Hello and welcome to our travel blog, Tales from the Lens.
First of all, thank you for taking the time to stop by to get to know us and our travel philosophy.
We are Jenny, 30 from France, and Steven, 28 from Ireland. We are what we like to call a “mixed” couple as we both come from different countries and have grown up with different cultures and languages! Faith has however united us in Dublin where we met in July 2014. We passed the fact Jenny doesn’t understand a word of Father Ted (Irish TV show) and that Steven will never get what a “real summer” is.
We hope you will follow us enough to discover that we are a lovely, hairy and energetic couple wanting to share our stories, photographs, videos and tips with you.
A couple of years after we met, as we were sitting on a fountain in Rome during our (yearly) 2 week holidays, drinking a can of beer while the sun burnt our cheeks, we thought the travel life was quite enjoyable and reckoned we couldn’t spend another winter in Dublin.
Less than 6 months later, Steven had quit his online marketing job and Jenny had been offered a sabbatical by her company… With our one-way ticket purchased, we packed our life away (mainly in Steven’s mum’s garage) and filled our backpacks with our 2 cameras, 2 laptops and as little clothes as possible for all the weather we were bound to encounter on the way.
What is our plan ?
After many nights sitting at home in front of our world map drafting routes, we gave up on the idea of a pre-designed world trip and made the choice to go to South America as it was the place which contained the most things on our joint to do list. From that point, we decided we will see what happens, following our instincts and desires.
Since January 2017, we have been traveling as fast and as slow as wanted, on a budget towards the places we both had always wanted to go to. We initially thought we would stay 3 months in South America, but several more months have since past and we are still wandering around the roads of the wonderful countries we are passing through in this part of the world.
Our route can be viewed here.
Yes, we are living the dream…
…but we are trying to be smart about it and travel conscientiously. Our philosophy is quite simple. We follow our heart and talk openly about what we want and don’t want. Before starting a journey we look at all of the different possibilities to reach the place and do the activities, trying to make it cheap, efficient but nonetheless fun and enjoyable for the both of us.
We do not hesitate to hitch-hike, take local buses instead of city to city hop buses, we enjoy couchsurfing, camping or renting cars when needed. We rarely takes tours, as we always try to find a way to do it on our own. When this is not possible or if it requires too much effort (see our article about the “Decision Triangle” – coming soon), we of course join organised activities.
In towns we try to stay in hostels with kitchens, sometimes party hostels as they mostly offer great showers and comfortable beds, but in the country side, we choose hospedajes and hostals which offer affordable double bedrooms or dorms. Our way of traveling through a country allows us to meet locals and other backpackers, walkers, cyclists or short-term vacationers while staying away from massive crowds and tourist traps. Somehow, we often find ourselves being the only “gringos” on the buses or places we visit!
What is our aim ?
Obviously we both have dreams and bucket lists to tick !
We therefore try to get to know the country, the people, culture, and culinary specialities. Jenny is passionate by wildlife photography so we often end up traveling hours to find an animal species she dreams on seeing. Steven, on his side, loves food and coffee. When in town we look for the best street food and speciality coffee shops and buy beans to brew our homemade coffee every single day wherever we are… on the beach, on a boat or hiking through the jungle.
To fill our need of learning new things, but also aiming on making this journey filled with incredible experiences, we also try to volunteer, dragging each other into a new area that at least one of us is interested in: conservation, coffee farming…
Want to see more?
If you wish to be part of our journey across South America (and more…) you can enter your email address on the sidebar, in order to receive an email each time we post an article (at least every Thursday) or stay posted on our social media.
We would love to see you there, feel free to talk with us.
If you want to get in touch with any question, suggestion or collaboration request, please fill the form below, and we will be in touch !