An Interview with Anchored Adventure
Updated: Dec 26, 2019
One of the major benefits of using social media when traveling is to connect with like-minded people around the world!
Once we became more active on Instagram and Twitter we quickly discovered the Anchored Adventure blog run by Elizabeth Rivers. Her content is engaging and it was obvious she genuinely loves seeking out new adventures!
Fast forward to 5 months into our year-long trip and we find ourselves routinely “bumping into” Anchored Adventure on all social media platforms. Perhaps it’s fate? ;)
Anchored Adventure quickly agreed to be part of our interview series and for that we are so grateful.
Without further ado, let’s jump right in!
1. Please introduce yourself to those who haven't had the pleasure of coming across your blog.
I’m Elizabeth, the gal behind Anchored Adventure Blog, which shares realistic travel
itineraries, destination guides, budget advice and minimalist tips to help you plan your own travel adventure.
The inspiration for Anchored Adventure Blog came from a three-month backpacking trip to Europe in late 2016. And I am currently on another trip through Europe – this time for a year with my husband, Jeff.
2. What is one piece of advice you would give to someone wanting to travel abroad for a full year?
Make smart financial decisions – not impulse travel decisions. Ensure you are financially capable of traveling full-time for an extended period. That may mean you need to double down and develop a lifestyle of extreme saving for a year or two before your trip (if so, read my tips for saving money and spending less). Nothing good in life comes easy, and most people must make sacrifices.
Speaking from my two long-term trips abroad, the sacrifices are absolutely worth it. So, in a nutshell: Save a lot. Don’t spend what you don’t have. And put away a good chunk of change to come home to! Your future self (and family) will thank you for making wise financial decisions.
3. We understand you backpacked Europe with a friend for 3 months in 2016 and in 2019 you set off on a 365-day adventure with your husband. How is your approach to travel different this time around, if at all?
My travel philosophy for the trips are completely different. In 2016, I wanted to see as much of Europe (and its sights) as possible. We zoomed through western and central Europe staying in each spot for 2 – 5 nights. Since neither of us were employed while on the road, we were able to accomplish a lot of sightseeing in a short amount of time. Oh, and I was 26-years-old – so my energy level (and caffeine intake) was high!
Still, it was a life changing experience that helped me develop positive habits in my lifestyle (and get rid of a few bad ones, too!). If you want to read more about what I learned from this experience, you can read why I chose to backpack Europe on the blog.
On my current year-long adventure in Europe with Jeff, I knew from the beginning that I wanted to “slow travel.” I also knew that I wanted to continue working full-time. The itinerary consist of stays between 10 days to 3 weeks per city, with almost all being at least two weeks. It is important that I get a sense of what it is like to live in each place.
Jeff and I don’t feel the stress of rushing to the must-see sights because we know we have plenty of time to get to it. Better than that, we have enjoyed our lengthy chats in tea shops, grocery shopping at local stores and markets, developing relationships with locals, etc. Some days we are the ultimate tourist (walking tours, museums, historic sites) and some days we work all day from a co-working space or apartment.
Jeff and I also strive to be more responsible travelers. In the past, we have taken fewer trips throughout the year but stay in a destination for longer. That same logic is applied to our year-long trip in Europe. Slow travel means less planes, trains, buses, etc. We try to be as environmentally friendly as reasonably possible.
4. Name three cities on your travel bucket list.
The top three places on my bucket list are spots I hope to work into our itinerary this year:
Chisinau, Moldova, for their annual International Wine Festival.
Ljubljana, Slovenia, for their coffee culture, lively city and natural beauty.
The Faroe Islands for its natural beauty.
5. What is your primary purpose behind your blog?
The mission of Anchored Adventure Blog is to help others plan an adventure of their own – whatever that adventure may look like to them. The blog has a strong focus on Europe (as that’s what I know best), and the goal of each travel guide is to provide travelers with enough information without planning the entire trip for them. I believe that a trip is more rewarding and satisfying after putting a little work in to planning it. I also believe that the real adventure in traveling is finding places you didn’t read about – like wandering into a quaint coffee shop, a beautiful square or funky boutique.
So Anchored Adventure Blog provides enough travel information, a realistic and handy travel itinerary, some travel tips and logistical planning advice to help you get started.
6. Where do you think you got the travel bug from if you could pinpoint a single place/thing/person?
Growing up, my parents took my two siblings and me on many of their work trips. In the fifth grade, the five of us traveled to San Antonio, Texas, for a week-long conference. Since I would be missing a bit of school, my teacher assigned me the task of keeping a journal during my trip. I still have it to this day.
Reading back on the experience, it’s evident that I had the travel bug even as a 10-year-old. We rode horses, visited the Alamo, and I even bought a cowgirl hat as a souvenir. I felt so alive – as evidenced by the “Boy, was today fun!” remarks scattered throughout the pages. I am sure we embarrassed my parents quite a bit (like running through my Dad’s work gala without shoes on!), but I will forever we grateful that they saw the value in introducing us to those experiences.
7. We noticed that, similar to us, you seem to miss family and friends back home a lot. If you could bring them all with you and if money were no object, where would you move permanently?
I’d scoop up my family and relocate to New York City – Upper West Side near Central Park (where Jeff and I were married). The chaos of it all is so energizing to me. Plus, the Big Apple has it all – and it has something for everyone. We are a huge theatre family, so having all the Broadway Shows nearly on our front door step would be a dream.
I am going to cheat and say an international destination as well. If not NYC, it would be the exact opposite of it – the small, charming Italian town of Ravello on the Amalfi Coast where Jeff and I spent our week-long honeymoon. Even though its small, I have no doubt living there would be a dream. Read my guide, what to do in Ravello, for travel inspiration!
8. Traveling full time can be such a foreign concept to people at home. Have you made friends while abroad (either virtually or in-person)?
It’s nice to relate and share stories with like-minded travelers on Twitter – especially the ones who travel extensively or long-term.
Outside of the virtual connections, we meet people in-person in various ways. The first is the most common – through interacting with others on city walking tours, food tours, etc. But we also intentionally reach out to people who we share something in common with (alumni from our universities living abroad, members of international professional associations we are part of, international sorority sisters, etc.). Most of these organizations have member directories or a representative who will email the members in that city on your behalf. A handful of folks have reached out to us eager to show us their city! I like to think of these folks as my “short-term” friends because our time with them is just what we need in the moment – a friend to chat over coffee with or spend a night out over beers.
9. Aside from people, what do you miss most about the US?
Apart from family, friends and my puppies back home, I must admit that I miss central heating. Most of the apartments we are staying in this winter are older buildings with wall heaters and poor insulation. It’s difficult to control the temperature. Bless my husband, Jeff, who puts up with me saying “It’s freezing in here,” and then “I can’t sleep it’s too hot” within an hour of each other. It’s all part of the fun in travel, though! And it certainly makes one even more thankful upon returning home.
10. How many pieces of luggage did you bring on your 365-day trip?
Between the two of us, everything is packed into four bags:
One medium-sized rolling luggage
One medium-sized luggage backpack
Two personal computer backpacks.
11. We noticed you're interested in minimalism. Would you say it has helped enable your full-time travel? And if so, how?
After my backpacking trip in 2016, I realized how easy it is to live with very little. Since then, I’ve embraced the “simple living” philosophy of minimalism. This certainly helps when traveling full-time as I don’t need a ton of clothes, accessories, hair products, etc. Instead, I try to maximize the few items that I do own. I must confess – I am not cheap or frugal. I am all for buying things when I need them – but I want them to be of high quality, multi-purpose and needed. And I don’t need a lot of it.
12. How confident are you that you will return to the same profession or industry when you return home? Or is there another career in your sights?
There is no doubt I will continue in my profession. I work at a financial planning firm, and I wholeheartedly believe in the opportunities and peace-of-mind that comes from financial responsibility and financial security. I foresee opportunities for additional streams of income for a few of my other passions and interests, but my current work in financial planning will always be my focus. After all, it’s what has allowed us to accomplish our biggest goal yet – to travel full-time before retirement. And my work gives me a platform to help others discover and live their life goals and dreams – like it has for mine!
We’d like to thank Elizabeth from Anchored Adventure for being willing to share her story and how she has been able to travel full-time! We love that she now shares her travels with her husband, Jeff, and that they have agreed upon which travel style suits them best.
For more information, you can find all of Anchored Adventure’s info below:
Blog Owner: Elizabeth Rivers
Website URL: https://anchoredadventureblog.com/
Facebook: Anchored Adventure Blog (https://www.facebook.com/AnchoredAdventureBlog/)
Instagram: @AnchoredAdventureBlog (https://www.instagram.com/anchoredadventureblog/)
Twitter: @TheAnchoredBlog (https://twitter.com/theanchoredblog)
Pinterest: Anchored Adventure Blog (https://www.pinterest.com/theanchoredblog/)
Eddie & Megan
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