This is an interview with Christy, one half of the amazing duo behind one of the world’s most popular travel and photography blogs, Ordinary Traveler. In between photo shoots and designing bikinis, I was able to force Christy to give up some of her valuable time, and this is what she had to say about it.
For those readers out there who aren’t already familiar with you, please introduce yourselves!
We are Christy and Scott, the blogging duo behind the adventure travel blog, Ordinary Traveler and have been traveling with world together since 2006. We started Ordinary Traveler in 2010 because we noticed there were all kinds of travel blogs dedicated to quitting your job to travel the world, but not many personal blogs that catered toward the average traveler who is not willing to give up their career. In a sense, we are torn between two separate worlds, but we are learning how to juggle our happy life in coastal San Diego of friends, family, surfing and building multiple businesses with our extreme wanderlust.
Why did you decide to get started?
Our initial reason for starting a website was to showcase our photography portfolio to potential clients. We are professional photographers, so putting up an online portfolio became a necessity. That morphed into a travel blog to share with our family and friends when we took off to Southeast Asia for two months in early 2010. It has turned out to be great for my memory of our travels. I used to forget all the little things, but it’s harder to forget the details now that I write about them right after each trip. If I do, I can always go back and read about it!
What was it about Southeast Asia? Any moment where you were just like, “Ah ha!”?
Actually, We did meet a couple in Laos who had been traveling for 9 months and they were sharing their adventures and photos with family and friends through their blog. After seeing their blog, I think I told Scott it was time for us to stop being lazy and just do it. We started a crappy blog and hosted it through Travellerspoint at first because it ended up taking Scott about 4-6 months to build our actual site. He’s an IT guy, but he had never built a site from scratch. It was a learning process and took longer than most blogs to make, but he refused to use WordPress which made the learning curve a lot higher.
Who prompted the decision?
That two month trip to Southeast Asia in early 2010 gave us the push to finally make it happen instead of just talking about it.
So how long have you two been on the road, then?
We have been on the road our whole lives, but probably not the way you are asking. We both moved to San Diego about 8 years ago and started traveling together in 2006. We usually take 1 to 2 trips a month from our home base. The rest of this year is going to be our busiest for travel. We can’t share the details of all of the places we will be visiting, but Aruba, St. Martin, and Maui are confirmed. The other trips will include islands and beautiful beaches as well!
What’s the best place for a sexy date?
One of our all time favorite sexy dates is to grab a blanket, a bottle of wine and some snacks and head down to the beach at night when nobody is around. We often have the whole place to ourselves and this is even better during a full moon. If the weather isn’t too cold, it’s the perfect place for skinny dipping together. Our favorite place to do this is near our home in San Diego, but our ideal spot for a date like this would be on a tropical island.
Any places that have completely deflated the romance? Areas that have brought out the worst in either of you?
Our fights usually stem from lack of sleep, which is not always easy to come by the way we travel. We usually try to pack in as much adventure as possible on each trip, which leads to overnight buses, trains, flights… you get the point. Luckily, we are getting better at noticing when we are just tired or hungry and we try not to take it out on each other. That being said, I think we fight much less when we are traveling than when we are home dealing with day to day stresses.
Haha, would that be the stress of not adventuring?
Well, sort of. We try to make our home life an adventure too, but it’s a lot more fun when you don’t have dishes, laundry, cleaning and all that other stuff to worry about while traveling.
For a couple who claim to be “Ordinary,” you seem so adventurous in your photos – aside from the fact that you are travelling perpetually. Is that something you bring out in each other?
Well, Scott would say I bring out his adventurous side and he grounds me. Although, he definitely pushes me to surf in new spots that I’m a little nervous to try and he doesn’t feel complete unless he explores every inch of a place we are visiting. Sometimes I just want to be lazy and sit at a cafe, so he can be a good motivator when I’m in those moods.
All of our trips involve a water sport, hiking or walking long distances. We rarely take cabs. I think you can learn more about a place by walking. We find those little nooks and crannies that are not possible with a car.
How about detriments to traveling together – are there any?
If you are traveling with someone who doesn’t like to do the same things as you, then that could definitely be tough. Luckily, we enjoy a lot of the same activities and ways of exploring, so it works really well for us to travel together.
Have you met other couples on the road who weren’t into the same things?
Not on the road, but I do know couples who don’t enjoy the same hobbies or activities and one of them is always giving up something when they take a trip.
So where exactly are you sleeping at night? How are you financing your operations?
When we are not in San Diego, we like to camp as much as possible on our trips. If camping is not an option, then you can either find us in a private room in a hostel, renting an apartment and living like a local or sometimes staying in 5 star hotels. We like to mix it up.
Scott still works a full-time job while he pays off loans from helicopter school. I work a few hours a week as a bookkeeper and supplement my income with photography jobs and our travel blog. I get bored easily, so doing 5 things at once has always been my forte.
Hold on! If you’re going to pitch your site, you’ve got to slow down. Helicopter school? Bookkeeper? Please tell me that you both have somehow managed to incorporate these skills into your travelling life.
Haha. Scott hasn’t been in helicopter school for about 5 or 6 years, but it was an expensive endeavor. Bookkeeping has actually helped with all of our businesses. We don’t have to pay anybody to do our books!
You obviously have a jack-and-jill-of-all-trades quality that runs between you two. What about couples who are less digital traffically-intelligent? Who aren’t good at photography? Is it hopeless for them to do what you’re doing?
I don’t think so. Where there is a will, there is a way. If you are motivated to learn and passionate, I think that is the most important thing about starting a blog. You can learn the rest as you go.