Who's out there now?

Who’s Out There Now? Felicity & Marco

Written By: jeff

Posted On: May 31st, 2010


travel advice, career break advice, travel the world, career break travel

Felicity and Marco on the salt flats of Bolivia. Copyright ThinkingNomads.com

In this week’s ¨Who’s Out There Now¨ feature, we bring to you Felicity and Marco, who are known as the Thinking Nomads.  After a career break in 2006 that took them to 30 countries on 5 continents in over 11 months, Felicity and Marco have continued feeding their desire to travel and see the world.  They are currently traveling throughout South America and are almost done with their latest trip.  Communicating their experiences through their site, they show people that there are other ways to lead a successful life even if you are a travel nomad.

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

Villa de Leyva, Colombia, we’ve actually gone full circle now, as Villa de Leyva was our first stop on our South American trip after flying in to Bogota from Europe.


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El Cocuy Colombia. Copyright ThinkNomads.com

2.  How did you come up with your site´s name. And what are you always thinking about?

We came up with idea firstly because our friends started to nickname us “The Nomads” or “The Traveling Hobo’s” because since 2005 we have been traveling or living in a new country every 6 months or so. The “thinking’ part, well of course we’re always thinking of where we can take our next travel adventure; along with money making ideas which will allow us to keep on seeing the world.

3.  “If you reject the food, ignore the customs, fear the religion and avoid the people you might better stay at home.” (James Michener) However “If you taste the food, master the customs, learn about the religion and get to know the people you might be better to keep on traveling!” This was your first entry into your blog last October.  Why kick off the discussion with this quote?

For us the very essence of travel is learning about new cultures, tasting new foods and really getting to know a country intimately and doing the opposite of the James Michener quote summed up the way we like to travel.


travel advice, career break advice, travel the world, career break travel

Felicity and Marco in Ecuador. Copyright ThinkingNomads.com

4.  Over the years, you have covered some impressive territory. How many countries are you up to now? What are your top 3 places?

We’ve lost count of the exact number of countries we’ve visited as we’ve been travelling for many years, but they are at least over 50 now. Our top three places are – 1: India, because of its uniqueness and diversity. Every day something completely unexpected would happen from receiving a blessing from an elephant at a Hindu Temple, to sharing food with total strangers on long train journey. We felt very welcomed by the Indian people, they were always keen to learn about our own countries and teach us about India.  2 Italy: Not just because it’s Marco’s home country and that we’ve lived there, we love Italy for the same reasons everybody else loves Italy. It has everything, culture, history, delicious food and welcoming people as well as every type of landscape you can imagine. 3 Colombia: We spent 7 weeks in Colombia and it was the highlight of our South America trip, more than anything it was the friendliness of the people that we loved and of course the diversity of the country. There is just so much to see!

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

I think you could characterize most of our trips as; “nomadic adventures”, as we’re not only traveling but also on the look out for interesting places where we could live, spend time or even start a business.

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

1. Long term travel doesn’t cost as much as you think, especially if you travelling as couple in places like India and South East Asia, you can live pretty well on $25- $30 per day per couple. 2.Taking a tour doesn’t have to be the only way to see a place or an attraction. By just doing a little more research you can often get to attractions on public transport or by hiring a bike. Then you can go at your own pace and not be restricted by the tour schedule. 3 Often you eat better, fresher and more traditional food at the daily markets than at high priced tourist restaurants.

travel advice, career break advice, travel the world, career break travel

Marco biking in the Valle de Luna, Chile. Copyright ThinkingNomads.com

7.  One of the great features about your site is that offer a section called ¨Recreate This Trip.¨  How did you come up with that idea?

This idea came to us when we discovered places or had little adventures that weren’t mentioned in the guide book, We thought it would be a good a idea to share the little details of how we put the trip together.

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

It was probably on our first RTW trip back in 2005 our first destination was New Delhi, India, it was culture shock to say the least! The sounds, the smells and the sheer amount of people was a complete invasion of our senses, it took us at least two weeks to feel relaxed and at ease in the country.  But In the end we fell in love with India and it’s people and ended up spending over 3 months there.


travel advice, career break advice, travel the world, career break travel

Felicity summiting Huyani in Potosi Bolivia. Copyright ThinkingNomads.com

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

On this trip it was in Colombia, when we got to know a Colombian family at some thermal springs just outside Popayan.  We spent the whole day with them; they told us that if we were ever passing through their hometown of Ipiales we should stay with them. Of course we took them up on their offer and spent 2 days with them they fed us until we couldn’t eat anymore and visited the special El Santuario de Las Lajas together.

10.  What has been your most embarrassing moment?

Felicity’s: On as bus in Argentina and I had bad stomach and needed to use the onboard bathroom. The only problem was the toilet on this bus was only for urine and not No2’s and it clearly stated this on the door. Of course there was no way I could control it and ended up spending too long in the bathroom, the driver then realized I might be breaking the rule. So he stopped the bus and started banging on the door until I came out red faced.  He then proceeded to tell me off and say, “the toilet was only for urine and that other people had to use it. If I needed No2’s I should have told him to pull over.” All I could reply in my very bad Spanish was “Yo no tenía tiempo.” I didn’t have time!”

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

Taking the minimum amount of tours possible and trying to discover places by just talking to local people and getting off the beaten path as much as possible.

12.  So as you wrap up your latest adventure through Central and South America, what do you take home with you that may be different than your other trips?

Of course we didn’t cover all of South America over 6 months. So we’ve decided when we return to see the rest of the continent we would like to have our own vehicle that will allow us to get off the beaten path more often. I think when you’ve been backpacking for a long time, you can get fed up with public transport and it is definitely restricting at times.

13.  Finally, our lightening round.

a. Best dish you´ve found so far: ajiaco de pollo
b. Most exotic food eaten: in South America alpaca steak
c. Most breathtaking moment: reaching the top of Mount Illimani 6438 m (21122 ft), in Bolivia and then Marco proposing to me on the summit. Read Felicity´s blog post about the experience.
d. Biggest disappointment: The food in South America
e. Most memorable place: El Cocuy National Park, Colombia
f. Most memorable person: Olga the mother of Colombian family we stayed with in Ipiales.
g. Best thing to have on a long bus ride: blow up neck pillow
h. Worst thing to have on a long bus ride: Diarrhea
i. Best thing you packed: down Jackets (very lightweight)
j. Dumbest thing you packed: hair clippers
k. Funniest travel habit your partner has: Felicity: as soon as we check into a hostel she checks both pillows on the bed and ensures she has the most comfortable one. Marco: Falling a sleep within the first 5 minutes of a bus journey, no matter what conditions the roads are in he drops off with his head bouncing all over the place.
l. Place you wish you could´ve stayed longer: Tierradentro, Colombia

travel advice, career break advice, travel the world, career break travel

Summiting Illimani in Bolivia. Copyright ThinkingNomads.com

You can follow Felicity and Marco online at ThinkingNomads, on Facebook and on Twitter @ThinkingNomads

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.

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4 Responses to “Who’s Out There Now? Felicity & Marco”

  1. Fida says:

    What a wonderful nomadic experience. And I love your motto :)

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