‘ I Quit My 9-to-5 to Travel the World’ …and you can too!

WHEN CHANEL CARTELL, 32, LEFT HER CA­REER AS A CRE­ATIVE DI­REC­TOR TWO AND HALF YEARS AGO TO TRAVEL WITH HER MAN STEVO DIRNBERGER, 31, SHE NEVER DREAMED SHE’D STILL BE TRAV­EL­LING NOW. FIND OUT HER TRAVEL HACKS, HOW SHE’S FUND­ING HER WANDERLUST AND HOW YOU CA

Cosmopolitan (South Africa) - - CONTENTS - AS TOLD TO SARAH BROWN­ING-DE VILLIERS

Two and a half years ago, Chanel Cartell was work­ing as a cre­ative di­rec­tor in Jo’burg. Her part­ner of seven years was also in ad­ver­tis­ing; they looked ev­ery inch a suc­cess story. ‘We had all the shiny things you’re sup­posed to have but we weren’t happy – things weren’t ex­cit­ing,’ Cartell says. Then, in 2014, the duo heard a talk by Ste­fan Sag­meis­ter at De­sign Ind­aba. ‘It was about the im­por­tance of tak­ing time off to get away from your nor­mal life and get in­spired, and it hit a chord with us both,’ says Cartell. The talk was the cou­ple’s tip­ping point: from that mo­ment in early 2014, Cartell and Dirnberger started sav­ing like crazy. ‘We adopted a strict no-spend pol­icy, cut­ting back on buy­ing stuff and go­ing out, and sav­ing ev­ery cent we could. In March 2015, we quit our jobs and headed to our first des­ti­na­tion: Aus­tria.’

The fear of leav­ing ev­ery­thing was real. ‘We wor­ried about our ca­reers – af­ter work­ing hard for years to get to where we were, would we be able to come back to our ca­reers af­ter trav­el­ling if we wanted to? We used our RAs and sav­ings to fund our ini­tial year of travel, which meant we de­pleted our fi­nan­cial se­cu­rity for our fu­ture. It was a risk!’

But in tak­ing a risk, Cartell and Dirnberger dis­cov­ered a new kind of free­dom, and ca­reer op­por­tu­ni­ties they’d never have dreamed of. ‘Af­ter nine months of trav­el­ling, we started to work on the road to con­tinue to fund our trips,’ says Cartell. ‘We now have con­nec­tions all over the world. We’ve had to be ag­ile and learn new skills. We work for our­selves now, so we’ve had to fig­ure out our own fi nances, be our own PA, ap­proach clients our­selves, do our own PR… The list is end­less. It can be ex­haust­ing, but it’s also lib­er­at­ing.’

The cou­ple has sold pretty much ev­ery­thing, car­ry­ing just four bags of stuff – their es­sen­tials – with them ev­ery­where they go. The re­sult? In just over two years, Cartell and Dirnberger have trav­elled to 70 des­ti­na­tions on their wan­derlist (half­way through their 140strong list), and are grow­ing a free­lance busi­ness that’s given them a whole new lease of free­dom – and an IG ac­count to kill for.

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