Today in my ongoing series on World Travellers we meet Caroline who runs the excellent website Traveling 9 to 5 dot com! Please note the single ‘l’ in Traveling. The joys of the diversification of the English language…over to Caroline and Josh…
Who are you?
Caroline Eaton, married to the better half of Traveling 9 to 5, Josh Eaton
Where are you from?
I was born in Georgia, spent my younger years on the island of Oahu in Hawaii and most recently in Indiana and Chicago, IL. Josh was born in California but spent the majority of his time in the midwest between Indiana and Chicago, IL.
Where have you been?
We fell in love with travel after spending the summer of 2007 in Europe, traveling from country to country (way too quickly) running with the bulls in Pamplona, whitewater rafting in the Swiss Alps and cheering on the Tour de France.
In 2012 we quit our jobs and decided to spend the year on the road traveling through Southeast Asia, South Africa and South America.
Where are you now?
We are currently housesitting up in the Sierra Nevada mountains in California and using our weekends to check out Sonoma, San Francisco and all the awesome national parks out here!
What are the top 3 places you’ve visited?
Botswana – the landscape is breathtaking. The days are spent high on adrenaline looking for animals around every turn, and the nights are spent sitting by the campfire gazing up at the endless stars in the Botswana sky.
Chiang Mai – I love Thailand. Everything from food, the people, the hiking, the motorbiking – I love it all. I would jump on a plane at any time and return to Thailand.
Galapagos Islands – I highly recommend these islands to everyone. Whether you love adventure travel and prefer snorkeling, diving and hiking – or you prefer cruising around and relaxing while learning about the different ecosystems. The land has been so well preserved it is incredible to see such a beautiful and untouched ecosystem.
What is the best travel experience you’ve had?
We rented a truck and drove ourselves through Botswana and Namibia in Southern Africa on a self-drive safari. We camped for over 3 weeks and drove through the bush completely terrified since we are both from the city and have no idea what to do with wild animals, but also totally exhilarated. It was the biggest adventure we have ever had!
What is the worst travel experience you’ve had?
We’ve gotten lucky with plenty of inconvenient situations, near pick-pocketing experiences, awful overnight buses and a few cases of food poisoning. Maybe it’s the optimist in me, but I think this is what travel is all about and none of these are so bad that we regret the trip or refuse to return to the destination.
What is the funniest travel experience you’ve had?
Most of the moments you probably had to be there to find as funny as we did. The first night of our 2012 RTW trip we flew to Hong Kong (our first night in Asia) and had an apartment rented through Airbnb. It was around 10 PM when we arrived and we couldn’t figure out how to open the gate in front of the dang door. Here we were excited and full of energy to set out on a year of travel and the very first night we were sitting outside the apartment laughing about how long of a year this will be!
We finally got a hold of the owners an hour later and it turns out it wasn’t even locked, there was this tiny button hiding on the bottom of the gate that we had to push to open it. Apparently this is common in Hong Kong apartments so they didn’t even bother to mention it to us!
What is the scariest travel experience you’ve had?
Driving through Africa by ourselves was equally the most amazing experience and most terrifying! There was a moment when we had an ornery bull elephant seriously charge us and we had to reverse 200 meters in deep sand while he chased us. I pictured his huge tusks driving through our windshield, flinging our 4×4 around and throwing us wherever he pleased. OK, so I’m probably being a bit dramatic – but I was scared! Luckily he left us alone but we spent the rest of the trip terrified by elephants!
What 3 tips would you give a new traveller before they set off on their adventure?
1. Travel slow. Spend at least 1 week at each stop. But also be flexible if you don’t like a place – leave. If you fall in love with a destination – add a month to your time there!
2. Bring less than you think you need. We travel with 36L backpacks that fit in the overhead compartment and I don’t even use everything in that bag. Travel simply, you can pick up almost anything you’d need anywhere you are.
3. Stop worrying. People are generally good, and all of the “dangerous” locations you hear about are probably not as dangerous as your hometown back in the U.S. Just because we were more likely to get our bag stolen in Buenos Aires, we were more likely to get shot in Chicago if you look at statistics. Be aware, but don’t let rumors stop you from exploring a destination!
What are your future travel plans?
Our plan is to explore the U.S. and North America this year. We spent January in Hawaii, have been traveling through California and then are jumping between Georgia, Florida, Portland and a quick trip to Toronto this summer. You will hopefully see us in Alaska, NYC, Washington DC and a vacation from all of this traveling in Cabo San Lucas 🙂
Josh and Caroline Eaton are former corporate ladder climbers traveling the world in search of a location independent lifestyle. In 2011 they quit their corporate jobs, sold (almost) all of their belongings and are currently writing and traveling around the world hoping to inspire others to say yes to their own adventure. You can follow them on Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest.
Blog: Traveling 9 to 5
Thanks to Caroline and Josh of Traveling 9 to 5 for being the latest in my series of World Travellers! If you travel the world and run a travel blog or are a travel writer, please get in touch, you can be featured (there’s a HUGE waiting list at present), either e-mail jonny (at) dontstopliving (dot) net or head to my contacts page and get connected! You can also subscribe to Don’t Stop Living by filling in the form below! Safe travels!