Trav­el­ling Trick­etts cir­cle the globe

New­found­land cou­ple tackle around-the-world jour­ney

The Compass - - FRONT PAGE - BY NI­CHOLAS MERCER

Ev­ery­thing Steven and Jess Trick­ett have in their lives is stuffed in two econ­omy-sized back­packs.

It has been five months since the young cou­ple took the plunge to spend a year glo­be­trot­ting and see­ing the world. They sold their home, took a leave of ab­sence from their jobs and left on an air­plane bound for parts un­known.

Steven, a Har­bour Grace na­tive, was a hu­man re­sources con­sul­tant for a global company, while Jess, orig­i­nally a Burry from St. John’s, also worked for a large company as an ac­coun­tant in Burling­ton, Ont.

In the four years they lived in On­tario, the pair’s typ­i­cal idea of fun was head­ing to Costco on Fri­day night. Steven was usu­ally on the road with work, and when he was home there was even more work to do look­ing ahead to the next week. It was the same sit­u­a­tion with Jess and her pro­fes­sion.

“All we did was work,” said Jess. “We thought there has to be some­thing else out there.”

With that in mind, the pair started re­search­ing what it would take to plan an around-the­world ex­cur­sion. They poured through pages of on­line travel blogs and any other in­for­ma­tion they found.

Trav­el­ling the world, they say, was “al­ways in the back of our minds,” but they thought a win­dow had closed. Tak­ing a year off to see the world was a young per­son’s game they thought.

That was not the case at all. After read­ing the blogs, they found peo­ple trav­el­ling who were just like them — in their 30s with a job and a home. So, they went for it.

“There was never go­ing to be the per­fect time to do it,” said Steven, who spoke with The Com­pass via on­line video from Chi­ang Mai, a city in north­ern Thai­land. “It was prob­a­bly the best time.”

The cou­ple sold the home where they got en­gaged, packed up their things and drove across the prov­ince. They spent some time with fam­ily be­fore de­part­ing from St. John’s on July 28, en route to Dublin, Ire­land.

“My par­ents were su­per sup­port­ive,” said Jess. “My mom wanted to come with us.”

“It took a while to con­vince mine,” added Steven. “They came around to it quite a bit after.”

Since leav­ing in July, the Trick­etts have crossed two con­ti­nents and vis­ited 15 coun­tries in Europe and Africa.

Here is a rough list of where they’ve vis­ited so far: Ire­land, Bel­gium, Spain, Hun­gary, France, the Czech Repub­lic, Croa­tia, Italy, Bos­nia and Herze­gov­ina, Kenya, Tan­za­nia, Malawi, Zam­bia, South Africa (Cape Town), Turkey, the United Arab Emi­rates, Thai­land, Cam­bo­dia,

“It’s been an great ex­pe­ri­ence,” said Jess. “Croa­tia was ab­so­lutely amaz­ing.”

Bud­get time

Mak­ing your way around the world in­volves know­ing how to op­er­ate on a bud­get and be­ing flex­i­ble enough to de­vi­ate from the plan if the money takes them in a dif­fer­ent di­rec­tion.

“Luck­ily, my wife is an ac­coun­tant,” said Steven with a chuckle. “We’ve al­ways been savers,” added Jess. The pair took a por­tion of the money they re­ceived from sell­ing their home, along with some sav­ings and drafted a bud­get. Steven had 30 ho­tel nights saved up through his work, and the rest of their ac­com­mo­da­tions were found on lodg­ing rentals web­site Airbnb, al­low­ing to to book top-notch places at a quar­ter of the price.

“Europe was more ex­pen­sive,” said Steven. “We’ve had to be smart about it.”

The pair love cof­fee. Wher­ever they go, they carry a tin of Nescafe in­stant cof­fee with them. Some­times they’ll splurge on a cup of joe at a lo­cal café, but for the most part, it is al­ways in­stant.

“You’re go­ing to laugh when we tell you we have a bag full of cof­fee bags from ho­tels,” said Jess. “The same goes for sham­poos and soaps.”

Tent­ing with lions

As the Trick­etts de­scribe it, Africa was “mind blow­ing.”

The pair spent 26 days trav­el­ling through a host of coun­tries in the east and cen­tral parts of the con­ti­nent. They touched down in Nairobi, Kenya on Oct. 11 and from there made their way from the Serengeti to Cape Town.

Along the way, they camped on the shores of Lake Malawi (Malawi) and Lake Tanyanika (Tan­za­nia), swam with great white sharks and saw Vic­to­ria Falls, the world’s largest wa­ter­fall lo­cated in both Zim­babwe and Zam­bia.

“There is a pool at the edge of the falls called Devil’s Pool where you are sit­ting look­ing out over the falls,” said Jess. “It was prob­a­bly one of favourite mo­ments in Africa.”

It was in Cape Town where Steven had one of his favourite mo­ments of the trip so far.

“We did a morn­ing hike (of Ta­ble Moun­tain) and took some pic­tures,” he said. “Then … we went swimming with sharks. We did a shark cage dive.

“I was down in the cage and I had my hands on the bars, just hold­ing on. A great white came swimming right to­wards me with its mouth open. I had to pull my hands away from the cage be­cause I thought he was go­ing to bite my hands.”

A hum­bling ex­pe­ri­ence

A common theme for a jour­ney such as this is learn­ing and ex­pe­ri­encin life a world away from where you grew up.

Cam­bo­dia of­fered a dose of a dif­fer­ently re­al­ity for the cou­ple. It’s the coun­try where the Com­mu­nist Kh­mer Rouge regime slaugh­tered be­tween one-and-half and three mil­lion peo­ple from 1975-1979.

The Trick­etts vis­ited the Killing Fields, which con­sists of 20,000 mass grave. sites

“I was angry be­cause I had no idea of the bru­tal his­tory there be­fore we got there,” said Steven. “To find out what those peo­ple had gone through. It makes you ap­pre­ci­ate how for­tu­nate we were to be born in Canada.

“Just to see how much op­por­tu­nity we have just be­cause of where we were born. We can do what­ever we want in life, and some of the peo­ple we’ve met … are happy-go-lucky, they ap­pre­ci­ate what they have and make the best of their sit­u­a­tion.”

While they have a lit­tle over six months to go be­fore they re­turn to North Amer­ica “home­less, but with a job,” they still have plenty of trav­el­ling left to do.

The pair hope to hit Viet­nam, and they’re still toy­ing with the idea of trav­el­ling to Myan­mar (Burma) and the Phillip­ines.

“It all de­pends on the bud­get,” said Jess. “Myan­mar has some pretty in­cred­i­ble hot air bal­loon rides. “We were liv­ing be­fore, but now we feel alive.” In the mean­time, the Trick­etts are try­ing to fig­ure out what’s the cheap­est coun­try to fly home from. Their ini­tial ex­plo­ration has iden­ti­fied Shang­hai, China, as a pos­si­bil­ity.

To keep up with the Trick­ett’s in­ter­na­tional ex­ploits, visit their travel blog at www.fine­line­trav­els.com or find them on Face­book at

www.face­book.com/fine­line­trav­els.

“You’re go­ing to laugh when we tell you we have a bag

full of cof­fee bags from ho­tels. The same goes for sham­poos and soaps.”

— Jess Trick­ett

Sub­mit­ted photo

Steven (left) and Jess Trick­ett pose for a pic­ture out­side Angkor Wat in Siem Reap, north­ern Cam­bo­dia. The pair took a year off from their North Amer­i­can rou­tine to travel the world. In just over six months, they’ve vis­ited dozens of coun­tries cov­er­ing three con­ti­nents.

Sub­mit­ted photo

This small church on an is­land in the mid­dle of Lake Bled in Ljubl­jana, Slove­nia, was among the Trick­ett’s favourite dis­cov­er­ies on their jour­ney.

Sub­mit­ted photo

Steven and Jess vis­ited a busy Grand Canal out­side St. Mark’s Square in Venice, Italy.

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