How to combine work with travel? Karolina and Patryk’s story

We perpetually get a lot of questions about how to combine work and travel, or how to fund travel while traveling.  There are many different ways of funding your travels, so when we have the opportunity to highlight how someone else does it, we’re all too happy to oblige.  Here’s Karolina and Patryk’s story in their own words. – Jillian

We are Karolina and Patryk, young couple from Poland. We met only 3 years ago and we totally felt in love with each other!

We were normal students, planning to have descent job in the future. Both of us were a little crazy and adventurous but we never have enough courage to fulfill our dreams. Until we met…

Only after half a year, we decided to quit our colleges, start a company and explore the world!

We’ve always dream about travelling but there was one problem- money.

picture of us in the plane to Asia 250x166 How to combine work with travel? Karolina and Patryk’s story
Karolina and Patryk on the plane to Asia.

We knew that the only thing we can do is making business online. The biggest profit can be made from selling. So we needed to find good product and customer who will buy from us.  It was really difficult at the beginning. We didn’t have money, we just had dreams. We worked very hard to make our e-shop and attract customers.

But we did it!

Right now our store is profitable and we only need few hours a day to work. The rest of our time we spend on having fun, travelling and writing our blog.

Our first big trip was to Asia: Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam. It’s almost impossible to describe how excited we were when we get to the plane to Bangkok! We felt that after a year of hardworking, we finally have our reward.

Of course, our company was profitable until few month but we spend it on travelling in Europe. Asia was a continent that we’ve always dreamt about. And we’ve managed to buy cheap plane tickets so… Everything was perfect!

And it’s really perfect until now! We are young, happy and full of dreams. We will never forget the day when we decided to do something with our lives.

We were scared the hell out of these changes but we knew that as long as we are together, everything will be just fine.This year, we’ve been in Asia and North America. In one month we are going to Middle America exploring Caribbean. In 2015 we want to move to China to learn Chinese.

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Karolina and Patryk on the best day of their travels so far.

The more we see, the bigger our hunger for travelling is. It’s magic but beautiful!

We want to encourage every single one of you to fulfill your dreams. It’s really worth it! You have one life and you need to enjoy it. Live it fully. When you will be old you shouldn’t regret anything that you could have done and you were not brave enough to do it.

It doesn’t matter what your dreams are- it may be scuba diving with sharks in Egypt, cooking with Mexicans or play with tigers in Thailand. Just do it! Think about your dream life and do everything to have it.

Budget-Friendly Ways for Families to Travel Europe

If you have big travel dreams with a pocket size bank account, you may think that Europe is out of your reach. Fortunately, you and your family can take in the sights and sounds of traveling abroad without spending a great deal of money.

Frequent Flyer Miles: Planning a European vacation with your family can seem like an unrealistic adventure, especially if you’re drowning in a sea of expenses. However, switching to a credit card such as United Airlines MileagePlus that offers frequent flyer miles for your chargeable living expenses can help your travel dreams become a reality explains an expert at If you plan your trip ahead of time, you can save substantially and have enough miles for the entire family to get overseas and back. You can also check family-friendly travel sites for competitive pricing on flights. International airlines also offer discounts for children between the ages of two and 11, so you shouldn’t be afraid to ask.

Europe Skyline 250x173 Budget Friendly Ways for Families to Travel Europe
Flexible Schedule: Popular times of the year can be more expensive than others. If you have a flexible schedule, you can save a substantial amount of money during the off season. While you may not want to travel during the winter months, you could still enjoy the attractions of Europe and take in some amazing weather before and after the peak months.

Lodging: After the flight, one of the costliest parts of a trip abroad is the lodging and accommodations for your family. The big hotel chains can be significantly higher than a bed-and-breakfast or home of your own. If you’re looking to lower your costs when making your way through Europe, you can take advantage of the many budget-friendly hotels. Here you can find clean, simple and no-frill accommodations in some of the most popular destinations. For travelers looking to experience what life is really like in Europe, you can choose to stay in a B&B. Many of the places in Europe offer family-friendly rates, especially if you stay for more than one night. Since your breakfast typically comes with an overnight stay, you can save on family meals. For European vacations that are scheduled for longer than a week, you may be able to save even more money by renting an apartment or home of your own for the duration of your trip. In addition to saving money by being able to cook your own meals, your children will get to enjoy a larger setting where they can run and play. Farm stays are another inexpensive and popular way to enjoy Europe. For approximately $100 per night, you can make your home at a working horse ranch or farm. European House 250x180 Budget Friendly Ways for Families to Travel Europe

Transportation: Getting around Europe can be another costly way to take in the rich history of the city you’re visiting. While a train and bus can be a convenient way to get cross country, you may find a car rental to be a more economical way to go. With insurance, gas, and the cost of the rental vehicle, you can set your own pace and travel at your leisure. You’ll find a number of American sites where you can compare prices and take advantage of discounts.

Family Discounts: Between museums, art exhibits and famous attractions, you can spend an exorbitant amount of money while traveling abroad. Fortunately, many of the most popular European exhibits and museums offer family discounts. Before you set out for you daily excursion, you can check with your hotel or local travel bureau for deals and concessions. If you can’t find any discounts listed, you can always ask if they offer any deals for families. In Paris, you’ll find most of the monuments and museums are free to individuals under 18. You can also experience the many free exhibits offered throughout Europe. From festivals and vendors to street performers and free concerts, you can soak in the cultures of the region without spending money.

Meals: No matter where you travel with your family, you’ll want to budget enough money for food and meals. The local markets are great for stocking up on fresh foods such as fruit, vegetables and meats. This is especially helpful if you have a place where you can prepare and store your own groceries. Lunch menus are also always cheaper than the dinner time meals. If you have a large family to feed, you can make your mid-day meal the primary one. You also get bigger portions than those served at dinner. Street food vendors are typically plentiful when traveling abroad. You can make your own picnic out of the foods the vendors sell such as sandwiches, breads, lunch meats, gelato and pizza.

Staples from Home: Your children may have their own favorite foods and snacks that they want to bring from home. Breakfast bars, coffee, oatmeal and fruit snacks can be safely stored in your luggage and enjoyed throughout the duration of your trip.


Photo Credit: Shutterstock

The language of travel

Are you a code talker?  A few weeks ago I caught the end of a great discussion on NPR about code switching.  Code switching in linguistics is the use of two or more languages or dialects in the context of one conversation.  As humans, we do it all the time.  We may use a slang word picked up from somewhere else in a new context with a friend, or create an entirely new set of definitions for common words or phrases.

Aloha The language of travel

I sat down the other day to write an email to a friend who is just about to have a baby.  In my email I detailed the “code” words new mom’s use to describe baby behaviors.  Such as, “Does your baby transfer?”  In mommy language this means can you take your napping kid out of the car and “transfer” them into the crib while keeping them asleep.  (As if that happens a lot in my world.)

Anyway this got me thinking about how travelers use language.  Seemingly travelers are always code switching.  Even if you speak the language, let’s say Spanish, you are constantly using, inserting and learning new definitions to common words as you cross political or even physical land boarders.   Living in South Florida, I hear many different dialects of Spanish throughout the day and more often than not I can get information about the speaker just by the words they use.  Because we never heard THAT word used THAT way in Peru, only in Central America or vice versa.  Although it’s been several years since I’ve been in a Commonwealth country, I still find myself using terms like “brilliant” to describe something that I think is pretty interesting or unique, or “university” to describe the education I received as an undergraduate.  These are simply not American terms, and yet I use them regularly and they identify me as someone who has perhaps explored the boundaries of the world in more than one way.

Code switching is perhaps the most fundamental example of the power of travel.  Language allows us to communicate with each other, to explore our own world and that of someone else.  There’s a reason why Inuit languages have dozens of words for snow while indigenous languages spoken near the equator have dozens of words for heat or the sun- because language tells our secrets and tells others all about us.

How do you speak the language of travel? Are you a code switcher? Do you bring new codes back as souvenirs on your travels?

And oh yea, if you figure out how to transfer a baby let me know.  I’d like to learn how to do it myself.

Rail Tours: Destination Checklist

If you thought rail travel was only about commuting to work or visiting family, think again. From desert odysseys to mountain adventures, city breaks to luxury safaris, railways holidays come in all different sorts of shapes and sizes.

Here’s a quick guide to just some of the many different kinds of trip on offer.

Short breaks

If you’ve only got a few days to spare or want to make the most of your weekends, a short UK railway break could be just what you’re looking for. Hop on a train in London or closer to home and be whisked to the Highlands of Scotland, the wilds of Wales or the beauty of Cornwall. Your travel and accommodation will all be arranged for you, so all you have to do is sit back and enjoy the view!

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Train station in Berlin

Historic journeys

If you have a love of trains and a love of history, taking a trip on a classic steam train through timeless countryside could well be your ideal summer break. All around the UK, steam trains carry enthusiasts to some of the most beautiful parts of the country, but if you’ve got more time then you could even visit Belgium, Austria or Germany by rail.

For anyone interested in the battles of World War One, a train journey to the sights and monuments of the conflict would be a weekend to remember. Your guides will talk you through the momentous events that took place in these now peaceful towns and villages and give you a real insight into what life was like back in the early 1900s.

Exotic excursions

Those who want to travel even further afield may think rail journeys are out of the question – but they’d be wrong! Go on safari in South Africa, visit the temples of Sri Lanka or walk round the imperial cities of China with sensational rail journeys throughout these countries.

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Tracks to adventures and travels still unknown!

Long haul breaks can last anywhere from one week to three weeks, but you can also arrange a custom-made trip and experience everything that your chosen destination has to offer at your own place.

If you’ve got a list of places that you want to visit, a rail tour is almost guaranteed to take you there. As train holidays let you travel around and experience cities, towns and villages at a more relaxed pace, you’ll come back with a deeper understanding and appreciation of what your destination has to offer.

With Elephants It’s Complicated – Win a Trip to Thailand

Riding on an elephant sounds a bit exotic doesn’t it?  I certainly think so. Immediately I visualize riding atop a majestic animal decked out in Southeast Asian silks and gems like some ancient Maharajah’s wife.  Ok, that’s a bit far, but you get my drift.  The thing is I’ve had the chance to ride atop and elephant, and not just at the zoo, and I passed.  That’s right, I gave up my opportunity to – for at least a moment – sit atop one of these beautiful animals and imagine myself as some exotic Asian ruler. Why?


elephantsdrinking With Elephants Its Complicated   Win a Trip to Thailand

Because I couldn’t guarantee their safety.  Yes, their safety.

The thing is, I wasn’t scared about falling off or hurting myself, I was afraid of being a part of the big tourist machine throughout Southeast Asia, the one that practices animal cruelty in the name of tourism and conservation.  You see, elephants are BIG business in Southeast Asia.  You can hardly get through a major city in Thailand, Laos or Cambodia without someone offering you an elephant riding tour or an elephant painting tour.  And some of these tours even  claim to be to conservation centers.  To me, there is nothing about conservation that puts an elephant on display like a circus animal performing tricks, and carrying humans around all day for their entertainment and enjoyment.  And so, offer after offer I passed on my dream.  And the more I heard about the way these animals are treated in the name of tourism, the better I felt about my decision.


elephantbutts With Elephants Its Complicated   Win a Trip to Thailand

Cruelty in the Name of TourismSave the elephant foundation With Elephants Its Complicated   Win a Trip to Thailand

As we traveled around the world we saw animals of varying species being used for transportation, work and entertainment.  Like the animals in a circus, we saw animals performing tricks in city squares, monkey’s chained to an owner performing for coins, larger animals hired out for transportation and in the case of Southeast Asia elephants being used for entertainment.  In some cases these were wild animals domesticated for human use, in others they were animals born and bread in captivity.  Sure, many of them were well fed, and in many cases beloved and well treated by their owners.  However, we had heard too many first -hand stories about what happens to the elephants in Southeast Asia to be willing to take a tour.   In fact, things are so out of control that elephant orphanages, rescue centers and homes for abused elephants exist in Thailand.

So what can we do?

Thankfully there are responsible organizations out there that protect these animals from abuse.  One of those organizations, Save the Elephants Foundation operates in Chang Mai, Thailand.  The provide safety, love and rehabilitation for elephants and open their doors to responsible tourists who want to learn about these majestic creatures without participating in tourism cruelty.  Although I never took a chance at riding an elephant, I do wish I had the opportunity to visit this organization and meet the elephants they’ve saved.

elephantlove With Elephants Its Complicated   Win a Trip to Thailand

Win a Trip to Thailand

The good news is – you can!  We’re working with a group of travel bloggers to raise awareness about the Foundation and collect donations to support their efforts!  100% of the proceeds go to supporting the foundation. And here is the best part, every donation enters you to win a TRIP TO THAILAND worth $3300.  Thanks to the support of companies like Flight Network, who is donating a $2000 flight voucher, and Where Sidewalks End, who is donating a Thailand tour for two people, you will be able to support responsible tourism in Thailand including elephants.  If you win, don’t forget to send us a picture of you with the elephants your donation supports!

Win a trip With Elephants Its Complicated   Win a Trip to Thailand*A donation entitles you to raffle tickets that will be used to raffle off a trip to Thailand.  Full details are available at: