Welcome! If it’s your first time here, you  might want to sign up for my free monthly newsletter —>  
travel interview- Traveling Canucks

traveling canucks

Nicole and Cam on a heli-tour of the Remarkables Mountain in Queenstown, New Zealand


Cam and Nicole of Traveling Canucks took off on a 1-year round-the-world odyssey in 2009. Now settling back into Canadian life, they continue blogging about the wonderful places, interesting insights and useful travel tips they experienced out about in the world. Today Cam tells us what it was like to quit their lives for a global adventure, shares highlights of their trip, and discusses their current assimilation back into ‘normal’ life in Vancouver…

Q1: How long did you plan and prepare for your 1 year round-the-world trip? 

We spent about 6 months preparing for our 2009 RTW trip. We used this time to save every dollar while reading through guide books and watching travel shows on destinations. This gave us a loose itinerary with specific locations and dates. Other than that, we just arrived in new places with limited knowledge and planning, allowing us to go with the flow and not feel tied to an agenda.

travel interview- Traveling Canucks

traveling canucks

Cam and Nicole hiking the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu, Peru

Q2: In order to take the trip did you have to quit your companies or did they give you a leave of absence? Upon your return did you have to start all over again or could you just slip back into your previous jobs?

We both traded in our great jobs for a backpack and a checklist. It was a bold move. One filled with uncertainty and doubt. We had no idea what our careers and future would look like after leaving for a year, it was scary and overwhelming but also very exciting. Once we committed to the adventure everything began to make sense. When we returned we had to start looking for work again, but it only took a few months to find new jobs. We both found similar jobs in similar industries, so it didn’t take long to get back into the groove.

Q3; How did the people in your lives- friends, family, colleagues and acquaintances- respond to your big plans? Were they supportive, thrilled and encouraging? Worried? Discouraging?

We received mixed reviews when we announced that we would be living out of a backpack for a year. Our well-traveled friends were supportive and encouraging, advising us and offering help with our preparation. Our less-traveled friends thought we were crazy, some even fearful that we were putting our lives in jeopardy. Our parents were worried and nervous but understood that we were fulfilling a lifelong dream, so they eventually warmed up to the idea. In fact, both of our families met up with us in Europe and shared our adventure.

travel interview- Traveling Canucks

traveling canucks

Nicole and Cameron in New Zealand
Q4: I know this is a hard and overdone question but can you tell us 3 of your favorite countries and why you loved them so much?

Although we have differing opinions on what our favourite countries are, we can agree on a top five –, India, Jordan, New Zealand, the Philippines and Peru. We loved India for its rich culture and chaotic atmosphere, Jordan for its warm hospitality, New Zealand for its natural beauty and endless adventure, the Philippines for its spectacular tropical beaches, and Peru for its geographical diversity. 

Q5: Were there any places you disliked or would never return to/ not recommend? If so, where and why?

Every country we’ve visited has something unique to offer, but personal experiences play a big role. There were times when we were sick, times we missed home and times we were just plain tired of traveling. It would be unfair to judge a country because we were having a bad day, but the reality is that sometimes a country gets an unfair shake. For us, Vietnam falls into this category. It’s not that we disliked our time in Vietnam, we just preferred our time in Thailand, Cambodia and the Philippines. Had we visited Vietnam earlier in our trip we probably would have had a different feeling towards it.

travel interview- Traveling Canucks

traveling canucks

On camel at Giza, Egypt

Q6: In the midst of all your amazing and wonderful travel experiences did you have any scary, dodgy or dangerous incidents along the way? If so could you please elaborate on one of them?

The first thing that comes to mind is Banos, Ecuador. We joined a cheap $5 tour that promised us night views of bright lava flowing from the active Tungurahua Volcano. How could we pass on such a unique opportunity? The method of transportation was a beat up wooden bus with uncomfortable seats that resembled a church pew. The dilapidated bus was completely packed, with five rows of five people and a couple kids on the roof. There were no doors, just an opening at the end of each aisle, exposing passengers to impending death. The bus zig-zagged at top speeds on a gravel road, winding around tight corners that had 1,000 meter cliff drops on each side. At times, we had to hang onto the wooden railings just to prevent ourselves from not falling into the dark abyss. It was terrifying. So terrifying that we seriously contemplated walking down from the lookout point, a task that would have taken at least 4 hours in the darkness of night without flashlights, food or water (not a smart idea). We just closed our eyes and hoped for the best!

travel interview- traveling canucks

traveling canucks

at Easter Island

Q7: You visited 38 countries and 6 continents in 1 year’s time. That’s roughly 3 countries/ month or 10 days in each country. Whew! Sounds like a whirlwind tour! Did you feel like you were racing around? Feel like you were continually riding transportation? Or was it a comfortable pace for you?  And how many flights were included?

At times it felt like all we were doing was traveling. The goal for our trip was to see as much as we could in a year. It wasn’t about slow travel with months spent on sandy beaches. It was about seeing the Great Pyramids of Giza, Easter Island, Petra, Machu Picchu, Angkor Wat, the Great Barrier Reef, the Galapagos Islands, Paris, Venice and Greece. We wanted to fulfill our life goals and this required discipline and sacrifice. In total, we took 37 flights (not something we are proud of but it helps you understand how we were able to see so much). Keep in mind, 17 of the countries we visited were in Europe, with as long as two weeks spent in Germany and as short as one night spent in Luxembourg. Looking back at all that we experienced, it’s hard to imagine doing things differently.

travel interview- traveling canucks

traveling canucks

Sailing around Boracay, Philippines
Q8: What are the most important things you’ve learned from your travels? Have those lessons changed the way you live at all?

The most important thing that travel has taught us is to adapt to situations that are out of our control. Our long term travel has taught us to work together, to comprise, to trust complete strangers and to ask questions. It has introduced us to new foods, music, fashion, art and traditions. It has made us more open minded and accepting of things that are different from what we are used to. Most of all, it has taught us that even during the worst traffic jams driving in Canada is very calm and organized when compared to India and Vietnam! 

travel interview- traveling canucks

traveling canucks

Relaxing at a beach lounge at the Red Sea in Dahab, Egyp


Q9: You’ve been back in Vancouver for just over one year. How are you feeling about ‘normal settled’ life? Why do you prefer this to the nomadic lifestyle that some travelers chose?

We are happy to be home in Vancouver. We love the Pacific Northwest and try to get outside and enjoy its beautiful outdoors as much as possible. Everyone has a different idea of what “normal life” is supposed to be like. Spending a year on the road is a big adventure, something most people will never experience in their lifetime. We feel privileged to have been able to see the world together, but there is much more to life than just traveling. We have plans to start a family, which will bring new adventures and wonderful experiences. 
Although the nomadic lifestyle has become a popular trend in this digital era, living out of a backpack indefinitely does not appeal to us. After being on the road for months, travel becomes the new “normal life”. Having an end date was important, allowing us to finish one chapter so that we could start another.

Q10: What are your careers, by the way?

Cameron is the Franchise Development Manager at an industry-leading organization headquartered in Vancouver. Nicole is the development officer for a professional accounting designation in British Columbia.

Q11: Will you do another long-term round the world trip? If so when and where will you go? Will you do it much the same as your 2009 trip or do some things differently?We have no immediate plans to do another long-term trip, though we do plan to do another round the world trip in a few years. Becoming a full time traveler has appeal but, like everything in life, it can get repetitive and become tiresome. We loved our 2009 adventure and have wonderful memories that will last a lifetime, but we would not do a similar trip in the future. It would just be too difficult to beat.

travel interview- traveling canucks

Q12: What kind of travels are you planning for the next few years?

Our travel plans are always changing. We just spent May exploring Central America, visiting Belize, Guatemala and Mexico. Here is a link – http://travelingcanucks.com/2011/04/trip-to-central-america/
We plan to do more travel in North America over the coming years, taking advantage of our amazing surroundings in the Pacific Northwest. We also want to do a road trip from Vancouver to Utah, passing through Arizona, Nevada, Colorado and Montana. The more time we spend overseas, the more we realize how much there is to see in Canada and the US. So much to do, so little time!

Thanks so much for telling us about your great adventures. Sounds like you’re both living exactly the lives you want. Good on ya! cheers, Lash
Follow Traveling Canucks:

Traveling Canucks


Skip to comment form

  1. Cam

    Great questions Lash – it was fun sitting back and reflecting on our life.
    Cam & Nicole

  2. LASH

    Hey Cam and Nicole,

    Glad you enjoyed the Qs! I enjoyed getting to know you better. Thanks for doing the interview.

    cheers, Lash

  3. Leigh

    Good interview. I'm with Cam & Nicole about needing a home base after a certain length of time. I love to travel – but the way I do it changes as I get older. What appealed in my twenties doesn't appeal now. They sure covered a lot of ground!

  4. LASH

    Thanks Leigh.
    Yes, they certainly saw a LOT in one year! Not sure I could've kept up that pace. I've always traveled more slowly, even in my twenties- first trip ever was one week London / one week Paris at 21. I still don't need a home base.. maybe in my 60s?
    Just goes to show there are many fine ways to travel the world! Thanks for stoppping by!
    cheers, Lash

  5. lorna - the roamantics

    these guys are faves of mine and you asked them such great questions lash! really enjoyed learning things i wouldn't have guessed! that's what great interviews are about :)

  6. LASH

    Hi Lorna. Thanks for stopping by! THanks. I'm glad you enjoyed the interview. Yeah, those guys are great. And they certainly had a full year of travel! cheers, lash

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

7 − = four

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>