Dropping everything to travel the world may sound like a far-off dream to some, but not for Stevo Dirnberger and Chanel Cartell.
The couple run the blog How Far From Home, where they hold up signs that read how far they are in kilometers from their home in Cape Town, South Africa. They quit their jobs in advertising to travel for a year – and now they are beginning to understand what a serious commitment that really was.
It’s not all sunny fjords and picturesque Greek beaches, and it’s far from a relaxing vacation. To survive during their travels, they have taken on menial jobs such as scrubbing toilets, cleaning glasses, and chopping wood to make their dream a reality, according to a recent blog post by Cartell.
“So far, I think we’ve tallied 135 toilets scrubbed, 250 kilos of cow dung spread, two tons of rocks shoveled, 60 meters of pathway laid, 57 beds made, and I cannot even remember how many wine glasses we’ve polished,” she wrote.
They receive these jobs through a program called Workaway, in which travelers can work in exchange for food.
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It seems wherever they go, manual labor follows them. But all this physical work doesn’t mean they’re in great shape or eating fresh vegetables.
“I am not at my fittest, slimmest, or physically healthiest. We eat jam on crackers most days, get roughly five hours of sleep per night, and lug our extremely heavy bags through cobbled streets at 1 a.m., trying to find our accommodation,” Cartell wrote, noting that bus travel was not a part of the couple’s extremely tight budget.
On the plus side, working for food means they can set their own schedule. The two are taking a positive approach to having copious amounts of free time to do everything they want in these exotic locales, as well as take time to work on their own creative projects and keep up the blog and its associated social-media accounts.
“There’s nothing quite like swapping million rand [the currency of South Africa] advertising budgets for toilet scrubbing to teach you about humility, life, and the importance of living each day as if it were your last,” Cartell wrote.
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