Chris and Marianne, from Tread The Globe, have been married for over 26 years after meeting on a blind date set up by a friend at a five-star hotel in London.
After raising a family, owning a pub, working for the NHS and paying off their mortgage, they realised that they still had to work for nearly 20 more years to work before their pension. So once the kids had left home to go on their own life journeys, Chris and Marianne realised they had to do something to start living their own life journey!
We Interviewed Marianne, who shares her experiences on the road of travelling to every country.
What made you decide to quit your jobs and travel full time?
Losing friends of a similar age and donating a kidney to save the life of my best friend. And realising that all of the clichés about life being too short and life was for living were actually true!
You live in a van named Trudy, can you take us on a tour? What essentials do you take with you? Do you ever miss your home?
Trudy is just under 6m long, she is 17 years old and had one previous owner – we have created a fabulous off-grid home with a lifesaver water purifier, solar panels, power banks and a wifi system – these are the essentials to allow us to be digital nomads on the road. But as she is also our home with a fixed bed at the rear, a small shower/toilet room, 2 gas hobs, a fridge, front swivel pilot chairs that allow us to sit 4 at the table she also has 4 seatbelts which enable us to have friends stay and pick up hitchhikers too. It is hard to believe that we manage to fit it all in!
How do you plan for your trips?
The expression ‘plan there is no plan’ does work for short trips, but we have set ourselves some serious road trips across multiple borders and even continents – which means there is lots and lots of planning, but choosing – that is the hardest part, as the world is so big and beautiful with so many things and places to see!
How do you sustain yourselves as full-time travellers? Any tips for hopeful travellers?
We started off with the income from the rental of our house, but now after 3+ years of working to produce two videos a week we are able to sustain ourselves from our digital income too – but remember – being a content creator means you are a cameraman, director, editor, producer, researcher, and you have to have some income until you can earn enough to live – as well as having time to travel and live!
But don’t give up – there are lots of digital nomadic careers that are coming in light of the pandemic and also the opportunities are more available with online tuition and remote working becoming more common.
You’ve been to 31 countries so far – what are your top three?
That is impossible to answer – We have spent so much time in Turkey that we feel like it is a second home – but we love the Far East and also our time in Central America was awesome. But we have collected some wonderful stories and crazy adventures from all of them – especially the roads in Georgia! How Can Travel Be Your Lifestyle? Rachel Shares Insights
Food is a massive part of travel. Do you have any favourite dishes?
We love simple tasty foods, and when we eat out on filming days and find a new dish, we love we try and replicate it in the van. We love Turkish breakfasts – with a combination of different olives, cheeses, jams, fresh bread and honey and a pan of freshly made menemen (Turkish one-pan eggs and peppers)….Having so many different flavours at once is the best!
Have there been any disaster moments? How did you overcome them?
We managed to put a hole in the oil tank whilst on a mountain road in Georgia – but speaking to locals we found three different garages and one of them was able to weld it! These stories are actually some of our best memories, so we have learned that disasters actually lead to the most memorable adventures and have shown us that we are much better at problem-solving than we ever knew.
Travel is all about the people you meet along the way – are there any people you’ve met that spring to mind?
This is so true – Chris and I love people – as a child, my grandfather would point to an old man sitting on a bench and ask “I wonder what his story is?” This taught me at a very young age, that what you see is not what you get! We have met the most wonderful people and I would like to say that in every adventure we set off to experience and film, we are able to share how wonderful and kind people really are!
During the first lockdown – we spent it in a car park in old town Istanbul – 95 days in fact! We were visited by a man called Ersel who brought us a food package and gave us his phone number and he said to us “you are not alone, you have family here”. We are friends for life and he and his lovely wife are now part of our family, and when we do a live chat our followers all know him and recognise him from the videos and adventures that he shared with us online.
Best moments so far?
Being able to raise over £31K to build and help sustain a Turtle conservation centre in the south of Turkey.
You are currently back in the UK, after travelling extensively around Turkey. What are your upcoming plans for 2022?
We are shipping to the USA in a few weeks and we will be enjoying some time on the Continent of the Americas. But our challenge to drive around the world will continue and we will share more of our plans in our blogs, newsletter, posts and videos – because right now global expedition adventure van life is a little like herding cats!
But we will be bringing more positive and exciting travel vlogs twice a week on our channel – Tread the Globe.