Travel as Life: An Interview with Nick from Goats on the Road
In 2008, Canadian couple Nick and Dariece took a one-week vacation to Mexico. This trip inspired them to change their lives forever. Their all-inclusive vacation showed them that they wanted to explore, to see the world, to chase their passions. Eight months later, the pair was off, taking a 13-month trek through Southeast Asia. Through house-sitting, teaching English abroad, and travel blogging, the couple has now been traveling full-time since 2011. Inspired by their journey, our team member Jessica reached out to Nick and Dariece to see why travel means so much to them, what they’ve learned, and where they’re going moving forward!
JL: Tell me a little bit about you and Dariece!
Nick: Dariece and I are travel fanatics who left Canada in 2008 on a trip that changed our lives. The adventure was only planned for 1 year, but after realizing that we could sustain our lifestyle overseas by learning how to start a travel blog and by teaching English online, we decided to keep the dream alive. We’ve now been on the road ever since and are so happy that we never had to go back to our unfulfilling jobs in Canada.
JL: So what is your current location and how long do you think you’ll be there for?
Nick: Currently we are in Grenada and we think we’re going to make this little island in the West Indies our home base. We’ll probably be here for the next few months, but our feet always get itchy so we’ll have to go on another big trip soon!
JL: Any other plans for the rest of 2018?
Nick: Our plans are to focus on our online business and create courses to help other people who want to quit the 9-5 and earn money as travel bloggers, online English teachers, or house sitters.
JL: I noticed that you called 2017 your “rollercoaster” year. Traveling can definitely have its ups and downs. What has been the most difficult part of traveling for you, and what has been the most rewarding experience?
Nick: One of the hardest parts for us has been finding a good balance between work and travel while we’re on the road. Many travel bloggers claim to work too much, but we’re quite the opposite – we think we need to work a bit more! Luckily, the way we built our website, it’s mostly passive income so even though we’re away from the computer most of the time, there’s still enough coming in to support our lifestyle. But we love the blogging industry so much that we miss it when we’re away from it. In terms of rewarding… I think we’re most deeply affected by travel in general, not one experience in particular. Travel has given us a completely different outlook on life, privilege, income disparity, and the ability to give back. We are so grateful that we’re able to do what we do and we really want to help others learn to do the same. The great thing about the internet is that it’s available for so many in the world and for many jobs, you don’t need prior experience.
JL: What continues to drive you to travel?
Nick: We love meeting new people, tasting new foods, and experiencing new culture. But experiencing all of those things together is what makes it so special. We can’t even explain how happy we are and that’s what keeps us going. As long as we’re ridiculously happy, we’ll keep traveling. If one die the fire dies inside, we will find something else that fulfills our lives. For now, that is travel and we see no end in sight.
JL: What has been one destination that you’ve been to, or activity you’ve gotten to do, that really surprised you?
Nick: Mongolia blew us away. It was one of the most incredible places we’ve ever been. It was just so raw and pristine and the culture seemed completely untouched in the countryside. We literally looked at the satellite view on Google Maps and found a river that stretched between two tiny villages for around 120km (74.5 miles). Using Google Maps, we plotted a trek and then did the journey in 8 days. We were in the middle of nowhere and we had nomadic people coming up to us almost every day giving us gifts and staring at us blankly. This was one of the most incredible experiences of our lives.
JL: Speaking of surprises, tell me – what is the weirdest culinary experience you’ve had while traveling?
Nick: Haha…Mongolia. When we were on that long trek, we were called over by a group of nomadic men who were sitting around eating a bucket of meat. That’s right. It was just a milk pail full of random bits of meat. I really don’t know what I ate that day, or how long it had been in the bucket, but it was surprisingly tasty given that there was no seasoning whatsoever.
JL: At this point on your journey, do you feel like it is important for everybody to have the chance to travel? How do you feel about starting travel young, as children and families?
Nick: I think that everyone should travel and I’m convinced that the world would be a better place if the most closed-minded of us would open up and see the world. It changes everything. If children are able to travel, I think they should. I think that parents should be open to the idea that the road is the best school of all.