There is traveling, and then there is adventure! And if the latter is what you’re seeking, Antonio and Amanda of the Adventure Junkies might just have your ticket. They are on a quest to, not only cycle the globe, but to inspire others to turn dream into reality; and to live life to the fullest. For them, adventure is both a mindset and a lifestyle, and they believe, with the right dedication, anyone can do it. Even before starting my own blog, I followed their budget tips religiously. The Adventure Junkies are the real deal, and they do it big! I’m a fan…and you should be too…
Tell me about the Adventure Junkies. Who are you, what you’re all about, how long you’ve been on the road, and your first introduction to traveling.
We are Amanda and Antonio, a couple who decided to turn their travels into a life of adventure. Amanda is 26 and from Vacaville, California. Her first proper introduction to travel came from a month long study abroad program in the Netherlands. Antonio is 31 and from Cádiz, Spain. His first travel was a University Convention in Antibes, in the south of France. After sharing a week with other students from 10 different countries bordering the Mediterranean Sea, he knew he had to get out there and explore the world.
We’ve been traveling full time for over two years now but have worked and lived out of our home countries for many years. We believe that traveling is the perfect way to make your life more adventurous. At the moment we are traveling South America by bicycle.
What inspired you to leave the “Normal” life, and cycle the world on an infinite adventure?
Before we even met each other we had been scheming of ways to travel the world long term. We always said having both time and money would be the ultimate freedom. Having a full time job gives you money but doesn’t leave much time to enjoy life to the fullest.
You guys have been on the road for 2 years, how do you afford long-term travel?
Before we started traveling we both had full time jobs. We lived as simply and cut all unnecessary expenses. As traveling for at least a few years was always our goal, it was easy to set savings goals. Once we decided to make our travels indefinite we started for looking for ways to support ourselves on the road. In the first year of traveling we became and worked as scuba diving instructors. We would stop off at popular dive destinations like Roatan in Honduras; work for a few months to save up then hit the road again. While it’s a job we love, you are limited to working in locations close to the water.
In the last few months we have put all of our spare time into growing our blog, The Adventure Junkies. After a lot of work we are finally seeing the rewards and the profit that we make from it is currently assisting us in supporting our travels.
You started your adventure with a plan, and have since discarded that itinerary. How has traveling without a plan enriched your travels?
Great question! Throwing the plans out the window gave us a tremendous amount of freedom. We were no longer tied to a calendar or a location. This allows us to stay in a place longer if we enjoy it or keep on moving if we don’t.
You offer some amazingly detailed trip budgets on your blog. What are three steadfast rules that you abide by in order to stay on budget while traveling?
- Pick a number: For us it’s 10 USD a day/ per person for daily expenses (food & accommodation). I should note that traveling by bicycle is a big reason why we are able to maintain this budget (we don’t pay for buses, stay in small towns, camp often and cook our own meals). This doesn’t mean that you can’t meet this budget as a backpacker but you will have to get creative and carry a tent/ hammock as well as a camping stove (or eat a lot of sandwiches).
- Avoid those little daily splurges: Beers and coffees fall into this category. They are nice every now and then but can kill your budget if you make it a daily habit.
- Relax from time to time: If there’s an activity you’ve been dying to do or just need a break from counting dollars, splurge a bit.
There is no guide or book that could recreate your travel experiences. What tips can you give for others who want to get off the beaten path, and find that once in a lifetime experience?
Another great question. Don’t always go along with what the guidebook or other travelers are doing, follow your interests. For us, we love hiking, kayaking and diving so we are always on the look out for places where we can do these activities. Sometimes we take guided tours if we can’t rent the gear we need but we really love going off on our own. For example we knew that the Sian Ka’an Biosphere Reserve in Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula was supposed to be beautiful but we didn’t want to go on the popular Jeep tour. Instead we packed our backpacks with plenty of food, water and our tent and walked on the beach for 4 days exploring the area. It cost us less than 10 bucks a person and was a memorable experience.
With all the adventures you’ve been on what is one of your most memorable experience/trip?
We can’t pick just one..sorry. Here are a few… Staying a week on a remote island off the coast of Belize, diving with hammerhead sharks, visiting the Amazon Rainforest, petting Grey Whales in Baja California, hiking to the Lost City in Colombia and kayaking around Espiritu Santo Island.
If you could offer one survival/safety tip, what would it be?
If you are going somewhere remote bring more food and water than you plan on consuming. You never know when a storm will hit or you might become injured…both situations will slow you down, maybe making you stay an extra day on the trail.
How have you guys evolved as travelers from when you first started to how you are now?
In the beginning we wanted to do and see as much as possible. Now we’ve slowed down a lot, taking the time to enjoy life in the countries that we are traveling through.
Your one essential piece of travel gear you can’t live without?
Tough one! Amanda says her camera and Antonio says his notebook. One piece of gear that we both find super useful is our SteriPEN, it’s a UV light water purifier.
Your motto is “don’t dream it, live it”. Do you have any advice for those who wish to get out there and live their dreams of endless adventure?
Take small steps. We didn’t just wake up one day and say hell let’s travel the world forever. We’ve both gone through many tiny steps to lead us to where we are today. Plan short trips, study abroad, learn a new language, try something new for the first time…all these things will build your confidence to take the step out the door. One other tip: If you decide traveling isn’t for you the worst thing that could happen is you go back to your old life. Lots of people get caught up in worrying about what will happen to their jobs and personal lives if they leave. Why sit at home worrying your whole life when you can at least give your dreams a go and see how it turns out?
Where are you guys now, and where will the road take you both next?
At the moment we are in a small town called Baeza, in the cloudforest of Ecuador. We took a day off from cycling to rest our legs before climbing a 4000 meter mountain pass. This route will take us to Quito. From there we will spend sometime relaxing and exploring Ecuador’s highest volcanoes while we make our way south to Peru.
We are Antonio Cala and Amanda Zeisset (pronounced Z-ice-et). We travel the world and write about it. Over the past 2 years we have been exploring The Americas by bicycle. What started as a well planned bicycle tour turned into a life changing journey that has led us to pursue an infinite travel adventure lifestyle. We are on a mission to help you live a life of adventure. Our pursuit of adventure has transformed our lives and taken us to incredible places around the world. We live the lives of our dreams and we want to help you do the same.
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