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Traveler Tuesday – Fiona and Jerry of A Couple of Drifters

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Traveler Tuesday_Travel Blogger Interview Series

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!

Traveler Tuesday - Fiona and Jerry of A Couple of Drifters

[1] 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.

[2] 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.


[3] Which country do you come from/call home?
Fiona: Ireland  Jerry: U.S.A

[4] 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.

Traveler Tuesday - Fiona and Jerry of A Couple of Drifters_Dublin

[5] 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.

[6] 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.

Traveler Tuesday - Fiona and Jerry of A Couple of Drifters_Van Life

[7] 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.

[8] 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.

Traveler Tuesday - Fiona and Jerry of A Couple of Drifters_Fiona Laundry

[9] 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!

[10] 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.

[11] 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.

Traveler Tuesday - Fiona and Jerry of A Couple of Drifters_Van

[12] 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.

[13] 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.

[14] 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.

[15] 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.

Traveler Tuesday - Fiona and Jerry of A Couple of Drifters

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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