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 Ana and Xander of the blog Travel the World With Us, two Parisians who left everything behind in 2015, to go discover what the world had to offer, for a year.

Ana and Xander: The Round the World Travelers

This story begins five years ago, in a little Irish pub. Ana and Xander get to know each other around drinks and it doesn’t take them long to fall in love. The new couple soon becomes inseparable and they move in together in the French capital. But after a few years in Paris, Ana and Xander get the irrepressible wish to leave the Seine River behind and to travel to the Southern hemisphere. Once their decision is made, they quit their jobs, got rid of their apartments and celebrated the beginning of a new adventure together. An adventure that will last a whole year…

“My brother had done a Round the World Trip nearly 10 years ago and it had put a small seed in my head, that gently grew until we decided to try this for ourselves” recalls Xander. As for Ana, who had only traveled in Europe and to Morocco before, this trip took things to another level, both for the experience itself and for their relationship: “I would say that travelling together for a year qualifies as an amazing adventure itself!” she says. Her fondest memory of the trip is the time they spent in New Zealand: “I fell in love with the rough and awe inspiring landscapes: we even thought of moving there, that’s the effect that the kiwis had on us.” Xander seems to share Ana’s opinion and adds enthusiastically: “The kiwis made me feel at home in New Zealand but the Aussies also welcomed us with lots of kindness.”

Other highlights of their Round The World Trip include some countries of Asia and South America. “We started our trip in Sri Lanka and then took the slow way and discovered India and Nepal. While in South East Asia, I fell in love with Myanmar. Spending the Buddhist New Year trapped in Bagan (because everything shut down during one week) was amazing! I also couldn’t wait to visit South America, and it did not disappoint me when we got there. I enjoyed discovering crazy ethnic communities (like those living in Amazonia),  history and even language contrasts. South America is amazingly big and the culture is grandiose… And let’s not forget the breath-taking sceneries we discovered in Bolivia, in the Uyuni and Lopez areas” recounts Ana.

But above all, Ana and Xander seem to have enjoyed living this adventure as a duo : “The best part was sharing this amazing adventure with one another. We are definitely more honest with each other now, after all the ups-and-downs we faced during our trip. Even the “worst parts” make for funny memories after a few months on the road: like that dreadful little Tibetan hotel we stayed at in Mysore, which was full of  cockroaches. Or the day we had a bus breakdown in Argentina and waited for five hours just to start our journey. Let’s say we changed a lot our views regarding comfort or what we need in order to be happy and fulfilled.”

When I ask them why they decided to create a blog, Ana answers : “It was mainly to help our friends and families keep track of our trip. But it grew into a more interesting purpose: to inspire people to travel. I really think that our great adventure was a once in a lifetime opportunity to get to know amazing people and show that this world is great.  We’ve seen amazing landscapes, dived, skydived and made countless friends…”

As many people who undertake a Round The World Trip, Ana and Xander have been asked countless times how they could afford such adventure : “Our project was totally self-financed: we put all of our savings into the trip and about one year before leaving we dove into a quite severe “savings” plan. It taught us that we need less things to be truly happy than we might think, and that with a little bit of determination we can realize our dreams.”

The couple’s trip was planned for exactly a year and they’re now slowly settling back in Paris. They are left with dozens of memories, convinced that this trip was the best decision they took in years : “I absolutely loved the local food in India, fell in love with New Zealand and Bolivian landscapes, I also remember Colombians as amazingly welcoming people” says Anna. “I also loved Thailand under water. While diving the Sail Rock spot, I went into an underwater cave and swam with an incredibly large fish bank surrounded by colorful corals and silvery fishes.” Xander adds : “In nature you’re never sure if you’ll get to see wild animals even if you are in the right spot at the right time. But we got really lucky. From jumping whales on our way to a small island in Ecuador, to a Manta Ray “flying” just 50cm above my head while diving at 25 meters dept, we got to enjoy the best of the wild life during our trip.”

The couple keeps talking about the highlights of their journey until the very end of the interview. Such adventure leaves a mark and the memories you make on the road will accompany you for the rest of your life. In 2015, I also did a solo Round The World Trip for a year, so I completly understand how Ana and Xander now feel. If you want to know more about the couple, make sure to check out their blog.

What about you, are you tempted by such adventure? Have you done a RTW trip before? Let us know in the comments below!


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