Interview with Mark and Julie from “The Time to Go Is Now”

We continue our interview series with Mark and Julie from

“The Time to Go Is Now”

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We understand from your blog you’ve been dreaming about your trip and carefully planning it for a few months and started blogging before you hit the road.

Mark: Yeah, I wanted to start the blog early because I wanted to document the process and get into the habit of writing regularly. It also helped keep me more focused on preparing for the trip.

Tell us a little bit about yourself and your dream.

Mark: We’re in our late 30’s, we’ve always loved traveling and really wanted to find a way to do a lot more of it. We were both burnt out at work and the timing was just right. Thankfully, it was a pretty easy decision to make.

Julie: Work is boring and I like to eat.

Mark: Well put.

When first you had the idea to travel the world?

Julie: We were in Mexico for our friends’ wedding several years ago and I was trying to learn to surf. I was really struggling. I noticed the woman next to me was doing a great job. When I told her I was impressed with how well she was doing she said, “Thanks, I’ve been practicing every day for a month.” “You’ve been here for a month?”

 

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Mark: Yeah, after pretty much every vacation we’ve taken in the last five years we tend to look at each other and say, “I don’t want to go home. Why are we going home?” That would be followed by a discussion about jobs, debts and responsibilities. It wasn’t until March or April 2013 that we really started to look at it seriously.

Just a few days left before departure. Is everything ready? How do you feel about your upcoming adventure?

Julie: No. At this point if it doesn’t get done it doesn’t get done. Focus on the important things and everything else will work itself out. There isn’t time to be stressed out. There is drinking and visiting to be done. I’m starting to get excited for the trip but I’ve been so busy that I haven’t really had the time to be excited. This is normal for any trip I ever take. I’m ready to be excited. I’m excited about being excited about the trip.

Mark: No, but we’re in well enough shape. Our schedule is tight but we have a checklist and are working through it. The important bits are there: tickets, passport & clothes. But that doesn’t make you any less anxious. The closer we get to departure the more real it becomes and the more my stomach starts to tie itself into a knot.

What is seems to you the most attractive in travel?

Julie: Experiencing other cultures and their food.

Mark: That is a good question and I could probably give you 2000 words on the subject. I just like experiencing new places. I want to see what is different, what is similar and what is unique. It doesn’t matter to me how many people have been there before, it is new to me.

 

Oysters What are you most afraid of in the upcoming tour?

Julie: I am scared of being sick in inconvenient places. That and spiders.

Mark: I am scared that at some point one of us will want to come home and the other won’t.

Tell please our readers a little bit about your route.

We are headed to Costa Rica for three weeks and then on to South America through the end of April. The plan right now is to visit Peru, Chile, Argentina & Uruguay. Brazil was on the list but we forgot about needing a visa and didn’t have time to get one before we left. After that it is off to Spain & Portugal. We’re then meeting some friends and going to the 24 Hours of Le Mans in France in June. After that is wide open. Our rough plan is Northern Europe in the summer, Southern Europe in the fall and then off to Asia but nothing has been decided.

From your blog, we realized that you also both love to cook. Do you have any plans to learn cooking dishes from different cultures?

Julie: I have a plan to pick my favorite dish in every country we go and either try to recreate it or come up with something close that I can share with friends at home. When it fits into the budget we want to take cooking classes as much as possible.

Mark: Julie has a knack for picking out ingredients in a dish. If that doesn’t work and there isn’t too much of language barrier sometimes we’ll ask how something was made. People are usually willing to talk food prep and are very detailed in their explanations.

 

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So we wish you a pleasant and interesting journey and we will follow your adventures on your blog. Can you give some advice to our readers, especially to couples, which would like to start traveling?

Julie: For couples, you can only go so many places so each make a list of your ten or twenty places you really want to go and focus on the ones you both want to visit. After that you start trading. “I will go there if you will go here.” Keep an open mind about places you don’t think you want to go….they could end up being your favorite places. Just because you go to a country doesn’t mean you have to go to the most touristy city.

Mark: Debt is evil and should be avoided as much as possible. The faster you pay off your debts the quicker you can save up money to do something like this. Also, based on what I’ve experienced in the last week, have everything ready for the trip at least a week before you leave. You will want to spend as much time as you can with family and friends and splitting time between them and final trip preparations can be very difficult. Get it done early and you’ll enjoy your last week at home a lot more.

 


Bio: Mark and Julie quit their jobs at the end of 2013 and are embarking on a 12 month (hopefully longer) round-the-world backpacking trip. Their blog, The Time to Go Is Now, documents what led up to their decision, what they did to get ready for their trip, reports back from their travels, and any other random thoughts that occur along the way. Follow their journey on Facebook or Twitter.

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3 Responses to Interview with Mark and Julie from “The Time to Go Is Now”

  1. Thank you very much for the interview. It was fun.

  2. Thank you Mark,

    and good luck in your journeys!

  3. Have a great time and enjoy every moment and experience. We’ll miss you. Travel safe.

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