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The Story Behind Us: Joana & Chris

How did you meet and when did you both realize your love for travel?

We have known each other since we were 11 years old growing up in the same sleepy beach suburb in New Zealand. We started dating in our first year of University & six years later still going strong. Travel has always been our biggest hobby from packing tents in the back of the car for weekend roadies to quitting our jobs and travelling the globe together.

Where was your first destination together & tell us about it?

Chile was our first proper travelling experience together, the first stop on our 3 year adventure! Both naive, young & new to backpacking we took it all in our stride and quickly fell in love with our new lifestyle choice. We’re both super chilled people so everything flowed so easily.

How do you share your work on the road? Who does what?

We don’t really have specific tasks that each of us do, instead we normally share the workload and try to do it together if possible. Chris has always been a great photographer so he has been able to teach Joana all he knows on the road, that way we can take shots, edit them and share them together!


How do you make decisions together for next destinations?

To be completely honest our decision making of late has been inexistent. We normally decide on the continent we want to visit and just go with the flow. This has lead us into some pretty sticky situations but there’s always a good story that comes out of it and we find ourselves in some amazing places we never knew existed. Just this week we accidentally got off a river boat in the middle of the Amazon in the wrong town almost 2000km from where we needed to get to. Coincidently this town happened to have one of the world’s highest ranked most beautiful beaches. A river beach! In the AMAZON! IN THE MIDDLE OF NOWHERE!!!!!

Have you noticed any changes in the relationship since you started travelling together?

Definitely! I think travelling with each other for such a long period of time has really changed how our relationship works. When you are with someone for 24 hours a day 7 days a week you see EVERY side of each other; the good the bad and the ugly! Cliché as it sounds we are so much stronger. Could not be happier!

Living and travelling together 24/7 can sometimes be stressful and relate to moments of disagreements and misunderstandings. How do you cope with these situations?

Our arguments are only ever caused by HUNGER! If you keep us fed and watered we generally get along just fine. Spending every waking moment with each other as romantic as it sounds can be a bit intense so just like if we were at home it’s important for us to take some time out. Go for a walk alone, read a book, chat with friends etc.. it makes it soooooo much easier!


What is the most beautiful moment you have experienced together while travelling?

Picture this, jumping into the open ocean holding hands and swimming towards almost 40 giant whale sharks in the Gulf of Mexico . Nothing will ever quite top this experience for us and having experienced it together made it so much more magical.

What do you like the most about travelling as a couple?

SHARING! Every good, bad, crazy, dangerous, boring and exciting adventure we get to experience together. Overnight buses become fun. Stressful decisions are made easier. Dangerous situations feel safer and money spreads that little bit further. The best is having your other half by your side to embark on crazy adventures with. Shared memories to reminisce for a lifetime!

What do you like least about travelling as a couple?

The social side! We’re both really social people and we’re not the kind of couple to go to bed early. From a few drinks to a 24 hour party we’re always keen. For other travellers though approaching a couple at a hostel is a bit intimidating so if we want to make friends to go out with/day trip with we have to put ourselves out there and make the first move. What a hard life.


How do you keep the relationship spark alive on the road?

We always do little thoughtful things for each other that really make a huge difference. Coffees in bed & surprise daytrips! Saying that booking out private rooms every now and then is ESSENTIAL haha you can only share a bed in a 12 bed dorm for so long before you both start going crazy!

What is one piece of advice you’d give to any couple wanting to travel together?

COMPROMISE! COMPROMISE! COMPROMISE! Little sacrifices here and there for each other make a world of difference. Being open & honest and communicating about everything keeps the mood chill. The main thing is just to embrace your time together & have fun. Remind yourself why you are doing this and would you prefer to be doing it alone????

Get to Know the Couple:
Joana: @joanasantillana
Chris: @chris.glaze

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