Let’s relax! Toilet-scrubbing travel couple are happy and living their dream

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Nikita Abhyankar

By now, perhaps everyone has read and spoken enough about the couple who left their high-paying advertising jobs to travel the world and are ‘now scrubbing toilets’ for a living. They blog at HowFarFromHome.com

The first time I read about this couple in news, it made me feel sorry for them; gave the idea that they are regretting taking the decision they did and choosing a life of travel.

how far from home animals
Photo: How Far From Home Blog

Expectedly, other news publications followed suit and these are a few more headlines that I came across:

  • This couple quit their advertising jobs to travel the world – and now they scrub toilets for food Business Insider
  • The Couple Who Quit Their Ad Jobs to Travel the World Ended Up Poor and Scrubbing Toilets –Adweek
  • Nomadic couple who quit high-paying advertising jobs to travel, forced to scrub toilets to survive –NYDaily
  • Would you quit your job and scrub toilets to travel? This South African couple did –Firstpost
  • This Couple Quit Their Jobs To Travel And Now Scrub Toilets To Get By –Buzzfeed
  • Nomadic couple have to scrub toilets to fund their travels –Deccan Chronicle

Now, coming from a journalism industry where lives and jobs are hanging by the thread of click-baits, I preferred reading the original blog written by the South African travelling-couple Chanel Cartell and Stevo Dirnbergo.

Ohh and must I add, it was far from wimpy, whiny, or sad!

how far from home travel
Photo: How Far From Home Blog

The blog clearly shows that the Cartell-Dirnbergo duo knew what they were headed for. They write, “Although we knew it wouldn’t be easy, we are certainly learning fast that this isn’t for faint hearts, and we need to learn to react and adapt to everything that’s thrown our way.”

Nobody ever said that travelling or backpacking was a kid’s play. Every travel blogger that I have come across have had a story with similar patterns.

Get a high paying job – get stuck in the rut – realise you don’t want to do it – leave cushy job to travel and be a blogger – have a difficult financial life while having the best time of your life.

But most of people who are yet to have their awakening moment, read these blogs, see the pretty pictures and keep wondering how awesome the life of a travel blogger is. Seldom anybody sees the darker side of it. This is where it is most important to read the last part of this blog.

how far from home travel
Photo: How Far From Home Blog

“But even though we probably have more greys than when we started, dirt under our nails despite long showers, and cheap snack food as a main form of nutrition, this crazy lifestyle allows us to enjoy the freedom of exploring rich Swedish forests, never-ending Nordic fjords, Italian cobbled alleyways, and cosmopolitan cities. We have time to brainstorm our own ideas, and push our own creative experiments. It’s like heaven for us. Sure, wood needs to be stacked, and garbage needs to be taken out (it’s our version of a shit sandwich, as Mark Manson put it), but once that’s done, we’re free to explore, wander and be one with our meandering thoughts. You work under your own schedule, using (a lot of) spare time to jog around mirrored lakes, craft inspired creations and breathe the Arctic air. There’s nothing quite like swopping million rand advertising budgets for toilet scrubbing to teach you about humility, life and the importance of living each day as if it were your last.”

For this, I couldn’t be more thankful to the Cartell-Dirnbergo duo for showing the world what it is really like.

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