We spoke to inspiring couple Kach & Jon and found out a little bit about them…
Where/How did you meet?
Our paths were set to collide before we ever knew each other existed. We both decided to quit our jobs, sell off our possessions and travel the world. Our paths first crossed in the small, historic town of Luang Prabang in Laos, South East Asia. I (Jonathan) was on a budget motorbike trip around Asia, while Kach was backpacking with her brother and sister.
We were both hanging out with our own groups of friends when we first met and we all just ended up blending into one big group. Kach caught my eye straight away, she was pretty, friendly and had the loudest laugh in the room! I sat next to her and we started chatting about the usual stuff – where, when, why – just swapping stories and getting to know each other.
As everyone started breaking away to go to wherever they were staying, I had already decided I wanted to spend some more time with her, so I asked her to come on a day trip into the surrounding mountains on my crappy old, 100cc, Chinese motorbike. Obviously I didn’t describe it like that, or she might not have come with me! We met the next day after lunch and cruised (chugged) our way around mountain roads, stopping at random places for the view and to grab a drink here and there. The scenery around there is incredible, it’s still one of my favourite ever bike rides.
First trip away together?
After spending a couple of days hanging out together in Laos, we both went our separate ways – Kach with her siblings to Vietnam, through Cambodia and eventually to Thailand for a one month yoga retreat and I carried on to Hanoi to look for a job teaching English. We kept in touch and after her yoga course I asked her to visit me in Hanoi for a couple of weeks. When she arrived we spent a week riding another crappy old motorbike along the northern border of Vietnam, all the way from west to east. It turned out to be quite a hard journey, but Kach embraced it, helping me push the bike through thick mud and rocks and enduring the cold and rain too!
What is your favourite travel destination and why?
In February of this year, we hitch hiked the length of the Caratera Austral in Chilean Patagonia. The scenery is stunning and we met all kinds of incredible people, each with their own unique reasons and method of traveling. We hitched rides in cars, the back of pickup trucks, freight wagons, even in buses and taxis! It’s the most off-the-beaten-path trip we’ve ever had, which made the surroundings even more memorable.
What has been your favourite hotel that you have ever stayed in?
Tortuga Lodge in Tortuguero National Park, Caribbean Costa Rica. We worked with them as part of our trip around Costa Rica earlier this year and stayed with them for 3 nights. The suite looked out directly onto the gardens and beyond that the river, which separated us from the Caribbean Sea.
What drives you to travel?
Freedom to choose where, when, how, why and for how long. Neither of us can ever imagine going back to a situation where someone else dictates when you have to walk into or out of a building, limiting your free time and expecting you to be grateful for 20 days a year holiday and a pay check. Freedom is what drives us.
Define your idea of romance?
Enjoying places and experiences together and knowing that for the rest of our lives, when we talk about places we’ve been and the people we met, the only people who will truly know how it all felt, is us.
What has been your most exciting adventure together?
When were in northern India, we trekked through the Parvati Valley in the Himalayan foothills of India, to reach the sacred hot springs in Keer Ganga. We weren’t exactly prepared; Kach had to borrow a pair of shoes from the Baba Ji running our hostel, while I had only a pair of 100 Rupee flip-flops from a street stall in Kolkata. The one-day hike up the mountain was filled with thick mud, waterfalls and even a sudden snowstorm, but it was all worth it for what we found at the top.
Favourite place to eat in the world?
India used to hold this top spot, but while living in Peru, we discovered Peruvian Ceviche and Arequipenian cuisine. Try the fresh ceviche, Rocotto Relleno and seafood soup – that’s just the beginning!
How would you describe yourselves as a couple?
We’re a bit of a mix of everything – We always hunt out adrenaline rushes, like bungee jumping, skydiving, ziplines, but we can also spend a whole week on beaches doing nothing. Where we stay varies from luxury hotels to rough backpacker hostels and we’ll wander the streets trying street food one night and ‘treat ourselves’ to an expensive meal the next!
How do you decide on where you will travel to next?
Now that we have Two Monkeys Travel, a lot of our trips are pre-planned around hotels and tour companies we want to work with, but we always leave room for changes and we’ve even cancelled partnerships because we’ve discovered something amazing along the way.
What do you have planned next?
We’re currently in the Sacred Valley in Peru, while Kach’s mum and sister visit Machu Picchu. Then we’re heading northwards through Peru, Ecuador and back into Colombia, where we might live for a month before venturing into Venezuela!
What is your favourite thing about travelling together?
Traveling as a couple forces you to be considerate of someone other than yourself, for a start, which is something often lost when traveling alone for a long time. Mostly though, it’s always having someone else there to share something with and to pick up the slack when you’re sick.
What is your dream trip?
Our big goal to achieve in the next year or so, is to sail to Antarctica. Everything we do here in South America and on Two Monkeys Travel is leading towards that!
What would you say to other couples considering travelling?
Take your time, it’s a big ask to spend 24 hours a day together! You’ll have to be able to say sorry a lot faster than normal after an argument and willing to realise that you’re tired, hungry and being a bit of an asshole as a result. Or maybe that’s just me!
How have you found it working on the road after quitting your jobs and what sort of reactions do you receive?
Every new place you land in presents completely new challenges and what works on one place often doesn’t work in another. You constantly have to dig into parts of yourself you didn’t know were there and learn a new language at the same time. Overall, it’s made us more adaptable, creative and resilient. The reactions we get are always positive, because when we arrive we look at what we think is missing and what we can provide, that people are willing to pay for.
When we do finally decide to settle down, we plan to buy ourselves a little piece of island paradise, build our own house and open yoga and meditation retreat.
Website – http://twomonkeystravelgroup.com/
Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/twomonkeystravel