The young and friendly French couple sharing our ride from Lovina, Bali to Banyuwangi, Java had a story so remarkably similar to our own that you would have thought it impossible. Like us, they too were on a year long trip. Like us, they were young and without children yet. Like us, they had both quit their jobs (both were designers at the same watch company – a fact perhaps encouraging for their trip). And like us, they caught the inspiration for their trip from a vagabonding Swiss couple. For them, tales of exploring south east Asia proved too much. One year later, they were on a flight to Bali.
Flash back three years to a bumpy jeep driving in the dry and dusty desert of Rajasthan. My wife and I are crammed in and heading for a camel safari. In addition to us is a young Swiss couple also on route for a safari.
Talk between us turns to our experiences. Where we had been. Where we were going. It comes out that they had both lost their jobs in the depth of the 2008 crash and, finding nothing to replace them with, decided “What the hell. Lets go for it.”
In a Swiss accent of course.
We’ve thought off and on about taking time off to travel the world but it always seem to be a nice but unrealistic notion. The vitality of their stories and the way they described the freedom of their journey planted the seeds of ideas that, three years later, propelled us to Indonesia for the start of our own 12 month vagabonding exploration.
The source of inspiration to travel comes from many places. Fellow travelers, however, are the best. They are approachable and relatable. They disprove so called ‘common’ sense and your brain’s screams of “You can’t do it. Its too expensive and irresponsible to boot.”
While you think “can’t”, they go and do.
On the road you cross many seemingly coincidental paths. But how two random Swiss couples, both traveling the world, would inspire each of us to journeys of such length, is a coincidence that seems to defy the odds of even the longest of travels. But for it, we am ever grateful.