In this travel blogger interview we meet Diane and Adrian of Allabroad. A couple who know how to cross international borders via cable car!
What are your names?
Diane and Adrian – together we make up the travel/blogging duo AllabroadAU. Ade usually takes the photos and I do most of the writing.
Which country do you come from/call home?
I was born in England, Ade was born in Australia. We call Melbourne home. We are very passionate about our home city – Prahran.
Are you a backpacker/long term traveller/business traveller/live and work abroad?
We work full time and travel whenever we can. Our dream is to one day be able travel full time for an extended period. We travel frequently and are lucky that we can often take extra time off for our travels or can sometimes combine travel and work.
What is the first trip you remember taking and how old were you?
Our first big trip together was to the UK and Europe for three months in 2001. On that trip I had to beg Adrian to take out the camera and start taking photos. We started in England and by the time we got to Scotland we were hooked on travel and he was hooked on photography. Now I have to beg him to put the camera away!
Have you been anywhere which turned out to be totally different to how you imagined? If so, how?
We didn’t think we would enjoy Fiji as much as we did. We generally take quite active holidays, but we stayed on a tiny island in Fiji where there was very little to do. In the end we both really enjoyed the opportunity to relax. Our biggest decision most days was whether to swim in the ocean or the pool. We couldn’t do it all the time, but it certainly made us realize the value of taking time out.
Have you had any bad experiences whilst travelling?
We’ve generally been really lucky when travelling, we’ve been victims of the odd scam and got lost in quite a few cities, but they are all just part of the fun of travelling.
Do you have any funny travel stories?
Travel is full of funny stories from the time we ended up drinking with a guy in Zambia who kept mistaking us for the South African Idol and Big Brother winners to dancing with the Africans on the steps of the Sacre Couer in Paris. In India, we were standing with a group of people outside the Taj Mahal, when suddenly a hand holding a mobile phone snuck into the middle of our group and clicked off a couple of photos, the guy at the other end of the arm checked his handy work but wasn’t happy with it so back came the hand. The funny thing is the rest of us completely ignored it and just kept talking like it happened everyday!
Which is the worst place you’ve been to and why?
I’m not sure that I’d say it’s the worst place we’ve been to, as we had a really amazing time, but I was very freaked out when we went to Kashmir. It didn’t help that the guidebook I was reading had just one sentence on Kashmir: ‘If you value your life don’t go.’! We stayed on a houseboat and were the only tourists on the boat, in the middle of the night I heard our guide – and the only other person on the boat – Mohamed get up and leave, then I could hear what I was sure were gunshots all night. I was hiding under the covers and shaking so hard I woke Ade up! In the morning we discovered it was wedding season and what I thought was gunfire was actually fireworks!
What is your most memorable travel experience?
There are so many, but two really stand out. The first was about 10 years ago when we went white water rafting in the Zambezi, in Zambia. I’m pretty nervous around water, so this really took me out of my comfort zone. The first rapids were about a level 6 and then our guide forced us to swim through level two rapids. The second was a lot gentler, unless you’re afraid of heights! We took a series of cablecars from Chamonix in France to La Palud in Italy past Mont Blanc. It was the most amazing entry into a country – swinging through the treetops above the French, Swiss and Italian Alps. There was also the time we were surrounded by lions in the Masai Mara! Ok, that’s now three. It’s hard to pick favourites but I’d highly recommend all three.
Where is your favourite place in the world?
That’s a tough one, I love Lavaux midway between Lausanne and Montreux on Lake Geneva, Switzerland, Saltzburg in Austria and the Lakes District in the UK. Ade would say anywhere in Africa where you can see the wildlife in their natural surrounds – particularly Ngorongoro Crater in Tanzania. But we will always call Prahran, in Melbourne, home!
Where are you traveling to next?
We’re having a short trip with the family to Rosebud on the Mornington Peninsula then I’m off to Uganda to volunteer in a primary school for three weeks. I’m meeting Ade on the way home in Cambodia.
What’s it like traveling as a couple?
We completely swap roles when we travel, at home I’m the motivated one who plans everything and always wants to be out. When we travel Ade plans everything and can’t sit still! We bounce off each other really well. Travel can be stressful, but we tend to keep each other calm. I think when you travel as a couple you have to make more of an effort to interact with people, when you’re on your own people go out of their way to include you in things and help you out. We really make an effort to talk to other people.
What’s the one thing you wouldn’t travel without?
Ade always packs his camera bag first! I always make sure I have a notepad with me – everywhere I go!
Do you have a bucket list? If so what is on it?
Our bucket list seems to grow daily! We really want to go to Estonia and Egypt, South America, Vietnam and Laos. There are still so many places to see – and every time you travel somewhere new, you discover at least five more places to visit!
Can you imagine life without travel?
I can imagine life without travel; it would be dull! Travel opens your eyes to the world around you, I believe it gives you tolerance and empathy for others.
What is the name of your travel blog and the url?
Our website is allabroad.com.au
When did you begin your website Allabroad?
We set up our first travel blog in 2009, we set up allabroad in June this year. We are still transitioning some of our old travel stories across.
Why do you write (for money/connecting with people/therapeutic/fun)?
Even before blogs I’ve always kept a travel diary and Ade has always taken tons of photos (I think his record was 300 before 7am at the Ganges in India!). We produce books from our trips. The blog was another way for us to tell these stories and share our photos. If we can inspire just one person to get out and see the world it will have been worth it!
What makes your site so unique and why should people read it?
Our site is a labour of love, we try to show the reality of travel – how we feel, what we experience and what we’ve seen – the good and the bad. Oh, and the photos are spectacular!
What has been your most successful blog post to date and what was it about?
We wrote a blog about our experiences on safari in Kenya, which the local tour company ran in their newsletter, it generated a lot of traffic to our site.
What is your favourite mode of transport? (plane/train/boat/car)
Train – it gives you the freedom to interact with other travellers while watching the scenery. We love people watching and generally find the people on trains very interesting. It gives us a real chance to interact with the local community. We’ve had some fabulous conversations on trains – often having to overcome language barriers to interact!
Do you have any advice or tips for aspiring travellers?
It’s a cliché, but just go! You’ll never regret taking that first trip.
What has travel taught you?
Patience, compassion and not to believe everything you read about another country!
Quick fire questions:-
Favourite airline? Emirates
Favourite country? Switzerland (Di) Anywhere in Africa (Ade)
Favourite city? Prahran – we would always choose to live here!
Favourite beach? Anywhere on the Mornington Peninsula
Favourite food? Butter chicken
Favourite language? French