Ashray and Zara, better known as A&Z, write for the travel blog, Backpack ME and we’re honoured to interview them for this week’s Travel Blogger Thursday! They are a couple who met in Dubai in 2011, who have since decided to sell all of their belongings, pack their bags, and travel the world. We hope that you enjoy learning more about this adventurous duo!
What inspires you to travel and what do you enjoy most about traveling?
We like going to new places, experience different contexts, observing how people go about their daily lives in opposites side of the planet. Travel is our school. It is our home and it is what we do. Right now, it would be impossible to picture us any other way.
How did you both meet and is travel involved?
We met in Dubai, in the United Arab Emirates. We were not traveling there, but rather working. We dated for a while and we were very happy to have a love for travel in common. We were
increasingly discontent with life in Dubai – we didn’t care for the superficiality and materialism
that Dubai tends to be well-known for. We both wanted to see the world and we couldn’t be happier that we were in the same page at the same time!
Where is your favourite destination and why?
It is impossible to name a favorite destination in the world. Seriously, how can you compare
lounging in a paradise-like beach in Goa with with eating delicious tacos in Mexico City? Or trekking in icy Patagonia with spending an afternoon telling little kids in Ethiopia what life is all
about in India? Every place has its own ups and downs. As visitors, we want to see, do and learn as much as possible while we’re in a given destination – no matter where in the world we might be.
When did you start to travel, and where did you first visit?
We left Dubai in the fall of 2011 and our plan was to travel around Latin America for a year. After brief stops in Ethiopia, India and some countries in Europe, we finally landed in Mexico almost in time for a Caribbean Christmas. We spent the entire year in Latin America, just as planned. We visited Mexico, Cuba, Costa Rica, Brazil, Ecuador, Chile, Peru, Bolivia, and still had time for a few weeks in the USA. After that we returned home, to India and Portugal, and realized that this had only been the beginning. So we got married, re-planned our lives for the immediate short-term, managed to establish ourselves working on the go and haven’t stop traveling to new places ever since!
Why did you start your blog, and what do you enjoy most about blogging?
We decided to start Backpack ME because we figured our travel experiences could only be enriched if we shared them with other people. Maybe others out there, planning to do something similar, could learn from what we have already gone through. Or they could simply get inspired and understand that yes, it is possible to live this life-style. We didn’t know many bloggers from India or Portugal either, or multicultural couples like us. So we wanted to specially reach out to people similar to us, from countries that aren’t particularly known for having a long-term travel culture. This has become one of Backpack ME’s mottos: travel, no matter where you come from!
What do you like to bring back from the places you’ve visited?
We do have at least one souvenir from each place we’ve been to. But normally it has to be something small, because we travel for months in a row and we don’t even have a house where put all of the things we get. Normally, we get handicrafts. And, sometimes, we pack a bunch of rare to find ingredients to cook later in India or Portugal – particularly while traveling in Asia.
Where do you plan on visiting next?
Right now we’re in Chile but not for long. We have plans to head to India for a while, followed by Portugal – we like visiting our families and friends back home from time to time. After that, it’s
still an enigma. But knowing us, it will probably end up being a spur of the moment adventure, somewhere exciting and with good food! So many possibilities are spoiling us and we can’t seem to decide with much time in advance. But keep on checking Backpack ME and who knows where you’ll find us next!
Every Thursday, we’re going to be featuring a fellow travel blogger and highlighting their journeys around the world. If you’re a travel blogger and would like to be interviewed for this weekly series, please contact us.