This next travel couple first caught our eye a couple of months ago when they appeared on our Instagram timeline. Besides their incredible good looks (yes, they both work as models), they took some time off to chase the adventure of a lifetime. Their amazing content and positive spirit, is something we love to share with you, so we asked them for an interview. This is the Wanderlust of.. Travel Couple SebBatical!
Tell our readers who you are and what do you guys do?
Hi Guys, we’re Sebastien and Marloes, together for 5 years, and currently on a sabbatical year around the world. We have been traveling for 11 months now and are already down to the last one. Furthermore, we are insane coffee lovers! Having coffee together somewhere beautiful is the best moment every day. Luckily, we’re in Australia now; coffee heaven. Oh, and we are incredibly fond of the ocean! We’re both kite-surfers, so that’s no big surprise. During this trip, we came to realise that the ocean makes us feel at home and we like to stay close to it. We are big road trip fanatics!!Our favorite way to explore the world would be by campervan. We’re both very sporty and just love being outdoors.
We’re not typical backpackers; although we travel on a budget, we do like some comfort every now and then.
Where have you been so far, and what has been your favorite destination on this trip?
We started our trip in South East Asia where we traveled for two months. Just before our departure to Asia we were really exhausted. The final weeks felt like madness, filled with work obligations and last minute travel preps. We had been looking forward to our departure for as long as we had been planning the trip (2,5 years), but we just couldn’t get into the travel mode, not when we arrived in Kuala Lumpur and later on the Krabi coast of Thailand. We totally lost our balance there. While we were in need of some peace and quietness we went into tourist mode and rushed our way through the first couple of weeks. Funny how that happens to more people! We spend 6 weeks in Indonesia, visited Lombok and Bali, and finally calmed down a bit. Our favorite spot were definitely the Nusa Islands, next to Bali. Most travellers only spend a day or two here, but we stayed on Nusa Penida for three weeks! People say it is the Bali of 20 years ago. To us it was perfect: little tourists, away from the crowd, unpaved roads, untamed nature, super friendly and welcoming locals, Balinese culture to the max.
After two months in Asia we flew to our second destination: Cape Town – South Africa. Our happy place! We had been longing to go back there ever since we got there for the first time five years ago. Number 1 on our bucket list ever since: living in Cape Town for a while. That’s why we stayed for five months, and combined it with modeling jobs. We fell in love with the place all over again; the people, the nature, the climate, table mountain, the surfer lifestyle, the great kitesurfing wind, the ocean.. the food and wine!! After those months we made a huge life changing decision: we were going to extend our sabbatical year. Marloes quit her job in the Netherlands, meaning that we would both go freelance.
From Capetown we flew to Melbourne, which was the last flight that we pre-booked in our ‘around the world ticket’. We arrived in Australia totally unprepared for the next couple of months, which led to some bumps on the road but also great adventure: the ultimate feeling of freedom. We flew to the South Island of New Zealand a few days later where we did a road trip for two months. Such an amazing country with beautiful nature. Untouched, pure, and very photogenic surroundings. Not much later we flew back to Melbourne, caught a flight to Cairns a week later and picked up our campervan. Now, we’ve been driving down the east coast for a month already. We want to stay longer at every place we pass by, and are already making plans to return to Australia in the future.
Marloes, you recently quit your job completely to continue traveling with Sebastien. What advice do you have for people that aren’t sure about taking the leap and doing the same?
Well, I still have to get used to the ‘recently completely quit your job to continue traveling’, part;) In my opinion, most people make it seem easier then it actually is. It’s nice to meet travelers who made the same choice, because although everybody has different backgrounds, they all have an interesting story to tell. I found out that the difficulty of it depends mostly on your mindset. To give you an example: I’m one of those who can make it very hard on myself. I have a tendency to overthink and see bumps on the road. It led me through lots of bumps and in the end to a state in which I just wasn’t afraid to fail anymore. This made me feel much more at ease. I changed my mindset and started looking for opportunities instead of failures.
I also changed my situation by taking a sabbatical year from work. Although my mind told me that I was far from ready for such a big adventure, I went anyway. That’s when things started coming my way. The successes I experienced during this year were a big motivator to keep going. They gave me courage to quit my job completely. And really guys, new doors will open when you take the leap. Don’t look back, commit to your choice. It probably sounds very cliché but it’s so true: what you believe, you attract. So believe in the road, embrace the uncertainty and trust on the magic of new beginnings. Things will come your way for sure. Oh, and in case you think that I got this all under control now, I have not. Still learning 😉
We need good vibes and natural beauty around us, something we’ve learnt during this year of traveling.
Have you guys always been so adventurous or did you start seeking more adventure when you two got together?
That’s a good one! Marloes; I’ve always had the dream to travel the world, but started working full time instead and never dared to really do it. Sebastien did the opposite, he had been traveling and working as a kitesurf instructor ever since he finished his studies. He even planned to emigrate to Australia before we started dating. After being apart for a few months, he changed his mind and decided to stay in the Netherlands for a little longer. We learnt a lot from each other since then: Sebastien learnt to commit and I learnt to let go. The adventure lust has always been there, we just implemented it differently. When combining it, the outcome is pretty amazing though:) Because besides the big worldtrip adventure that we started planning years ago, we like to put little adventures in every day. We don’t mind driving all the way to the coast for a quick sunset kitesurf session, or to wake up early on a busy day to have coffee together. We make sure to always have something to look forward to! Weekends are for road trips and small getaways, sunny days are for the beach and those moments in between are for coffee and adventure planning.
Start putting money aside, you can fill in all the details later
Something all of us are curious about, how do you guys fund your travels?
We get that question a lot! Well, we definitely don’t travel for free. We’ve been doing a lot of collaborations lately, we take photos and edit videos in return for a complimentary stay or tour. A great way to fund some extras. But regarding our world trip, we saved up money like normal human beings;) We had been planning this trip for 2,5 years before departure. One day we decided to take this dream to the next level and made a plan. We opened a saving account and started putting money aside monthly. The amount was based on how much we could miss and how much we would need for a whole year of traveling. We found tons of information on the web that made those calculations a lot easier. That information let to a to do list that was spread over the next 2,5 years. The list included monthly goals, like narrowing down the bucket list and brainstorming about our jobs and appartement. We also set a date: august 2017. We didn’t really get into details until months before departure. In the meantime we watched our savings grow and bought our around the world ticket. That was just amazing. The account was ‘holy’ to us, so we couldn’t mess with our world trip money even though it would mean that we had to watch our expenses. The best advice we can give to people who would like to do the same: just start!!
Traveling with a partner can be the best thing ever, but we can imagine that there are some off days? How do you cope with that?
It really is the best thing ever!! Looking back at this year, we’ve grown so much!! Individually and as a couple. Off course there are tons of struggles, but those moments are 100 percent worth it because you will come out so much better. When you both are lucky enough to find yourself while traveling, you will find each other after that. And as a bonus, you get to create some incredible memories together, memories that you won’t be able to share with anyone else. Saying all this doesn’t mean that we are perfectly happy all the time. The biggest challenge are indeed those off days, when being exhausted from moving around, feeling sick, dirty or just having an off day for no reason. It takes a lot of energy to like each other all the time, so hating each other is definitely part of the journey;) For us, a lot comes down to communication. No matter where you are in the world or what you’re doing, there is always a way to implement some alone-time in your travel life.
You recently teamed up with Kilroy Travel (that’s how we found you!), are you planning to do more collaborations like that?
We absolutely love to work with Kilroy as they are travel enthusiasts themselves and know what they are talking about. We chose to book our around-the-world-ticket with Kilroy as it perfectly fitted our needs: providing the comfort of planning ahead, leaving enough flexibility for spontaneous adventures. With just a phone call away, they helped us out with some very stressful situations that we got ourselves into. As for the collaboration, we took over their Instagram twice now. We showed their followers what a road trip through New Zealand and Australia can be like. We got lots of interaction and exposure out of it. Last week they arranged a 5 day Fraser Island tour for us. We took pictures, shot a little video and had such a good time. We are doing more collabs lately and are planning to do more in the future. The ultimate dream of course would be to make a living out of photo- and videography. To be able to work from anywhere in the world, with just a laptop, camera and – kitesurf gear. Goals!!
We can tell you are pretty good with a camera and drone equipment, what’s the story there?
Sebastien; photography always had my interest. Once you are hooked you start seeing beautiful shots everywhere. Having a feeling for both sides of the camera helped me a lot during modeling jobs. A few months before departing on our trip, I jumped. I quit my job, sold my old gear and bought some new including a drone. Having a drone with you while traveling really is a big plus! There is a lot to consider though, as you need to check the local rules and regulations everywhere you go. You need full control of the drone, in every situation, so practice is a must! I hope to turn this passion for photo and videography into a paid hobby one day.
And finally, where are you two heading next and what is the plan? (if you have one)
Haha, we are happy to tell you that we have a plan indeed. At least for the next couple of months. We’re flying back home to the Netherlands halfway July, to see our friends and family again and to get our work going as well. Save up, and head back to Cape Town during winter for another modeling season. We would love to start a little business together, so we will be getting more into that while being on the road. After Cape Town.. not sure yet. We stil have a bucket list full of travel adventures and destinations. So, when everything turns out the way we believe it will, we definitely won’t get bored. As we said before, believe in the road.