Simone and Dan are an Australian/British couple who met whilst travelling around South America. They are currently based in the UK and use every second they get to travel and explore.
The Aussie Flashpacker
is their personal travel blog where they share stories, adventures, travel tips and advice, and inspire others to travel and see the world. They are both Flashpackers and aim to bring their readers the best in luxury and adventure travel
around the world. They’ve visited six continents, countless countries and their wanderlust is only continuing to grow!
What initially sparked your interest in travel?
Simone & Dan – We both were lucky enough to travel abroad when we were around 11 or 12 years old, Dan to the US and Simone to New Zealand. Since then we have travelled with our families, friends, solo and as a couple.
We live and breathe travel and think that being lucky enough to be exposed to the excitement of travel, adventure, exploring new places and cultures from such a young age truly sparked our love of travel and sense of adventure!
What’s your definition of adventure?
Dan- For me the definition of adventure is being out in nature, pushing yourself and doing things that put you out of our comfort zone.
Simone – Dan is MUCH more adventurous than I am and is always helping me to try things I never would have, and helping me get out of my comfort zone and face my fears (which are a lot) such as taking on Europe’s longest & fastest zip-line or hiking Mt Snowdon (the tallest mountain in England & Wales) in the middle of Winter in less than favourable conditions (snow, ice, rain & gale force winds)!
Hiking Mt. Snowdon
What advice would you give to someone who is looking for adventure, but isn’t sure where to start?
Dan – I would say take the plunge and make it happen. Whatever your adventure don’t worry too much about the what’s and if’s, just be focused on a goal and it will happen. Don’t get stressed thinking about where to start.
I love coming up with crazy ideas and then researching online trying to work the logistics, paricularly by reading about other people’s adventures on their blogs! Simone will tell you that I come up with the craziest ideas on a daily basis and 99% we don’t do or are just too crazy but coming up with an idea is the beginning of every adventure. Pick an idea, commit to it and then work out the rest.
Zip-lining in Wales
What’s the most dangerous thing that’s ever happened to you on the road?
Dan – I think the most dangerous thing that has ever happened to me on the road would have been whilst on a (very un-official) 5 day jungle tour in the Amazon Jungle with just a local guide and my three mates and I.
We ran out of water about 48 hours into the trip and had to drink some very questionable river water without sterilisation tablets. We all had to do out very best to starve off the sickness until the tour finished and we made it back to civilisation (though we had very poor tummies for a good week).
Also on the same trip in South America, I stayed in a hostel located in a Favela (shanty town/slum) in Rio de Janeiro. Whilst not being in any direct danger, I loved the experience as I gained a totally new understanding of a very different way of life. At all times however I could feel an edge of danger, and hear gun shots ringing out in the streets at night.
Dan in the Amazon
What’s your biggest achievement?
Simone – I’d have to say hiking the Inca Trail in Peru to Machu Picchu. This had been at the top of my bucket list for as long as I can remember and to actually complete the pilgrimage to Machu Picchu was one of the best experiences of my life.
It was one of the hardest things I have ever done but worth every moment. Despite being the fittest I had been in years, my body did not like the altitude one bit, but with support from my best friend & super cheeky guide I made it! The whole experience of the four day hike was one of the biggest achievements of my travel adventures to date! It was truly one of those bucket list experiences that completely lived up to the expectations.
Simone at Machu Picchu
Can you tell me about a time when things didn’t go to plan?
Simone – When I was at University, three friends and I set off on a backpacking trip around South East Asia. Unfortunately, I didn’t make it more than three days into our six week trip because I broke my ankle (tibia & fibula) at the full moon party on Ko Pha Ngan in Thailand, Ouch!
Against my better judgement, I decided to take on the famous ‘Fire Slide’ and landed awkwardly at the bottom and snapped by ankle. This led to no pain killers for 24 hours, surgery on Ko Samui and finally flying home eight days later and a LOT of recuperation and physiotherapy.
Things definitely didn’t go to plan and I was devastated! I’ve now accepted that it just wasn’t meant to be as we were planning on hiring motorbikes the next day and driving around the island and I am certain I would have done more damage on a motorbike than a broken leg.
I am also very lucky that I had travel insurance because my hospital bills were over $20,000 AUD and I only paid $180 for travel insurance for the whole trip! Despite this trip not going to plan, I’ve travelled extensively since and we are planning a trip back to South East Asia.
Tell me something about travel that no one else knows
Simone & Dan – A destination specific tip for an up and coming destination would be if you are planning to visit Morocco, choose to stay in a Riad versus a hotel. Riads are some of the most wonderful accommodation we have stayed in throughout all out travels and truly allow you to experience Moroccan culture.
They are an oasis in the craziness that is Morocco (we have posted a number of Riad Reviews on The Aussie Flashpacker
if you want to check them out). Morocco is an incredible country full of adventure, culture, craziness, beauty and oh so good food!
What do you have planned for the future?
Simone & Dan – We are heading back to Australia for three weeks in September to see Simone’s friends & family and also visit Sydney, the Gold Coast & everywhere in between!
In addition to that we have a lot of UK travel plans including Cornwall, the Cotswolds & Peak District for hiking, along with potentially a trip to Iceland, Budapest and there’s talk of a White Christmas / New Year in Europe.
Our biggest & most exciting trip will be early next year (March/April) when we take off on an extended trip around Europe, India, Sri Lanka, the Maldives & South East Asia! Our trip is still certainly in the early planning stages and at this stage we’re planning on heading off for 6-12 months and end up in Australia.
This is part of the travel blogger interview series within the Adventure Inspiration category. See all Adventure Inspiration here.
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Hayley is the author behind A Life of More, a travel and lifestyle blog with the goal of helping you to live a happier and more fulfilled life, whether you're currently travelling or happily settled.