As you know, we have started introducing you to our favorite traveling couples and decided to make this a series. Next up in our spotlight are Charlie and Luke of the blog “Charlie On Travel”: a couple of long-term travelers, looking for more sustainable ways to explore the world.

Charlie and Luke: The Nature Lovers / House Sitters

« It all started almost immediately after we met » explains Charlie as I ask her about her travel adventures with Luke.  “We knew really early on that we wanted to travel and when we left university, we decided to move to Taiwan where we would spend a year teaching English. We loved living abroad but couldn’t see ourselves settling down in just one place…”

Even before their first teaching experience in Taiwan, Charlie and Luke had already been living on the road for a while. Charlie had previously completed exchange programs in Italy and Hungary and studied in China while at university.  Luke was from a family of experienced travelers and had already set foot in many countries.

If their story is so inspiring to me, it’s partly because these two do not only form a great couple for their common love for travel. They also have the same vision when it comes to what it means and how it should be done. When I ask her to describe their traveling style, Charlie immediately answers: “We’re long-term, slow travelers. We love really getting to know a place, learning about the local culture and getting involved in community projects when we can…”

Being responsible in their travel seems to be a priority for the couple. “Travelling slower means that we fly less often and we tend to travel to neighboring countries by bus and train. It also means we can house sit or rent an apartment, lessening the need for ‘tourist based’ accommodation”, they explain.

But the couple’s ethics go further than just a few traveling habits. When it comes to food, Luke and Charlie have decided that, no matter where they are in the world, they would avoid, at least, fish and meat. Being a big fan of vegan food myself, I can’t help but ask them what they think are the best nations for veggie-lovers. “From our experience so far, Thailand (especially Chiang Mai) and Taiwan have been the most vegan-friendly countries we’ve travelled to, though we had unexpectedly good experiences in Bulgaria and Macedonia this year. We’re really excited to be travelling to Berlin soon as we’ve heard it’s a haven for vegans too.”

Another thing that intrigues me about Luke and Charlie, is that, unlike many other travelers nowadays, they never identify as backpackers but rather as house-sitters. “House sitting means that we have a travel base from which to explore off-the-beaten track neighborhoods and to meet local people” says Charlie enthusiastically.

“Our very first house sit was in a small Costa Rican mountain town overlooking the city of San Jose, where we took care of eleven dogs and a cat! The views from the porch were the best we had ever seen and toucans sometimes flew past the house. We’ve house sat in so many amazing places since then: from a house that the owners built from scratch on Ometepe Island in Nicaragua, to a yellow-painted mansion surrounded by fruit trees in Guatemala…

All of the houses we’ve looked after have been in local neighborhoods and have led to real community experiences for us. Neighbors have given us eggs from their own chickens in Costa Rica, we had Christmas dinner with expats at a coffee plantation in Panama, and we bought falafel to eat with a gardener who had never tried them before. We love discovering local places, getting coconut bread from the bakery on the corner of the street or handmade tortillas from the tortillerias in Central America. Experiences like that are mostly why we do house sitting.”

And when Charlie and Luke want to get a break from it and treat themselves a bit, they still find sustainable ways to travel. “One of the big highlights of our adventures so far, was our stay at this incredible eco-lodge on the edge of the rainforest in Puerto Viejosays Luke. “The lodge’s thoughtful eco-design meant that there was minimal impact on the environment and wildlife surrounding the building. We woke up to the distant sound of howler monkeys, sloths climbed in the trees outside our cabin, kinkajous ran underneath the decking and we could see capuchin monkeys from the shower.”

Listening to their stories makes me want to book immediately a flight to Costa Rica. And if you wonder how Charlie and Luke can afford to do that… We’re originally from the UK, but we work remotely as freelance writers and bloggers which mean that we can be travelling pretty much all the time” explains Charlie. “We’ll be soon heading off on another long trip to Central America, starting in Mexico and travelling through Belize, learning Spanish in Guatemala, and chilling out in Honduras…”

Life seems so nice and easy for Luke and Charlie. Though they’ve already answered tons of my questions, I cannot let them go without asking what their secret is for being so happy. “Find a way to travel that works for you” they answer. “Slow travel and house sitting is what suits us, but other couples will prefer expat life, backpacking around continents, or just taking short breaks. Don’t worry about what anyone else is doing, find what makes sense to you and then just go with it.”

The interview comes to an end with these last words of wisdom. If you, just like me, admire this lifestyle and want to know more about Luke and Charlie’s adventures, make sure to check their Instagram, Facebook, Twitter or Blog.

Are you into sustainable travel? How would you describe your traveling style?

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Couples Who Travel And Blog: Charlie & Luke | Travelettes.net

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This post was written by Elisa Fourt.
Elisa Fourt was part of the Travelettes team from 2015 to 2017.  Elisa usually describes herself as a world citizen. She has lived, studied, worked and travelled in more than 60 countries throughout her life and she loves to share her passion for the world with others. When she is not planning her next trip or writing about the last one, Elisa likes to help people in need and get involved in various not-for-profit projects. She currently works for a NGO in the Middle-East. Follow her on Instagram @lisou.me