“Travelling allows us to take our mind off everyday mundane tasks as we discover new places, meet new faces and learn more about the area we’re exploring.” ~ says Rosemarie John, co-author of an award-winning blog (Travel & Beyond), which inspires people to plan their travel adventures.From enjoying each other’s company to exploring places on their own, Rosemarie talks to us about travelling, and how it is more special when she’s with her favourite companion- her husband!
1) Hi there! Can you tell us a little bit about your journey so far? Where did it start?
My husband, Joseph and I are travel enthusiasts who try to squeeze in an adventure any chance we get. We haven’t sold all our belongings to go backpacking like a nomad—it’s not our style. We love exploring as much as we like, and then come back home where we can sit on our comfy couch with a warm brownie and watch episodes of our favourite series.
Where did our journey start? Well, we hail from different backgrounds (I ‘m a Malaysian and he, an Indian). We met each other in the Philippines, got married in Indonesia, lived in Singapore for a few years and now call Canberra, Australia home. We share an immense passion for travel with interest in history and architecture.Our award-winning blog, Travel and Beyond, focuses on places we have travelled to and features affordable luxury destinations, local food and culture.
2) What inspired you to share your stories with the world?
We started Travel and Beyond more than 8 years ago for the sole purpose of documenting our holidays for our own sake but we soon realised that our stories were gaining a lot of interest from people all over the world. So today, we write not only for ourselves but to inspire others to take a break and plan their next holiday.
Our blog also helps provide ideas and tips on experiences, food and accommodation which adds informative value when planning their own travel adventure.
3) How many countries have you both been to? And what’s your favourite destination?
Between the two of us, we have been to over 40 countries. Our favourite destination would be Istanbul. From outside your hotel window, you see monuments, mosques, minarets, and churches, pebble paved streets, trams and people hurrying about. You’re trying to absorb everything in. You may gasp in wonder, you may frown at traffic, you may have questions on your mind but all you think about is heading out and experiencing its amalgamation of culture, ancient history, scrumptious food and some of the friendliest people you’ll ever meet.
Also, I have a special place in my heart for Hokkaido. It’s my favourite Asian city to date. The landscape is breath-taking, especially in winter. The local produce of confectionary products are simply irresistible. The people are welcoming and always eager to assist despite the language barrier. It has a rich and satisfying history and a unique local culture of its own. It is also a foodie’s dream destination. Don’t forget to try Genghis Khan (a local dish) when you’re there!
4) What’s the best part about travelling with your husband?
What resonates with me is the time I get to spend with Joseph that doesn’t entail thinking about work, grocery shopping or what chores we have to do over the weekend. Travelling allows us to turn off that everyday mundane tasks for a period of time and enjoy each other’s company as we discover new places, meet new faces and learn more about the area we’re exploring.
5) What are the lessons that you’ve learnt travelling together?
Lessons…. One – ensure that you never pack your clothes individually in two separate bags. Why? Because, you might find space very scarce in certain situations and opening one suitcase to access clothing would be ideal. Two- when exploring a crowded location, always pick a landmark to converge at when you suddenly find that you’ve lost each other in a crowd. This way, you eliminate unnecessary panic.
6) Would you say having company when you travel makes a big difference?
Look, everyone is different. I like to talk (a lot) and share my experiences with someone whose company I enjoy. So yes, it makes a huge difference for me when I travel with Joseph. In fact, I also enjoy travelling in small groups. This offers the opportunity to make new friends. The last time Joseph and I travelled in a group, we ended up making new friends from South Africa, India and the United States. This is not to say I have never travelled alone. I have. Did I enjoy it? Not much, I felt lonely at times and spent a lot on data trying to share my experiences through photos and chats with Joseph!
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