About

Hi! We are Emily and Laurent. Thanks for stopping by.

“If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.” – an overused, but fitting African Proverb.

 

 Travel Plan

From mid-February 2017 onwards, we will be travelling northbound from the ‘end of the world’: Ushuaia. This ‘end of the world’ will serve as starting point from where we will follow the red needle of our compass for thousands of kilometres. We plan to venture into many stunning national parks, hike a ton of literally breath-taking mountains, sleep under stargazed skies, speak a lot of Spanish, meet a thousand people, eat a signature dish in every city we visit, and see a lot of pineapple plants. We will travel until our graduate degrees commence in the second half of 2017. Wish us luck!

 

Emily

Of all the places where the best travel partners can be found in the world, it was the Flame Towers in Baku, Azerbaijan that would serve to be the start of this story. In March 2016 I had, as a secretariat member of the InterAction Council, the distinct pleasure of welcoming a group of young leaders (including Laurent) to the conference that was being held there. Laurent’s stories from his extensive travels were intriguing to say the least, and I took him up on his offer to visit him in Beijing a month later where he was studying at the time. Since that fleeting 40 hour encounter, we have travelled together to Tibet, across the Netherlands (Laurent’s home), Hangzhou, and soon to be, Rwanda, the Democratic Republic of Congo, and Uganda.

The idea for this travel itinerary comes from Laurent. A week or so after we met, he had told me of his dream to drive from Alaska to Argentina. I could hardly believe my ears. I had trekked across the globe a little myself, but nothing in comparison to what he was proposing. A quick (in hindsight, perhaps a bit too quick) Google search later, I realized that his plan could actually be possible. I couldn’t get this idea out of my mind.

It must have been someways across Tibet when I decided that I would much rather be staring at beautiful landscapes with Laurent than doing anything else. I deferred starting law school for a year, began to learn Spanish, and picked up a couple jobs. In between, Laurent and I made time to see each other across this planet at the places I mentioned, since I’m Canadian and living in Toronto, and he’s Dutch without a permanent address, choosing instead to do cool things all over the world instead. (No really, since March, he’s been to Mongolia, North Korea and Ukraine as well, while somehow doing a Masters at the Yenching Academy and working at the Dutch Embassy in Rwanda.)

We will meet again in February at “the end of the world, beginning of everything.” From Ushuaia, we will travel through South, Central, and North America, and end at the Last Frontier. We hope to keep you posted of our travels through this blog. More importantly however, we hope you will find some inspiration through the stories and photos we share for you to embark on a journey on your own (or even better, with a friend!)

Love,

Emily

Laurent

Half a year ago, on an early weekday morning, I met Emily in the conference room of a fancy Azerbaijani hotel. Who would have guessed that 40 hours later sad goodbyes were said? Or that two months later we would conquer snowy mountaintops in the Tibetan Himalayas? Or that five months later we would hunt for stroopwafels in the Netherlands? Or that seven months later we would stand under a duplicate Eifel Tower in the outskirts of Hangzhou. Or that nine months later we are on a safari for a pineapple plant in Rwanda? I got incredibly lucky. I truly admire Emily for her genuine sense of adventure and her willingness to dive headfirst in any journey, endeavour, and commitment. This cannot be described other than highly inspirational. Some might say it is naïve to fly across oceans, defer law school, and try to learn multiple new languages at the same time. I call it courage.

Traveling is my one true passion, and sole skill I can claim to be good at. For what that is worth. Traveling energizes me, it excites me, and it makes me grateful and confident at the same time. In this blog I will try to share some of this excitement with you. Before I started my bachelor’s program I took a gap year to travel through Argentina, Chile, Bolivia, and Peru. The best decision I ever made. Since that trip I haven’t been back in a Spanish speaking country. During those travels I carried a map of the Americas with me and a trip from North to South seemed achievable and an idea was born. After taking the seasons and especially the harsh Patagonian and Alaskan winters into consideration, a northbound trip seemed more sensible. Flash five years forward and I am almost ready to commence this adventure.

I always preached the value of traveling alone. I saw beauty in solitude, empowerment in pure autonomy, and believed that memories of mesmerizing moments would dilute if shared and worth more if kept for just oneself. This was before I met Emily. I cannot think of anyone else I would rather make this long trip with.

Best,
Laurent