We, at Tripoto, are suckers for stories from the road. There is a certain joy we get while chatting with people who passionately share their travel experiences. This week we sit down for some travel talk with two amazing women, Aga and Iza (a.k.a The Hot Toddies). The Toddies, originally from Poland, met in the US and decided to take a whirlwind journey trying to cover every continent in one fearless shot. 2.5 years, 33 countries and 209 different beds later they had set foot on all seven continents. But the journey didn’t stop there. “Once you are a nomad, you will remain a nomad for life,” the Hot Toddies. Read on for more.
1. Hi! Please introduce yourself and tell us more about your travels.
We are Aga and Iza, aka Hot Toddies. We’re originally from Poland, but we met in the States. Barely knowing each other, in February 2010 we dropped everything, took our life savings, and cluelessly started gliding around the globe. Our goal was to step foot on all seven continents and after two and a half years the mission was complete. This however didn’t mark the end of our nomadic lives, we continued to glide, although with slower speed. Packing and unpacking remained in our daily chores.
2. Tell us about your travel beginnings. Your first breakaway trip. How easy or difficult was it to venture out into the world?
Our first stop was New Orleans, Mardi Gras Festival, which was awesome. But the true breakaway and reality check was in Mexico City, right after New Orleans. The language, the culture and the crime was what shook us up and made it clear that we were not at home. Before we took off on the journey, we read so many safety tips and rules that when we were walking around in Mexico City, we were afraid even to take out our cameras and take pictures. It’s funny looking back at our first steps.
3. What is your first travel memory?
There are so many. Different days, different memories. But since we were just writing about the safety, we recall our first overnight bus in Mexico. We heard stories from other travelers that sometimes the overnight buses get robbed. A friend told me that once they even took his clothes. So we decided to put our documents and money between the seats of the bus. In the morning when we arrived to our destination, we were sleepy, tired and not thinking. We left the bus without our passports and money. When we did realize we were both freaked out, instant sweat and head rush hit us both. We weren’t even two weeks into our travels and we already lost our passports, credit cards and money. Luckily, when we ran back to the bus station, the bus was still standing and the workers were cleaning it. We got lucky, it was still there. Since then we never did such a stupid thing.
4. In your blog you mention that you met in the States. How did you decide to go on this amazing journey together? Was it just the fact that both of you were from Poland, or was there something else that convinced you to partner together?
Funny you ask, actually it was very spontaneous. We have a mutual friend whom Aga worked with and Iza lived with. One day during lunch at work with my friend, Aga said, “I know, I will take all the money I made and travel the world.” Our friend went home and shared the news with Iza. Iza replied, “tell Aga that I will go with her.” This is pretty much how it started. We picked a date, February 14th, 2010, which was a year away. From that point on all things pointed for us to travel. We took off knowing very little about each other. Traveling and getting to know one another added to this amazing experience.
5. How has post-Toddies life been? Travel and otherwise?
After 2.5 years we departed on our own paths, but we kept traveling, so it’s hard to say post. Iza found her a temporary place in Dublin, where she works in a cafe and makes the sweetest cakes that make people happy. Although she is looking forward to her next move and adventure, for now she is stationed in Dublin. Aga on the other hand didn’t stop moving, She traveled back to India, Hungary and other places visiting friends. It’s difficult to settle down, the travel bug is deeply rooted and we just want to keep moving. We find it a bit difficult to stay in one place, but at the same time we are tired of packing and unpacking. A bit of the “normal” life, 9-5 might be a good idea for some balance.
6. Your blog looks awesome. Was it a conscious effort to document your entire trip in the manner that you have or did you start doing it along the way?
Our blog started out as our journal to keep track of our experiences. As the audience grew, from family to friends to international readers, we felt happy and continued to share. Most importantly, we wanted to share the real deal of traveling. Many blogs we read were always patched down. But the truth is that backpacking is not always amazing, and you are not always the good girl. So we shared exactly how it was. More accurately, this is our transparent online journal, that is open for everyone to read and share.
7. What is the one thing you really want to do on the road, but haven’t?
Six months prior to departing we decided to live together. Our hallway wall was full of pinned maps and interest points from around the world. A big section of our wall was dedicated to Australia. This was the continent that Iza was convinced she will fall in love with and become a citizen. After traveling to New Zealand and spending more than we thought from our budget, we decided to skip Australia. It’s one of the more expensive places to travel to. However, we did get lucky. Due to volcanic spoilage in Bali the airlines couldn’t fly to Bali and paid for our one night in Brisbane. It wasn’t enough to really get to know Australia, so it remains on the top of the list.
8. Does prolonged travel start to get lonely on the romantic front?
Yes and no. Yes, there are times where you wish someone would hug you to sleep and you wake up and still have him by your side, and he won’t have to catch a bus or a flight back home. Where you can dream of forever and after kind of love. But no, because there is also the other side where you meet, mingle and quickly forget the long relationship love. When you travel, you will never be lonely if you don’t want to be. This is one of those questions where we can go on babbling forever. I think a good explanation is in our post “What are the chances of finding love abroad”.
9. What would you say to people who really wish to travel the world, but aren’t?
The hardest is the decision, to let go, to realize that the world will continue without you being there. Once you do make the decision to free yourself and go out there, you will realize that the world that you once thought to be so far and so untouchable becomes part of you. Or better off, you become part of the world. The distant cultures and people that you might see on the media and internet that seem so alien to you are just like you. They become real, they are no longer digital. So unless you want to live a digital life with limited senses – which is also fine- you need to make the move and feel the real essence of the world. Don’t worry, it won’t bite, use your instinct and common sense and you will survive, we promise. We did.