Jeff's blog

Who´s Out There Now? Simon & Erin

Written By: jeff

Posted On: May 24th, 2010

career break travel, career break Cook Islands, gap year travel

Simon and Erin in the Cook Islands. Copyright

In this week´s ¨Who´s Out There Now¨ feature, we bring to you Simon and Erin, who are on what they call their Never Ending Voyage.  After a career break in 2008 that took them through Southeast Asia, the South Pacific, Australia and the US, they found that being back home in UK was too constraining.  So, they packed up, sold their possessions and embarked on their journey once again.  To fund their ongoing journey, Simon freelances as a web designer at Line-In and Erin runs the Kerala India Travel site.  She has also published Voyage Around the World, a compendium of photos from the couple´s trip in 2008.

1. So, where in the world are you answering these questions?

We are currently in Buenos Aires, Argentina where we have rented an apartment for two months.

2.  Is it just me, or have other people told you that they find themselves singing the theme song to The Neverending Story while they are browsing your site?

No one else has told us that so far!

career break, career breaks, career break travel

Simon taking a steam bath. Copyright

3.  You guys have covered some pretty impressive territory. And you have the photos to prove it.  What is the wackiest photo you´ve taken and what´s the story behind it?

This is a photo of Simon in a rather bizarre steam bath. It wasn’t the most comfortable experience but it did have wonderful views of the Himalayas. We spent a few days at a yoga retreat in Nepal where this was just one of the unusual activities they had there – we also took part in a nasal cleansing ritual which involved pouring salt water from a teapot into one nostril so that it came out of the other! This and the 5am meditation sessions weren’t really for us so we didn’t stay too long, but it was definitely weird.

4.  In March, you laid out 13 priorities for your current trip. Three months into it, what have you been able to check off the list?

¡Estudiamos mucho castellano! Our main focus so far has been learning Spanish – we’ve been taking classes here in Buenos Aires, but we still have a lot to learn. We’ve also had a few tango lessons which were fun but it’s a difficult dance and not something that we’ve been able to get good at in the short amount of time we’ve been here.

We went horse riding in a gaucho town called San Antonio de Areco a few hours from the city where Simon had his first gallop! We will definitely continue to ride whenever we get the opportunity – luckily it’s widespread in South America and a great way to explore the countryside.

We have met some interesting people so far and hope to try couchsurfing when we get to Paraguay (our next destination) to meet even more locals. We are constantly working on our photography although I need to get over my shyness about taking photos of people.

Working out how we are going to make a living on the road has been a big priority. Simon has had a number of freelance jobs and we are working on a few other projects to make money online so that we can sustain the digital nomad lifestyle.

Finally, we do try to remember to say yes to everything and be open to all the opportunities that come our way.

5.  I found on your website that your photos are more prominent than your blog. Was that intentional and why is that the case?

We hadn’t thought the photos were more prominent than the writing, but we do try to make the site as visual as possible as we think images are one of the best ways to capture a place.

6.  Career break, nomadic adventure, backpacking, how do you characterize your trip?

It’s our lifestyle rather than a trip. We have made the decision to leave the UK permanently and tell people that we are travelling forever. In reality we may stay in some places for months or even a year but we won’t be settling in one place for the foreseeable future.

7.  What are some of the secrets to travel that you´ve discovered that you think more people who aren´t traveling should know?

Travel is not that scary, it’s not that expensive and it’s probably the best thing you’ll ever do – so stop buying stuff, save up some money and go!

8.  What was your first ¨We´re not in Kansas (London) anymore¨ moment?

Getting mugged in Rio by a gang of twelve year olds on a busy well-lit street. We went on to enjoy the samba clubs anyway!

9.  What´s been your most ¨local¨ experience so far?

Probably renting an apartment in Buenos Aires. It’s the longest we have ever stayed in one place in another country and we’ve been living a normal life rather than seeing the tourist attractions and hanging out in hostels with other travellers.

10. What has been your most embarrassing moment?

Luckily nothing really bad has happened to us but we are constantly in awkward situations, usually caused by not knowing the language and not knowing what’s going on. For example, we bought some street food in Laos thinking it was vegetarian but discovered it contained fish so had to immediately hand it back to the bemused lady.

career break, career break travel, career break India, gap year

Kerala, India. Copyright

11. On your trip in 2008, Kerala, India really had an impact on you. Why is that place special to you?

The backwaters of Kerala are a beautiful place – green, lush and blissfully peaceful. Our experience was particularly amazing because we stayed at a wonderful homestay where we met some inspiring locals, learnt about the culture and ate delicious home-cooked food. Experiences like being serenaded with traditional songs on a moon-lit canoe ride have a tendency to stay with a person for a long time!

12. What is the biggest difference so far traveling in South America from South East Asia or the US?

We spent most of our last trip in Asia and so far (in Brazil & Argentina) it has been a lot more expensive, ‘western’ and therefore easier to travel in. We are looking forward to something a bit different so are heading to Paraguay and Bolivia next. The great thing is that Spanish is spoken everywhere (except Brazil) so we have the opportunity to spend a long time learning the language.

13. What´s your secret for getting the most out of your journey?

Don’t plan too much, pack light and don’t leave a place until you are ready to.

14. Finally, our lightening round.

a. Best dish you´ve found so far: Indian thalis

b. Most exotic food eaten: Banana flower

c. Most breathtaking moment: First glimpse of the Annapurna range on our Nepal trek.

d. Biggest disappointment: New Zealand

e. Most memorable place: Kerala, India

f. Most memorable person: Thomas, our homestay host in Kerala

g. Best thing to have on a long bus ride: Lots of snacks

h. Worst thing to have on a long bus ride: Motion sickness (Erin). A stranger falling asleep on your shoulder (Simon).

i. Best thing you packed: Macbook Pro

j. Dumbest thing you packed: Chunky headphones (Simon snuck them in at the last moment)

k. Funniest travel habit your partner has: Simon has an obsession with single discarded flip-flops. He seems to find them lying around in the most unusual places!

l. Place you wish you could´ve stayed longer: Andaman Islands, India

career breaks, career break travel, gap year

Horseback Riding in San Antonio, Argentina. Copyright

You can follow Simon and Erin online at, on Facebook and on Twitter @NevEndingVoyage.

Every week, Career Break Secrets profiles a different traveler or traveling couple who are embracing the ¨Because Life Is Out There TM¨ travel spirit.  These are people who have taken the plunge to embark on a career break and are currently traveling the world.

Share and Enjoy:
  • email
  • Digg
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • StumbleUpon


2 Responses to “Who´s Out There Now? Simon & Erin”

  1. [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Never Ending Voyage, Jeff Jung. Jeff Jung said: Who´s Out There Now? Simon & Erin of @NevEndingVoyage #careerbreak #travel #rtw #traveltheworld #lp [...]

  2. [...] out his Confessions of a Rookie Digital Nomad.We were also featured on a number of other websites:Career Breaks Secrets interviewed us with some detailed questions about our travels that really got us [...]

Leave a Reply