INTERVIEW - Marta and Alex, our world tourers
Remember Marta and Alex, our world travellers?
After some months on the Pacific side of the world and touring around Australia and New Zealand, they have now reached South America. The timing seemed then right to catch up with them despite the time difference, and check out how they feel so far about their life-changing trip!
Follow Alex and Marta on their adventures on Instagram!
Pics/Courtesy of Gravella's Adventures
How far are you in the trip and where are you now?
We started our world travel adventure in May 2019, so we have been now travelling for 8 months.
We travelled first to Turkey, then Armenia, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, Malaysia, Indonesia, Australia, New Zealand and since two weeks we are exploring beautiful Argentina.
We will be travelling for another 3-4 months in South America, discovering a few other countries such as Chile, Bolivia and, if we manage, Peru!
Our route though is always flexible: if we meet some travelers that suggest us new places, we just go for it. It has always been the best so far, to just go with the flow!
What have been so far your respective, favourite moments / locations?
It is very difficult to say because every country has been so beautiful in its own terms. It would be easier to say what beautiful things we saw for each country! :)
Let's say that, if we had to mention some memorable moments, it was when we rented a Lada Niva, an old Soviet car, in Armenia and toured around the country (such a wonderful place!), as well as the Stan countries and the road trip we did around Australia through the outback with a camper van.
What has been the most challenging?
The road trip in Australia, since we had to drive very many km every day (in one month we did more than 8000km, the distance you need to go from Switzerland to Beijing basically) and the Stans, since it is less touristy and you need to find always a way to get to your destination (there we also hitchhiked between the borders of Kazaksthan and Kyrgystan and it has been such a memorable experience).
Generally, the more challenging a country is, the more memorable it will be in your mind and heart.
On an environmental perspective, what is the worst / the best you have seen?
Worst: definetly the amount of trash and plastic in Malaysia and Indonesia. It also broke our hearts to see that people throw the trash outside of the car or even scooter (for example when they finish a drink they just throw it out) or down the rivers without knowing the impact of their actions.
Landing in Jakarta, we literally saw mountains of trash laying on the fields next to the houses. Huge rats are the proud inhabitants of these places..! Not only there is no real recycling system, but there is also no system of organising the waste disposal, so it just gets buried in the ground or burnt... Imagine the ecological impact this has on the environment!
Best: in New Zealand it is impossible to find any plastic bags. In the stores they just sell the bags made of textile that you always need to bring when shopping, without any additional waste. There is a policy of 0 plastic waste and it works well!
What could you advise people who want to start a world tour like yours, to travel as responsibly as possible?
BRING your own bottle! There is far too much waste and plastic around the world.
And share your knowledge regarding environment protection also to the people: most of the times there is just a lack of education and awareness regarding the topic! The change has to come from everyone of us in small daily choices.
Last but not least, try to eat less animals as possible. We saw the huge impact that the cattle has on the environment: in order to breed animals, you need a lot of space (which means a lot of deforestation) and a lot of food for growing them. Besides, the organic waste created by the cattle is actually one of the biggest pollution sources... Finally, we saw so many animals eating from piles of plastic in Asia which made us want to reduce our animal consumption even more!
So: bring your own bottle to refill with water and share your environmental knowledge: be an example!