This month’s featured travel bloggers are Giselle and Cody, the sweet couple behind Mindful Wanderlust. Slowly ambling vegetarians, this married couple aims to spend about 16 months soaking in as much of the people and places they visit as they can, while sticking to a tight budget, of course (who isn’t these days?) Mindfulness is about staying present, grateful, and aware of how your actions affect others – what better way to explore how your travels change you and your world view than through writing.
Giselle is behind most of the writing and musing on the blog, while Cody posts high quality photos and inspiring videos. If you’re liking their work, support them and Buy them lunch - they will repay you with a photo of the meal complete with a little dedication on their “What We Had for Lunch” page. Many thanks to Giselle and Cody for sharing their story with tripwolf this month.
We will feature posts from Mindful Wanderlust on the tripwolf facebook and twitter pages this month, so keep an eye out!
“We hope to inspire others to do the same and free themselves of the expectations of others.” – Giselle and Cody
Sushi or pork roast? Sushi
Coffee or Red Bull? Coffee
Wine or beer? It’s a tie
Suitcase or backpack? Backpack
Night train or night bus? Night Train
Sleeping bag or bedding? Bedding
Window or aisle? Window
Diarrhea or constipation? Diarrhea
Malarone or malaria? Hmmmm….Neither
Hops or grass? Hops
tw: What would you like most to communicate through your blog, and why share your perspective?
MW: “We are a married couple of 3 years who love to travel and travel well together. Our travel blog started about 1 year ago. Our mentality was, If we were going to travel for over a year, we might as well create a good looking travel blog, with good content, and see where it takes us.
“We want to reach out to people who might want to change things in their lives. Let people know that if they want to change, they really can. Travel is a great way to gain different perspective, learn about yourself, and help others.
“We do our best to live our lives ethically. We do not want to be a part of any suffering, so we always look into eco friendly, responsible travel, and we do not visit Tiger temples, Crocodile shows, and marine parks, nor do we support Elephant riding, painting, or anything that Elephants do not do in their natural environment.
Why is traveling so important to you and how would you define ‘real travel?’
“Every day while travelling we see something new, experience different things, and are in awe of this planet and the kind people and incredible animals.
‘”Real travel” is different to different people. To us it’s about sometimes getting your hands dirty, connecting with the locals, not always having a comfortable bus ride, realizing how extremely lucky we are, being present, and on occasion checking into a luxury hotel to pamper ourselves. Without that balance it’s very easy to take things for granted.
Do you plan to travel indefinitely? Do you work while on the road?
“Well right now our plan is to travel for 16 months. We are about 6 months in.
“We recently volunteered for 7 days at The Elephant Nature Park in Chiang Mai Province, Thailand. We were extremely fortunate to be there when a new born baby arrived at the park a few days before. We were chosen along with a handful of other volunteers to care for the baby in shifts.
“Once we left the park, they posted on their Facebook page that they were in need of a couple of longterm volunteers with previous experience at the park to care for the baby. We were still in Chiang Mai at the time so we sent the founder (Lek) an email as to why we were the ones for the job. A day later we got the amazing news that we were chosen to come back and live in the jungle for 3 months to care for the sweet baby Elephant!!!
Do you have a story to share about plans gone awry?
“We haven’t had anything terrible happen to us. We are pretty easy going and trust that even when something goes wrong it will all work itself out. If you miss a flight, you get on the next one!
Is there anything that you dislike about traveling?
“VIP buses that are most definitely NOT VIP buses.
What was the strangest food you’ve ever eaten, and what was the best?
“We are both vegetarian so we haven’t eaten a lot of strange foods. There is so much good food while traveling country to country. Cody’s favorite food would be Koshari. Koshari is an Egyptian dish of rice, lentils, chickpeas and macaroni topped with tomato sauce and fried onion.
Have you ever found yourself in a situation where you were truly afraid during traveling?
“No, we tend to do a lot of research and not put ourselves in any dangerous situation. We went to Tahrir Square while we were in Egypt but had contacts there letting us know if it was ok to go. When we got there we were surrounded by protesters who wanted to make sure we were safe at all times and educate us on the state of their freedom. It was an incredible experience.
Which three items do you not leave home without?
“Cody never leaves with out his Nikon camera, Macbook pro and GoPro Video camera. Giselle never leaves lip balm, birth control pills and oregano oil behind.
What is your favourite place in your home country or city?
“We both love Toronto. It is the most multi-cultural city in the world. You can find any kind of food, all kinds of festivals and arts and equal rights for all!!
Do you have favourite travel blogs that you read regularly?
Mountains, beach or city? Depends on the day
Couch-surfing or guesthouse? Guesthouse
Cockroaches or rats? Cody doesn’t like either. He gets scared and jumps up on the bed – Giselle has no problem with either one.
Skiing or surfing? Cody says Snowboarding Giselle says Surfing
iPhone or Android? Neither
Travel tool you find most useful: Macbook
Postcard or emails? Both
How do you inform yourself about your next destination, and how do you prepare for the trip?
“We research online, look into local customs and etiquette, make sure we have all the required visas, read other travellers blogs, make a backpacking list, and hope for the best.
Your latest discovery on the Internet?
The best breakfast in the world is…
“Egyptian breakfast at Sheikh Salem Guesthouse in Dahab. Fresh warm pita bread, cucumbers, tomatoes, hummus, falafel, scrambled eggs, french fries and feta cheese…..Wow it was so fresh and delicious, and even more enjoyable eating it by the Red Sea.
What is on your bucket list and where your next trip will take you?
“We’ve been doing pretty good crossing off things on our bucket list. We were just chosen to be full-time caretakers for a baby elephant at Elephant Nature Park. We were so honored when we found out that Lek (The park founder) had picked us to do such an important job. After our time at the park, we will still be travelling to Japan, Mayanmar, Malaysia, Indonesia, maybe the Philippines, and Australia. After all of this, we will most likely head to South America, but not before heading home to see family and friends.
If you could recommend three places our readers must visit in their lifetimes:
“Egypt, Peru, and Elephant Nature Park (Chiang Mai, Thailand)
Anything else you’d like to share?
Start reading Mindful Wanderlust:
Blogger name(s): Giselle and Cody
twitter handle: @mindflwandrlust
Other: Youtube: MindfulWanderlust
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