Blog Count : (12) Meet Two Monkeys Travel
You can decide to quit your job and just travel. Seriously? Well, the monkeys did it—that’s our Pinay, Kach Mu, and her sweetheart, Jonathan Howe. They call themselves “The Little Brown Monkey” and “The Old White Monkey,” the latter was born in England but spent much of his childhood in Kenya and Malawi.
Mu was born in the Philippines. The girl is smart, recognized in the country as Iskolar ng Bayan. She eventually moved to Kuwait and Kurdistan, Iraq, for work till she decided that life was boring. So, she quit. She yearned for a life of travel and adventure. She followed her heart, and along the way found places she thought only existed in her dreams: beautiful beaches, dancing under the stars, beckoning mountains, five-star hotels, hostels, new friends and odd jobs—well, she has to make a living.
Her adventures are recorded in her blog and her active social media pages. Talk about making a living, aside from being a certified Tantra Yoga Teacher and Ayuverda Massage Therapist, she is a travel and life coach, a writer and an entrepreneur. Kach Mu will start writing for Pinay.com this month. She’s fabulous! We just can’t get this “monkey” off our backs. Here’s our conversation:
Where in the world are you right now?
We’ve just started our South American adventure. We’ve just arrived in San Pedro de Atacama, in Chile. Tomorrow, (New Year’s Day) we’re catching a bus to Santiago before heading to Patagonia.
What’s with the two monkeys?
I started traveling in May 2013 after quitting from my four-year Middle Eastern corporate lifestyle—I was 24 years old then. During my first few days backpacking in Laos, I met Jonathan (he was 28 by that time) who had also just quit from his architectural job in the UK to backpack in South East Asia.
Where are you based?
We’ve been based in Peru for the last six months, traveling and working at the same time. We teach English and Yoga, do Ayurveda Massage Therapy and are now putting more effort into the Two Monkeys Travel blog.
What is it you blog about?
We started the website last May 2014 while we were on a three-month backpacking trip in India, but we officially launched it in October 2014 after Rappler featured us on their site. Our blog was initially all about my travels as a solo female backpacker and Jon would sometimes do guest posting but since people like his writing, he decided to write more about our adventures and lifestyle as long-term travelers.
Tell us what is the best place you have visited?
My favorite so far is India. Yes, it’s chaotic and at times can even be infuriating, but that’s all part of the colorful and vibrant nature of the country. After three months in the country, we had barely even touched upon what India has to offer.
What has blogging done for you, “monkeys”?
We’re still newbies in the writing field. We’ve never done this kind of writing in our old lifestyles! Blogging has definitely helped us to examine our lives and experiences more, so we have a greater appreciation for everything we do.
Did you really leave your job to fulfill your passion to travel?
Yes, I did! I told my American boss that I was quitting to experience backpacking. He even offered me a month of paid leave to fulfill it, but I told him one month wasn’t enough. After 19 months, I’m still traveling!
Can you share a few tips to travel on a budget.
When I was backpacking on my own in South East Asia, my daily budget was only $10/day. Yes, it’s doable. For accommodation, I stayed in dorms (hostels) or I used Couchsurfing. For food, we try to cook our own food or sometimes eat street food. (Don’t be afraid. I’ve never been sick.) For transport, we tend to use overnight sleeper buses or walk instead of taking taxis all the time.
What else is on your bucket list?
Well, my ultimate goal is to finish our around-the-world trip, stepping on all continents (including Antarctica) before I turn 30. I’m 26 now, so we still have four years to fulfill it. In the meantime, show me any new adventure sport or adrenaline rush and it’s going straight on the list. We just cycled Death Road and abseiled down the side of a hotel in La Paz, Bolivia!
Blog Count is a series of conversations with Pinays all over the world. We think these Pinays sparkle and shine. If you are a member of Pinay.com, we can feature you too. Can you inspire us? Do you have something to share? Email Tish Leizens, chief editor at firstname.lastname@example.org. Let’s start a conversation.
Tish Leizens is a great believer in asking lots of questions. That was how she was trained as a business journalist for newspapers and magazines. That was how she survived trying moments in her personal life and how she navigated a successful career and business in media. In 1997, she asked, “Why not?” And so, she moved from Manila to New York City. It was and continues to be a great adventure. After stints as a reporter for Manila Chronicle and Manila Times; correspondent for The Straits Times and Gulf News; Tish worked as editor for Conde Nast, and later edited and published her own regional magazines, OurHouse and Excursions. OurHouse, sold in bookstores chains in the East Coast, was nationally recognized for its innovative approach to magazine publishing. Tish has lectured at the New York Public Library on how to launch a magazine and other topics related to publishing. She was featured in CNN Money in 2010.