2.5 years, 33 countries, 209 beds: 2 Inspiring Women who dropped everything to travel the world

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.

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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.

Mitad Del Mundo, Quito

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.

Puerto Escondido

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.

Isla Sel Sol, Bolivia Salt Flats, Bolivia

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.

Ben Youssef Madrasa, Morocco

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.

Chicas, Cotopaxi

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Inspired? Here’s INR 1500 from Tripoto to start your travels. Use our cash, book a cosy homestay on Airbnb and discover the hospitality of strangers.

(use code Tcom from Mobile)

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27 thoughts on “2.5 years, 33 countries, 209 beds: 2 Inspiring Women who dropped everything to travel the world

  1. How did you guys go about financing and paying for your trip? That’s the biggest hurdle for me. Cos I have NO savings !

  2. Really very inspiring. I do love to travel but not lead a nomadic life. After reading this, I have decided to visit atleast one country every year and enjoy the place to the hilt. Thank you!

    1. Inspiring to read.. Specially when 24year old biker and a photographer is pinning the photos of places to go on a 6*10 foot world MAP……
      The year is ON…..

    2. Shruti

      Like you said one country every year,
      these ladies have inspired and ignited my inner dream so much that,
      I would like to ask you if you are really doing that, Lets do it together, like these Hot toddies.
      And I’m really serious.

    3. That’s a very good idea….its better to visit a different country every year rather than seeing it all at once….this will keep us amazed too

  3. Very inspirational & motivating too. I have been thinking about doing something similar but have not gotten down to doing yet. Fingers crossed … hopefully soon!

  4. Enjoyed reading your experiences. Good luck with many more trips! I’m just figuring out the many challenges an Indian passport holder faces while backpacking like this..Would be happy to share information with you on some locations. Cheers!

    1. really really enjoyed reading your experience …. i so wish i can do this….bt one day for sure i am gonna live this by exploring this world ….i really wanna get rid of this fast going life where people hav no time for theirselves and are only busy in making money ….i really got inspired from this …. and i am gonna definately do this >>>thanks alot for sharing this …hatss offf !!!

  5. Wow…. it just ignites the passion burning in me, reading the post. M too a travel honk n will make it someday…. already started with some domestic. As d finances will grow boundaries would increase.

  6. After reading this … I got goosebumps… The kind u get when u realize something beautiful and amazing just happened amd u were part of it!!!… I want to travel the world and see every bit of it too. … It requires a lot of courage to just let go and just go for it !! Salut u both ! … Hope i will get couragous enuf to get up and just go for it … !! … Well atleast i can put it in my wish list !!

  7. hii…
    TODDIES…..mmmmuuuuuaaahhh..u both looks a perfect friends.
    i saw ur pics and they are just wonderful ,i too wanna enjoy like u guys …u both are just wonderful and im soo happy that u both saw the beauty which god has made.
    U Both r just just amazing ,crazy,fun,aaaaaahhhhhhh im feelings jealous now ,hahaahah
    I wish u both the best for your life and ur journey.
    if its possible i wanna see more pics of you guys …hope u accept my request.
    Take care love u Both .

  8. I’ve been living my dream of travelling and these girls inspire me to push my limits…a lil’ peace of advice for my fellow travellers… Just go if you want to travel…don’t wait for a particular time or person or circumstance….. u’ll see that everything will magically fall into place once u make up ur mind…. :)

  9. I’m truely inspired . I love travelling i wil definately travel 1 country this year .
    If u guys are serious in travelling lets plan up and go together.

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