This interview features romantic explorers Daniel and Amanda from La Vida Viva Travel - an inspirational couple that left everything behind to travel and have been on the road for a year!
Amanda says: "We wanted to wait until after we got married to start travelling together. I think a lot of couples would be freaked out by that and think 'what if it doesn’t work out? What if you drive each other mad?' And driving each other crazy is inevitable at some point in long term travel but it also meant that from the get go, our mindset has always been that our marriage comes first and we do what we need to do to work things out. We also wanted to achieve some things before taking a big gap year. People usually travel first and then settle down, get a full time job, buy a house etc but we actually did it the other way around. We both finished our qualifications, worked full time for a few years, paid for a wedding, bought a house and then left everything behind to travel. Not sure what things will be like when we get back though!"
"Visiting Kung Si Waterfalls in Luang Prabang, Laos."
What tips can you share with other couples that would like to do the same?
"Communication – speak up about things when they happen. Don’t dwell on things that annoy you about the other person because it’ll only get worse. Talk about expectations and priorities when you’re travelling – what are some musts that you each want.
Go out on dates – especially if you’re travelling long term. Take turns organising something nice for each other. Spend time OUT of the travel bubble – don’t talk about plans or anything travel related, just enjoy each other’s company.
Spend time apart – whether it’s mental or physical space, you will both need it! Book private rooms as often as possible."
How did you meet? "We met 11 years ago at our church. We were NOT friends. I really didn’t like Daniel and people thought he was so good looking but I just thought he was annoying. I also thought he was full of himself (sorry, Daniel) even though I’d never really had a conversation with him. After a few years we were partnered as prayer buddies and after actually talking to him and realising he was a decent guy, I felt so bad and we became friends. From there, we became best friends and the rest is history!"
What's been the most romantic location you've visited?
"Salento, Colombia. It’s a colourful, quaint little town with valleys, waterfalls and the world’s tallest palm trees."
"Diving in Taganga in Colombia."
What was the most romantic activity you did there?
"We went horse-riding to a beautiful (and very cold) waterfall. It was 3 hours through some epic landscapes, green pastures and best of all, no other tourists!"
What was the most romantic lunch/dining spot?
"Given the town is quite small, there weren’t many options. However, there was a lovely Italian restaurant that served dinner by candlelight and had a very warm atmosphere.Everything was perfect included a very delicious and decadent dessert we shared at the end."
What were the most romantic gifts you've shared? "Our gift to ourselves for our first wedding anniversary was scuba diving in cenotes in Mexico. It was our first time diving in fresh water and the water was crystal clear and beautiful. One of the cenotes was Dos Ojos which was a cavern dive through a one of a kind ecosystem. It was epic!."
Can you recommend an affordable yet professional photographer/s in any countries you've visited for photos of romantic experiences where a selfie stick or self-timed camera is just not enough? "Well, you could always call on us and we’ll come shoot for you! Haha. Kidding… but seriously. If you’re ever in Perth, we can take some awesome romantic sunset beach photos. Other than that, I would say, look up local advertising websites for upcoming new photographers. Often they provide free photo-shoots to build their portfolios so it’s a win for everyone!"
What camera equipment do you like to use when traveling? Canon 5D Mark II, GoPro Hero 4, iPhone 6S and Autel Robotics X-Star Premium (drone).
Where can other traveling couples read more about your adventures?