Audrey Scott and Daniel Noll of UncorneredMarket.com have been on the road for more than 1510 days, have taken more than 41,966,479 footsteps and have visited 65 countries. Life, to them, is about experience and there is no cornered market on experiencing life. Audrey shared with us how they’ve been managing their journey.
Jazz Hostels: At the time of this interview, you have been on the road for 1510 days. When you set out of this journey, did you plan to on the road for so long?
Uncornered Market: No, not at all. We figured we could travel around the world in 12-18 months and had saved some money to do so. Once we got on the road, two things happened – 1) we realized how exploration takes time and we wanted to go slow and 2) we picked up some freelance work that allowed us to extend the life of the journey.
Jazz Hostels: How far in advance do you make plans for your next destination?
Uncornered Market: If we’re already in a region (i.e., we can travel by land), we’ll make plans on the fly. If we’re hopping around from region to region (i.e., flights are involved), we’ll usually plan about 4-8 weeks in advance.
Jazz Hostels: How much advance planning do you do before you reach your next destination? For example, do you set up accommodations before you arrive somewhere or do you land in a new place and play it by ear?
Uncornered Market: If we’re arriving in a big city in the evening, we’ll usually book a night or two of accommodation in advance so that we know where we’re going. Otherwise, if we’re arriving in a smaller location early in the day we’ll spend some time walking around to get a feel for the place and where we want to stay. The exception is holidays and high season – then it’s wise to call ahead and book.We usually pick up a local SIM card everywhere we go so we can call to hotels if we need to.
Jazz Hostels: Planning a trip to a new country is exciting but can become overwhelming. In all your experience, what have you found help to make the planning stage easier?
Uncornered Market: Try not to plan too much before you leave. Even with all the information available in guidebooks, blogs, internet resources, etc., the best information is usually what you find out locally.
Jazz Hostels: As you write about in your article The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Travelers, rewarding as travel is, it can often be hard work. Do you have a home base anywhere in the world to rest up from your travels or do you just take time out where ever you are when you need it?
Uncornered Market: We gave up our apartment in Prague (where we lived for 5 years before this journey), so we don’t have a place of our own anywhere in the world. We still return to Prague every couple of years to visit friends and recharge batteries. However, we’re starting to take more time out on the road to be still and catch up on work. For example, we rented flats in Buenos Aires and Berlin last year for a couple of months. Currently, we’re renting a house on Koh Samui island in Thailand for a month.
Jazz Hostels: What advice do you have for anyone who is dreaming of or planning a multi-year world travel adventure?
Uncornered Market: Don’t wear yourself out by constant movement and trying to do it all. You’ll burn out quickly if you do. Take your time. Also, get used to talking with strangers, asking lots of questions and laughing at yourself. A sense of humor helps during tough times.
Jazz Hostels: You’ve traveled most of the world. Is it your goal to visit every corner of the globe or do you only travel to places you’re really interested in visiting?
Uncornered Market: We still have quite a few areas still to visit (Africa, Australia/New Zealand, Pacific, Middle East). We don’t have the goal to visit every single country, but instead we focus on places that we have an interest in visiting and feel that we’ll learn something from the place and its people. We find that some of the places that interest us the most are the least interesting to others (e.g., Tajikistan, Paraguay, Bangladesh, Georgia, etc.).
Jazz Hostels: Why did you choose the name Uncornered Market for your website?
Uncornered Market: We came up with the concept and name before we even decided to launch a website. There is no “cornered market” on experiences, travel or how to live; instead our goal is to share and promote exchange of ideas and discussion. Not to mention, we love markets – in many countries, markets are where news and information is exchanged between people from all walks of life.
Jazz Hostels: Thank you, Audrey. Good luck to you and Scott in your future travels![guestinterviewfooter interviewee=”Audrey Scott”]In December 2006, Daniel Noll and Audrey Scott quit their jobs to follow their dreams. They sold everything and hit the road with backpacks. More than 65 countries and four years later, they are still going…and still married. Their website, Uncornered Market, guarantees to inspire, to make you laugh, to make you cry, and to help us all realize that the world is small and big and beautiful — and that we are all human.[/guestinterviewfooter]