Why this year will be insanely different (let's get personal)
Last year we decided to sell everything and travel the world full time. We didn’t know it back then, but with all the ups and downs, this decision changed the entire course of our life. Having our own digital agency, juggling work all around the world and running a full-time blog was not an easy task, but we were determined to make it happen. We’ve been writing on You Could Travel for almost two years and during this time we’ve been providing you with information-packed articles and guides. We rarely write personal posts. Today, we decided to change that.
How did we meet?
Our story started long before this blog, back in September 2013. I was working for an IT startup in Bristol back then. One day, I was enjoying my standard cup of tea whilst listening to my normal chillstep playlist and crafting emails for our clients; but all of this got interrupted when this tall, handsome guy entered the office. Slowly but surely we started talking. Every time one of us walked down the corridor and passed the other's work desk, our eyes met and we longingly smiled at each other. Hey, I know is cliché but we knew then and there that we need to get to know each other.
Naturally, we did what the Brits do best: we met at the pub on a Friday evening during the after-hours office meet-up. We used to go to this shabby place called The Full Moon, where the pints were cheap and the tables were dirty. That night, we spent hours talking to each other as if we were in our bubble, ignoring everyone else (hey guys, if you’re reading this, we didn’t ignore you on purpose).
We clicked on all levels and decided to go on an actual date, and then another. It was awesome. During our second date, we went for a long walk, then, in the super British spirit, bought two ales (Maple Moon from Joseph Holt) and enjoyed the drinks in a park somewhere next to Ashton Court, in Bristol. Of course, it started raining, we sort of got close to each other under the umbrella, and one thing after the other led to our first kiss.
It's fair to say that our first kiss was the start of us spending 24/7 together. Literally. What I mean by this, in the over 4 years, we only spent 1 night apart. And yes, before we ask, we absolutely love it.
Let's go travel
Our travelling together started almost accidentally with our first ever trip to Hungary. But we liked it and in March 2014 we booked our first trip to Rome. We didn’t know much about travelling as a couple back then but we made it work. It was different and exciting. In May, the same year, we booked our first beach holiday in Tenerife, followed by new, monthly trips to various European destinations. We were hooked. This was the same year we decided to invest a lot of time into building our own digital agency.
In December 2015 we booked a well-anticipated trip to Japan. We spent a month visiting Tokyo, Kyoto and many other incredible places in the country. I always wanted to go to Japan, ever since I was a child. I never thought I will actually realise this dream and visit this incredible country, but I guess if you start believing you have the ability to make things happen. Our first trip to Japan exceeded our expectations and we fell in love with the place we desperately wanted to call home. Furthermore, we got engaged in Japan and bought an incredible engagement ring in Tokyo.
It was in April 2016 when we both decided we want to start this new venture, You Could Travel. We already had plenty of experience working in the digital industry and through our company, 42droids, we learned a lot about marketing. We started with Japan as a niche, which continues to be what most people know us for. Worry not, we will continue to focus on bringing you the best articles on Japan. I mean, we are so passionate about it, that we even created an ebook to help all Japan lovers enjoy their first trip to the Far East.
To fast forward, in September 2016 we had the wedding of our dreams with a royal theme in one of the most beautiful places in Bristol. One day after our wedding we were on a plane to Seychelles where we spent 3 incredible weeks island-hopping. It was insanely good.
And then, in February 2017 we sold everything and decided to give the digital nomad lifestyle a try. We wanted to live in various places across the world for a few months at a time, trying new experiences, new locations.
After Tokyo, Algarve and Seville, we will now stay in Budapest for a while. It’s not the place I would have thought we will like, but to our surprise, the city matches our needs for now. It’s lively, vibrant, drop dead gorgeous and has great walking and shopping opportunities. Next? Probably Vienna as we discussed before, then New Zealand once again.
Why did we start travelling?
If you don't know us (it's never too late to read about us), our love for travel was inspired by the many David Attenborough documentaries we watched together. We have pretty much all his DVDs: Blue Planet, Planet Earth, The Galapagos, Kingdom of Plants, you name it. This, combined with our love for science and the countless times we re-watched Cosmos, our desire to travel got combined with an insatiable appetite for knowledge. This includes the cultural aspect of travels too. And so, we started travelling because we wanted to see the Planet Earth in all its splendour. We wanted to hike its mountains, dive in its depths, explore its wilderness, photograph cultural and traditional activities which matter. And then, we went to Edinburgh and discovered how cool botanic gardens really are. That was the beginning of our journey as a soft adventure couple which continued with visits to the Eden Project, Kew Gardens and many more. In fact, we rarely visit a destination without going to its botanic gardens.
We are both outdoorsy people. We walk, cycle and hike and above all, we adore exploring the mountains covered with lush forests. It’s our true calling.
We don’t just love flora, but fauna too. We are still to see elephants and tigers in their natural habitat. It's part of our travel goals. We both really love whale sharks and octopuses. I also grew up with dogs so I have this infinite affection towards canines.
During our travels, however, we started feeling a bit hypocritical. It’s odd to visit an aquarium and marvel at the Giant Pacific octopus, then head over to Tsukiji and savour it fresh out of the sea. Something somewhere didn’t add up.
It’s the idea of watching documentaries about wildlife whilst indulging in a beef steak and a glass of milk. It didn’t feel wrong at the time. And let me tell you, we both love good food and it’s actually fair to assume that most of our travel itineraries were done in the name of food. So much so, that if a destination didn’t have what we deemed as good food, we didn’t particularly enjoy our stay there.
So what changed?
A while back we tried being vegetarian. We have some crazy vegan and vegetarian friends (you know who you are) and we thought: hell, we'll try this. After about a month we gave up on the idea and returned to eating meat and continued with our previous diet. Life went on, we moved to Spain, crossed Europe, moved to Budapest and here we are.
A few weeks ago, I decided to make spectacular chicken wings in orange zest dish. Honestly, I LOVE cooking so I was really excited about our upcoming dinner. We opened the fridge, got the meat out, opened the packaging and although still 3 days within its best before date, our kitchen was filled up with the smell of rotten flesh. Yes, I almost threw up. In fact, it was so bad, we couldn't get the smell out of our home for about an hour. That was the day we actually made the connection: "dude, we're eating DEAD animals! Like, carcases, you know". Point of the story is that we said, "No More!" and we stopped eating meat. However, we didn’t stop eating eggs and dairy.
A few days later, fairly satisfied with our vegetarian diet, we watched a really good documentary called "What the Health" (you can check it out on Netflix). By the end, we were faced with a new dilemma. "Should we switch to a plant-based diet?"
We started looking into what it actually means to have a plant-based diet and tried finding answers to all our questions. We furthered our research and topped it up with documentaries such as "Before the flood" (with Leonardo diCaprio ), Food Choices and Cowspiracy.
In the end, we raided the kitchen and threw out any trace of animal product.
So... What the health?
I guess it's fair to say that all these decisions led us to where we are today. We are proud to announce that we made the informed decision to save our health, wealth, happiness, as well as the planet: we went vegan. Hooraaay! We hope more of you will be inspired by this change and will join us on our new journey.
Ever since we made this decision we realised we don't feel hypocritical about loving animals anymore. We just love them all equally, whether they are dogs, cats, cows or chickens. Because, you know, they are all awesome. All these animals are sentient and can feel pain but also love. As humans, we can make the good choice of offering more love and less pain, and that's exactly what we want to do.
The only thing we ask is that if you invite us out for dinner, let's make sure there is at least one vegan item on the menu.
You Could Travel... Vegan
Ultimately, our personal preferences and choices will impact our businesses too. This means that You Could Travel will go through a change. Naturally, as we decided to go vegan, our foodie collaborations and information packed guides will contain information on how to travel on a plant-based diet. This means that we will outline vegan-friendly restaurants and cafes in the places we visit, as well as post more pictures of plant-based dishes. We are aware that eating plant-based food in some countries will be challenging, but we also know that for the duration of our trip we can easily survive on rice, pasta, noodles, fruits and vegetables.
We won't delete any of our old posts, food or city guides where we previously featured a meat-based food. We want you to understand our transition, be part of our journey from the beginning as it happened. In the past, our travels were motivated by different life choices which we don't want to hide from our readers.
Being vegan has actually made us feel liberated. We were, for a long time, preoccupied with food and foodie destinations. As every destination will have fruits, vegetables and whole grains, eating plant-based greatly simplified our travel decision-making. Of course, we are also eating healthier and saving a lot of money. We can now use what we save to seek even more rewarding experiences through the means of travel.
Did I mention we also feel so much better? We have more energy and doing our daily long walks, hikes and exercises now seem like a breeze. Oh, and we're also saving the planet so we can all continue to enjoy those beautiful rainforests and oceans.
What's next for You Could Travel?
As we decided to be more health conscious, we want our blog to reflect this decision as well. We hope you will embrace the change and will continue to follow our journey around the world (hint: you can Subscribe). We will share what we learn to empower you to make the right decisions and accomplish your dreams.
We planned several new destinations for this year and we know it's going to be an insane experience to visit all these new places and truly be connected with them. Upcoming, we have Czech Republic, Germany, Finland, Estonia, Netherlands and Montenegro. Oh, and we are, of course, planning to visit Japan again. We are also toying with the idea of going to either Australia or returning to New Zealand for a long trip. We are going to explore all these destinations and show you that it's actually possible to eat a plant-based diet and still enjoy your travels, even more so than before.
In conclusion, the last four years have been crazy, but incredible too. We are happily married and very excited about what the future holds. We love spending 24/7 together, travelling and working side by side. This makes it easier to make important life decisions together and encourage each other to be better individuals. We decided to focus on the present, continue to grow our businesses and live life to its fullest. We are ready to continue our journey and have you with us along the way.
Lots of love, Cory and G xx
Over to you now, what do you think of our new decision? Please leave a comment and let us know your thoughts.
What do you think?
Did you like this article? Do you have any questions or suggestions?
Leave a comment below.
Yayy congrats guys on going vegan! I loved reading your story and the connections you made. What the Health is such an incredible documentary, I've suggested it to a lot of people and it's really powerful. Love your positivity - being vegan is awesome =)
I can't wait to read about your vegan finds in Japan as Japan is a dream destination for me and my partner!
I loved reading about your journey to where you are now! From the love to the veganism, very sweet. I went to Japan and was so excited by all the amazing vegan options, traditional and modern! I can easily say, living in Japan would be a foodie vegans dream!
Hi Sara, thank you very much for your encouragement. It's been a month since we changed our lifestyle and we've never been happier. And Japan will sure be amazing next time we visit! We can't wait <3
Oh, interesting choice. I liked reading your article, it was honest and inspiring. I must say, I would like to see how it's like to travel on a plant based diet but I'm not sure I could stay away from ice cream :)
You sound really happy together, so no matter your decision, I'll be following along.
Hi Jen, thank you for reading our article. I'm glad to hear you will continue to follow our journey. We totally understand ice cream plays a major factor in making any life decisions :P haha. Whichever your decision, we are grateful you respect ours and encourage us to follow our desired lifestyle. Don't worry, we will be taking pictures of lots of desserts still :D
OMG! Guys! That's soooo great! Your story is super touching and I'm really glad you made this choice. Welcome to the veggie side haha. I look forward to reading posts about how it would be like to travel and be plant based. I find it pretty difficult as a traveler. Not impossible, but any inspiration will help. I think you are awesome and I am really happy for you. I hope 2018 will bring you lots of joy.
Alexa from California
Hi Alexa, thank you for reading our article. We can't wait to share our new travel itineraries with you. We do hope 2018 is going to be amazing! Wishing you a great year as well.
To be honest, I don’t think that being vegan is healthy at all (and yet, I recerched the topic thoroughly, vegetarian or pescarian yes, maybe, but vegan definitely not), but it’s a personal decision, after all. Just please don’t become ones of these people who scream “omg that’s meat, how dare you eating that” around every corner because that’s seriously annoying. I wanted to read your personal success-story, but instead found another pro-vegan article...
Hi Lindsey, Thank you for your taking the time to read the article. The good news is that we are not asking any of our readers to follow the same diet. Ultimately, is everyone's individual choice. We aren't the sort of people who would impose our point of view on anyone.
Our personal relationship evolved throughout these last four years and we are proud of each and every single decision we made, including adopting a plant-based diet which works for us. This is not a pro-vegan article, but one through which we wanted to share the changes coming to our business and how we came to make this lifestyle choice.
We hope to have you along our journey moving forward, yet we completely understand if our new dish pictures might not make you hungry any longer.