‘ 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
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.