the trip. The first three days on the rails it was like a ghost train. There were only a handful Russians and lots of fun Dutch travelers. With them we traveled through seven different time zones whilst partying, karaoke nights and make shift projector screen movie nights. The last leg consisted of traveling through the outskirts of the baron Gobbi desert whilst doing shots with a Mongolian diplomat for breakfast.
What country surprised you the most?
Malaysia. We knew nothing about the country, we just booked flights a day before leaving Thailand. We felt it was so diverse. From the oldest rain forest to European style scenery in the Cameron Highlands. Furthermore, Malaysia has incredible street food, a cool art scene in Georgetown and tropical islands. We loved it all.
What are your favourite landmarks?
Zhangjiajie in China. It’s the location the Avatar film was inspired by. We look back at photos and wonder if we really were there to take that? The landscape is so unreal and out of this world. Plus, we hadn’t seen too many photos on social media so our visit so felt even more inspiring. Also, we were very lucky that the famous longest glass bridge had reopened in another national park near by and were treated VIP; entry free of charge.
Jingshanlin Great Wall, as it’s one of the oldest parts in China. this has been a dream of Claudia’s and lived up to expectations.
Angor Wat in Cambodia, who isn’t in awe of the place? It’s so much bigger than we expected and the scenery around it is magical. There really is an enchanting atmosphere. We also had a cool tuk tuk driver who blared out R&B tracks along the way.
What is the strangest thing that happened during your travels?
The ongoing fame we experienced throughout our whole month in China: constant selfies, sneaky pictures being taken of us and regularly being approached by smiling locals.
What has been your scariest moment?
We have had some scary moments together. One of them was being outnumbered, ambushed and robbed by a gang of monkeys in Krabi Thailand!
Claudia’s personal scariest moment was falling off the back of our motorbike after it reared up on us on a track in the middle of nowhere up a Mountain in Vietnam. Ethan’s scariest moment was waiting to see Claudias reaction!
What’s your best travel experience so far?
Traveling the Northern mountains of Vietnam on a crappy motorbike with all of our gear. The freedom and not knowing of what you’ll find with every turn was a true action adventure. It was well worth the challenge. We had some of our best travel experiences due to the helping hands of the locals we met who helped us along that ride.
Another memorable experience for us both was arriving in a sleepy village in southern Laos called Champasak, where we went to see Ankor Wats older cousin Wat Phou. Here we came across a couple of children, who were wearing Chelsea and Liverpool tops. They kept shouting David Beckham! to Ethan. Next thing we know, we’re captains of teams and are playing football with about 15 children. They were all so happy and excited and loved trying out their English whilst playing a great game of football. Eventually, we even had a little audience from some local parents. It was a beautiful evening we will never forget.
What is the best part of traveling as a couple?
To be able to share and talk about the amazing experiences and places you’ve seen together.
What is the negative part of traveling as a couple?
I think you realise throughout traveling there are no negatives to traveling as a couple. Because, you’re on this amazing (potentially) once in a life time trip to experience, see and feel the same things together. As long as you’re on the same page as each other, there is no reason not to love and fully embrace the whole travel experience together.
Lovegunkisses gave some advice in our article 10 Couples who travel the world share their best advice – which is really worth a read if you’re a traveling couple.
Do you guys have any new advice after traveling together more?
Keep it simple and don’t over plan. It’s the best way to travel and have fun together!
Where do you see yourself in five years?
We have no idea. We’d love to live somewhere where we can really experience the culture and learn the language. However, life is a journey and we want to experience more travels and adventures together. We think the not knowing is the exciting part!