Traveler Tuesday – Fiona and Jerry of A Couple of Drifters
I first met Fiona of A Couple of Drifters in a Facebook chat about a Pinterest issue. I immediately liked her! I am not going to reveal too much (please check at all the “interesting” ways they travel on the blog), but the way Fiona and her partner Jerry is pretty out there! But they have been really successful at what they do!
Let’s meet Fiona & Jerry!
 When and how did you become a traveler?
Fiona: When I was in uni. I picked strawberries in Scotland one Summer and another Summer I spent 4 months living and working in the States on a J-1 student visa These were the beginnings of my driftings.
Jerry: In 2013 the moment when we walked out our door in Portland, Maine and hitchhiked to the Panama Canal and back.
 What kind of traveler do you define yourself as?
Slow, independent and extremely budget-conscious. We like to wander aimlessly and try to get off the beaten path as much as we can. We are long term travellers, on the road almost 2 years with no idea when the end is in sight. We hitchhiked and bussed for a year, now we are giving van life a whirl and soon we'll return to hitchhiking and bussing.
 Which country do you come from/call home?
Fiona: Ireland Jerry: U.S.A
 What do you crave from home when you are traveling?
Fiona: Kerrygold butter. Being able to cook. A real Irish pub. Jerry: A bath instead of a shower.
 Tell us about your blog
Our blog, A Couple of Drifters, focuses on all aspects of budget travel from our own experiences. From hitchhiking to house-sitting and boondocking to cheap hotels. We tend to avoid tour groups and prefer to strike out on our own independently and many of our posts are geared towards that type of travel.
 What do you love most about traveling?
Feeling alive. Being long term travellers, the sense of absolute freedom to do whatever you want, whenever you want. Working hard on our terms so as not to be bound to one place. Being in total control of our time.
 What do you dislike about traveling?
Fiona: The end – when the journey ends!
Jerry: Fielding many offers from persistent touts in certain parts of the world. Often, where we travel means it's assumed we need help with certain services – tours/guides/transportation arrangement, a local willing to take you to the “best” hotel/hostel, etc.
 How do you prepare for a trip?
Fiona: I don't, apart from the absolute essentials i.e. if a visa is required or I need to book a flight, and packing my bag, that's about it. Beyond that, I just wing it. I'm not much of a planner.
Jerry: I prepare by looking at the required “officialdom” or legal aspect of getting into one country or the next. Do we need vaccinations or visas, etc? We never book accommodation, though. I sometimes look at Google to see what's on offer price-wise in a town or city as far as food and hotels, but that's the extent of my preparation repertoire.
 You have won the lottery, now tell us where you want to live.
Fiona: Cornwall, England or a cottage in the Cotswolds, also in England
Jerry: A hill town in the Abruzzo region of Italy, plus our other cottages in England!
 Travel essentials – 3 things you always travel with.
Fiona: Sunscreen (I burn if I see the weather forecast)! glasses, eye drops.
Jerry: Earplugs, first aid kit, sewing kit.
 What is your favorite article of clothing?
Fiona: Teva sandals. I didn't have them on our first year-long trip (2013-2014), but Jerry did. He hiked everywhere in them and I was so jealous every time he just waded through streams and rivers in them, whilst I sat and pulled hiking boots off and then had to put them back on, on the other side. I've since gotten a pair of Teva sandals, they are fantastically comfortable and brilliant for being in the water.
Jerry: Plain white cotton T-shirts; they are the perfect thing to wear in hot, sunny climates. I recently bought a casual pair of Altra shoes that are very comfortable – I can see them becoming a favorite.
 Your single most treasured personal possession.
Fiona: I carry four small stones off my Mum's grave back home in Ireland with me.
Jerry: A silver ring I bought about 25 years ago – it rarely leaves my finger.
 Do you have a piece of advice for bloggers starting out?
Write content that is useful to others rather than memorable to yourself. Don't know what is useful to others? Look into keyword planning and learn about SEO. Know what your Domain Authority is and know what you can rank for and what you can't. Use a good cache plug-in and have it set up properly. Optimize your images before they go into your posts. Have patience and persevere.
 What are three other blogs that inspire you?
- Eat This World > Toby and Anna have travelled from Germany to Australia without flying! They've minded 21 dogs in Thailand and were part of a crew that sailed from Thailand to Australia. We are impressed.
- The Whole World or Nothing > Sarah and James are extremely hard workers. We only wish we were as focused as them!
- Independent Travel Cats > Laurence and Jessica write amazingly thorough pieces with great photos.
 Your favorite travel resource on the web?
Fiona: Trusted House Sitters > This has proven to be an invaluable resource for us over the last year and a half. It was especially great to trade van life for house life, this Winter past. Our house-sits have been everything from 3 days to 5 months. It truly is having the best of both worlds whilst you travel. If you're a blogger or work remotely it is also a great way to have stable wifi.
Jerry: Traveller's Point > This is a great online community that I'm part of. Travellerspoint is full of travel experts who answer all of your related questions and offer advice on all aspects of planning – vaccinations, visas, transportation, money-saving tips, etc. There are loads of other features on this site, as well.
Fiona and Jerry's Lightning Round of Favorites
Airport: PWM (Portland, Maine) because we both worked there for several years and it's a great community of people there. Also BOS (Boston); this is where we met when we both worked there over 20 years ago!
Mode of Transportation: Hitchhiking, buses, and trains
Window or aisle: Window!
City: Mexico City; Quetzaltenango, Guatemala; Edinburgh, Scotland
Country: Mexico; Italy; El Salvador; Ireland; Nicaragua…
Travel Gear: Portable water heating element for in-room coffee every morning!
Travel snack: Salted in-shell peanuts and biscuits (cookies).
Book: Fiona: The Good Fairies of New York by Martin Millar. Jerry: Ishmael by Daniel Quinn.
Movie: Fiona: Withnail and I. Jerry: Flash Gordon.
Song: Fiona: Los Caminos de la Vida by Vicentico (Brings back memories of hitchhiking the Michoacan coast) Jerry: World Eater by Bolt Thrower
Quote: Fiona: “To live is the rarest thing in the world. Most people exist, that is all”. – Oscar Wilde Jerry: “Nostalgia – it isn't what it used to be”. – Unknown
Thanks, Fiona & Jerry!
You can keep up with Fiona and Jerry on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and of course on their blog. Wherever you catch them, I am sure you will enjoy their adventures!
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I’m not much of a world traveler, probably because I don’t like being uncomfortable! But I admire those who are brave enough to get out there and do it!
I have to admit to not being a huge traveller, I would love to by my health doesn’t let me, so I live through other peoples stories. I am all about Cornwall as well I would love a cottage myself there.
Hi. Sounds like a lot of fun! I give them credit for being so flexible and carefree in their travel style. I love to travel, but I’m not as laid back! Interesting interview! Thanks, Melissa Damiani | Gratitude Grace Glamour
How fun to meet other bloggers this way! Also, I’ve never heard of a portable water heating element – I may need that, since I drink tea ALL THE TIME.
Wow that picture with the sunset and the van! That’s one view I would love to see each and everyday! So pretty!
It was nice to meet Jerry and Fiona. They’re very relatable since I am also an extremely budget-conscious traveler. Checking their blog now and I love the tips that they shared. Very helpful.
Thank you for sharing this inspiring interview.
Find Fiona & Jerry interesting people. I love to know about fellow travelers, their background, their likes, their travels and what drives them.
Great interview. I find it really fascinating. They are really adventurous people. Good thing they both are because if it was one sided, that wouldn’t have turned out so good. 🙂
This is such a sweet concept to travel around with your partner. The freedom to travel and be you. I enjoy this and will have to check them out.
I love travelling too but I’m not the hitch-hiking type at all. I try to travel as budget-conscious as possible and research cost of everything but I also love activities and city sights too so spend $ on that. I love Cotswolds as well and Kerrygold is da bomb!
Travelling is a great thing! It’s fun, adventurous, relaxing,.. on the other hand, it can also be tiring, stressful, a waste of money if you don’t get good service. But this is life experience, after all!!
What an interesting blog! It sounds like they do a lot of traveling and have had a lot of neat experiences. Good advice for blogging, too.
This was an interesting read. I enjoy reading about other travellers since I love travelling so much.
how I wish my husband and I could travel like them, but with kids off course, we would still want them to join our travel :D. Nice thing a couple could do to bond and enjoy life together.
Flash Gordon and Oscar Wilde… Jerry sounds like quite a character. It takes a lot of gumption to hitchhike from Maine to Panama and back. I bet they met all kinds of folks along the way.
@Jenn and Ed, I’m pretty sure Jerry and Fiona are 2 of the most adventurous travelers I’ve met online.
” In 2013 the moment when we walked out our door in Portland, Maine and hitchhiked to the Panama Canal and back…” — wow! Living the dream! I wish I were brave enough for an adventure like that.