Two creatives. One wanderlist. Zero reasons to stay at home. See how far we can get, traveling round the world.

That’s what the Instagram profile of Chanel Cartell and Stevo Dirnberger, both former ad executives from South Africa, reads like. And for the better part of six months, they have been enthralling us with their blog, www.howfarfromhome.com, showing off amazing pictures of their travels around the world.

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Their latest blog post though shows us how they and us (the ones who vicariously live through their posts) have been brought to earth with a thudding crack.

This is what the post headline says:

WHY WE QUIT OUR JOBS IN ADVERTISING TO SCRUB TOILETS

This is what it reads:

So far, I think we’ve tallied 135 toilets scrubbed, 250 kilos of cow dung spread, 2 tons of rocks shovelled, 60 metres of pathway laid, 57 beds made, and I cannot even remember how many wine glasses we’ve polished.

You see, to come from the luxuries we left behind in Johannesburg, to the brutal truth of volunteer work, we are now on the opposite end of the scale. We’re toilet cleaners, dog poop scoopers, grocery store merchandisers, and rock shovelers.

And if that wasn’t enough, their health has taken a toll too:

So don’t let the bank of gorgeous photography fool you. Nuh uh. I am not at my fittest, slimmest or physically healthiest. We eat jam on crackers most days, get roughly 5hrs of sleep per night, and lug our extremely heavy bags through cobbled streets at 1am, trying to find our accommodation (because bus fares are not part of the budget, obviously).

This is no way has diminished their love for travel though.

But even though we probably have more greys than when we started, dirt under our nails despite long showers, and cheap snack food as a main form of nutrition, this crazy lifestyle allows us to enjoy the freedom of exploring rich Swedish forests, never-ending Nordic fjords, Italian cobbled alleyways, and cosmopolitan cities. We have time to brainstorm our own ideas, and push our own creative experiments. It’s like heaven for us. 

Read the whole blog post here.

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One thing is for sure. Travelling on a budget is not for the faint-hearted. Unless you have Daddy Dearest sponsoring your ‘need to find myself’, you don’t want to quit your job and travel for a year. Unless of course, you are willing to trade is hit shovelling for those beautiful photographs.

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