“There’s nothing quite like swapping advertising budgets for toilet scrubbing to teach you about humility, life, and the importance of living each day as if it were your last.”
Dropping everything to travel the world may sound like a far-off dream to some, but not for Stevo Dirnberger and Chanel Cartell.
The couple run the blog How Far From Home, where they hold up signs that read how far they are in kilometers from their home in Cape Town, South Africa. They quit their jobs in advertising to travel for a year — and now they are beginning to understand what a serious commitment it really is.
It’s not all sunny fjords and picturesque Greek beaches, and it’s far from a relaxing vacation. To survive during their travels, they have taken on menial jobs such as scrubbing toilets, cleaning glasses, and chopping wood to make their dream a reality.
”So far, I think we’ve tallied 135 toilets scrubbed, 250 kilos of cow dung spread, two tons of rocks shoveled, 60 meters of pathway laid, 57 beds made, and I cannot even remember how many wine glasses we’ve polished,” Chanel wrote.
They receive these jobs through a program called Workaway, in which travelers can work in exchange for food.
It seems wherever they go, manual labor follows them. But all this physical work doesn’t mean they’re in great shape or eating fresh vegetables.
“I am not at my fittest, slimmest, or physically healthiest. We eat jam on crackers most days, get roughly five hours of sleep per night, and lug our extremely heavy bags through cobbled streets at 1 a.m., trying to find our accommodation,” Chanel wrote, noting that bus travel was not a part of the couple’s extremely tight budget.
On the plus side, working for food means they can set their own schedule. The two take a positive approach to having copious amounts of free time to do everything they want in these exotic locales, as well as take time to work on their own creative projects while keeping up with the blog and its associated social-media accounts.
“There’s nothing quite like swapping million rand [the currency of South Africa] advertising budgets for toilet scrubbing to teach you about humility, life, and the importance of living each day as if it were your last,” Chanel wrote.
Meet Chanel Cartell
An Award-winning ex-Creative-Director who gave it all up to listen to a gut feeling and head off on a creative journey around the world, Chanel lives by the motto “collect memories, not things”. Since departing on March 2nd 2015, Chanel has traveled to over 49 cities in 15 countries, embracing her passions of storytelling, photography, videography and writing. Chanel is a recently-turned vegan, who is on a mission to save the environment in any way she can. Together with Stevo, Chanel is a 2016 Design Indaba delegate, regularly blogs for Huffington Post, encourages travel teleportation as a Facet50 member, and is an enthusiastic teacher on the Skillshare online learning platform. She dreams of spotting arctic fox cubs in the wild, and one day owning her own bakery.
Meet Stevo Dirnberger
Stevo is an “Ex-Agency-Creative” who won some stuff, and now wants nothing to do with stuff. He’s obsessed with foreign explorations, especially ones that push him and his camera beyond their safe place. Together with Chanel, Stevo is a 2016 Design Indaba delegate, regularly blogs for Huffington Post, encourages travel teleportation as a Facet50 member, and is an enthusiastic teacher on the Skillshare online learning platform. He aims to get as far away from big city life as possible, to spend his days fishing for salmon in Alaska, and dreams of creating something extraordinary that will change the world for the better.