This week’s guest post comes from Lauren and Darren, travel bloggers behind Far Am A Gan. They explain ‘To date we have travelled to over 20 countries, supplying us with enough selfies and stomach upsets to let you all know where to go (and where to avoid.) Whether you’re a travel novice or full-time nomad, take a peek at our pictures and follow the adventure.’
1. What is your name and where do you come from?
We are Darren and Lauren from the North East of Scotland. We are behind the blog “Far am a gan” which translates to “Where am I going” in our local language Doric.
2. What sort of traveller are you? Full time / part time / business / backpacker etc?
With Darren working in the oil industry in Aberdeen and Lauren working in Fashion in London, we scraped together every spare penny and holiday days to travel as much as we could. However, the novelty of spending our Friday nights in airports waiting to see each other due to the long distance palaver soon wore off, so we decided to quit our day jobs to live our daydream and travel full time in October. We are very much backpackers with flashpacker mindsets – “champagne lifestyles, cava budgets” is the perfect way, to sum up our travel style.
3. How do you fund your travelling?
Knowing our flashpacker tendencies and passion for all things cheese & wine we saved hard prior to quitting our jobs in October. Lauren moved home to Scotland from London as the gin & tonic prices required a small mortgage and worked two jobs whilst Darren accepted as much overtime as possible. Being Scottish, we were born bargain hunters. We take full advantage of loyalty schemes, discount codes and good old-fashioned bartering. We have also utilised work trade sites such as Workaway allowing us to stay in Switzerland, Greece and Hawaii for free and gain amazing memories and work experience along the way!
4. Where is the best place you have ever been and why?
Choosing one country would be like choosing a favourite child, all our adventures are special for different reasons. The Big Island of Hawaii blew us away as we were able to stand a mere foot or two away from lava, then hike back under the most mind-blowing stars we have ever seen.
5. Where is the worst place you have ever been and why?
Bratislava. After a trip of 12 European countries, it was home to the worst youth hostel we’ve stayed to date combined with us both suffering from a horrific flu. This resulted in an experience we’ll always look back on with a shudder. By all means, the city is charming, with a quaint old town and a fab coffee shop or two but that’s pretty much it. Had there been more to see or do we may have distracted ourselves from our snotty symptoms or at the least been able to chill at the hostel but unfortunately we had to drag ourselves around the same few streets until it was time to leave.
6. Do you have a Bucket List? If so where are the 3 top places on it?
Our Bucket List changes hourly. Hawaii was number 1 for a very long time so it was amazing to tick it off this year. Our next top 3 would be Japan, Peru and The Philippines. Saying that despite it being home for over 20 years we’ve never explored parts of Scotland, so a road trip around the Isle of Skye, Orkney and more of the Highlands are also definitely on our Bucket List as since we’ve left, we realise how beautiful home really is.
7. What 3 things (apart from the essentials – food/water etc) do you always travel with?
Our mascots. Shamefully unnamed, we have a stuffed toy broccoli and sloth that have been to over 15 countries with us. From hikes in Switzerland to the beaches of Fiji these guys are always in our backpacks – our wee good luck charms.
Secondly, our go pro. Despite our adventurous nature, we’re also both a tad clumsy so an accident-proof camera is essential.
Thirdly, the Excel Spreadsheet of Doom. Travelling is never as spontaneous and romantic as people think. It requires vigorous planning, budgeting and scheduling. All of which are saved on our beautiful, colour coded, 6 tabbed spreadsheet, it’s literally our Bible.
8. What makes you happy and why?
After 6 years of long distance (firstly with Lauren at university then moving further afield to London), it makes us so happy to finally be in the same place at the same time. Even if it’s arguing over the Sat Nav or not agreeing where to go for tea. Finally, we’re catching flights together not catching them to see each other.
9. How long have you been blogging and why did you start?
We started around 6 months ago when we began travelling full time simply to let our mums know we were still alive. Darren’s a self-confessed nerd and loves the software and behind the scenes side of things whilst Lauren studied photography and writing as part of her uni course so we’ve tried to combine the best of both worlds as a creative outlet for both of us.
10. What makes your blog unique and why should people read it?
The cheeky Scottish charm definitely brings a unique edge. We don’t take ourselves too seriously and coming from such a tiny town in the North East of Scotland our curiosity has resulted in some hilarious fails that we feel are just as relevant to share. We want the world to know that quitting your job to travel the world should not be reserved for the rich and the yoga-loving white swimsuit wearers but for everyone of all walks of life, budgets and bucket lists.
From ESLT – thank you, Lauren and Darren, for taking the time to answer our questions. Safe Travels 🙂